BROOKLYN, Mich. – With his three-year contract extension, Jimmie Johnson is locked in behind the wheel of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS through 2020.
But that doesn’t mean the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season will be his last. The seven-time Cup champion said he doesn’t have a timetable for that decision.
“I don’t have a vision of if it’s three, if it’s five, if it’s seven, I don’t know. I do know I’m having a great time and I don’t want to stop right now,” he said. “I’m as hungry as I’ve ever been and as focused and dedicated on doing my job. We will see how these three years go and certainly from my standpoint I hope to collect another big trophy and then lots of other race trophies along the way and have some fun.”
Johnson reiterated that he has never been driven by stats or trophies. But at this point in his career – particularly after tying Cale Yarborough in all-time wins and currently one win away from tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip – he certainly knows where he stands.
“It’s hard to ignore where I sit on the wins list and not let my competitive spirit kick in and want more,” he acknowledged. “Certainly, would love to climb further up the ladder there. Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that, but that is all predictable and easy stuff. For me, it’s really about racing. I just love to race.”
The contract extension will allow him to do just that.
And even more, he’ll be able to do so with his longtime sponsor, Lowe’s, which signed a contract extension through the 2018 season as well.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “The long-term relationship with Lowe’s and have them back on for another full season is incredible and a huge statement. (No. 48 team crew chief) Chad Knaus, Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson, to have this long of a run together and to know that we are going to stay together is super special, for sure.”
With three wins under his belt in 2017, Johnson is looking for success not only in the future – but in the present.
And he’s as focused as ever on chasing those goals with a new contract behind him.
“I’m very content with where I’m at in the race car and just truly enjoy competing and love being on the track,” he said. “So, to have a three-year extension makes me smile and makes me excited about the future. I just can’t wait to get in the car today and get out there and get to work.”