Jimmie Johnson made his stock car racing return over the weekend at the iconic Daytona International Speedway. Johnson retired as a full-time driver in 2020 taking his racing career to another level, by joining IndyCar Series.
After two years off NASCAR tracks, Jimmie Johnson marked his return to NASCAR grand stage, the Daytona 500 over the weekend and everyone was waiting to see what he got in store. Despite being retired, Jimmie Johnson is one of the best racers NASCAR has ever had with his record all over NASCAR history.
The seven-time Cup Series Champion was among the uncharted drivers that were battling for a spot in the recently concluded Daytona 500. Jimmie Johnson went on to secure his spot on 15th Feb alongside Travis Pastrana during the qualifying race.
With everything in place, Jimmie Johnson was ready to roar the engine and try his luck at winning the Daytona 500 as an uncharted driver. Well, this could have been his first time to clinch the trophy, during his tenure as a full-time driver Jimmie visited the finishing line twice. So, how did the semi-retired veteran racer perform at Daytona 500 this year and is he going to be back on the track soon?
Jimmie Johnson Daytona 500 Performance.
Jimmie Johnson and LEGACY MOTOR CLUB are ready to take command on the track, like @jamindavis25 does on the field. pic.twitter.com/cs4GGYzf71
— LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (@LegacyMotorclub) February 19, 2023
Jimmie Johnson made his return with the No.84 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Legacy Motorsport, a team he co-owns. Before getting off NASCAR’s car in 2020, NASCAR was still racing with the Cars of Tomorrow (6th Gen) car and he was dominant with it.
However, this time around NASCAR has upgraded to a seventh-gen car well known as the Next Gen car. Since the debut of the Next Gen cars, this was his third time in the car, he first participated in the test session and after that, he felt the full ride in the qualifying race on Wednesday 15th.
The El Cajon, California native began his day at pole 39th in the 40-car field sitting ahead of Travis Pastrana. In the first stage, Johnson was on it coming all the way from the tail end to sitting in the top ten before the first break.
Things started going south for him at the end of stage 2 and on top of that, he was slapped with a pit penalty for overspeeding on lap 122 sending him back to the tail end. On Lap 182 of the 200 laps, Johnson was caught up in a seven-car wreck but he was still in shape to continue with the race.
The race went to overtime and he managed to push through the first overtime but in the second overtime, he was caught up in a crash that eliminated him from the winning stage. Johnson was off the race with nine laps to go and he ended up recording a DNF on his first race since his retirement.