NASCAR is losing another superstar. Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR champion, announced on Wednesday that he is retiring after next season.
Johnson announced his decision via a career-highlights video posted on social media, in which he said that 2020 will be his last as a full-time driver.
“I am so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR,” – said Johnson. “This sport has been good to me and allowed me to do something I truly love. I showed up chasing a dream and achieved more than I ever thought possible. I’m looking forward to next season and celebrating what will be my last year as a full-time NASCAR Cup driver. I know what this team is capable of and I hope 2020 is one of the best yet.”
Johnson had a rough couple of season, having just five top 5 finishes and failing to get a win since 2017. This year, he missed the playoffs for the first time since 2004, finishing 18th overall.
During his 18 years in NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson managed to establish himself as one of the greatest drivers in competition’s history. Johnson has 83 career race wins to date, which ties him in sixth place of the all-time list with Cale Yarborough. He has won seven championships, last in 2016, and is tied for the most in NASCAR history with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.
Johnson is the latest if the sport’s greats to leave NASCAR, with Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, and Danica Patrick all deciding to retire in past several years.