UPDATE: Alex Zanardi, Montoya, Franchitti and Scott Dixon are all Ganassi champions, and this years marks the 25th anniversary of the Jimmy Vasser title that launched a Ganassi dynasty. Ganassi will have four IndyCar teams next season, and he told AP he will run a fifth in the Indianapolis 500 for Jimmie Johnson.
— Associated Press —
Previous post: Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal reported last week that Jimmie Johnson continues to get offers from NASCAR teams, but the seven-time Cup Series champion’s focus is weighing the Indianapolis 500 next season. On Wednesday, Johnson completed an IndyCar Rookie Orientation Program test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, making him eligible to attempt to qualify for the big race next May.
AND: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson sat alone on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s pit wall Wednesday morning, preparing for his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES laps on the iconic oval.
Then the helmet went on, Chip Ganassi Racing’s crew fired the Honda engine, and away Johnson and his patient plan went. A couple of laps following the standard installation lap, the winner of 83 Cup races and four Brickyard 400s had the gas pedal flat in Turns 2 and 4, and soon thereafter he was similarly at full speed in Turn 3.
Johnson and fellow 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Romain Grosjean both participated in the test Wednesday at IMS, which was interrupted and finally cut short by rain.
INDYCAR officials deemed both drivers passed their rookie tests even though both were a few laps short of completing the final phase when a downpour ended track activity around 4:15 p.m.
— INDYCAR —
AND: So, now the obvious question: is Johnson ready to commit to running the 106thrunning of the Indianapolis 500 next May?
“I can’t just yet,” Johnson said. “I need to leave here today, go home, sit down, get a good bottle of wine open.
“I’m as close as I’ve ever been. The racer in me is taking a real serious look at this, but I still need to sit down and have that conversation at home.
— Autoweek —
#Indy500 ROP ☑️ pic.twitter.com/hvVhKTuXUL
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) October 6, 2021
.@JimmieJohnson says he has had some @NASCAR teams reach out about possible interest in driving, whether in a one-off or full time, but he doesn't want to do full time and even a one-off is unclear currently because his 2022 schedule is looking likely to be full of IndyCar/IMSA. pic.twitter.com/jGe3VBtFPY
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) September 30, 2021