Jimmie Johnson finally makes IndyCar testing debut with Ganassi

Chris Owens/IndyCar
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Jimmie Johnson made his long-awaited IndyCar test debut Tuesday on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Chip Ganassi Racing.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, who has been angling for an IndyCar ride since attending the NTT Series’ preseason test at Austin, Texas, posted social media photos Tuesday from the Brickyard with the No. 10 Dallara-Honda normally driven by Felix Rosenqvist

Johnson initially was slated to test a Dallara-Chevrolet with Arrow McLaren SP Motorsports three months ago at Barber Motorsports Park, but the April 6 session was scrubbed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after he had been fitted for a seat at the team’s Indianapolis shop.

He had been scheduled to drive July 8 with Ganassi at IMS before he tested positive for COVID-19. He since was cleared for a return to NASCAR by two negative tests after missing one Cup race.

Johnson also has been updating the IG Story on his Instagram account (@jimmiejohnson) with video from the test.

Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull, who has overseen Johnson’s test, posted a photo of Johnson consulting with five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon in a Ganassi hauler. Hull also tweeted that Johnson said after his first laps around the road course that it had been his dream to be an IndyCar driver, and the test lit his fire.

Dixon, who won the first three races of the 2020 season and leads the points standings for Ganassi this season, attended the test as a sounding board for Johnson.

Johnson, who is retiring from full-time racing in NASCAR after the 2020 season, has said he would be open to racing on road and street courses in IndyCar next season with a preference for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. He also opened the door to possibly racing the Indianapolis 500 after evaluating the recent performance of the aeroscreen in IndyCar.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said recently that Arrow McLaren SP also remains interested in Johnson despite the test with Ganassi.