Jimmie Johnson takes plane and automobile, but no train, to Laguna Seca IndyCar test

Jimmie Johnson
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It wasn’t exactly “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (or a re-creation of the epic comic journey of John Candy and Steve Martin in the 1987 movie by that name) because Johnson skipped the train. But the 2021 IndyCar rookie contender – and seven-time NASCAR champion – chronicled his journey to WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway for an IndyCar test on Tuesday with a series of tweets.

“While my NASCAR friends are traveling to the track, I happen to be doing the same,” Johnson tweeted with a video of his plane flying over the track. As Johnson tested in California, his old teammates and friends were gearing up for the Busch Clash, which Kyle Busch won Tuesday night at Daytona International Speedway.

It was not Johnson’s first trip to Laguna Seca in an IndyCar. Two days after completing the 2020 NASCAR schedule at Phoenix, Johnson tested for a day around the famed course with his new teammate Alex Palou.

After landing, Johnson got an assist from his GPS system to find Laguna Seca once again.

Someone should remind Johnson that leaving the turn signal on is only for drivers who have completely retired – and with 13 races scheduled on street and road courses in 2021 and a second-place finish already this year in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona – he does not meet that requirement.

As the car was pushed toward the track, Johnson was ready for the fun to begin.

About 10 hours later, Johnson posted another update from the Laguna Seca session.

And after all of Tuesday’s fun had ended at Laguna Seca, Johnson also threw in a shoutout to his former ride in Daytona.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”