Jimmie Johnson exploring oval testing options to prepare for Indy 500 in 2022

Jimmie Johnson Indy 500
Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

With the cancellation of the IndyCar round at Toronto, there will be no race added for Jimmie Johnson – but work continues toward a possible Indy 500 debut next year.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion told NBC Sports that he wants to test at either Texas Motor Speedway or Homestead-Miami Speedway during the next two months so he can run in an anticipated fall tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and complete the Rookie Orientation Program that is required to race in the Indy 500.

“We’re trying to set up a test for me to run a big oval so that I could then go to the Brickyard for the fall tire test that typically happens and go through my Rookie Orientation,” Johnson told NBC Sports. “And we’re trying to find either Texas or Homestead. I need to run one of those two first before I can go to the ROP at the Brickyard in the fall.”

Toronto was canceled in May, and IndyCar announced last week that the event won’t be replaced after considering the addition of a second race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (where the series will race Sunday at noon ET on NBC).

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Johnson was slated to run the 13 street and road courses this season in the No. 48 Dallara-Honda with primary sponsorship from Carvana. With the Toronto Grand Prix being scrubbed last week for the second consecutive year (because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions), he now is halfway through a 12-race slate. Of IndyCar’s remaining seven races, Johnson will miss only the Aug. 21 race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (which is a 1-mile oval).

“My Carvana agreement really did just cover the races in the U.S.,” said Johnson, who has a two-year deal at Chip Ganassi Racing with Carvana backing. “Toronto was going to be picked up by NTT. So I don’t have that pressure, and the team can certainly handle the NTT side and fulfill that obligation in another way. So right now, it just looks like 12 this year.”

Johnson initially had reservations about racing IndyCar on ovals. But since working as an analyst for NBC Sports at the Indy 500 and growing comfortable with the safety enhancement of the aeroscreen (which was introduced last year), his enthusiasm has spiked for racing the Indy 500 and on ovals in the future.

“The better that I do, the more Jimmie is going to want to get in the car,” Tony Kanaan, who was hired to drive the No. 48 on ovals the next two years, said with a laugh last month at Indy.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.