Jimmie Johnson eyeing IndyCar, IMSA and Le Mans for 2023 schedule

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From Italy to Iowa to the simulator and finally the Finger Lakes, there’s been no rest for Jimmie Johnson. He heads this weekend to Watkins Glen for one of this final two scheduled appearances in the IMSA sports car.

Then he’ll turn his attention to planning his 2023 schedule, which Johnson hopes includes a spot in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet plan to take a stock car to Le Mans next June in a special Garage 56 class designed to showcase the innovation of NASCAR’s new Next Gen model. The prestigious endurance race is scheduled for June 10-11, or two weeks after the Indianapolis 500.

Johnson wants to be part of the lineup but his participation, he said, is dependent on the 2023 IndyCar schedule – an indicator the seven-time NASCAR champion still very much plans a third season of open-wheel racing.

Johnson copped this week to “behind-the-scenes” pushing of IndyCar president Jay Frye to ensure the series is off during Le Mans.

“I want to go to Le Mans. But I think so much hinges on the schedule being released to understand if I can,” Johnson said. “I know that there’s interest. I certainly have a ton of interest to do it. We’re just waiting for that first domino to fall.”

Johnson, who drove for Rick Hendrick for nearly two decades, believes he’s on the list of Le Mans candidates.

“I feel like the interest is really high on both sides,” he added. “We haven’t been able to talk anything more formal because the schedule is not out.”

With everything in limbo, Johnson has turned to the dog days of his current racing schedule. IndyCar raced five consecutive weeks before a two-week break, which allowed Johnson to take his wife and two daughters to Italy for a quick vacation.

But the 46-year-old had to head back for a Monday test at Iowa Speedway, a rare oval that Johnson has never before raced. He was bleary-eyed and chugging coffee during a media session this week explaining how his next stop was the simulator to prepare for this weekend’s Six Hours of the Glen, the third of four IMSA endurance races Johnson built into his schedule in an alliance between Hendrick, Action Express Racing and sponsor Ally.

Johnson missed the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March because it conflicted with IndyCar’s stop at Texas Motor Speedway, his open-wheel debut on an oval, so his return to the No. 48 Cadillac this weekend is a reunion with teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi.

He had a short stint in the seat at Watkins Glen a year ago and isn’t sure how much Chad Knaus, his former NASCAR crew chief and head of the No. 48’s IMSA program, will use him Sunday.

“A six-hour race with three drivers, there’s not a lot of drive time, period,” said Johnson. “I think the time I spend in the car ultimately depends on my pace.”

Johnson doesn’t know what his 2023 schedule will look like but hopes it includes another full IndyCar season and, at minimum, IMSA endurance races.

His return to IndyCar depends largely on funding. Johnson found Carvana on his own to back his transition from NASCAR champion to IndyCar rookie, and ran only the road and street courses last year. He added ovals this season, and made his Indy 500 debut last month.

Although he was considered a threat to win his first 500, he wrecked late and finished 28th. He’s continued to struggle on road and street courses, which led to a Johnson-debunked report that he will only run ovals next year.

“I’m not sure where that has come from. It has not been in any discussions I’ve had or thought processes I’ve had,” said Johnson. “What I’ve been doing has been so much fun and enjoyable. Continue to get better. Certainly hope to do something similar again next year.”

Anything he does in 2023 will come down to sponsorship, scheduling and 2023 rules changes planned for sports car racing. The prototype DPi class will be replaced with a new LMDh class that will make IMSA’s top category eligible to race at Le Mans.

But with the change comes concern there won’t be enough initial chassis and parts for partial- schedule teams.

“We’re still in this phase with IndyCar, sports car or any other ideas I have to go racing. Everything right now is people are just starting to talk about options,” Johnson said. “It’s usually end of summer, beginning of fall when paper starts moving around and people are looking to ink stuff and get it done. We’re just early in the cycle, and I’m certainly trying to keep my options open.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s