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Johnson asserts "this is not retirement from racing"

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Johnson asserts "this is not retirement from racing"
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Nov 22, 2019, 12:31 AM

Jimmie Johnson may be ending his time as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver following the 2020 season, but he wouldn't call it retirement.

 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally and Cliff Daniels
 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally Fueling Futures
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally

Johnson hasn't missed a Cup race since November, 2001, but that streak will end following the 2020 season. Although it will be the end of his career as a full-time Cup driver, it won't be a retirement from racing. 

"No, I'm wide open this is not a retirement from driving race cars," he said in a press conference Thursday. "This is slowing down from 38 weekends a year and you certainly know the stress and pressure, that grind that it takes. 19 years in Cup and the two years in the XFINITY Series, plus everything before that, like, you know, one of the more balances is really where that sits but it's been a bit of a run and we're gonna keep going."

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He later reiterated: "This is not retirement from racing This is stepping down from the 38 weeks a year that it takes to be competitive and the time that goes with that. I would come back and drive Cup cars for Rick (Hendrick), without a doubt, all options are open, honestly, except IndyCar and fast ovals."

In the past, Johnson has expressed interest in running the Chili Bowl Nationals. However, he's in no hurry to make a decision now.

"But I really look forward to, you know, what might develop in you know 12 months from now, and see what opportunities might be out there. So, wouldn't mind going and getting dirty again I know we have a history with off road racing in the dirt. And, you know, just kind of wait and see and, most importantly, like I need to take a deep breath and just see what kind of comes from there and put my family first instead of racing first for once, and take it from there."

He also confirmed that there haven't been discussions yet about 2021 and beyond.

"No I haven't talked to anybody ... haven't even thought about it."


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Gallery: Jimmie Johnson's seven NASCAR Cup Series titles

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Series NASCAR Cup
Author Nick DeGroot