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F1 2022

Seven-time champion announces full-time retirement from motorsport

Jimmie Johnson is set to step away from full-time racing, but admits he will do "bucket list" events

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Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series and latter day IndyCar driver Jimmie Johnson has announced he is to retire from full-time racing in 2023, but will continue to race in "bucket list events."

Johnson, who won a record five straight Cup titles between 2006 and 2010 before further successes in '13 and '16 switched from the Hendrick Motorsports stock car programme at the end of '20 to go IndyCar racing with Chip Ganassi.

A long-term ambition of the Californian-native, he only raced on street and road courses in 2021 due to not having driven single-seaters on ovals, such as Indianapolis.

However, for 2022, he decided to run the full calendar, including the Indy 500 - where he qualified 12th but finished 28th after a late crash.

Results were tricky to come by for Johnson in the #48 machine in his 'second' career but after a two-year stint, he has decided it is time to end one of the most successful careers in the history of motorsport.

Johnson reacts on social media

"I couldn't have asked for a better experience in the IndyCar Series," the 47-year-old explained on social media.

"I will not return to IndyCar full-time in 2023, but will continue to look for new ways to challenge myself and participate in bucket list events.

"I have improved, but realised the challenge [of IndyCar] is two or three times greater than what I first thought.

"I don't want to enter another full-time season if I know I can't give it my all.

"I'm still working on my bucket list of races to compete in.

"The 24 Hours of Le Mans is still out there for me - I love sportcar racing. I've always been curious if there might be a one-off event in NASCAR that might fit for me."

Johnson is a contender for a potential one-off drive in the NASCAR/Hedrick backed Garage 56 project that will enter Le Mans this year - with former crew chief Chad Knaus involved behind the scenes.

As a NASCAR Cup champion and previous winner, Johnson is also still eligible to enter the exhibition NASCAR All-Star race.

In 2023, it will be held at the iconic North Wilkesboro Speedway - which has been renovated after failing into disrepair.

NASCAR has three seven-time Cup champions, with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr joining Johnson as septuple title holders.

Johnson made his Cup debut at Charlotte in October 2001 in the #48 Hendrick, months after Earnhardt was killed in the Daytona 500 in February.

He himself won the 500 twice, in 2006 and 2013.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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