Jimmie Johnson is not ruling out running in the Indy 500 and will be keeping an eye on how things will go in the 2021 season.
After the end of the 2020 season, with Johnson retiring from full-time Cup racing, the seven-time champion will be preparing himself for the beginning of his IndyCar journey next seaosn.
While he will be participating in select races in the 2021 season, questions persist as to whether he will participate in the prestigious Indy 500 next season or at some point in future. Speaking about any such involvement, Johnson said:
“I think my journey for the 500 will really take place when I’m around Indy cars more,” he said. “It’s easy to have a perspective of things when you’re watching on television. And then the further you get into a sport, the deeper the understanding is so I’ll see as the year develops and I hope to be able to test on an oval and experience it firsthand.
“By myself out there, I feel plenty comfortable and safe with doing that. But 250 (mph) four wide in the closing laps of the 500, I don’t know if I can help myself and not race like a 20-year-old for the win. And I’ve always felt that if I’m thinking about my safety in a car, I don’t need to be in it. I’ve just always had that golden rule in my head.
“I’m not really sure if there’s even an opportunity there if I do change my mind, but we’ll see as 2021 develops and hopefully I can get at least a day on an oval and see how it goes.”
While Johnson has a contract with Chip Ganassi Racing for the next two years, it would be reasonable from the team to field the experienced teammate Tony Kanaan in the prestigious event. While 2021 might be just a year to get used to a new discipline, who knows that the seven-time Cup champion might get his shot in the 2022 season.