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Jimmie Johnson Buys Stake in Petty GMS, Preps for Daytona 500

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Image for article titled Jimmie Johnson Buys Stake in Petty GMS Team, Prepares to Run Daytona 500

Photo: James Gilbert (Getty Images)

After Jimmie Johnson announced his semi-retirement from motorsport after two less-than-stellar years in the IndyCar series, it was pretty clear the California legend would be sticking it out in motorsport in some form or fashion. Now, Johnson has confirmed that he has purchased an ownership stake in the Petty GMS team and that this stake will allow him to compete in a number of NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023 — including the Daytona 500.

Right now, Petty GMS fields the Nos. 43 and 42, piloted by Erik Jones and Ty Dillon, respectively. Noah Gragson will be replacing Dillon for the 2023 season, and the team will enter a third car for Johnson at select events next year. He’ll be starting with the Daytona 500; that start will be his 20th in the Cup Series’ opening race.

“It’s great to be back in NASCAR,” Johnson said in a release. “When the INDYCAR season ended I started on this journey of what was next. Maury and I connected, this opportunity came to light and it’s the perfect fit for me. Team ownership makes so much sense at this stage of my career and after spending time with Maury and his family, talking with Mike (Beam), Dave (Elenz, crew chief of the No. 43) and Joey (Cohen, Director of Competition and Engineering), I realized this was something I wanted to be involved with from both the business perspective and on the competition side. If I’m going to commit to something like this, I want to make a difference and have something tangible to show for it when it’s all said and done. So, this opportunity with Petty GMS is all of that and much more.”

Johnson’s start in the 500 will be the first time in his career that he has entered a NASCAR Cup Series race behind the wheel of a non-Hendrick car. That also means that it’s highly likely he won’t be running his iconic No. 48, since in NASCAR, certain teams have staked their claim on certain numbers. The 48 has been part of the Hendrick camp for ages, and while Johnson can petition to bring that number over to Petty GMS, this may be the first year of his Cup Series career that he competes with something other than the 48.

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