Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson announced Wednesday he will retire from fulltime NASCAR competition following the 2020 season. Below is reaction from FOX NASCAR analysts Jeff Gordon, Ricky Craven, Jamie McMurray and Larry McReynolds, and play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, regarding the news:
“Jimmie will go down as one of the top-three greatest drivers of all time, if not the greatest. What made him so special wasn’t what he did on the track but how he handled himself off the track. We couldn’t have asked for a better champion those seven years. When you consider role models, Jimmie is the person you want your kids to emulate. He is the guy you want to hate, but you just can’t.
“I am glad to hear this news because, as someone who raced with Jimmie every season, it has been tough to witness his frustration the past couple of years. I know this was a hard decision for him, but I am thrilled he will have the opportunity to take it all in next year. The decision is the hardest part of all of this. I look at all the stuff he now will be able to do – playing with his kids and throwing himself more into running and cycling – and I couldn’t be happier for him. The man deserves it.”
–Jamie McMurray, FOX NASCAR analyst
“This has the potential to be the greatest-ever last at-bat, walk-off homerun we’ve ever witnessed by a NASCAR driver. We have one final year to celebrate, acknowledge and appreciate the remarkable career of one of NASCAR’s all-time greats and be equally dominated by the idea of witnessing Jimmie capturing an unprecedented eighth title. This news will headline the 2020 season.”
–Ricky Craven, FOX NASCAR analyst
“Jimmie Johnson is not just one of NASCAR’s greatest champions and a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer; he’s been a great family man and role model to countless young drivers aspiring to follow in his footsteps. Jimmie has consistently been most gracious with his time and most thoughtful in our discussions. I’m not looking forward to the day he hangs up his helmet, and I wish him great success in his final fulltime season.”
–Mike Joy, FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer
“Jimmie Johnson is a class act and a true champion on and off the track. It’s been a pleasure to compete with him over the years and to call him a friend throughout it all. Congratulations on a phenomenal career. Best of luck ‘chasing 8’ one last time.”
–Jeff Gordon, FOX NASCAR analyst
“No matter what happens next year, Jimmie has nothing to prove to anyone. What I want for him in 2020 is to see him go out competitively, regardless of whether he wins an eighth championship or not.”
–Larry McReynolds, FOX NASCAR analyst
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