The Jimmie Johnson retirement gift tour began Friday at Auto Club Speedway.
Track president Dave Allen presented him with a replica of his Moto 3 helmet from his childhood motorcycle racing days in the early 1980s.
Post-2020 Plans for Jimmie Johnson
“I have a picture of me at Speedway 117 in Chula Vista, laying on my bike, and this helmet is somewhere in the photo. We used to have Wednesday night races there. That’s where we would go riding and racing on the weekdays.”
With the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season being his last, full-time, what comes next?
He gave some clues during his media availability.
He mentioned interest in running a road course NTT IndyCar Series race. Which is fitting, given his fandom of the series.
He also said he “wouldn’t rule out IMSA or the (World Endurance Championship) series.”
“I really have a long bucket list of things I want to start checking some boxes on, even down to the New York City Marathon,” Johnson said. “I have some mountain bike races I want to do. I just want to balance some stuff out. I feel like I’ve got at least five more really good years. I feel very satisfied with what I have done on full-time basis here. I want to get out and explore and live a little bit.”
He’s open to running Formula E, but doesn’t know anyone who could help him with that.
“If it has wheels on it, I’m interested,” Johnson said. “I’d even think about racing a boat maybe so guess it doesn’t have to have wheels. But I am definitely not going to race airplanes or helicopters, but I would consider a boat.”
Whether it’s looking towards the future or on Sunday when his wife — Chandra — and children — Genevieve and Lydia — wave the green flag, for the seven-time Cup Series champion, this final season is “about balancing life” and enjoying it as much as he can.
“I’ve been in the NASCAR garage area for 20 years,” Johnson said. “This is my 21st year including my XFINITY (Series) days. I feel really good in my heart of where I am and what I have accomplished and where I am at. I certainly have a lot I want to prove this year and certainly hope to have the ultimate happen.”
After his performance last Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, perhaps he can make 2020 a season to remember.