NASCAR star Johnson likes idea of INDYCAR races in future


After his ride swap with Fernando Alonso on Monday, Jimmie Johnson said he'd be up for an INDYCAR race or two in the future.

“Without a doubt,” Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, said, according to Motorsport. “2020 is my last year under contract with Hendrick (Motorsports), and I’ve been approached many times about the Indy 500.

“I’m not overly excited about those fast ovals, but I think with my status and relationships I could put together some road course races in INDYCAR.

“I’ve done sports car racing in the past, I’ve finished second in the Rolex 24 a couple of times in the Prototype division, I’d love to get back to doing that. Anything’s open.

“I’m far from done, I want to keep driving and hopefully I can find some good opportunities.”

Johnson seemed to enjoy himself in the 2013 MP4-28 McLaren-Mercedes Formula One car, while Alonso took Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet for a spin.

And it’s @JimmieJohnson’s turn to get involved in the car swap as he takes to the track in the McLaren. 👍 #JJxALO

Though he hasn't raced open-wheel cars on a circuit, we think Johnson could find a spot pretty quickly if he wanted to.

PSSSST... @JimmieJohnson.

Heeeeey 👋👋

Johnson, much like Alonso in recent years, said he respected drivers who proved themselves at various levels of racing. Alonso, of course, is chasing the 'Triple Crown' of motorsports next May in the Indy 500.

“I feel like drivers at a young age have to decide if they’re going to drive sedans or open-wheel cars,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if that’s right, if it’s right for that judgment to take place.

“I look back at some of my heroes – and I know some of them are yours – but when you look at Parnelli Jones, Mario (Andretti), Dan Gurney, Emmo (Fittipaldi), they raced anything. And I don’t know where that got lost. In the ’80s or ’90s, it was, ‘You’re just open-wheel and you’re just sedan.’

“I don’t know why that’s there. I feel like an open-minded driver – and one that’s ready to work – could cross and go either direction. We’ve seen quite a few open-wheel guys try NASCAR and they’ve been competitive. I don’t think there’s been as many victories as some would have thought, but they’ve been competitive.

“No one has gone the other way. So I would love to see somebody go the other way."

While Johnson has never driven an Indy car, he is a four-time winner of NASCAR's Brickyard 400 on the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

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