CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV)-- 2020 is supposed to be the last year for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson in the sport. Back in November, he announced that he was going to hang up the helmet and retire from full time Cup racing. But COVID-19 has made things a little murky.
“I set out to make 2020 my last full time year, but I have always left the door open for other racing in NASCAR and abroad and I still feel like I’m pretty much on that path,” said Johnson.
But there may be a little doubt in Johnson’s mind with the pandemic changing this year’s schedule.
There is no word on when the cars will get back on the track but NASCAR’s hope is that they will still be able to get in all 36 Cup races this season even if they have to have mid-week races and doubleheaders on two certain race tracks.
Retirement is not really in the forefront of Johnson’s mind. It’s the people who support the sport each and every week, the fans, and how life has changed due to this pandemic.
“When you look at all the individuals that are effected by the coronavirus, the families it has effected, the economy, businesses, business owners-- this is way bigger than me,” said Johnson.
If NASCAR comes back soon, some races may be run without fans and while that will be odd, Johnson will welcome the racing.
“There are millions that watch on television and I don’t want to deprive the greater sum because we can’t have the fans in the stands,” said Johnson. “I want fans in the stands. They deserve to be there. There’s energy that comes with it, but we are in uncharted territory. We are going to have to do things a little different than we are use to. If we can get back to the track months before because fans are not in the stands and provide our sports to millions. Get people back to work and get some normalcy back in our industry and in the country, I’m definitely for that.”
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