Friday, September 29, 2023

Jimmie Johnson Open to Pulling ‘Memorial Day Double’ in the Future

Jimmie Johnson is open for a shot at the Memorial Day Double.
Could Jimmie Johnson become the fifth driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day? Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson still has a few things left on the bucket list.

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The 46-year-old California native will be able to check off one of those items this Sunday when he makes his official debut in the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500, where he starts 12th in the No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

However, on Thursday during a session with the media, Johnson shared his desire to attempt the “Memorial Day Double” – competing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. John Andretti, Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart are the only drivers to have ever pulled off the feat.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s always been an interest of mine,” Johnson said. “I don’t have anything in motion, but just admired it from afar over the years, watching John Andretti do it, watching Kurt do it, watching Tony Stewart do it. It’s always been on my radar. Not sure if it can ever happen, but certainly it would be something I’d be open to.”

Johnson, a four-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600, would likely need to an opportunity to adapt to NASCAR’s new-for-this-year NextGen car. Regardless, though, the temptation for competing in the second act of the 1100-mile marathon would need to be in a “competitive” ride.

“I’d want it to be with the competitive Cup team,” said Johnson, who drove the entirety of his Cup career with Hendrick Motorsports (2002-20). “That’s an important step in all of it, for sure.”

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