UPDATE: Friday, November 4, 2022 at 12:30 PM ET —
On Friday, Maury Gallagher and Richard Petty – owner and chairman of Petty GMS – announced that Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time champion of the NASCAR Cup Series, would become a partial owner of the organization, beginning in 2023.
In addition to Johnson’s acquisition of equity in the organization, the 47-year-old will compete in a partial schedule in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023, beginning with the 65th annual Daytona 500.
“I couldn’t be happier to have Jimmie Johnson joining Petty GMS,” said team owner Maury Gallagher. “We have been consistent since we began our Cup effort last year in wanting to be up front and have a winning program. No one in the modern era of NASCAR has won more than Jimmie.”
“Having a driver, the caliber of Jimmie, driving our equipment, and being able to provide feedback to our crew chiefs and engineers but most importantly, mentoring Erik and Noah will be invaluable,” Gallagher continued. “Perhaps most important of all, Jimmie will be a great partner. I know I speak for all the Petty GMS team members, including Richard Petty, in welcoming Jimmie to the team. No one else will be able to say they have two seven-time Cup champions on their team. We are looking to make a strong statement next year and show that we are here to contend for wins and championships. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”
Petty GMS was formed in December 2021, when Gallagher – a race-winning owner in the NASCAR Truck Series – joined forces with Richard Petty Motorsports, purchasing the organization and its two charters.
Mike Beam, who began his career with Petty Enterprises as crew chief for Kyle Petty in the 1980s, will maintain his role as Team President.
“What an exciting time for Petty GMS,” said Petty. “This year we’ve accomplished so much together with Maury and now adding Jimmie will only continue to help us grow. To have Jimmie – another seven-time champion – as a part of the team, and his abilities both on track and off will be special for Petty GMS. I’m looking forward to having him as a part of our team and seeing what we can build together.”
As for Johnson, arguably the best NASCAR driver in the modern era, a two-year stint competing in the NTT IndyCar Series has led him back to NASCAR, albeit in a much different capacity than before.
“It’s great to be back in NASCAR,” stated Johnson. “When the INDYCAR season ended I started on this journey of what was next. Maury and I connected, this opportunity came to light and it’s the perfect fit for me. Team ownership makes so much sense at this stage of my career and after spending time with Maury and his family, talking with Mike (Beam), Dave (Elenz, crew chief of the No. 43) and Joey (Cohen, Director of Competition and Engineering), I realized this was something I wanted to be involved with from both the business perspective and on the competition side. If I’m going to commit to something like this, I want to make a difference and have something tangible to show for it when it’s all said and done. So, this opportunity with Petty GMS is all of that and much more.”
Johnson stepped away from full-time competition in the NASCAR Cup Series after the 2020 season, having accumulated 686 starts for Hendrick Motorsports. The El Cajon, California native currently ranks eighth on NASCAR’s all-time win list.
“I’m fortunate that I had incredible mentors throughout my life, and I’ve always tried to pay that forward,” said Johnson. “My experience and energy will add value to a team with young drivers like Erik and Noah – I feel like I can be a good resource both on and off the track.”
The remainder of Johnson’s NASCAR Cup Series schedule, as well as partnerships, paint schemes, and the entry’s number, will be revealed at a later date.
UPDATE: Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 8:00 PM ET —
NASCAR has updated the media availability schedule for this weekend at Phoenix Raceway and the availability schedule now includes an announcement from Petty GMS at 9:30 AM local time, or 12:30 PM ET.
While there was no further information given in the schedule from NASCAR, it certainly seems that this is the Jimmie Johnson announcement that the Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi reported was coming on Wednesday night.
According to that report, Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion driver, will acquire an ownership stake in the Petty GMS NASCAR Cup Series team and he’ll drive for the organization in a part-time schedule in 2023.
ORIGINAL STORY: Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 8:19 PM ET —
After competing in the NTT IndyCar Series over the last two seasons, Jimmie Johnson is returning to the place in which he made a name for himself, albeit in a vastly different capacity.
Johnson, an 83-time winner and seven-time champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, is in the closing stages of a deal that will see the El Cajon, California-native take on an ownership stake with Petty GMS Motorsports, starting next season, according to a report from Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic.
According to Bianchi, an announcement is expected to happen sometime this week.
Back in September, the 47-year-old Johnson announced that he would be stepping away from full-time competition in the NTT IndyCar Series following the 2022 season.
In addition to his ownership role, Johnson is expected to compete in select NASCAR Cup Series events for Petty GMS Motorsports in 2023, alongside the team’s two previously announced full-time drivers, Erik Jones, and Noah Gragson.
The partnership between Johnson and Petty GMS Motorsports – known before this season as Richard Petty Motorsports – signals the unification of two of the NASCAR Cup Series’ three seven-time champions, both of which will maintain an equity stake in the team.
In the inaugural season of the partnership between Maury Gallagher’s GMS Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports, Erik Jones was able to visit victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff opener at Darlington Raceway.
Jones enters Sunday’s season-finale at Phoenix Raceway 18th in point standings, with his teammate Ty Dillon residing in 29th. Dillon will leave the organization at the season’s end.
An unidentified representative tells TobyChristie.com that there is nothing to confirm at this time.