Jimmie Johnson Survives IndyCar Debut On Same Day His Old Ride Finds Victory Lane

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Jimmie Johnson

Racing fans witnessed a familiar sight on Sunday as Jimmie Johnson took the track in the No. 48 car. The type of car he was driving, however, made it unfamiliar at the same time. One of the best drivers in NASCAR history made his debut in the NTT IndyCar Series on Sunday afternoon.

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It was a wild ride for Johnson in his first IndyCar race. In the end, he managed to achieve his pre-race goal of simply finishing the run.

Johnson is running a part-time IndyCar schedule in this, his rookie season. He will drive the No. 48 car for Chip Ganassi Racing on the road course portion of the schedule. For the ovals, he will cede the ride to former Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

Johnson’s open-wheel driving skills were put to the test right off the bat at Barber Motorsports Park. A massive crash on the very first lap of the race could have easily collected the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. Somehow, he managed to evade the carnage.

While Johnson managed to avoid that mess, it wouldn’t be long before he spun around himself.

That incident brought out a caution and ultimately put Johnson a lap down. He would never manage to get back on the lead lap for the remainder of the race. Despite finishing just 19th, Johnson was thrilled to just be running at the end of the race.

IndyCar and NBC sure are glad to have the former NASCAR great among their 2021 rookie class. Johnson probably got more air time and attention than any 19th place finisher ever has. You also have to laugh at his picture being in the IndyCar on NBC Twitter account’s cover photo.

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To bring the whole day full circle, Alex Bowman surged to the lead on the final restart of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond and went on to claim the victory.

Bowman took over as driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 car this season following Johnson’s retirement. Pretty wild to see the ride Johnson dominated in for so long go to victory lane on the same day he began the latest chapter of his racing career.

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