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Jimmie Johnson on pitl late at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May, August ‘Doubles’ at IMS Could Form Part of Johnson’s Racing Future

Jimmie Johnson is scaling back his full-time commitment in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, but there remains intent to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Johnson made his much-anticipated debut at this year’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, where he qualified 12th and led two laps in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda before suffering a late retirement. As he opens up his schedule for 2023, the idea of not only returning for another opportunity to compete in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” but also pulling off the Memorial Day Weekend “Double” by adding NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 to the mix is on his radar.

Seven-time Cup Series champion Johnson would be the first driver to attempt the “Double” since Kurt Busch in 2014. John Andretti was the first to pull off the feat, in 1994. Tony Stewart remains the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles, doing so in his second and final attempt in 2001, where he finished sixth in the Indy 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing before grabbing a third-place result with Joe Gibbs Racing in the nightcap at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“When drivers did it in the past we had, I think, a lot more on track activity for both series, certainly on the NASCAR side,” Johnson said. “I'm not very familiar with the INDYCAR side and how the Month of May worked for Kurt (Busch) and Tony (Stewart) back then. But I think the way the NASCAR format works now there's less of an ask in time, so I do feel like, in my rough look at it, that the potential to apply myself and have physically enough time to pull it off, I believe it's there.

“And I do think with the reduced schedule and not running the full INDYCAR schedule will give me the time I need before and after to seriously focus and dedicate everything I can and would need to give my best performance in both races.”

Additionally, with NASCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES sharing the IMS road course during Brickyard Weekend Aug. 11-13, there is an opportunity for Johnson to become the first driver to race in both respective series on the same weekend.

“It hasn't been on my radar yet,” Johnson said. “It's certainly worth pursuing and looking at. I think it could be a really neat story.

“The first thing, though, that pops to my mind from a competitive standpoint is just how different the cars are. It's been so hard to forget my NASCAR habits and learn these new INDYCAR habits. I don't know what kind of problems it would cause; it might screw me up going either direction. It's a great point, and there could be a really neat story around that.”

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