Photo: Jimmie Johnson at the news conference announcing Carvana sponsorship
Carvana will sponsor 7 time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson when he begins his Indycar adventure next March. Johnson will drive for Chip Ganassi Racing and will keep his former series number, 48.
In a news conference between practice and qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Johnson admitted, “I have a very steep learning curve ahead of me.”
Ernie Garcia, CEO of Carvana, said as an industry leader, he is excited to join with another industry leader.
Johnson said he is most looking forward to racing at Long Beach, where he fell in love with Indycar, and at Laguna Seca. He said he has always wanted to drive the corkscrew and didn’t think he would ever get the chance.
Chip Ganassi said the plan is to run the 48 car the entire schedule, which means he has to find another driver for the four oval races. Johnson ruled out driving in the Indianapolis 500 for 2021.
The official release:
Carvana Partners with 7-Time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing in INDYCAR
Chip Ganassi Racing and Johnson revving up for 2021 racing season
PHOENIX (Oct. 24, 2020) — Leading online auto retailer Carvana (NYSE: CVNA) announced today it will be the primary partner for 7-time NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Champion Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing season in the newly-formed Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing entry.
Johnson co-holds the NCS record with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most premier series championships and is the only driver to win five consecutive titles (2006-2010). Johnson’s 83 career wins is tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time and is tops among active drivers. With an impressive record any athlete would envy, Johnson saw his next challenge in INDYCAR, and recently announced his plans to race with CGR in his continued pursuit of excellence.
“Jimmie Johnson has already made his mark as one of the best NASCAR drivers in history, yet he’s continuing to push himself with a new challenge,” said Carvana Chief Brand Officer Ryan Keeton. “He’s not resting, but raising the bar, and that’s a mindset we can very much relate to. We’re looking forward to that shared challenger mindset, teamed up with Chip Ganassi Racing, for what is sure to be a fun, exciting racing season.”
Ahead of the upcoming season, Johnson is scheduled to participate in tests with CGR in the No. 48 Carvana Honda at Barber Motorsports Park and Laguna Seca in November. Johnson’s new paint scheme will be unveiled prior to the start of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season where he is scheduled to compete in the full road and street course calendar.
“Carvana is a young, tech-forward, smart and aggressive company and is the perfect partner for this next challenge in my career,” said Johnson, who will be competing for 2021 INDYCAR Rookie of the Year. “I’ve dreamed of racing in INDYCAR since I was a little kid. Going from one championship organization to another with CGR, you know the resources, including great people, are going to be there. To have friends like Scott (Dixon), Dario (Franchitti) and Doug (Duchardt) there to lean on and learn from just makes this transition so much better. 2021 is going to be a lot of fun!”
“I think this is a perfect fit for our organization – Carvana is a very exciting technology company that is always continuing to challenge themselves to be the best they can be,” said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. “Like us, they value innovation – and when you add it all up, we seem to have a lot in common, which is why I think this relationship can really grow and be successful. You all know Jimmie and his accomplishments. Jimmie is a champion and a winner and will bring tremendous value to our organization. I think we’re going to learn as much from him and his approach as he is going to learn about INDYCAR racing. It will only move the team in a positive direction.”
As the pioneer of online car buying, Carvana created an easy, transparent way for consumers to purchase their next car – the ability to shop more than 20,000 vehicles, finance, purchase and schedule touchless delivery, all in as little as five minutes from the comfort and safety of home.