CHICAGO – One of NASCAR’s most prolific drivers in history will be one of those taking to the streets of downtown Chicago this July.
In some ways, it will be a return to where success with the stock car company all began for Jimmie Johnson.
The seven-time Cup Series champion announced on Sunday that he’ll drive in the Chicago Street Race in the Cup Series event on July 2, adding it to his limited 2023 stock car schedule. Johnson will be in the Legacy Motor Club No. 84 Chevrolet for the event on the 2.2-mile course downtown.
It was 22 years ago that he picked up his first-ever NASCAR win in the Chicago area, capturing a victory in the Sam’s Club Presents the Hills Brothers Coffee 300 in the Busch (Now Xfinity) Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on July 14, 2001.
This is part of a limited schedule of races for Johnson, who stepped away from full time racing in NASCAR in 2020. He’ll also attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500, which is being run on Sunday, February 19 to kick off NASCAR’s 75th season.
In 2021 and 2022, Johnson raced in the open-wheel NTT IndyCar Series.
Johnson will race in the second of two stock car events that will take place in Chicago on the course that starts and ends on Columbus Drive that will also go on Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue. The Xfinity Race will be run on Saturday, July 1, the first NASCAR event to ever take place in downtown Chicago.
One of stock car’s greatest drivers, Johnson won a record-tying seven championships during his career, winning five straight from 2006-2010 before capturing titles in 2013 and 2016. Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty also have won seven championships in NASCAR’s main series.
Johnson is tied for sixth with Cale Yarborough in all-time Cup Series victories with 83, winning four Coca-Cola 600, four Brickyard 400, and two Daytona 500 races. He’ll be looking for his first Cup Series win in the Chicago area since he didn’t capture a victory in his 18 races at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet during his career.
During those cup competitions, Johnson won the pole position twice and had eight Top 5 finishes.