Jimmie Johnson came into the 2022 racing season as a sophomore NTT IndyCar Series driver after spending most of his first year competing on road and street circuits. This season he would compete at every round. Coming off of his open-wheel career best finish at Texas Motor Speedway (sixth), he came into the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach with a bit more confidence than before. He talks with us about that, the physical aspect of racing an Indy car, and his eagerness to compete at the Indy 500.
Incidentally, he would go on to place third in multiple practice sessions at the ‘500’ and also earned a fifth place finish on the oval in Iowa.
NOTE: Johnson announced that he would not be returning to the NTT IndyCar Series for 2023. Instead, he’s taken a part-ownership role in the Richard Petty GMS NASCAR team which has been re-branded as Legacy Motor Club for 2023. He will also return to racing for the team in a select number of events starting with the Daytona 500 on February 19, 2023.
By Larry Mason
Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason
Jimmie Johnson accompanied by his daughter Lydia, waves to the fans just prior to the start of the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Notice that his right hand is bandaged due to having broken his hand earlier in the weekend.
Jimmie Johnson rolls down pit lane on Friday with his new tires and unblemished finish on his race car. The weekend would prove to be one of the most challenging for Johnson.
Johnson’s pit crew gets in some valuable pit stop practice during the Sunday morning warm-up session. Notice the brake dust emanating from the rear wheels.
Johnson rockets down Shoreline Drive just after the green flag dropped. After starting 25th, he would end up finishing 20th.
Hitting the apex of the fountain, Jimmie Johnson turns right, which was rare for him in NASCAR.
Just prior to launching off the curb on the inside, you can see that only half of Johnson’s right front tire is making contact with the road.
When Johnson makes his return to NASCAR at the 2023 Daytona 500 in the #84 car, making a sharp right turn for the hairpin at Long Beach will be a distant memory.
Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason