DOVER, Del. — Although Ally Financial is is committed to sponsoring the No. 48 car through the 2023 season, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson isn’t ready to give a hint on his future plans.
Johnson’s contract with Hendrick Motorsports expires after the 2020 season.
Johnson’s status came up with Friday’s news that Ally has extended is primary sponsorship of his car.
“I haven’t made any decisions at this point,” said Johnson, who is on a career-long 88-race winless streak and not in playoff contention for the first time in his career. “I’m very, very excited that Ally has signed this extension with Hendrick. I think it speaks to the strength of our sport, strength and relationship with Hendrick Motorsports. I know everybody would like for me to be in the car in 2023 and even past that, but I just haven’t made that decision yet.
“I certainly didn’t want to stand in the way of this great news coming out. As this came down the pipeline, I knew I would be in a position to answer a lot of questions that would come with it, but I just felt it was such great news, I had to support Hendrick to get this news out right away and Ally as well, just great for our sport and industry. I don’t have anything to say at this time and I’m going to take every day that I can get from Mr. Hendrick to make this decision.”
Johnson, 44, said there will be many factors that will lead to his decision on if to continue in Cup after 2020.
“There’s a lot of things to look at with the Gen 7 car coming (in 2021), with the way our team is performing and what we’re building, I might want to go longer than 2023,” said Johnson, who seeks his 84th career Cup win this weekend at Dover International Speedway. “I just don’t know. I have not put much time and effort into it. There have been many other things to deal with and look at.
“These things in the past, a contract renewal would usually start in the spring of the year the contract would end. Based on past experience, I would say that probably spring next year is when I would really get pressure to make a decision if I was going to return in 2021.”