Jimmie Johnson will drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2021 and 2022 IndyCar seasons, if funding materialises.
Johnson tested for the heavyweight IndyCar team in July and has now formalised what is being referred to as a ‘partnership’ between the two parties.
Should it bear fruit, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion would contest road and street course IndyCar races for the two years after his impending retirement from stock car competition.
The soon-to-be 45-year-old would join a stable which already includes another prolific driver in North American motor racing, namely five-time IndyCar champion and current series leader Scott Dixon.
“It is always difficult to find great drivers but for them to be great guys too makes it even that much more challenging,” said team owner Chip Ganassi.
“To pair Jimmie with the likes of Scott Dixon is quite an opportunity. They are truly in rarefied air and I think everyone knows by now that ‘I like winners’.
“The goal right now is for us to run Jimmie in an Indy car for at least the next couple of seasons, and we want to show people we’re serious about the programme.
“We felt it was important to get the partnership done and start putting the financial building blocks in place to make this a reality.
“Jimmie’s record speaks for itself and we feel a championship-level driver of his calibre can only make our team better.”
Johnson said, “When I tested Chip’s IndyCar earlier in the year, it only lit the fire more.
“I found that I wanted to do it more than ever before. Scott was just incredible to work with and in a short time I found out very quickly why Chip and his teams have won 12 IndyCar championships.
“As part of a natural progression, I wanted to publicly show the alignment with Chip Ganassi Racing to kick the sponsorship program into high gear.
“The goal is to run the full road and street programme and today is a very important first step in accomplishing that goal.”
CGR currently fields Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist, and Marcus Ericsson, the latter of whom arrived this year when the team expanded back to three cars after its IMSA programme with Ford came to an end.
The former is a healthy 96 points clear of the field with five races remaining, while his Swedish team-mates are 10th and 12th respectively.