Jimmie Johnson is officially one step closer to running multiple IndyCar Series races next year, following his retirement from full-time NASCAR racing in November at the end of the 2020 season.

The seven-time NASCAR champ has repeatedly expressed his interest in trying out IndyCar in the future — particularly the series’ road and street races — and he announced Wednesday he’s teaming up with Chip Ganassi Racing to make that happen. This news follows his IndyCar test run in July at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the help of Ganassi and five-time IndyCar champ Scott Dixon.

“This is what I want to do in 2021, and now it’s time to get to work and figure out where we can get sponsorship for the team,” Johnson said in the video he tweeted announcing his IndyCar plans. “What I experienced , I checked that box. This is what I want to do in ’21 and ’22.”

However, Johnson and Ganassi, who also has a NASCAR team, still need to “finalize sponsorship on a two-year program” they plan to run, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. The almost-45-year-old driver said there is some sponsor interest in funding all 12 races for a uniformed look, and that’s the goal. But he added that “there could be a scenario where you break it off into three-to-four race blocs”.

Last month while a guest on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast, Johnson said it would be his “dream” to run 12 IndyCar races next season. He’s explained he’s not particularly interested in running IndyCar’s oval races, but the road courses and street circuits are what appeal to him most.

Before the 2020 IndyCar season was redesigned because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 12 total road and street races planned.

“Ganassi was highly motivated to give me a chance to drive a car to see what I thought and the experience was all that I hoped for and more,” Johnson told The Associated Press. “I left a good impression with them where there’s definitely interest on their side and now it’s time to formalize things and get the ball rolling.”

Johnson is retiring from racing full-time in NASCAR when the 2020 season ends in November. He’s spent all 19 full-time season racing for Hendrick Motorsports and in a Chevrolet, and he’d be in a Honda with Ganassi in IndyCar.

On Earnhardt’s podcast, the Dale Jr. Download, in August, Johnson said after one year in an open-wheeled Indy car on road and street courses, he’d “maybe look at” the Indianapolis 500 as a possible option in 2022.

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