Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
No Indy 500 for Johnson
Forget all that happy talk about Jimmie Johnson driving in May's 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500. He says "no." I sat with the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion for over 20 minutes late Wednesday afternoon in a Casino Arizona club lounge -- he was in Scottsdale to help bang-the-drums for Phoenix International Raceway's new Feb. 27 Subway Fresh Fit 500 date.

The link to my Arizona Republic story is at the bottom here, but I didn't have room for this nugget. During our conversation, Johnson said he originally thought Indy Cars would be his career path. I took advantage of him opening that door to ask if he'll drive in the I500. All of Johnson's quotes that follow are word-for-word, as transcribed by me from my recorder.

"I don’t have anything working, so I’d say no for this year."

I then asked Johnson if Chevrolet's return to the series could present an opportunity in 2011.

"It could. It’s been a hurdle in the past. I just don’t know if it’s the smartest . . . my wife and I have discussed it for a long time. She knows how bad I want to do it. We, together, thought if I could run that race before we had kids, it makes sense. Those days are long gone.

"If a legitimate opportunity comes along, the first place I start is with my wife, make sure she’s comfortable with it. From there, I still have quite a few hurdles: Mr. (Rick) Hendrick, Chad (Knaus), Lowe’s. I enjoy making it public knowledge that I am interested, so, if one day I do go to Rick or Lowe’s, they’ve heard of it before.

"I just don’t know. I have (talked to Hendrick about it) in years past when Chevy wasn’t a part of it. He’d say, ‘Look, contracts exist, you can’t drive a Honda-powered vehicle.’ So it’s eliminated the opportunity. Since GM has announced it’s coming back, I have not spoken with him about it."

What does he think about Indy rulemakers going to a NASCAR-like double-file restart rule? Unlike NASCAR, however, supposedly lapped cars won't be positioned behind the front-runners.

"I think we’ve proven it in our sport, lapped cars should . . . you need to let the guys racing for the win and those positions have their space. I’ve never been in an Indy Car. I’m not comfortable watching them side-by-side on TV (laughter). I can only imagine what it would be inside the car." Michael Knight

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help
AutoRacing1 Inc. BBB Business Review