BROOKLYN, Mich. — Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has signed a contract extension to remain at Hendrick Motorsports through 2020.
The 41-year-old Johnson, who won his seventh title in 2016 to match the NASCAR record for championships held by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, is tied for sixth in all-time wins with 83. He has a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup-series high three wins this year, and the extension likely will allow him to challenge Jeff Gordon‘s 93 victories for third on the list.
In addition to signing Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports signed Lowe’s to a one-year extension of its deal to continue as the full-season sponsor of Johnson through 2018.
“Jimmie is one of the best to ever drive,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said in a news release. “We’re so fortunate to have him as part of our organization, and I feel even luckier to call him a friend. He’s a great champion, a terrific advocate for Lowe’s and a true ambassador for NASCAR. There’s no better person, and he’s as good in the race car today as he’s ever been.
“It’s such an incredible success story.”
Johnson made his Cup debut in October 2001 with Hendrick Motorsports, and all of his 557 career starts have come with the team. He has 221 top-5 finishes and 335 top-10s.
“I remember hoping to just win one race,” Johnson said. “Winning seven championships and 83 races was inconceivable, and now we have the opportunity to do even more together. … I continue to be as grateful for the opportunity as I was when we started.”
The signing of Johnson keeps NASCAR’s most dominant duo together for at least one more year, as crew chief Chad Knaus is signed through 2018. Knaus has guided Johnson throughout his Hendrick career.
“Jimmie was the perfect driver; Chad was the perfect person to lead the team,” Hendrick said. “Every piece of the puzzle just fell into place. It’s been an unbelievable experience to watch it all unfold, and we’ve still got more work to do.”