Jimmie Johnson, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NASCAR fans all want to know one thing about Jimmie Johnson’s plans for the 2023 Cup Series season with Petty GMS Motorsports.
Jimmie Johnson has never competed in a NASCAR Cup Series race in anything other than the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
He made his series debut with the team in 2001 before becoming a full-time driver in 2002, and he drove the same car in all 686 starts he made until his retirement following the 2020 season.
Johnson left NASCAR for IndyCar in 2021 and competed part-time for Chip Ganassi Racing, driving the No. 48 Honda in the road and street course races. In 2022, he drove the car full-time, but he decided after the season that it was time to move on.
But instead of moving on entirely, the 47-year-old El Cajon, California native made the decision to return to NASCAR for 2023.
Johnson joined Petty GMS Motorsports as not only a part-time driver but as a team co-owner. He is set to drive a third entry alongside full-time drivers Noah Gragson (No. 42 Chevrolet) and Erik Jones (No. 43 Chevrolet) during the 2023 season.
Johnson’s schedule hasn’t yet been announced, aside from the fact that he is set to compete in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The number of races in which he is set to compete hasn’t been confirmed either.
But there is one announcement which all fans seem to be waiting for more than anything, and that is which car number he will use.
When Johnson makes his 687th career Cup Series start, he will be making his first start using a car number other than No. 48.
Alex Bowman moved to the No. 48 Chevrolet after Johnson retired, and he has driven it ever since. He is set to drive it for a third consecutive season in 2023.
Fox is set to broadcast the 65th annual Daytona 500 live from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 19.