Johnson agrees to three-year extension at 41

Violet Tucker
June 18, 2017

After a spin during the first Saturday Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will go to a backup vehicle for Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. But while Johnson's contract goes through 2020 (which would see him turn 45 that year), Lowe's and Chad Knaus are now signed on through next season.

Launched in 2001 when Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet debuted in the Cup Series with a limited three-race schedule, the sponsor-driver-team relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR history. And Knaus has been with Johnson throughout his journey at Hendrick Motorsports. "That experience is as cool as it's ever been and I'm really enjoying it right now". He could leave after the 2018 season, but Johnson mentioned to ESPN that he'd also work on keeping him in the fold. "He has another year on his contract and I'm sure discussions will take place about an extension for him". I started this with him ... and I want to finish with him. "I told somebody earlier today that I was jealous previous year watching Kyle Larson get his first win here because I was saying, 'Man, that sure would be pretty storybook if I could do something like that.' I'd love to get my first win here". Johnson, however, won the title a year ago at age 41 and has no interest in stepping aside. So, I'll keep leaning on him.

Johnson tied a record with his seventh Cup Series title, and he leads all drivers with three victories in 2017.

"I got loose into Turn 3 and fought it for a long time and unfortunately came around", Johnson said.

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"I've never honestly been driven by stats, and I've said it so many times, but it's hard to ignore where I sit on the wins list and not let my competitive spirit kick in and want more", Johnson said.

"Jimmie is one of the best to ever drive", owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. "We're so fortunate to have him as part of our organization, and I feel even luckier to call him a friend".

"That was in play at one point in time, but we just elected to go a different route", Johnson said of the lifetime contract.

"We will see how these 3 years go", Johnson said.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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