Jimmie Johnson talks Hendrick and Lowe's extensions at MIS

Terrell Bush
June 18, 2017

Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday it has reached a contract extension with Jimmie Johnson that will keep the defending NASCAR Cup champion in the No. 48 Chevrolet through 2020. Longtime primary sponsor Lowe's will also be returning to the No. 48 team, sponsoring each of the 38 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series through 2018. Lowe's has been the primary sponsor for Johnson in each of his 557 career Cup starts. There's no better person, and he's as good in the race vehicle today as he's ever been. "Instead of it being necessarily a statement and shown through a lifetime contract we have just had a handshake and agreement among friends that I've got a vehicle and I've always told him I'm never going anywhere".

Johnson's first inclination was that his auto was damaged severely enough to require a backup, but after he drove the Chevy back to the garage, crew chief Chad Knaus opted to try to fix the primary entry. Johnson wants to win more races and more championships under the Hendrick Motorsports banner. "Certainly, would love to climb further up the ladder there". The next time he takes a checkered flag, he'll tie Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for fourth all-time. Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that, but that is all predictable and easy stuff.

Johnson said he and Hendrick have had an informal agreement: He'll always have a spot at Hendrick and he won't go anywhere else. "Winning seven championships and 83 races was inconceivable, and now we have the opportunity to do even more together". I just know that I've got three more years of trying to go out there and win championships and win races.

"My relationship with Lowe's, Hendrick Motorsports and all of my teammates means so much to me", Johnson said in a statement.

Accordingly, the No. 48 team rolled out the backup, and Johnson will have to start from the rear in Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET on FS1) because of the post-qualifying auto change. "It's hard to tell where it's going to go, but my faith is in Rick".

Now Hendrick can count on at least three more seasons from one of the sport's greatest drivers. "We'll see how these three years go".

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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