Carvana Backing Johnson & CGR In IndyCar Series

0
1124
Carvana Backing Johnson
Jimmie Johnson will be backed by Carvana in the NTT IndyCar Series next season. (Al Steinberg photo)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Chip Ganassi Racing announced Saturday afternoon that Jimmie Johnson’s rookie season in the NTT IndyCar Series will be sponsored by Carvana.

Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, will run in 12 street and road course races in IndyCar next season. He will drive the No. 48 Honda-powered Carvana Indy car for the team.

Johnson and team owner Chip Ganassi made the announcement Saturday at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

“In an IndyCar, you are driving qualifying laps every corner of every lap,” Johnson said. “That is something I can’t wait to do next year in IndyCar.

“I’m looking most forward to racing at Long Beach from going there as a kid, hanging on the fence and watching the race. And, I can’t wait to go to Laguna Seca and finally get to drive the corkscrew. I didn’t think I would ever get a chance to do that, but now I do.”

Carvana is a unique automotive dealership that features giant vending machine showrooms. This is the company’s first foray into auto racing.

“This is a David and Goliath story, but the new David is the old Goliath,” said Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia.

Johnson co-holds the record with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most NASCAR Cup Series championships and is the only driver to win five consecutive titles, from 2006-’10.

Johnson’s 83 career Cup Series wins is tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time and is tops among active drivers.

With an impressive record any athlete would envy, Johnson saw his next challenge in IndyCar, and recently announced his plans to race with CGR in his continued pursuit of excellence.

“Jimmie Johnson has already made his mark as one of the best NASCAR drivers in history, yet he’s continuing to push himself with a new challenge,” said Carvana Chief Brand Officer Ryan Keeton. “He’s not resting, but raising the bar, and that’s a mindset we can very much relate to. We’re looking forward to that shared challenger mindset, teamed up with Chip Ganassi Racing, for what is sure to be a fun, exciting racing season.”

Ahead of the upcoming season, Johnson is scheduled to participate in tests with CGR in the No. 48 Carvana Honda at Barber Motorsports Park and Laguna Seca in November.

Johnson’s new paint scheme will be unveiled prior to the start of the new NTT IndyCar Series season.

“Carvana is a young, tech-forward, smart and aggressive company and is the perfect partner for this next challenge in my career,” said Johnson, who will be competing for 2021 IndyCar Rookie of the Year. “I’ve dreamed of racing in IndyCar since I was a little kid. Going from one championship organization to another with CGR, you know the resources, including great people, are going to be there. To have friends like Scott (Dixon), Dario (Franchitti) and Doug (Duchardt) there to lean on and learn from just makes this transition so much better. 2021 is going to be a lot of fun!”

“I think this is a perfect fit for our organization – Carvana is a very exciting technology company that is always continuing to challenge themselves to be the best they can be,” added team owner Chip Ganassi. “Like us, they value innovation – and when you add it all up, we seem to have a lot in common, which is why I think this relationship can really grow and be successful. You all know Jimmie and his accomplishments. Jimmie is a champion and a winner and will bring tremendous value to our organization.

“I think we’re going to learn as much from him and his approach as he is going to learn about Indy car racing. It will only move the team in a positive direction.”

As the pioneer of online car buying, Carvana created an easy, transparent way for consumers to purchase their next car – the ability to shop more than 20,000 vehicles, finance, purchase and schedule touchless delivery, all in as little as five minutes from the comfort and safety of home.