Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No.48 Carvana Honda who will start his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday from 12th place on the grid says he is really excited to make his first start in the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.
Speaking to Paddock Eye on Media Day from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Johnson, who is competing for Chip Ganassi Racing full-time in the NTT IndyCar Series said that he grew up dreaming of being an IndyCar driver and competing in the Indianapolis 500.
Johnson said that he thought that this opportunity would remain just that, a dream, however, speaking to Chip (Ganassi), in 2021 and then the chance to compete full-time this season was an experience he didn’t want to let slip by in his life.
In the beginning, Johnson says that he was a little concerned about the safety aspect of the sport but as he spent time around the car just made him feel more comfortable with it, and attending last year’s race just increased his desire to compete in the Indianapolis 500.
When it came to putting everything together to run the full season in 2022, Johnson said that it was not an easy task but that he is thankful to everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing and in particular Tony Kanaan for being so understanding and helping have it all come together.
Johnson’s dad, Gary, is his Turn 3 spotter here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Jimmie says that it is great that they have raced together a lot of years and that he has been spotting for Jimmie a bit more on the IMSA program and when they have needed a second spotter on the IndyCar side his dad has been the team’s go-to guy and is a great help.
This place is insane, Johnson says when describing Chip Ganassi Racing and that he came into this journey as friends with many of them and through the two years he has been with the team to date he has made so many more friends and he feels at home and is thankful for the experience and he hopes to maximize that depth of knowledge come the race on Sunday.
When it comes to his race day expectations, Johnson said that it is hard to predict the finishing order because we all want to win right, but being competitive and being in the race would be a huge success for him and he believes that it is very possible following his sixth-place finish in Texas.
He wants to put his experience in 500-mile races to good use as he believes the team has a shot at winning the race on Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson starts Sunday’s 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge from 12th place following a four-lap average qualifying speed of 231.264MPH.