Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion turned team co-owner Jimmie Johnson says that when his former team boss, Rick Hendrick, came calling in relation to the Project 56 NASCAR LeMans outing, he couldn’t say no. Johnson, who has spent the last two years competing in the NTT IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing, is no stranger to competing in endurance racing and will return to NASCAR Cup Series race competition starting with the Daytona 500 with his team, Legacy Motor Club next month is excited about the opportunity of racing at LeMans.

“When Rick [Hendrick] called, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. “It’s been a big dream of mine to go to Le Mans and experience what it’s all about and to have the experience I’ve had here. I know how special this event [Rolex 24] is and I’m sad I’m not out there today. To know I’m going to Le Mans with this great group of drivers, this great team, the collaboration between GM and NASCAR, everybody involved, it’s really a special, special opportunity.’’

IMSA President John Doonan is excited about the prospect of having Jimmie Johnson, Jenson Button, and Mike Rockenfeller along with the likes of Rick Hendrick, Chad Knaus, Hendrick Motorsports VP of Competition, and Greg Ives, Jimmie Johnson’s championship-winning race strategist involved in the program.

I would suggest if there ever was such a thing as an all-star team in motorsports, this project is the absolute poster of that,’’ It first started with Jim France’s vision then it started almost a year ago in a conversation with Rick Hendrick. And the organization, it’s just unbelievable to have Chad Knaus and Greg Ives involved in this. And you couple that with what Chad and Jimmie accomplished over 15 seasons, seven championships 83 wins twice here on this stage in 06 and 2013, unbelievable. “And then you go on to Mike Rockenfeller, a Le Mans winner with unbelievable endurance sports car experience and a world champion from Formula One, it’s exactly what the vision was to put NASCAR on a global stage and bring drivers from so many different disciplines.

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