TRD boss says Jimmie Johnson will race a Toyota
The president of Toyota Racing Development leaves little doubt that seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will compete in a Cup race for Toyota.
Legacy Motor Club, co-owned by Johnson and Maury Gallagher, announced May 2 that it would leave Chevrolet and join Toyota in 2024. That will make it the third Cup organization with Toyota, joining Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI Racing.
Asked in May about his driving plans for 2024, Johnson said he had yet to determine them.
David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, was clear Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on at least one thing Johnson will do next year.
“Yes, you will see him in a Toyota (in 2024) and that is something that will be very moving and emotional for me personally, professionally, for Toyota,” Wilson said. “I’ll let Jimmie fill in the blank, but I will just say that Jimmie Johnson will be racing a Toyota Camry before he is done as a racecar driver.”
Johnson was one of the three drivers for NASCAR’s Garage 56 entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend. He will next race a Cup car for Legacy Motor Club on July 2 at the Chicago street course race on NBC.
Chicago will be Johnson’s fourth Cup race this season. He competed in the Daytona 500 in February, at Circuit of the Americas in March and in the Coca-Cola 600 in May. His best finish among those races is 31st in the Daytona 500.
Johnson, who is tied for sixth on the all-time Cup wins list with 83, has made all of his 689 previous series starts with Chevrolet.
Johnson said in May that the move for Legacy MC to Toyota is a “foundational piece” for the organization.
“This gives us the best opportunity we have to be successful year after year,” he said.
Wilson knows there is work to do with Legacy MC — which fields cars for Erik Jones and rookie Noah Gragson — once the team joins Toyota.
“Legacy Motor Club is really in its infancy,” Wilson said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “They’re struggling big time right now, but I’ll be very candid at saying the singular element that convinced me that this was a no-brainer was seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson. I’ve gotten to know Jimmie over the past year and realized just what a quality human being he is and what a great fit he will be to Toyota’s culture.
“Jimmie and his partner Maury have sold us on their commitment to invest in that team and bring the resources and people they need to run at the front. That takes time. We’re going to help them with that. I think overall they will contribute to our overall presence at the top level of NASCAR.”