If you thought Jimmie Johnson was stressed or worried about the future after learning Lowe’s will leave NASCAR following this season…well, not so much.
Actually, Johnson came off the opposite way on Friday — expressing genuine confidence and optimism about what he called the “opportunity” to partner with a new sponsor.
The 42-year-old also made it very clear there are no plans to stop driving anytime soon.
“I guess maybe it’s the eternal optimist that I am,” he said. “I have more to do and I enjoy the process. Hendrick is home and retirement hasn’t been on my mind.
“I want to win. I want to win an eighth championship. … I’m not done yet.”
Johnson was partnered with Lowe’s as soon as he arrived in the Cup Series, so he’s highly curious to “see what’s out there and what we can do from a branding standpoint for a new company.” He said he believes NASCAR is growing and Lowe’s departure is not a reflection on the sport.
“It’s a business decision that Lowe’s needed to make, and that stuff happens,” he said.
Furthermore, the seven-time champion said he doesn’t anticipate it would be any harder for him to find a sponsor at his age because many major corporations operate on year-to-year marketing plans anyway.
Johnson added he plans to be heavily involved in the search process. Perhaps, he suggested, the driver himself could even contribute to some leads after making so many connections with various people during the course of his career.
“This is a really unique opportunity and it’s also a great learning and growing moment for myself,” he said. “I want to be involved in this process and learn along the way. And maybe a relationship or two that I have made over the years will come to fruition and maybe help with sponsorship, too.”