The second half of the 2017 season wasn’t kind to Jimmie Johnson. The racing legend struggled in the weeks leading up to the playoffs, and although he made it into the Round of 8, he didn’t have the kind of performances fans are used to seeing when a championship is on the line.
Johnson needs one championship to break his tie with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most all-time with eight titles, and one NASCAR analyst believes the 2018 season will be Johnson’s last chance to accomplish the feat.
FS1 NASCAR analyst Regan Smith predicted that Johnson will retire after the 2018 season.
“I think this is the last year we see Jimmie Johnson race,” Smith said on NASCAR Race Hub. “I think he’s going to retire after this year. I don’t have any inside information, but something tell me has to be getting to that point in his career.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he also has inside information that Johnson will continue racing for “multiple years.”
Johnson signed a three-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports in 2017, so it doesn’t seem like he’s planning on going anywhere. But things can change quickly, and if he has another season where he isn’t particularly close to winning a title, he might decide to call it a career.
We’ll likely see Johnson race for a couple more years, but racing fans should appreciate watching him each week just in case he decides to retire.