Still going strong at 41, Johnson agrees to 3-year extension

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The deal will keep the seven-time NASCAR champion with the No. 48 team through 2020.

Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports agreed to a three-year contract extension that will ensure the 41-year-old is on the track through 2020, NASCAR announced on Friday. They will continue that relationship as well through at least the 2018 season, despite the current trend of sponsors cutting back commitments or exiting racing altogether.

"When the fire does go out, I will step down", said Johnson, who won the title past year at age 41.

"I just know that I've got 3 more years of trying to go out there and win championships and win races".

"I think I've got another year to try to convince him (to stay on)", Johnson said of Knaus.

Sports' Jeff Gluck breaks down Jimmie Johnson's record-tying seventh Sprint Cup championship and all the action from the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex, who is one point up on Larson (everyone else is more than 100 points behind), still has not won a pole this year.


"I've said it many times, I'm very content with where I'm at in the race vehicle and just truly enjoy competing and love being on the track", Johnson said.

Johnson's first inclination was that his vehicle was damaged severely enough to require a backup, but after he drove the Chevy back to the garage, crew chief Chad Knaus opted to try to fix the primary entry. "I've said it so many times, but it's hard to ignore where I sit on the wins list and not let my competitive spirit kick in and want more".

"Jimmie is one of the best to ever drive", said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We're so fortunate to have him as part of our organization, and I feel even luckier to call him a friend".

Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said the union between the team, driver, sponsor and crew chief Chad Knaus - Johnson's crew chief throughout his career - has been a flawless match from the start. "Certainly, would love to climb further up the ladder there". Knaus has guided Johnson throughout his Hendrick career. Johnson leads all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with three wins in 2017 and is on the short list of real championship contenders right now - of course.

"Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that", Johnson said.

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