LEGACY MOTOR CLUB announced on Tuesday morning Club Wyndham will sponsor seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and club co-owner Jimmie Johnson for two races this season – Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on March 26 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28.
“COTA has been on my racing ‘bucket list’ for a very long time,” said Johnson. “But my timing was off by a year or so. I was hoping it was going to be on the INDYCAR schedule – and it wasn’t – and then they added it to the NASCAR schedule after I left. I’m excited to finally be able to check this one off the list and thankful to Club Wyndham for making it happen. From everything I’ve heard, NASCAR drivers have had a lot of fun racing at COTA, so to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.”
Club Wyndham empowers over 500,000 owner families to live their bucket lists and is now able to help Johnson fulfill his “bucket list” of racing at COTA, marking the first time the 47-year-old El Cajon, Calif., native will officially compete on the 3.41-mile road course. As the nation’s largest vacation club, Club Wyndham offers 100 resorts and 14,000 vacation suites across North America, including many in top race cities.
Club Wyndham has been affiliated with Team Ambassador Richard Petty for more than two decades as “The King” is a Club Wyndham timeshare owner and frequents various resorts and vacation destinations several times a year. This is the first time the Club Wyndham branding will be featured prominently on a racecar.
“NASCAR has always been a great place to identify and develop b2b relationships,” said LEGACY MOTOR CLUB’s President of Business Operations, Bruce Mosley. “At LEGACY M.C., we are looking to accelerate results and create a model that surpasses anything ever done before in this space. The foundation we intend on creating will deliver a 1+1 = 3 platform for our partners and deliver a strong return on their objectives.”
“Club Wyndham owners and LEGACY MOTOR CLUB fans know what it means to be a part of a club. It means finding a place to make memories with friends and family around shared passions,” said Tom Shelburne, Chief Marketing Officer for Club Wyndham. “We are excited about this new partnership with the LEGACY M.C. team, growing from our long relationship with Richard Petty. This new agreement will be great for our owners, race fans, and our business. We can’t wait to see Club Wyndham on Jimmie Johnson’s No. 84 Chevrolet.”
This year, Club Wyndham is offering racing fans 15% off on a bucket list NASCAR vacation. Save on resort stays during race weeks in destinations near select races by booking through Extra Holidays, Club Wyndham’s rental platform. See Offer Details below.* Click to learn more http://www.extraholidays.com/legacy
As previously announced, Johnson’s 2023 schedule included the season-opener DAYTONA 500 and the Chicago Street Course in July, sponsored by Carvana. The selection of Charlotte Motor Speedway was an easy one for Johnson as he has won a total of eight races at the 1.5-mile oval, four of which were in the 600-mile event on Memorial Day Weekend.
“The Coke 600 is one of those premiere races on the schedule,” said Johnson. “For fans, it’s truly one of the greatest days in motorsports with Monaco (Formula 1), INDYCAR’s Indianapolis 500, and then NASCAR’s longest race that starts in the afternoon and ends at night. Last year I lived out another ‘bucket list’ item and was able to race in the Indy 500. I’m looking forward to driving this NextGen car at Charlotte and putting on a great show for Club Wyndham®.”
In honor of the 7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, NASCAR at COTA is offering a special $84 ticket offer for reserved seats in the Turn 12 grandstand through March 19. Fans can purchase the Jimmie Johnson ticket special at www.NASCARatCOTA.com.
Johnson is expected to announce the remainder of his limited schedule at a later date. One of those races not expected to be on it now is the Indy 500.
Johnson made his Indianapolis 500 debut last year and was largely successful. Being near the top of the daily speed charts, qualifying in the Fast 12 and even leading some laps in the race itself. He wants to do it again. However, Johnson is also making a return to NASCAR this season in a multitude of roles.
“Yeah, I think that surprised a few people,” Scott Dixon said of Johnson’s step away. “I’d kind of heard rumblings and we had spoken a bit about it, probably right around a similar time. I don’t think it was a super shock to a lot of us, but I think for maybe the industry it was.
“But I guess some people, that’s kind of the natural progression. I think who and how and how he did it I think was probably more of a shock than him actually going into the ownership role.
“I think that was in Nashville where he was kind of talking about maybe not coming back or how it was going to be, but I was like, come on, man, you’ve got to make sure you can get the deal together and come back.
“I think anybody that knows Jimmie well, he’s a great person. He’s a fun guy to hang out with. I think what he brought to the team, whether it was on the sponsor side to his competitiveness and competition side and info, not just information but kind of his history of being so successful I think really helped with the team.
“Obviously we can see that he’s moved on to different pastures, and a lot of exciting stuff for him that’s coming up.”
Back in November of last year, Johnson announced that he was going to be a part owner of Petty GMS Racing. Not only that, he’d also run select Cup races in 2023 including the Daytona 500. Back in January, it was unveiled that Petty GMS Racing was rebranded to Legacy Motor Club and that Johnson has taken on a big role with this team and taking this new venture very seriously.
During those discussions in New York, Johnson didn’t close the door on a possible return to Indy this May. However, he also didn’t give a large boost of confidence that he will either.
He knows for certain that he could have a ride again with Chip Ganassi Racing. That much is known. Even with being an owner in NASCAR for a Chevrolet branded team, the bow tie camp has given Johnson their full blessing to compete against them in INDYCAR in a Honda prepared by Ganassi.
The only hold up is squarely on Johnson’s shoulders. It’s up to him. Carvana is backing him this season, so he has a sponsor, he has a car, he has an opportunity, but does he want to truly make it work…this year?
Johnson knows he wants to run the NASCAR All-Star race in North Wilkesboro too as that’s not yet been announced and if he does, that pretty much closes the door on an Indy 500 return because that race is during qualifying weekend. He also knows that he’s running the Garage 56 entry in Le Mans in June. Does fitting the Indy 500 in there make him busier than he wants, especially with it now a double?
“I think so. I’m not sure about this year, though,” Dixon said on if he thinks we’ll ever see Johnson at Indy again. “I don’t know. You’d have to ask him. Maybe he’s already punted until next year, I don’t know.
“But he wants to do it. It’s just timing. It’s very difficult, and especially with the Garage 56 entry and all that kind of stuff. There’s a lot going on, especially around that period of time. It’s pretty tight.”
Ganassi needs to know soon one way or the other because if Johnson punts on this year, then they can give that Honda package back and it can go elsewhere.
“I think the first moment I had was before I fired up to leave to start my lap, I saw the NBC Peacock pit box that I was in last year commentating, and I sat there with so much FOMO watching these guys go,” he said after qualifying was over last May. “To just know what’s happened in the course of 12 months and actually be in the race car, that was a really neat moment.
“Then, of course, the photo with my family. I think the speed scared my kids. When they saw me, the look in their eyes, that or just the energy that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway brings to people, but my kids have been to plenty of races, but they’ve never looked at me like that before. That was cool.”
That’s something Johnson enjoyed about this whole experience last May and that he was doing this with his family. His dad was his spotter. His wife and kids were there. Not only was he in the Indy 500, he had a legitimate shot of a pole too.
“Not to just state the obvious, but it’s pretty awesome,” he continued. “Just so thankful to be a part of the group. Watching them prepare literally since they left here last year and continually thinking of this race and it being a motto to win here before the championship.
“It’s even written in the race shop. The first goal is to win the Indianapolis 500 and then the championship. To be a part of it, to live it, to now be here experiencing it is really cool.
“I haven’t had much time to think about it and place it, but I can definitely say I’m enjoying it more. Instead of being so focused on just the work side, I’m enjoying the different moments. I’m letting my mind relax a little bit, look around and smell the roses type moments, which was not how I operated my Cup career.
“I was pretty focused and didn’t take time to savor the experience and the moment. I feel like I’m doing a really good job of that, and today exceeded expectations. Not only performance on being track, but the fan support, the energy on pit lane, and everything that I experienced today was really more than I expected. I know it’s nothing like what we’re going to see on Sunday here next weekend. So just savoring every moment that I can.”
Johnson also said lat May that he was feeling more comfortable and comfortable behind the wheel too.
“Yeah. I just think of the progress I made from yesterday morning. Granted, the conditions were pretty tricky, but I have never done a qualifying SIM lap around here and never felt the boost. There is a lot more power. When you turn the knob to that next level, it really goes.
“I just feel like I’m getting more reps, more quality reps, understanding how to use my tools. I have felt some lower drag settings, which I have never felt before. Still playing with mechanical grip and things like that. I think tomorrow’s practice session will be helpful, and then we’ll see what happens when it comes time.
“I got a shot. I don’t know what the odds are. I still feel like I’m learning and getting quality reps and getting better, so I’ll send it for sure and see.”