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Seven-Time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson Set to Retire From Full-Time Racing in 2020

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 27: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 27, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 - Qualifying | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Jimmie Johnson is making one last chase for eight.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion announced on Wednesday via Twitter that 2020 will be his final season as a full-time racer. Johnson will address the media about his decision on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR,” Johnson said a statement on NASCAR.com. “The sport has been good to me. It has allowed me to do something I truly love. I showed up chasing a dream and achieved more than I ever thought possible."

Johnson, 44, began his full time NASCAR Cup Series in 2002. He has spent his entire career driving Rick Hendrick's No. 48 Chevrolet, a car co-owned by Johnson's mentor and newly-inducted NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Jeff Gordon. Johnson's seven Cup Series championships (2006-10, 2013, 2016) are tied with NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. His 83 wins are tied for sixth in Cup Series history and include two Daytona 500s (2006, 2013) and four Coca-Cola 600s (2003-05, 2014).

Since his entry into NASCAR racing, Johnson has been a face of the sport, appearing in several films and television series in cameo appearances. Johnson and his No. 48 car also appeared on five racing video game covers, most recently 2018's NASCAR Heat 3.

Despite his assumed Hall-of-Fame status, Johnson has struggled over the past two seasons. The 2019 campaign, which ended on Sunday, marked the first time that Johnson missed the NASCAR postseason, which began in 2004. He was the only driver to each the postseason in every season of its enactment up to that point.

Johnson's final season will begin next February at the 2020 Daytona 500.