Jimmie Johnson claims he constantly checks in on ousted Cup rookie Noah Gragson, says he ‘is proud’ of the driver’s growth

John Hunter Namecheck will drive for Gragson’s former team from 2024.


Jimmie Johnson claims he constantly checks in on ousted Cup rookie Noah Gragson, says he ‘is proud’ of the driver’s growth

Noah Gragson and Jimmie Johnson (Via IMAGO)

Seven times NASCAR Cup series champion and Legacy Motor Club owner Jimmie Johnson has said that he is checking in on Noah Gragson after his dramatic exit from the team. He pointed out that the young driver is determined to return to the NASCAR and prove his mark. Gragson is still serving NASCAR’s indefinite suspension.

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Noah Gragson asked for his release from the team following a social media controversy. He liked a meme that mocked the death of George Floyd, a black African American who was the victim of police brutality. He was suspended defiantly by both the team and NASCAR before the release, and the NASCAR sanction still stands.

Johnson, while talking about Gragson, said that he is checking in on him more as a concerned friend. He said in Dirty Mo Media Next Level podcast, “Just checking in on him. I mean in the beginning it was certainly more concerned…like it was a big moment, and I was just thinking of him as a friend first and foremost.”

“I mean I got to know him really well over last year and then as the time has gone on you know the check-ins are more about the journey he is on and experiences that he is having, things that he had never really done in his life before and kind of the awareness and mindset it’s bringing to him,” Johnson added.

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Jimmie Johnson is proud of Noah Gragson’s growth

Noah Jimmie
Noah Gragson and Jimmie Johnson (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Johnson, while talking about the personal growth of his former driver, said that he is proud of the place he is at right now. He pointed out that Gragson is now focused on getting re-instated to NASCAR and coming back stronger than ever.

So, you know I am proud of him, think he is in a good place and doing lot of growing and again I think he is focussed on being re-instated and coming back being stronger than ever,” Jimmie Johnson said.

The return to NASCAR won’t be easy for the driver; first and foremost, he has to get re-insisted by the sanctioning body, and for that, he might need to complete some sensitivity training. But NASCAR is yet to give a verdict on the conditions for his return to the sport.

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Even if there are comebacks, a Cup ride is out of reach. LMC has announced John Hunter Namecheck as the driver for the No:42 car for 2024. There is no other Cup seat there for the taking. The bad PR will make it hard for him to secure sponsors. The best path forward for him is to start again at the Xfinity or Truck series and prove himself by winning races.

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