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Johnson Hopeful of Additional Endurance Cup Outings

Remainder of Michelin Endurance Cup a possibility for No. 48 Cadillac DPi-V.R…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Jimmie Johnson said a good result in next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona could help secure additional IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races for the No. 48 Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is making his first IMSA start in a decade, sharing the Action Express Racing-run DPi entry with Simon Pagenaud, Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi.

While currently only committed for Daytona, Johnson has indicated that more WeatherTech Championship outings, namely the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds, could be in the frame.

It would come in addition to Johnson’s already committed NTT IndyCar Series road course program, which does not currently have any date clashes with the IMSA enduros at Sebring, Watkins Glen or Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“I think a good run here would help us quite a bit,” Johnson said. “It’s really about finding the sponsorship dollars to do so.

“All four guys in the car right now have an interest. I’m not sure exactly how schedules lay out with the various divisions we race in.

“But Action Express has the car and the equipment and the ability to do it. Hopefully we can find the funding and add on a race.

“There’s four in total for the endurance championship and that possibility could be out there as well.”

Team manager Gary Nelson shared the same desire as Johnson although stressed that a deal has yet to be reached.

“We would love to do more because it’s really been a lot of fun for us to see this all come together and very rewarding,” Nelson told Sportscar365.

“For the 48 being just a one-off program, we have done so much behind the scenes work that it would be nice to be able to get more events to help offset all that work we did.

“I can tell you that we love working with Jimmie. Everybody around him has just been great, so that would be my preference.

“If we could run a second car I’d like to do it with the same players.

“Having a guy like Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller and Simon Pagenaud, those guys are just unbelievable.

“All those champions together in one car, a lot of times a dream team on paper doesn’t seem to materialize in real life because of personalities and egos and all of those kinds of things, but somehow we got four top drivers together in the 48 that don’t display any of that.

“They’re all in it for each other. That is, to me, one of the secrets that you want to try to accomplish in motorsports.”

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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