Jimmie Johnson has cast doubt on the prospect of a return to the Indianapolis 500, citing the need to focus on the NASCAR team which he now co-owns.
The seven-time Cup Series champion returned to the category this year as a co-owner of and part-time driver for the Legacy Motor Club (LMC) squad, which has now announced that it is switching to Toyota for 2024.
“I honestly don't know at this stage,” said the 47-year-old.
“I know my schedule for this year, which will include the Garage 56 programme. Obviously, I'm very excited to go and have my first attempt at Le Mans with my friends from Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR.
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“From a time commitment standpoint and being a proud co-owner of this team and being a part of this organisation, my focus really is on what needs to happen for this team.
“I'm happy to hold a steering wheel, and we'll certainly look at any and all opportunities to try.
“My focus really needs to be how it helps this team, so I think I'll have to use that filter as I look at opportunities in the future and take it from there.”
He left the team on good terms, crediting Chip Ganassi himself with the idea of moving into team ownership, and was open to the prospect of a one-off start in IndyCar's flagship race in comments made in January.
The team will, though, field its usual complement of four, Honda-powered cars at The Brickyard this month, for 2022 race winner Marcus Ericsson, six-time IndyCar champion and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon, 2021 champion Alex Palou, and two-time race winner Takuma Sato.
Generally speaking, Toyota Racing Development allows drivers to compete for other marques in categories where it is not a rival, which is the case in IndyCar given its only other engine supplier is Chevrolet.
The 2023 IndyCar season is in Indianapolis for its next two races, on the road course in just over a week's time, before the focus shifts to the 500.
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