INDIANAPOLIS — Jimmie Johnson is hoping to work his way onto some oval tracks down the road in his career in IndyCar racing.
Johnson says his Chip Ganassi Racing team is planning to gauge his comfort level on an oval track in a test session coming up in August at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida. The plan is to start the groundwork for an entry in next year’s Indianapolis 500.
“Last I hear we’re really heading for sometime in August,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “You know as I get more comfortable with ovals, you know, hopefully, the test when it happens in August will go well and continue to work closer to the Indy 500 or more ovals in general.”
Johnson has been running in a part-time entry with Chip Ganassi Racing this season in which Johnson is only running the road courses with Tony Kanaan subbing in for him on the oval tracks.
He is not sure yet what his chances are of possibly running a full-time season in IndyCar.
“It’s just too early to tell,” said Johnson. “Right now, it’s really just focused on getting ready for the 500. It would depend on how the test would go and to run a full season next year would really be complicated so I don’t know how realistic that opportunity would be at the end of the day.”
The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion made his comments the same day that fellow road course-only driver Romain Grosjean on Dale Coyne Racing turned laps on the oval at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois in his first oval test.
By all accounts, the test went well for the former Formula One driver from France. Johnson said he would likely be reaching out to Grosjean to see how the test went for him in helping his preparation for his test at Homestead next month.