Two laps after posting his best time of the session, Johnson lost control of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 at Michigan International Speedway. "I told somebody earlier today that I was jealous a year ago watching Kyle Larson get his first win here because I was saying, 'Man, that sure would be pretty storybook if I could do something like that.' I'd love to get my first win here".
Those triumphs came at Texas, Bristol and, most recently, Dover.
I think in all fairness to the questions and to myself, any contract I sign right now with my age is probably going to raise questions.
"Jimmie is one of the best to ever drive", team owner Rick Hendrick said in the release. The experience I have with my engineers, with my team, with (crew chief) Chad (Knaus), that bond and that experience combined with the experience of driving and competing ... there's a high in that that I've chased my entire career.
"I've said it many times, I'm very content with where I'm at in the race vehicle and just truly enjoy competing and love being on the track", Johnson said. Lowe's has been Johnson's primary sponsor for each of his 557 career Cup starts.
Johnson tied a record with his seventh Cup Series title, and he leads all drivers with three victories in 2017. "Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that".
Accordingly, the No. 48 team rolled out the backup, and Johnson will have to start from the rear in Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET on FS1) because of the post-qualifying vehicle change.
Jimmie Johnson isn't going anywhere, and he isn't hanging up his helmet just yet.
"The biggest thing for me is just knowing how much Mr. Hendrick loves to win and his commitment to winning, his commitment to Hendrick Motorsports", Johnson said.
Now Hendrick can count on at least three more seasons from one of the sport's greatest drivers.
"I feel like we all evolve as individuals through our professional life, personal life and figuring out how to balance the stress of professional life, especially and then the challenges of personal life and being a father too", Johnson said.