Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR champion, has announced that the 2020 season will be his last as a full-time driver. He made the announcement online Wednesday, People reports, and held a news conference with his family Thursday. "The sport has been good to me," Johnson said. "It has allowed me to do something I truly love." His 18-year career has been marked by consistency. Johnson finished in the top 11 in the final standings for 16 consecutive seasons, and at least sixth in his first 12 seasons, per Bleacher Report. His 83 wins tie him for sixth-best with Cale Yarborough. Johnson "made NASCAR a better sport," the NASCAR chairman tweeted.
Other drivers praised Johnson, 44, as well. "This man did it right from start to finish," Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted. Kyle Larson called him "the greatest driver of my generation." Known for his work ethic, Johnson said he's ready for less work and more time with his family, per the Miami Herald. He joins other top drivers who've stepped away in the past few years, per USA Today, including Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Carl Edwards. (Read more Jimmie Johnson stories.)