Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will contest the 2021 Rolex 24 Hour race in January behind the wheel of the No. 48 Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Action Express Racing confirmed this week that Johnson will share the Ally Bank-sponsored Cadillac DPi-V.R entry alongside two-time Rolex 24 Hour winner Kamui Kobayashi, Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud and former Corvette Racing driver Mike Rockenfeller. The team will also run its usual Whelen-sponsored No.31 Cadillac DPi-V.R at the Rolex 24 Hour and throughout 2021.
Johnson stepped away from his full-time role with Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. In addition to racing in his first-ever Rolex 24 Hour Race with Action Express, the 45-year old will also contest a road- and street-course only IndyCar season with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021.
This will mark Johnson’s eighth start in the Rolex 24 Hour, but his first since the 2011 edition of the endurance race. His previous seven starts were all in the Daytona Prototype class, which preceded the current Daytona Prototype International ruleset that the Cadillac DPi-V.R falls under.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is one of the marquee races in the world,” Johnson said in a prepared statement. “It’s such a challenging event for both team and driver and requires such a high level of concentration throughout. It’s just such a fun and unique race to compete in. This will be the first time I’ve raced with Action Express and have been very impressed with the team and its preparation.”
“I’m also excited to have Ally on board and to be co-driving with Simon, Kamui and Mike, who are three world-class drivers with experience in this race and the DPi class. I’ve finished second in this event, so I’m looking forward to trying to get on the top step in 2021.”
Ally Bank, the Utah-based financial institution that has served as the main backer of Johnson’s No. 48 Cup Series car since 2018, will sponsor the Cadillac DPi entry. A teaser image of the car released by Action Express last week shows the bank’s familiar pink, purple and white color scheme splayed across the Dallara-built prototype’s body, along with Johnson, Kobayashi, Pagenaud and Rockenfeller’s names above the door.
The 2021 Rolex 24 Hour will kick off on January 30th, 2021.