Jimmie Johnson, Lowe's to part ways after 2018 NASCAR season

Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team will have a new sponsor in 2019, the team announced on Wednesday. Lowe's, which has been the primary sponsor for Johnson since 2001, will not return after this year.

Lowe's and Johnson is one of the most iconic sponsorships in NASCAR history along with the likes of Jeff Gordon and DuPont as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Budweiser. The two went on to win a record-tying seven Cup Series championships, 83 wins, 222 top fives and 341 top-10 finishes. 

"Working with Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie, Chad (Knaus) and the entire No. 48 team has been an incredible journey," said Michael P. McDermott, Lowe's chief customer officer in a release. "Rick Hendrick and his organization have been exceptional partners, and we could not have asked for more from Jimmie – a consummate champion and an incredible representative for our brand and his sport.

The 42-year-old Johnson signed a contract extension last June to remain with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2020 season. Johnson enters this weekend's race at 26th in the standings after a choppy start to the season. 

"I'll always be grateful to Lowe's for taking a chance on me and believing that I could win," Johnson said in a team release. "I'm not sure where I'd be right now if they hadn't committed to the No. 48 team. It's hard to see them move on, but we've made history together and celebrated so much success on and off the track. There's still a lot left to do in 2018.

"I have more to accomplish in this sport. I feel the best I've ever felt physically. I'm motivated. I'm focused on winning races and chasing more championships. Someone (a new sponsor) will be a big part of writing that story with us. I'm not going anywhere."

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