Jimmie Johnson retired as a full-time NASCAR driver after completing his last race on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. With 83 career victories, Johnson is sixth on the all-time wins list and is also the only driver to win five consecutive Cup Series championships.
The seven-time champ said the season delay due to the coronavirus pandemic "cemented" his decision to make 2020 his last full Cup Series run. In his retirement announcement, Johnson said, "I'm so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR. The sport has been good to me and has allowed me to do something I truly love."
The 45-year-old isn't leaving racing all together, and will instead focus on the IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021.
As he steps away from the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports, people in the sport reflected on his 18-year career. From the governing body, to Bubba Wallace, to Richard Petty Motorsports, many took to social media to express their congratulations.
Here are some of the messages to Johnson:
NASCAR appropriately called it, "an incredible ride."
Rick Henrick had a final message for Johnson, calling him the greatest ever and noting he will always be family.
Crew chief Chad Knaus shared a photo with Johnson.
Richard Petty Motorsports wished Johnson all the best.
Kyle Busch called racing against Johnson a "privilege."
Bubba Wallace shared a photo with Johnson, reflecting on the impact Johnson has on his career.
To the guy I’ve idolized. To the guy I geeked out over at DIS when filling in the 43 in 2017. To the guy that’s been all class on n off the track. To the guy who called me just about every day during the madness of this season. To the guy I’m honored to call friend. Thanks JJ!🤘🏾 pic.twitter.com/rnJ0GucbxG— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) November 8, 2020
Ryan Blaney called Johnson one of his heroes in his message on Twitter.