Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson joins Extreme E with new team

Ahead of the start of Season 4 this week, Extreme E has closed out its competitive grid with the addition of its final team, led by seven-time Nascar Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson. Legacy Motor Club will make its Extreme E debut at the upcoming Desert X Prix event in Saudi Arabia, but Johnson won’t be there… but he has a pretty decent excuse.

This week will bring the kickoff of Season 4 of Extreme E, a relatively nascent competitive racing league that pushes EVs to the limit across a variety of climates and terrain. In December, Extreme E shared its 2024 race calender, which consists of ten rounds through five countries.

This season will mark Extreme E’s first races on US soil, as the teams will compete in rounds nine and ten in Phoenix, Arizona this coming fall. Another first fans of the Extreme E championship series will see this year is the debut of Legacy Motor Club, co-owned by Nascar legend Jimmie Johnson.

While fans should see Johnson behind the wheel of an Extreme E vehicle this summer, he’s got some familiar names on the team that will compete in the first two rounds.

Source: Extreme E

Pastrana to race for Jimmie Johnson in Extreme E

Legacy Motor Club is set for season 4, but the team’s co-owner Jimmie Johnson won’t be able to make it to Saudi Arabia this week. He has a conflict with a little race held each year called the Daytona 500 – which kicks off every Nascar Cup Series season.

Luckily, two other Americans will get behind the wheel of the team’s Legacy MC Odyssey 21 EV – 19-year-old professional race car driver Gray Leadbetter, and motorsports legend/adrenaline junkie Travis Pastrana. Like the Legacy MC team as a whole, both drivers will make their Extreme E debuts during round one of the Desert X Prix.

Pastrana even raced against his new team owner in the 2023 Daytona 500. Jimmie Johnson spoke about the opportunity to expand his love for competitive racing to more sustainable alternatives in Extreme E:

The opportunity for Legacy M.C. to field an off-road vehicle in the Extreme E championship is exciting in many ways. We are essentially representing America in this unique and very competitive series and we are committed to the challenge. I’m excited to watch our Legacy Motor Club colors race on foreign soil for the first time while I’m in Daytona for the Great American race. I know Travis and Gray will represent us well and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.

Our goal is to learn as much as we can and see what the future might bring. The fact this series competes globally and focuses on sustainably, inclusion and equality really piques our interest. From a technical standpoint the changeover to hydrogen in 2025 is really intriguing and the entire motorsports community is watching closely. Personally for me as a driver, going back to my off-road roots and to the type of racing I started my career with is going to be a blast.

Rounds one and two of Extreme E kick off February 17-18. Here’s the full season schedule:

  • Rounds 1 and 2: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – February 17-18, 2024
  • Rounds 3 and 4: Europe, TBD – July 13-14
  • Rounds 5 and 6: Sardinia, Italy – September 14-15
  • Rounds 7 and 8: Sardinia, Italy – September 21-22
  • Rounds 9 and 10: Phoenix, Arizona, USA – November 23-24

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