Understandably, some found Johnson's extension announcement surprising, expecting that Jimmie would be following in the footsteps of Gordon, Stewart, Labonte, and Earnhardt Jr. into retirement.
Fresh off another championship - and with three more victories already this season - Jimmie Johnson is showing no signs of slowing down.
The 41-year-old Johnson is known for his fitness regimen and seems like he could easily race into the latter half of his 40s if he so desired.
"(Thursday) I kind of got to take the day off, visit a little friends and family and then back it again, so just nice to come home", Jones said.
In addition to singing Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports signed Lowe's to a one-year extension of its deal to continue as the full-season sponsor of Johnson through 2018. Johnson's total of 83 points-paying victories since his 2002 rookie campaign is the most in the series during that span and ranks him sixth on NASCAR's all-time wins list, tied with the legendary Cale Yarborough. Knaus has guided Johnson throughout his Hendrick career. Johnson, Hendrick and crew chief Chad Knaus have formed one of the most successful partnerships in any sport over the past 16 years, and the relentless consistency of the No. 48 vehicle has stood out even more of late. Johnson, however, won the title past year at age 41 and has no interest in stepping aside.
"Jimmie is one of the best to ever drive", said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. He's a great champion, a terrific advocate for Lowe's and a true ambassador for NASCAR.
"The biggest thing for me is just knowing how much Mr. Hendrick loves to win and his commitment to winning, his commitment to Hendrick Motorsports", Johnson said.
"I've said it many times, I'm very content with where I'm at in the race vehicle and just truly enjoy competing and love being on the track", Johnson said. "Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that".
Johnson said he and Hendrick have had an informal agreement: He'll always have a spot at Hendrick and he won't go anywhere else.
"We watched Mark race deep into his career and be super competitive, race for championships into his 50s, " Johnson said.