Ally Financial extended its partnership with Hendrick and the 48 chevrolet on Friday with a three-year extension that should allow Johnson to finish his career with the sponsor. Johnson, 44, is signed with Hendrick through 2020 and has not announced his career plans beyond next year.
Lowe’s had been Johnson’s sponsor since his 2001 debut and was represented in some part on the No. 48 chevrolet in all 83 of Johnson’s Cup Series victories. Ally took over this season on a two-year deal and decided to stick with Johnson, even as the driver muddles through the worst season of his career. Johnson is winless and failed to make nascar’s playoffs for the first time since its 2004 inception.
Johnson won five straight championships from 2006 to 2010, and in 2009 he became the first race car driver voted Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.
Johnson remains tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for most Cup championships in NASCAR history.
Ally was not a new sponsor to Hendrick. The financial institution was rebranded from GMAC to Ally after the 2008 economic downturn, and GMAC sponsored Hendrick cars at various stages.
“They have embraced our fans, activated their program in unique ways and supported me at every turn, from racing my No. 48 car every week to running the boston Marathon,” Johnson said. “It’s a true bond, not just a business transaction. We care about each other’s success. I’m proud to be associated with Ally and can’t wait to see what they do in the future.”