The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is taking his talents to Sweden. Jimmie Johnson will represent Team USA during the 2022 Race of Champions while joining forces with motocross legend Travis Pastrana.
Johnson posted a special video on Twitter on Wednesday, November 17, confirming his upcoming trip. He showed highlights from his NASCAR career, as well as footage from his rookie IndyCar season, before showing two purpose-built cars on the snow and ice.
The ROC “Snow + Ice” World Final will take place in Pite Havsbad, Sweden. Johnson and Pastrana will take on “the fastest, widest course” on the frozen Baltic Sea 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
“Drivers come to ROC because it offers a special experience and innovative challenges that they would not find in their normal racing seasons,” said ROC President Fredrik Johnsson in a statement. “ROC has had a good run in big stadiums all over the world, but it will be really good to get back to natural terrain.”
Johnson and Pastrana will face off with a stacked field of drivers. The list includes 10-time Formula One winner Valtteri Bottas, two-time Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen, nine-time Rallycross champion Sebastien Loeb, and three-time World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson among several others.
Johnson Previously Won the Race of Champions
The upcoming trip to Sweden will not be the first time that Johnson has put his skills on display at the Race of Champions. He previously joined forces with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon back in 2002.
The two champions headed to Gran Canaria, Spain, and shocked the world. They defeated Team Spain to capture the ROC Nations Cup, simultaneously opening up future opportunities for more American competitors.
Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch are two of the drivers that took advantage. They competed in the 28th Race of Champions, finishing second behind Team Germany in 2017. Another American competitor that took on the ROC was IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay,
“Gran Canaria was dirt, and I don’t think the other guys knew how much dirt racing Jeff and I had in our backgrounds,” Johnson said in a statement, per the Race of Champions website. “I don’t think many expected me to run well or even knew who I was for that matter. To win the ROC Nation’s Cup, was something really unique. The only event where I represented my country.
“I’ve been able to accomplish a lot in my career, but that’s the only experience I’ve had like that. I’m really looking forward to returning to ROC and competing with Travis [Pastrana]. He’s a tremendous talent and we have such fun competing together. Hopefully, we can go have some fun and success on the snow and ice.”
The Race of Champions Will Feature the Electric FC1-X Supercar
When the competitors land in Sweden for the ROC, they will have the opportunity to test out a different style of race car. The event will feature equipment powered by electric and 100% fossil-free biofuel engines. The list of announced cars includes the 1000 Horsepower FC1-X Supercar, FIA RX2e electric Rallycross car, and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Pastrana has championed the FC1-X during the 2021 Nitro Rallycross season. He has put the supercar on display and explained how it will come into play during the 2022 season, as well as at Race of Champions.
“This is the next generation of vehicle,” Pastrana said during Round 3 of the Nitro Rallycross season, per the series’ Twitter account. “It is electric, it is fast, it is durable. It is going to be the future of Nitro Rallycross, and it will be featured will all of the top drivers in the world at Race of Champions.”