Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson doesn't climb behind the wheel of a Nationwide Series entry very often but he'll do so on March 2 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. He'll drive the No. 5 Chevrolet entry of JR Motorsports in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200.
"I appreciate (car owner Dale Earnhardt) Junior letting me run one of his cars," Johnson said. "My goal is to make my team owner so proud that, perhaps, he'll invite me back more often than once every two years."
Johnson last competed in the Nationwide Series in August 2011 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, also driving a JR Motorsports entry.
Johnson has 92-career starts in the Nationwide Series with a single win, coming at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001. He last competed full-time in the series in 2001.
Johnson is a four-time winner at PIR at the Sprint Cup level.
"This is a great opportunity for me to get more familiar with the new configuration at PIR," Johnson said. "Not only do we race there twice in Cup, but both races are in crucial spots on the schedule for Team Lowe's Racing (Johnson's Sprint cup sponsor). I appreciate JR Motorsports and (NNS sponsor) Great Clips giving me this opportunity, and I hope not to disappoint my team owner."
The No. 5 car is slated to be entered in most races on the 2013 Nationwide Series schedule, with Brad Sweet and Kasey Kahne splitting most of the driving duties.