There is no denying that Jimmie Johnson will be induced in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
After all, he is a seven-time Cup champion with 83 Cup race wins. He is one of the greatest drivers there has been in NASCAR. So, a NASCAR Hall of Fame doesn’t come as a surprise for a driver of this calibre.
However, 2024 might not be the year for that. After retiring from full-time Cup racing in 2020, Johnson is back in the Cup Series for Legacy Motor Club. Given that he will still be running races in the 2023 season, that could possibly rule out his induction in 2024.
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And we go by the opinion of two-time Truck champion Todd Bodine, Johnson should not be eligible for induction because of this particular reason.
Speaking as a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Bodine said:
“Well, I’m old school. And I think that to be eligible, part of that criteria needs to be non-active. And whether that’s part-time, full-time, one race, 10 races, it doesn’t matter. If you are actively participating, you are not retired. That’s how I look at it.
“Now I know that there’s going to be people that think the other way because he was retired, he was eligible, he met all the criteria. But to me, being in the Hall of Fame is about retirement. It’s about the legacy of what you’ve done in the sport, whether it be racing, football, baseball, hockey. It doesn’t matter. What your past is and what your legacy is in that sport. I just think that, say, he doesn’t run anymore. This is his last year. Six races. Whatever he runs. He’s not going to run anymore. Officially says I’m retired. I’m not going to do this anymore professionally, then I think he should start his two years and then be eligible after that.
“I mean, regardless of when he gets the nod to go in, he’s going in we all know that. Whether it be this year or three years from now, who really cares? He’s going to go in. In my opinion, he’s top three in our sport all-time.”
Bodine’s comments might not be taken well in the NASCAR industry and especially by Johnsons’s supporters but he has a point about the Hall of Fame as a legacy of the driver. And in fact, Johnson could still add to this legacy by racing this or further seasons.