One of the winningest drivers in NASCAR's history, Jimmie Johnson will make his first appearance at ROC since 2007.
Driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Johnson campaigned full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series from 2002-2020, amassing 83 race wins and seven championships before moving to the NTT INDYCAR Series for the 2021 season.
In 2002, Johnson partnered with fellow NASCAR legend, Jeff Gordon, and MotoGP star, Colin Edwards, to take the ROC Nations Cup title for Team USA.
Over the two-day event, Johnson will be competing for the "Champion of Champions" title in the individual ROC competition and, together with current 2021 American Rally Association Champion, Travis Pastrana, in the ROC Nations Cup for Team USA.
Team USA last won the ROC Nations Cup title in Gran Canaria, Spain, in 2002.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, will make his return to a ROC WORLD FINAL event. Tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Johnson's seven NASCAR Cup Series titles have made him one of he most celebrated drivers in American motorsports. After his last fulltime season in NASCAR in 2020, Johnson currently campaigns the #48 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT INDYCAR Series.
In his 20 plus years of NASCAR Cup Series competition, Johnson started 686 races and took 83 wins and 374 top-ten finishes. In 2002, Johnson and Jeff Gordon became the first NASCAR drivers to take on an elite, international roster of champions racers at the annual ROC WORLD FINAL. The event was held in Gran Canaria, Spain, and the two stock car racers shocked the field and audiences by taking the ROC Nations Cup away from Team Spain that had won the title in 2001.. It was a win that paved the way for more American influence at the annual Race Of Champions, although the ROC Nations Cup has remained elusive to Team USA since that 2002 victory. "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. "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 ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL in Pite Havsbad, Sweden promises to be another opportunity for drivers accustomed to loose cars and unpredictable surfaces. As the fastest, widest course in ROC's 30-year history, the upcoming event will be held on the frozen Baltic Sea just 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. "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."
As always, ROC will see racers from numerous disciplines of motorsport face-off in intense head-to-head heats until the last individual driver is crowned the "Champion of Champions" and the last of the two-driver teams lays claim to the ROC Nations Cup and title as the “World’s fastest Nation”. ROC's "Champion of Champions" individual racing was launched in 1988 and the ROC Nations Cup was introduced in 1999, quickly becoming a favorite of fans and drivers. The Nations Cup event has seen incredible rivalries, dynasties and upsets over the years. Formula One megastars, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, dominated this event from 2007 to 2012 and remain the most successful team in the ROC Nations Cup history. “The short days, the brutal cold and the changing conditions will make Sweden really well suited for all-round talents like Jimmie," Fredrik Johnsson continued. "He does not have much experience with four-wheel drive, but he is very skilled off-road and at high speeds, so I'm sure he'll adjust very quickly just like he did in 2002."
A unique winner-takes-all format that gives competitors the opportunity to test their talents against competitors they would never typically encounter, ROC has been engineering novel racing formats for more than three decades, drawing many of the most successful racers from every form of global motorsports. The event is renowned for attracting superstars from all of the premier leagues in global motorsports including Formula One, Le Mans, NASCAR INDYCAR, World Rally and Rallycross. Over its three decades, the event has been a battleground for European legends like Michael Schumacher, Tom Kristensen, Sebastian Vettel, Sébastien Loeb, Petter Solberg, Mattias Ekström, Colin McRae, David Coulthard, Marcus Grönholm, and Jenson Button; along with other international stars like NASCAR champions Jimmie Johnson, Kurt and Kyle Busch, and Jeff Gordon; Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden of INDYCAR; Formula E Champion Lucas Di Grassi; Legendary Extreme sports star Travis Pastrana; and Indy 500 champs Juan-Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves.
Johnson will be competing against a field of legends and rising stars, and his teammate for the Nations Cup will be another multi-discipline talent, Travis Pastrana, the 2021 American Rally Association Champion. "This is exactly what I had been hoping for," said Pastrana. "Jimmie and I has some bad luck at the 2006 and 2007 Nations Cup, but I think this type of track will be perfect for us."
As part of the ROC's most recent innovations, equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will be powered by electric and 100% fossil-free biofuel engines. Cars announced to date include the sensational 1000 Horsepower FC1-X Supercar that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in less than 1,5 Seconds, the FIA RX2e—an electric rallycross car generating 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510 Nm torque – and the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The RX2e accelerates from 0-100km/h in less than 3.3 seconds, while the GT4 makes 425 bhp from fossil-free biofuel. The SuperCar Lites will return to ROC, but this time powered by biofuel.
Schedule for the 2022 event:
Saturday 5th of February 2022, 12:00 – 15:00 CET: ROC Nations Cup (to Crown the World’s Fastest Nation)
Sunday 6th February 2022, 12:00 – 15:00 CET: Race Of Champions (to Crown the "Champion of Champions")
Additional drivers will be announced in the coming weeks and leading up to the event. A limited release of general admission tickets for the 2022 ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL is available at Tickster. Event organizers will comply with any COVID restrictions in effect. Organizers and local officials will be providing updates with regard to any additional ticket sales and any restrictions affecting travel and local services due to COVID.