For 25 years, some of the greatest drivers across all disciplines have traveled through the Turn 3 tunnel on their way into the hallowed grounds of Homestead-Miami Speedway. None greater, though, than Jimmie Johnson, a 7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who claimed all of his titles at the South Florida track.
As NASCAR descends upon Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, it will be hard for anyone not to be aware of this fact. The tunnel, which sits off Palm Drive and also is the Southernmost tunnel in the continental United States, will permanently be renamed “Jimmie Johnson’s Southernmost Tunnel.” The artwork on the tunnel entrance will feature an image of Johnson and his seven NASCAR Cup Series trophies as well as his car number, 48. Johnson announced prior to the start of this season that 2020 will be his final one as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“It’s such an incredible honor to have this tunnel renamed for me,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be weird not driving in there with that familiar pit in your stomach, as I have so many years in the past as we were in contention for championships. So many incredible memories were made at this track, I will always remember how special this place is to me.”
Johnson’s seven championships included a stretch of five straight years, from 2006-10, in addition to 2013 and 2016. That final title came in the current Championship 4 format when he took the checkered flag in the Ford EcoBoost 400.
“Jimmie Johnson embodies much of what Homestead-Miami Speedway has been about for the past 25 years,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Al Garcia. “He has given our fans an awful lot to cheer about in his 19 starts here, and he has been an exemplary champion in every way possible. His legacy at our track is unmatched by any individual at any sports venue, and this will ensure that his accomplishments here will always be remembered.”