Johnson, Pagenaud, Kobayashi Confirmed for Endurance Cup

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Action Express Racing will field its second Cadillac DPi-V.R for the remaining IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races with Jimmie Johnson, Simon Pagenaud and Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel.

The No. 48 Ally-sponsored DPi contender is coming off a second place finish in January’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona with the trio and Mike Rockenfeller.

While having initially been confirmed for Daytona-only, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson revealed ambitions of contesting the entire four-round Endurance Cup, which includes the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Motul Petit Le Mans.

“I had such a great experience at the Rolex 24 at Daytona finishing second in the Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R that I want to continue and run the rest of the IMSA long events,” Johnson said.

“The whole experience working with the Action Express Racing team, sharing the Ally Cadillac with Simon, Kamui and Mike just made me want to do more racing in the series.

“The Cadillac DPi-V.R is such a great car to drive. I can’t wait to turn some laps at Sebring, The Glen and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“Ally was open to the idea, so we are committing to the remaining IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events.

“It will be a busy year adding these races to my IndyCar commitments, but I am really looking forward to it.”

As was the case at Daytona, the entry will continue to receive support from Hendrick Motorsports.

“At the Rolex 24 we were honored to get support from Chad Knaus and several of the Hendrick Motorsports pit crew members,” said team manager Gary Nelson.

“We are excited that we will be getting that help again for the remaining Endurance events and appreciate the commitment from Rick [Hendrick].

“We are looking forward to running the car at the three remaining IMSA endurance races and seeing how we come out in the season ending standings come October.”

Johnson and Pagenaud are slated to test Action Express’ full-season No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac in a two-day test at Sebring beginning tomorrow alongside Felipe Nasr.

The Frenchman said it’s “so great” to continue the sports car program alongside his full-time NTT IndyCar Series commitments.

“Finishing second in Daytona left us with a taste for more,” Pagenaud added. “I’m looking forward to being on the grid at Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta for the big ones with Jimmie and Kamui.”

Kobayashi added: “There will be some new tracks for me, but I think I will be able to learn the new circuits pretty easily. I will be studying these new circuits on the team videos as well as YouTube.

“I am looking forward to running the AXR Cadillac at these new tracks.”

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