STATESVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is reportedly finalizing a deal to acquire an ownership stake in Petty GMS Racing and return to the track part-time, according to The Athletic.

The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi said sources close to Johnson and Petty GMS say the deal would start in 2023, with the NASCAR star returning to drive in “select races” for the team.

Johnson announced in September that he was retiring from full-time racing to spend more time with his family, but planned to race in bucket-list events.

Johnson told The Associated Press he was excited to announce “I’ve got a blank sheet of paper, and we can now see what opportunities exist and start making a calendar.”

The 47-year-old retired from NASCAR after a winless 2020 season. His swan song season was dampened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Johnson raced on a part-time basis in IndyCar and IMSA. He raced full-time in IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2022. His best finish came when he placed 5th at Iowa.

If the deal is finalized, Johnson would return to the series where he rose to stardom. He stands next to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers to win seven Cup championships and ranks fifth on the all-time win list with 83 victories.

He is the only driver in NASCAR history to win five consecutive championships.

An announcement on Johnson’s future is expected later this week, The Athletic reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.