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Johnson jump-starts IndyCar move with online auto retailer

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson needed funding for his move to IndyCar so the seven-time NASCAR champion transitioned into a salesman for the first time.

Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing on Saturday announced Carvana — the company known for multistory car vending machines — as the sponsor for the No. 48 Honda that Johnson will drive in road and street course IndyCar races.

It's a striking partnership in that Johnson has spent the last 19 seasons driving for Rick Hendrick, one of the largest car dealers in the country. Johnson sought Hendrick's blessing before signing the deal.