Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Johnson switched to IndyCar for the 2021 season with Chip Ganassi Racing, contesting a highway and avenue course-only schedule.
Nevertheless the 46-year-old has pledged to contest the complete season in 2022, together with on ovals – having missed the Indianapolis 500, Texas and Gateway final season, and by no means competed at returning venue Iowa in NASCAR.
Johnson’s finest end up to now is a 17th, achieved within the Laguna Seca and Lengthy Seashore races that concluded the 2021 marketing campaign.
Unser, who received two Indycar titles and claimed Indy 500 victories in 1992 and 1994, additionally has expertise of inventory automotive racing having received the IROC championship towards a few of NASCAR’s prime names in 1986 and 1988.
Talking to Autosport for a podcast selling his recently-released ebook, A Checkered Previous, Unser mentioned Johnson’s steep studying curve will quickly be rewarded with sturdy ends in IndyCar, and expects that “it may be like a lightweight swap”.
“Jimmie has proven the world how aggressive the Indycars are, it is that easy,” mentioned Unser.
“He is a super-talented driver, and so he is simply proving, ‘Hey, it is powerful out right here’.
“He is acquired an important group, nice coaches, nice engineers, they’re all working collectively in that Ganassi camp.
“For me, it is only a matter of time. and as soon as it occurs with Jimmie, it may be like a lightweight swap. Rapidly it may go off and he will be operating up within the prime 5, no downside.
“However, it takes some time to get there and it simply reveals how aggressive IndyCar racing is.”
Jimmie Johnson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Tony Kanaan
Photograph by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
Johnson, who was lapped on his strategy to ending 23rd within the St Petersburg season-opener final month, backed himself earlier this yr to be “far more aggressive” on ovals.
Though the dynamics of racing a single-seater on an oval differ vastly to that of a inventory automotive, Johnson remarked that he was “shocked how acquainted it felt” driving the Texas oval in testing.
Unser mentioned he believes Johnson’s years of expertise on ovals will show helpful.
“Expertise is expertise in race automobiles, it does not matter what the race automotive is,” he added.