NASCAR legend Junior Johnson dies at age 88

Story by Kelly Crandall/Racer.com

Robert Glenn Johnson Jr., better known as Junior Johnson, has died at the age of 88.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 14, 1960: Junior Johnson and car owner Ray Fox celebrate winning the 1960 Daytona 500. Johnson won many times in NASCAR competition as a driver and later as a team owner, and was the subject of a best-selling book “The Last American Hero” and movie. (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images)

A member of the 2010 inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class, Johnson was lovingly considered a racing hero and legend. Throughout his career – 313 races – in NASCAR’s top division, Johnson won 50 races, including the Daytona 500 as both a driver (1960) and twice as a team owner (’69, ’77).

“Junior Johnson truly was the ‘Last American Hero,’” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. “From his early days running moonshine through the end of his life, Junior wholly embodied the NASCAR spirit. He was an inaugural NASCAR Hall of Famer, a nod to an extraordinary career as both a driver and team owner. Between his on-track accomplishments and his introduction of Winston to the sport, few have contributed to the success of NASCAR as Junior has. The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true giant of our sport, and we offer our deepest condolences to Junior’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

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