CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/Gray News) – NASCAR Hall of Famer and former moonshiner Junior Johnson has died at the age of 88, according to NASCAR officials.
NASCAR officials say Johnson âhad been in declining health and entered hospice care earlier this week.â
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France sent out a statement shortly after the sad news was announced that stated, in part:
âJunior Johnson truly was the âLast American Hero.â 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.”
According to NASCARâs website, Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in its inaugural Class of 2010.
âHe won 50 races in NASCARâs top division – the most of any driver without a championship – and added 132 victories and six championships as a successful team owner for many legends of the sport,” the website states. “Johnson won the second running of the Daytona 500 in 1960, then added two more triumphs in the Great American Race as a car owner in 1969 and â77.â
Franceâs statement concluded, “The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true giant of our sport, and we offer our deepest condolences to Juniorâs family and friends during this difficult time.â
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