NASCAR’s reaction to Junior Johnson’s death shows that it was bigger than life

NASCAR lost one of its legends on Friday when Junior Johnson died at the age of 88. Johnson was one of the most successful drivers and team owners in the sport’s early decades and was part of the 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame inaugural.

It also attracted a dedicated fan base through its history of breaking the law as it took the moon across North Carolina, an effort that in turn led to stock cars running.

MORE: Significant sports deaths in 2019

People associated with NASCAR, in reaction to the news of his death, analyze Johnson’s irrelevant role in making stock racing cars in a national sport:

No one outside of the French family has contributed more to the development of Nascar than #JuniorJohnson, who is now 88 years old. A superstar driver, then owner of the multi-league team, brought RJR / Winston to Nascar, the lead.

– Mike Joy (@ mikejoy500) December 20, 2019

really saddened by his new passage of NASCAR champion Junior Johnson. it was a difficult year for the kids from the first days. ???? pic.twitter.com/Q4hGgOxr3d

– Wood Brothers Racing (@ woodbrothers21) December 20, 2019

Every aspiring driver must know the story of Junior Johnson. RIP the true soul of NASCAR. He made cars to break the law. Then only myths receive forgiveness from presidents. pic.twitter.com/M8fbwthL2U

– Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) December 21, 2019

Junior Johnson was both a great driver and a great owner of all time. His legacy will live on in the sport for generations. pic.twitter.com/E7P7osKWBV

– Jaret Lundberg (@ IceTitan80) December 20, 2019

A unique icon. Bigger than life on the track.

I always dream of sitting down and listening to Junior Johnson tell stories about his career. I can’t even imagine.

Thank you Junior, for everything. pic.twitter.com/1ApTjr2bnS

– Seth Sharp (@ SethSharp35) December 20, 2019

Junior Johnson was one of the healthiest people to ever live. Innovator. Bootlegger. The man of man. American evil of the highest order.
The last American hero.
One of the great pleasures of my career was sitting with him @ NASCAR on Election Day, and listening.
Rest, sir. pic.twitter.com/RMKfAoi0Bl

– Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) December 21, 2019

My favorite story of Junior Johnson was when I personally went to the JJs, 19 years old, trying to find a job in the sport. He cuts his yard, closes the lawnmower and just told me the best way to do it. It was a moment etched on my head forever.

I hate to lose these myths.

– ???????????????????????? ???????????????????????? (@ racechaser1one) December 20, 2019

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