Johnson, a charter member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and winner of 50 Sprint Cup races, will be the grand marshal for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger.
“I really enjoy doing things like this,” said Johnson, who will give the famous “drivers start your engines” command from the start-finish line. “It’s an honor for me. When something gives you so much like racing did for me, you have to give back.”
The legendary driver, who went on to be one of the most successful car owners in NASCAR history, said he couldn’t think of a better place than Martinsville to be grand marshal.
“Martinsville is one of my favorite tracks,” said Johnson. “When I was a driver I kind of had it under my thumb … I either won or blew up. Clay Campbell (track president) is a real good friend of mine and his grandfather (track founder H. Clay Earles) was a good friend of mine. They’ve always made it a fun place for me to go.”
“Junior Johnson is legendary in the world of NASCAR. I think to be called ‘The Last American Hero’ is fitting, but also underscores what he meant to NASCAR during his career as a driver,” said Campbell. “His accomplishments as a driver were incredible. His accomplishments as a car owner were nothing short of amazing.
“He helped to make this sport what it is today and this hall of famer is still a most recognizable figure to our fans. We couldn’t be happier to have Junior serve as our Grand Marshal.”
Johnson recorded two wins and eight top-five finishes in just 19 starts at Martinsville Speedway. In a short career Johnson had 50 Sprint Cup wins and 121 top-five finishes. He retired suddenly in 1966 when he was just 35 years old and turned his efforts to fielding cars for other drivers. In 31 years as a car owner, he notched 139 wins and picked up six NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.
Tickets for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger start at just $37.