Born: June 28, 1931
Hometown: Ronda, N.C.
Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson is unique in NASCAR history, with tremendous success both as a driver and a car owner.
Johnson won the second annual Daytona 500 in 1960 and in the process, became credited with the discovery of "drafting" on the massive superspeedways.
He won 50 races in the Cup Series then surprised many people by retiring from driving to become an owner. As a competitor, Johnson never missed a beat; through the years his drivers won 132 races. There also were six series championships produced with Cale Yarborough (1976-78) and Darrell Waltrip (1981-82, '85).
Johnson was immortalized in the epic 1965 Esquire magazine story on NASCAR, written by acclaimed author Thomas Wolfe.
"The Last American Hero is Junior Johnson. Yes!" romanticized Johnson's moonshine-running roots and glorified his accomplishments in NASCAR. Both aims were true, creating a larger-than-life caricature of a colorful man.
Named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers" in 1998, Johnson resides in Wilkesboro, N.C., and remains one of the sport's most enduring -- and endearing -- personalities, at the age of 78.