Feb 5, 2010

Junior Johnson Grand Marshal at Daytona 500!

NASCAR has said it plans to return to the sport's roots this year.

And true to that promise, NASCAR has named racing legend Junior Johnson the Grand Marshal for this year's Daytona 5oo.

Johnson will mark the 50th anniversary of his 1960 Daytona 500 triumph by delivering the four most famous words in motorsports – “Gentlemen, start your engines.”

“Junior Johnson is an icon in NASCAR racing,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “His accomplishments are remarkable and we’re proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 1960 Daytona 500 win by having him preside as Grand Marshal of NASCAR’s most storied event.”

Johnson, who was the first driver to use drafting on the superspeedways, was recently selected in 2009 as one of the five inductees for the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990 and named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998, Johnson claimed his only Daytona 500 win in 1960 driving for crew chief Ray Fox and owner John Masoni in a last-minute deal.

Retiring from driving in 1966, Johnson moved into ownership earning 139 victories and six championships.

More recently, Johnson has lent his celebrity to his own line of foodstuffs. Junior Johnson Brand Foods products include biscuits, morning rolls, sweet tea and lemonade.

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