NASCAR legend Junior Johnson has reportedly died at the age of 88, the association announced Friday.
Johnson, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in its inaugural Class of 2010, won 50 races in the association’s top division.
In addition, Johnson added 132 victories and six championships as a very successful team owner. The former moonshine bootlegger won the second running of the Daytona 500 in 1960, adding two more triumphs in the race as a car owner in 1969 and 1977.
“Junior Johnson truly was the ‘Last American Hero,’ ” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement. “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. The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true giant of our sport, and we offer our deepest condolences to Junior’s family and friends during this difficult time.”