"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.”
Johnson was an inaugural member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010, along with Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty.
Johnson debuted in NASCAR's top division in 1953 at the Southern 500. He finished 38th in the 59-car field at Darlington Raceway, but showed his grit when his Oldsmobile hit the guardrail, NASCAR reported. Johnson emerged from his wrecked car unharmed, then opened the hood of the vehicle and put out an engine fire with his shirt.