WJ ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME
Throughout his illustrious 36-year Pro Stock career, Warren Johnson has become the standard by which all competitors are measured. With a record of success spanning four decades, the man whose tireless and studious approach to racing earned him the moniker of “The Professor of Pro Stock” has systematically rewritten the record books, helping to mold the category into the highly popular and competitive division it is today.
On Wednesday, Johnson’s accomplishments were recognized by the prestigious International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL, who announced that the Minnesota native was one of six inductees elected to their Class of 2007. The formal induction ceremony will be held on April 26, 2007, where Johnson will be joined by classmates Junie Donleavy, Jack Ingram, Bruton Smith, Wayne Rainey and Ray Hendrick.
Although Johnson, 63, is still competing on a full-time basis as the owner and driver of the GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO in the NHRA’s POWERade Drag Racing Series, he was eligible for induction under the unique “Over 62” rule, which waives the five-year waiting period for anyone still competing after the age of 62.
Johnson becomes only the seventh member of the drag racing community to receive this honor, joining Wally Parks, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Shirley Muldowney, Joe Amato and Bob Glidden.
“When I looked at some the distinguished names on the list of the 20 finalists, I pretty much dismissed my chances of being included in the final cut,” admitted an elated Johnson afterwards. “Therefore I was rather amazed when I received the call last week from (retiring IMHOF director) Jim Freeman letting me know that I was among the six inductees.
“Naturally, I have a lot of people and sponsors to thank for helping me reach this point. Whatever success I have enjoyed is strictly the result of the quality of the people I have had working with me over the years, as well as my long-term relationships with such great companies as General Motors and GM Performance Parts.
“To have my name listed alongside such racing legends as Bruton Smith, Jack Ingram, Junie Donleavy, Ray Hendrick and Wayne Rainey is quite an honor. I want to express my deepest appreciation to every one involved in the selection process, and especially my good friend Norm Froscher for including me in the Class of 2007, and I look forward to thanking them in person at the induction ceremony next April.”
Located in Talladega, Alabama adjacent to the Talladega Superspeedway, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) was the brainchild of William France Sr., the founder of NASCAR, and is dedicated to enshrining those who have contributed the most to auto racing either as a driver, owner, developer or engineer. Welcoming its inaugural members in 1990, the IMHOF is now comprised of 122 inductees from all countries and racing disciplines. For more information, please visit them online at www.motorsportshalloffame.com.
Select Warren Johnson Career Highlights:
- Six NHRA Pro Stock Championships (1992-93, 1995, 1998-99, 2001)
- 96 NHRA Pro Stock national event wins (the most in NHRA Pro Stock history, 2nd among all NHRA Professional Categories)
- 149 NHRA Final Round Appearances (the most in NHRA Pro Stock history, 2nd among all NHRA Professional Categories)
- 136 No. 1 qualifying performances (the most in NHRA Pro Stock history)
- 139 Low Elapsed Time of the Event performances (most among all NHRA drivers)
- 206 Top Speed of the Event performances (most among all NHRA drivers)
- Has an active 25-year streak of earning a final-round appearance at least once in a season
- First driver in NHRA history to record top speed at every national event (1999)
- 500 Career NHRA Pro Stock races – the first NHRA professional competitor to reach this mark
- First driver in NHRA Pro Stock history to record a 180, 190 & 200-mph top speed
- Two IHRA Pro Stock Championships (1979-80)
- 13 IHRA National Event Wins
- 25 IHRA Final Round Appearances