Daytona 500 champion Junior Johnson, who claimed
50 NASCAR victories including the 1960 edition of The
Great American Race, will be behind the wheel of a
2008 Corvette Z06 as he paces the field before the start
of the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday,
Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway.
Junior Johnson poses during the 50th Daytona 500 Media
a NASCAR legend like Junior Johnson pace the field
of the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 is
a perfect fit, said Speedway President Robin
Braig. Were proud to call Junior a Daytona
500 champion and proud to have him get the most anticipated
event in racing history underway.
into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990
and named one of NASCARs 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998,
the North Carolina native claimed his Daytona 500 victory
in only his second season in NASCAR competition. That memorable
win was behind the wheel of the No. 27 John Masoni Daytona
Kennel Club Chevrolet Impala.
are honored to have one of the sports greatest pioneers
drive a Z06 Corvette pace car at the 50th running of NASCARs
Great American Race, said Ed Peper, general
manager of Chevrolet. Along with recognizing Junior
Johnsons 50 NASCAR wins and NASCARs 50th Daytona
500, Chevrolet is thrilled to mark 50 years of the Impala
in 2008. Its just a great match.
have Junior Johnson pace the golden anniversary of the Daytona
500 in a Z06 Corvette is a special way to celebrate the
heritage, performance, and success of Chevrolet in NASCAR,
50 NASCAR race wins make him one of the most successful
drivers of his era. In fact, of those 50 victories, 23 were
in GM products: five in Oldsmobiles, eight in Pontiacs,
and 10 in Chevrolets. Of those 10 Chevy wins, seven were
in the famous No. 3 Holly Farms Impala. As a car owner,
Johnson claimed 139 victories and six championships in NASCARs
top division while employing legendary drivers Darrell Waltrip
and Cale Yarborough.
joins past drivers who have paced The Great American
Race including Baseball Iron Man Cal Ripken
Jr., Actor Ben Affleck and Tonight Show host Jay Leno.
is the 37th consecutive year that General Motors has provided
the Daytona 500 with the Official Pace Vehicle, and the
fifth year running that Chevrolet has chosen Corvette for
the job. The 08 Corvette Z06 will be decked out in
anniversary gold in honor of the occasion, making
it one of Chevys most uniquely designed pace cars.
24 Daytona 500 Champions To Serve As Grand Marshal For
50th Daytona 500
24 living DAYTONA 500 Champions will serve as Grand Marshals
for the historic 50th Running of the Daytona 500, giving
the command Gentlemen, Start Your Engines, to
get the most anticipated even in racing history underway.
Sunday, Feb. 17th, the culmination of DIRECTV Speedweeks
at Daytona International Speedway will peak when 24 legends
get NASCARs biggest, richest and most prestigious
race started from The World Center of Racing.
on hand throughout the momentous weekend who will order
the most anticipated words in racing include: Bobby Allison
(1978, 1982, 1988); Mario Andretti (1967); Buddy Baker (1980);
Geoff Bodine (1986); Ward Burton (2002); Derrike Cope (1990);
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2004); Bill Elliott (1985, 1987); A.J.
Foyt (1972); Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999, 2005); Pete Hamilton
(1970); Kevin Harvick (2007); Ernie Irvan (1991); Dale Jarrett
(1993, 1996, 2000); Jimmie Johnson (2006); Junior Johnson
(1960); Fred Lorenzen (1965); Sterling Marlin (1994, 1995);
Marvin Panch (1961); David Pearson (1976); Richard Petty
(1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981); Darrell Waltrip
(1989); Michael Waltrip (2001, 2003); Cale Yarborough (1968,
1977, 1983, 1984).
only fitting that these Champions take part in the most
exciting prelude to the most anticipated event in racing
history, said Speedway President Robin Braig. Were
honored to have these living legends on site to help celebrate
this momentous occasion.
recap - The race polesitter was Jimmie Johnson, and the
race winner was Ryan Newman, driving the Penske South- Alltel