Junior Johnson: Timeline

June 28, 1931: Robert Glenn Johnson, Jr., is born in Ingles Hollow, North Carolina.

1935: Federal agents raid Robert Johnson's house, find 7,254 cases of moonshine. It is the largest inland seizure of illegal whiskey ever made in America, according to wire reports.

1938: already adept at performing basic household chores, Junior becomes interested in mechanics.

1939 or 1940: Junior starts driving his father's pickup truck

1945: Junior gets his first car, a 1936 Ford.

1945: Fourteen-year-old Junior begins delivering moonshine

Mid 1940s: After completing 8th grade, Junior drops out of school.

December 14, 1947: Big Bill France organizes a meeting of drivers, car owners and mechanics at the art-deco style Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla, to establish standard rules for racing. There and then the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was conceived.

February 15, 1948: The first official NASCAR race is held on the beach in Daytona. Red Byron wins it in his Ford. A week later, NASCAR is incorporated, and Big Bill appointed as its fearless leader.

Early Summer, 1949: Junior races for first time, at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He finishes second.

1953: Junior, his brother L.P., and his father are arrested. They appeal in court.

October 1953: the Johnsons win their appeal.

Labor Day 1953: Junior makes his Grand National debut, at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

1954: Junior makes 4 NASCAR starts, 3 of them in a car owned by big-band-leader Paul Whiteman.

1955: Junior forms team with Carl Buchanan and Jim Lowe.

May 7, 1955 Junior's first NASCAR triumph. Comes at Hickory Speedway in NC.

1955 Season: Junior scores 5 victories, 7 top fives, 18 top tens in 36 starts.

1956: Junior signs contract with Ford.

June 1956: Junior is arrested on moonshine and bootlegging charges.

November 1956: Junior sentenced to two years behind bars, goes to federal prison in Chillocothe, Ohio.

End of 1957: Junior released from prison.

1958: Paul Spaulding calls, "out of blue," with an offer to sponsor Junior’s driving.

May 18, 1958: Junior posts first victory in three years.

October 28, 1958: One of Junior's favorite wins comes at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway, his biggest victory up to that time, as he beats Fireball Roberts.

1958 Season: 27 starts. 6 victories, 12 top fives, 16 top tens.

1942-1958: 20 violations or alleged violations committed by Johnson family members.

February 22, 1959: Lee Petty wins first Daytona 500.

Summer 1959: During preparations for Southern 500 at Darlington, Junior has a wreck.

1959-1960: Junior often spotted sleeping in garage areas, sometimes on top of cars. People thought I was lazy. Truth is, is was probably asleep because I had hauled liquor all night

1960: Junior's moonshining has so frustrated law that bounties from $5,000 to $10,00 are placed on his head.

1960: Junior quits the moonshining business.

February 1960: Paul Spaulding quits the racing business, Junior is offered deal by Ray Fox, who has a Chevy.

February 1960: While practicing in the 1959 Chevy, Junior discovers aerodynamic draft at Daytona.

February 14, 1960: Junior Johnson scores biggest victory of driving career when he wins second Daytona 500.

Start of 1961: Teams with Fred and Rex Lovette, cofounders of Holly Farms poultry. Choose Pontiacs as race car.

Labor Day 1962: Junior flagged as winner of Southern 500. After protest regarding scoring, he is listed as second-place finisher.

May 24, 1964: Fireball Roberts dies in accident at World 600 in Charlotte. Some sources say it also leads to fire-proof suits.

1964: Tom Wolfe comes down to Wilkes County to interview Junior for Esquire Magazine. The essay Wolfe writes is called The Last American Hero is Junior Johnson. Yes! And is published in April 1965.

October 3, 1965: Junior Johnson wins for the 50th, and final, time as a NASCAR driver.

November 1965: For the season finale, Junior hires driver named Bobby Isaac to drive the Ford. Isaac is the first driver Junior hires.

1966: Junior's mother, Lora Belle Johnson, dies.

1966 Season: Junior hires five drivers after Bobby Isaacs leaves. They are Gordon Johncock, Darel Dieringer, A.J. Foyt, Curtis Turner, and Fred Lorenzen.

August 1966: NASCAR allows Fred Lorenzen to compete in Junior’s Ford # 26, AKA "The Banana," which has been aerodynamically enhanced, at the Dixie 400 Atlanta.

October 2, 1966: Junior makes last start. Appropriately, it is at North Wilkesboro speedway. Career NASCAR Driving Stats: 313 starts, 50 victories, 69 other top fives, 10 other top tens, $275,910 in winnings.

1967: Junior hires a new driver, Darel Dieringer.

April 1967: After finishing sixth at Daytona and scoring two other top 5 finishes, Dieringer wins at North Wilkesboro.

September 1967: After Dieringer crashes at Martinsville, Johnson fires him and hires Lee Roy Yarbrough.

1968: After three second-place finishes to Cale Yarborough (including Daytona 500) Lee Roy Yarbrough wins at Trenton in July and at the Dixie r00 in Atlanta in August.

August 21, 1968: Junior's father, Robert Glenn Johnson, dies.

February 1969: Lee Roy Yarbrough begins a storybook season by winning the Daytona 500.

September 1 1969: Yarbrough takes the Southern 500 at Darlington to be become the first 'triple crown' winner in NASCAR history.

1970: Yarbrough runs just 17 races for Junior, wins only the National 500 at Charlotte.

End of 1970: Needing a sponsor, Johnson contacts RJ Reynolds, can't get meeting until 1971.

1971: After meeting with RJ Reynolds, who have lots of money to spend, Johnson realizes it goes beyond his own sponsorship needs, contacts Bill France Sr., head of NASCAR.

1971: Thanks to Johnson, Reynolds agrees to sponsor NASCAR, Winston Cup Series born.

1971: Yarbrough starts just 4 races for Junior. Tries other forms of racing and suffers two concussions.

1971: Richard Howard, furniture magnate and part owner of charlotte motor speedways, sponsors Johnson to race in Chevrolets, in time for Charlotte World 600.

1972: With plans to compete in on entire Winston Cup Grand National Schedule, Johnson and Howard hire Bobby Allison as their driver.

March 1972: In 6th race of season, Allison posts first victory for Johnson, in Atlanta 500.

Fall 1972: Richard Petty and Bobby Allison compete for Winston Cup championship.

End of 1972: Allison and Johnson end association.

1973: Junior hires Cale Yarborough.

October 1973: Yarborough wins 5th race of season at National 500 in Charlotte.

1973: Yarborough wins $267,513.

1974: Carling Brewing Company decides to sponsor Junior's team, buys assets of Junior Johnson & Associates.

1976: Yarborough wins first Winston Cup championship.

Fall 1977: Darrell Waltrip beats Yarborough at North Wilkesboro.

1977 Season: Yarborough wins second consecutive Winston Cup championship.

1978: Junior switches from Chevys to Oldsmobiles

February 1978: Despite jitters with the Olds, Yarborough finishes second at Daytona to Bobby Allison.

1978 Season: Yarborough wins third consecutive Winston Cup championship.

Sometime during 1978 Season: Junior observes that he'd "like to have Darrell (Waltrip) as a driver someday, but I doubt that I could afford him."

1979 Daytona 500: At the first televised Daytona race, Cale Yarborough fights on camera with Donnie and Bobby Allison. Catalyst for propelling NASCAR into national limelight, but all Junior cares about is the race, which is won by Richard Petty.

September 1979: When asked who he thinks will be the stars of the future, Junior replies: “I don’t there’s any doubt about it. I think it’s going to be Ralph Earnhardt’s boy and that mouthy little ol' boy over in Tennessee. What’s his name? Waltrip? Yeah, that mouthy Waltrip.

Late Summer 1980: Yarborough tells Junior he's heading for a team with a less demanding schedule. They end their association at end of season.

Late Summer 1980: Darrell Waltrip asks Junior to hire him.

1981 Season: Darrell Waltrip wins Winston Cup championship. 12 victories, 6 seconds, 3 thirds, four other top tens. 12 wins are one victory short of Richard Petty's during a 31 race season. Winnings were $799,134, single season NASCAR record at time. Bobby Allison later says, "Looking back, I think we essentially let Darrell talk us out of a title. We had things going well, then we started paying more attention to what he was saying that we did to our own business."

December 1981: Junior becomes first owner to be crowned at Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

February 1982: NASCAR revises season schedule to open at Daytona Beach rather than Riverside.

1982: Darrell Waltrip wins Winston Cup championship.

November 1983: Junior switches sponsors from Pepsi (sponsors in ’83) to Busch (Budweiser), gets second car. They choose Neil Bonnett , as second driver.

April 21, 1985: Bonnett wins at North Wilkesboro and Waltrip finishes second. "Double dip" for Junior.

1985 Season: Waltrip wins Winston Cup championship.

January 2, 1986: Junior Johnson receives a full and unconditional pardon from the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.

November 1986: Waltrip announces that he will be leaving Junior Johnson and Associates to race for Hendrick Motorsports.

1987: After Junior unsuccessfully tries to hire Dale Earnhardt, he hires Terry Labonte instead.

End of 1990: Labonte leaves Johnson team, replaced by Geoff Bodine.

End of 1991: Bodine leaves Johnson team, replaced by Bill Eilliot.

June 1992: NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. dies

1992: Junior is inducted into North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Early Season 1992: Elliot wins four races in a row.

November 1992: Elliot finishes second to Alan Kulwicki, who wins the Winston Cup Championship.

November 1992: Richard Petty retires

Late Fall, 1992: Junior Johnson marries Lisa Day.

March 2 1993: Junior successfully undergoes heart surgery.

1993: Junior and Lisa Johnson welcome a son, Robert Glenn Johnson III.

1995: Junior and Lisa Johnson welcome a daughter, Meredith Susanne Johnson.

November 22, 1995: Johnson sells his team and retires from NASCAR.

End of 1996/ Beginning of 1997: North Wilkesboro track closes.

1998: Sports Illustrated names Junior Johnson top driver in NASCAR history.

February 18, 2001: Dale Earnhardt dies in a crash at Daytona 500.

May 2004: Stretch of U.S. 421 is named Junior Johnson Highway.

February 8, 2006: Junior's Chevy Impala No. 3, his most famous car, is parked in the lobby of the North Carolina Museum of History.

May 2007: Junior teams with Piedmont Distillers to introduce Midnight Moon.

2009: NASCAR announces the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame that includes: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty.

January 2011: Junior returns to NASCAR to coach and manage his son, Robert Johnson III.