Warren Johnson is Welcomed into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Talladega, AL, April 27, 2007 -- NHRA Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson was formally inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday evening during a...
Warren Johnson is Welcomed into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
Talladega, AL, April 27, 2007 -- NHRA Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson was formally inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday evening during a star-studded gala event held at the Speed Channel Dome in Talladega, AL. The ceremony brought to a close two days of celebratory functions as Johnson joined Junie Donleavy, Ray Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Wayne Rainey and Bruton Smith (left) in the Class of 2007, bringing the total member of inductees to receive racing's ultimate honor to 122.
"The significance of this event did not really hit me until I had a chance to walk through the Hall on Thursday night prior to the ceremony," said Johnson. "After looking at the names of people inducted before us, and seeing their portraits on the walls, I realized the tremendous impact they all had on their respective series.
"When you consider the thousands of racers in the history of motorsports who have competed around the world, it is truly a humbling experience to realize that you are among the select few inducted here. I am truly honored to have been chosen to be a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame's Class of 2007."
In typical fashion, Johnson headed home immediately following the ceremony to join his GM Performance Parts GTO crew as they prepare for competition in this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Atlanta, GA.
"I want to thank Rick Humphrey, Amanda Thomas, all the hosts and everyone at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame for their tremendous hospitality over last few days," said Johnson. "They treated us like royalty, and made it an experience I will never forget. I also want to acknowledge my fellow classmates. I am proud to be inducted alongside them, and enjoyed spending time with them, forging what I hope will be lasting friendships.
"I would also like to thank the IMHOF committee for selecting me for this great honor. However, we will have to put our celebration on hold, as we have some unfinished business to attend to with our GM Performance Parts GTO in Atlanta. I've had a lot of fun, but it's time to get back to work."
Warren Johnson - International Motorsports Hall of Fame Fast Facts
* WJ is the seventh member of the drag racing community to be inducted into the IMHOF. The other six are Joe Amato (2005), Bob Glidden (2005), Don "Big Daddy" Garlits (1997), Shirley Muldowney (2004), Wally Parks (1992) and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme (2000).
* Although still active, Warren was eligible under the unique "Over 62" rule, where racers still competing above the age of 62 are eligible for election into the IMHOF.
* In addition to WJ, Bruton Smith, Jack Ingram, Wayne Rainey, Ray Hendrick and Junie Donleavy were inducted as part of this year's ceremonies.
* Warren's presenter at the ceremony on Thursday was noted NHRA announcer and personality Bob Frey.
* A one-hour special on the ceremony will air on the Speed channel at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 13.
* Johnson's GM Performance Parts GTO will display the International Motorsports Hall of Fame logo on its nose this weekend to commemorate "The Professor's" induction.
* This is the 17th class of racers to be inducted, dating back to the inaugural ceremony in 1990 -- there were no ceremonies in 1995.
* With this year's class, there are now 122 racers from all forms of motorsports enshrined in the IMHOF.
* The biggest class was the inaugural class in 1990, which had 20 inductees -- the smallest was in 2001, when only four (Neil Bonnett, Jimmy Bryan, Mike Hailwood and Fred Offenhauser) were inducted.
* The IMHOF opened in 1983, and is located next to the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL.