Herm Johnson

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Herm Johnson (born March 4, 1953 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin), is a former driver in the CART Championship Car series. He raced in 7 seasons (1979–1985), with 35[1] career starts, including the 1984 Indianapolis 500. He also raced at Indy in 1982, but the race was not part of CART that year. He finished in the top ten 8 times, with his best finish in 6th position in 1982 at Atlanta.

In 1976, Johnson won the SCCA National Championship at Road Atlanta and was the 1977 USAC Super Vee Champion. Johnson's father suffered a fatal heart attack, just days before the 1982 Indianapolis 500.[2] Also during this race, Rick Mears bumped into the back of his car on a lap 183 pit stop. For his next race Johnson, who runs a business painting helmets, trimmed the back edge of his rear wing with the message "Rick...if you can read this, you're too close."

Johnson suffered a serious crash in practice for the 1986 Indianapolis 500. Johnson suffered injuries to his back and neck, and the crash effectively ended his Indycar career.

Herm currently resides in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, running his custom painting business, 'Just Herm Designs'.[3] The shop has done work for several Indy 500 winners as well as IRL and NHRA Champions (Eddie Cheever Jr., Al Unser Jr., Johnny Herbert & Sam Hornish, Jr. to name a few)as well as amateur racers like Jon Belanger and 4-time SCCA Champion Brad Ellingson. The shop specializes in custom paint jobs for helmets, racecars, and motorcycles. Herm also is a performance driving instructor [4] at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd Minnesota.

Indy 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1980 Lightning Offy Failed to Qualify
1981 Lightning Chevrolet Failed to Qualify
1982 Eagle Chevrolet 14th 9th
1983 March Chevrolet Failed to Qualify
1984 March Cosworth 9th 8th
1985 March Cosworth Failed to Qualify
1986 March Cosworth Practice Crash


  1. ^ 35 starts do not include the 1982 Indy 500, as it was not a CART race that year.
  2. ^ Johnson Says Dad was along
  3. ^ JustHermDesigns.com
  4. ^ BIR Performance Driving School Instructors