Slick Johnson

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For the wrestling referee, see Mark "Slick" Johnson.
Slick Johnson
Born (1948-02-23)February 23, 1948
Florence, South Carolina, United States
Died February 14, 1990(1990-02-14) (aged 41)
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Cause of death Basilar skull fracture
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
68 race(s) run over 8 year(s)
Best finish 23rd (1980)
First race 1979 Carolina 500 (Rockingham)
Last race 1987 Holly Farms 400 (North Wilkesboro)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 7 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 138th (1983)
First race 1983 Mello Yello 300 (Charlotte)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Julius David "Slick" Johnson III (February 23, 1948 – February 14, 1990) was an American stock car racing driver. A veteran of short track competition in the Carolinas, he competed in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series during the 1980s; his best finish in the series, second, came in a non-points consolation race at Daytona International Speedway. He was killed in a racing accident in an ARCA race at Daytona in 1990.

Career[edit]

Johnson's 1983 Cup car

A native of Florence, South Carolina,[1] Johnson started his racing career on dirt tracks at age 16; his racing career was interrupted due to his spending time in the military, however he returned to competition in 1968 at Cooper River Speedway;[2] Johnson also competed at other tracks in the Carolinas during the late 1960s and 1970s including Sumter Speedway.[3]

Moving up from local competition during the 1970s, Johnson made his first start in NASCAR Winston Cup Series – now Sprint Cup Series – competition in 1979 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina, finishing 27th in his first race in the series. He would go on to compete in a total of 68 Winston Cup Series races between 1979 and 1987, posting a best finish of eighth on two occasions, both in 1980, at North Wilkesboro Speedway and at Rockingham.[4] Johnson also finished second, to Tim Richmond, in a non-points consolation race for Daytona 500 non-qualifiers at Daytona International Speedway in 1982.[5]

Johnson also competed in a single Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (now Nationwide Series) race in his career, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1983; he started 19th and finished 28th in the event.[6]

Death[edit]

In 1988 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Johnson was injured in a severe crash during a practice session.[7] Following his recovery, Johnson returned to racing in the ARCA Permatex Super Car Series season-opening 200-mile race at Daytona International Speedway in 1990. Starting last in the 50-car field, Johnson was involved in a crash on the race's 76th lap that left him with a basal skull fracture and crushed chest; Johnson had been hit by three other cars during the course of the accident.[7] Transported to Halifax Medical Center in critical condition, Johnson died three days later; he was the 23rd racing-related fatality at Daytona, and the first stock car driver to be killed since Joe Young in 1987.[8]

The accident in which Johnson was killed, in which a paramedic was also injured one lap later, was featured in an episode of Rescue 911 that aired on November 13, 1990.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Siano, Joseph (February 18, 1990). "Experience Is Lacking". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  2. ^ "Cooper River Welcomes Back Slick Johnson". The News and Courier (Charleston, SC). June 27, 1968. p. 4D. 
  3. ^ Watts, Dargan (June 30, 1969). "Johnson Tops Sumter Field". The Sumter Daily Item (Sumter, SC). p. 3B. 
  4. ^ "Slick Johnson – NASCAR Sprint Cup Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  5. ^ Hinshaw, Lydia (February 13, 1982). "Richmond Slips By Slick For Win". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 4B. 
  6. ^ "Slick Johnson – NASCAR Nationwide Series Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  7. ^ a b Glick, Shav (February 13, 1990). "Driver Still Critical, but Course Worker Improves at Daytona". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Driver Dies of Injuries Suffered in Daytona Crash". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. February 15, 1990. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  9. ^ "Candy stars in 'Uncle Buck' tonight at 9 on CBS". The Item (Sumter, SC). November 13, 1990. p. 7A. 

External links[edit]