Monday, Feb 06

Hall of Famer Johnson launches new racing team

Junior Johnson has launched a race team that he hopes will propel his son, 17-year-old Robert, eventually to the Sprint Cup Series.

The elder Johnson, who was enshrined in NASCAR's Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural 2010 class of inductees, will run Junior Johnson Racing from shops on his 278-acre estate in Hamptonville, N.C.

Keith Barnwell, JJR's executive vice president and general manager, said Monday he was standing amid 800 head of cattle outside one of the two buildings the elder Johnson -- who scored 50 victories as a driver, 132 as an owner and six Cup championships in his legendary career -- had converted into his son's race shop.

Barnwell, a noted NASCAR spotter who worked every lap of Jamie McMurray's breakout 2010 season and will move to the spotter's stand to work with Martin Truex Jr. in 2011, said the younger Johnson -- who finished fourth in the 2010 UARA late model series championship and won the UARA Rookie of the Year Award -- would contest about a "28- to 30-race schedule in 2011."

"We're going to run the full K&N Pro Series East and maybe the West Series' finale at Phoenix," Barnwell said. "On some of our off weekends, we'll be running some UARA and Whelen All-American Series late model races.

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Credit: NASCAR.com

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