SCR: Who eventually sponsored you?
JOHNSON: "I believe Holly Farms (which is now Tyson) went back to sponsoring me."
SCR: What is the most significant contribution of RJR during Winston's involvement?
JOHNSON: "I think the biggest contribution is they taught them how to sell their product.
"They promoted their sport and taught them how to market it. They did that through the activities of what they were doing.
Johnson, far right, stands...
Johnson, far right, stands next to Darrell Waltrip, a three-timechampionship driver with Johnson. Next to Waltrip is Neil Bonnett, theother driver in Johnson's two-car team. Warner Hodgdon, far left, wasco-owner of Johnson's team at the time.
"They'd go to NASCAR and say, 'We think you ought to do this.'
"They'd get involved and push it. They brought on board a lot of big sponsors. Got them involved in some way or another. They moved the championship [banquet] to New York. They supported the points fund.
"They really taught NASCAR how to market their product."
SCR: What do you feel is your biggest contribution to the sport?
JOHNSON: "I think a lot of the safety factors in the sport came through me.
"When I got into the sport, most people were building cars with lightweight roll bars, all kinds of stuff that was dangerous.
"That was something I didn't do. I promoted the safer car. I built chassis stuff. And, you know, the first time people see it, they copy.
"I think a lot of things I brought to the sport was a lot of safety factors that make it was it is today. Suspension stuff, roll bars, the way you build a race car, the full-floating rear end--I was the first that ever had one of them.
"A lot of things. The wheels. I was a big part of the fuel cell they have [today]. When Fireball Roberts got burnt, me and Banjo Matthews and Holman-Moody went to war on getting a fuel cell that wouldn't bust and burn somebody up.
"A lot of that stuff came through me."
SCR: What are you most proud of from your driving career?
JOHNSON: "Winning the Daytona 500 [in 1960] would probably be the top.
"I think I was involved in people learning a lot more about the car: they had to fix them to drive them. A lot of times people thought I was crazy because of the way I drove. But my car was fixed to drive that way.
"A lot of technology that went into the handling characteristics of the cars and the way you set them up and stuff like that came through me. A lot of that came through Banjo Matthews."