SCR: Where would you rank yourself all-time?

JOHNSON: "I've never seen a race driver I didn't think I could beat. I didn't drive against some of them, so I don't know if I could have beaten them or not.

"Sports Illustrated classified me No. 1 in the last 50 years. I don't know if I was or not. I just know I didn't run into anybody I couldn't outrun.

"My equipment, I know, wasn't as good as the rest of them, because it was at a time when I didn't work on the cars. Somebody else worked on them. I just drove them.

"I think that if I had been in my equipment, the way I was putting it underneath Cale [Yarborough] and Darrell [Waltrip] and Bill Elliott and Bobby Allison and those guys, I think I would have been a pretty tough guy to beat.

"I wouldn't say I was better than everybody else. I just say I'd never seen anybody I didn't think I could outrun. I'm always sure I could."

SCR: Name the top drivers, in order, who drove for you.

JOHNSON: "Well, you take LeeRoy Yarbrough. And everybody leaves him out of the equation of driving for me and put Cale and Darrell and Bobby Allison ahead of him.

"But I think Lee Roy was as good as every one of them.

"I'm not naming them one-two-three-four-five, I just going to name the top-five drivers who drove for me. It'd be LeeRoy, Cale, Darrell, Bobby Allison and--Terry Labonte was a great race driver. That would be my top five."

SCR: You've been rumored often over the years to be involved in an attempt to buy North Wilkesboro Speedway from Bob Bahre and Bruton Smith. Any truth to those rumors?

JOHNSON: "I have talked to Bob and them about the possibility of buying it.

"I think Bob would sell it if he knew it wasn't going to be somebody buying it to sell it to Bruton.

"But Bob thinks everybody trying to buy it is trying to buy it for Bruton Smith. And he won't sell it until Bruton sells his first."