|Herm Johnson back in his CART days
Herm Johnson a former driver in the CART IndyCar Championship Car series passed away from liver & renal failure at the age of 63 Saturday. Born March 4, 1953 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Johnson raced in 7 seasons (1979–1985), with 35 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. 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."
|More recently at Legends Day at IMS
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.
Most recently Johnson resided in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, running his custom painting business, 'Just Herm Designs'. 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 and Sam Hornish, Jr., for example) 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. Johnson also was a performance driving instructor at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd Minnesota.