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The son of a North Carolina doctor, Amos Johnson first raced in 1962 and he spent the decade competing in lesser sports car and saloon car races. He also made a single NASCAR start in 1969 when driving a self-run Chevrolet Camaro in the Talladega 500. Johnson started in 35th position in a 36-car field and drove an unspectacular race to finish in 13th position.
Johnson concentrated on racing compact sedans in the new IMSA series at the start of the next decade. He won the Under 2500cc class at Virginia International Raceway in 1971 with an Opel and co-driver Roger Mandeville. Leader of the AMC Gremlin team a year later, he tied the 1973 BF Goodrich Radial Series for international sedans with BMW’s Nick Craw. Johnson won 18 races during his career in the IMSA-sanctioned category.
World Sportscar Championship
The World Sportscar Championship included a drivers’ title for the first time in 1981 and the six-hour Champion Spark Plug Challenge at Daytona was a qualifying round. The race did not attract a large entry so the field was bolstered by regulars from the IMSA Racing Stock series.
Mandeville and Johnson shared a Mazda RX-3 and traded the lead with the similar Tom Waugh/Jim Downing car. Johnson was leading five minutes before the midnight finish when the car spluttered as it passed the pits out of fuel. Johnson completed the lap on fumes and limped across the line to win.
IMSA GTU Class
Johnson and Mandeville continued as co-drivers in IMSA GTU and won the class seven times as Mandeville was crowned champion in 1983 with a Mazda RX-7. Johnson switched to Team Highball in 1985 and won the GTU class at the Daytona 24 Hours for four years in a row (1985 to 1988). He eventually retired from racing in 1996.
World Endurance Championship
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International Championship of Makes