Herm Johnson, American race car driver, Died at 63


Herman Austin Johnson was born on March 4, 1953, and died on December 10, 2016.

He was a driver in the CART Indy Car series, born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Johnson raced in seven seasons (1979–1985), with 35 career starts.

Johnson drove in the Indianapolis 500 in 1982 and 1984.

Johnson finished in the top ten eight times, with his best finish in 6th position in 1982 at Atlanta.

In 1976, he won the SCCA National Championship at Road Atlanta and was the 1977 USAC Mini-Indy Champion.

His father suffered a fatal heart attack, just days before the 1982 Indianapolis 500.

At that race, Rick Mears bumped into the back of his car on a lap 183 pit stop.

In 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.”

He suffered a serious crash in practice for the 1986 Indianapolis 500.

He suffered injuries to his back and neck, and the crash effectively ended his Indy car driving career.

He lived in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, running a custom painting business, ‘Just Herm Designs’.

His shop has done work for several Indy 500 winners, IndyCar, and NHRA Champions, as well as amateur racers.

His shop specializes in custom paint jobs for helmets, race cars, and motorcycles.

He also served as a performance driving instructor at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd Minnesota.

He died from liver and renal failure.

Herm Johnson passed away at 63 years old.