Share “NASCAR champion honored with hall vote”

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm •  Published: May 22, 2014

Johnson caught up with Hendrick earlier Thursday on the way to the track. Johnson said the owner with 11 Sprint Cup championships and 220 race wins was grateful for calls, emails and texts from friends and those in racing after the vote.

"He appreciates the concern from others, but I don't think he feels like it's time" for his enshrinement, Johnson said.

NASCAR modified its voting process to give a vote to that year's champion. Johnson acknowledged there were nominees he didn't know well.

"Some I wasn't even (alive) for, others I was on the West Coast and didn't know NASCAR," he said.

With Johnson's accomplishments, there's no doubt that when the time comes he'll be a can't-miss, first-ballot Hall of Famer. Until then, he's happy with his chance to add to the hall and knows others will cherish the honor as much as he has.

"I think of (21-year-old) Kyle Larson and other younger drivers coming along, how good it would be for them to witness all of that," Johnson said. "An awesome day. The champion gets that honor and it is a huge honor. I know the champions behind me will have as great an experience as I did."