In celebration of Junior Johnson’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Piedmont Distillers created the Midnight Moon Hall of Fame Collectors Series. This limited edition of Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon consists of six unique bottles, each one featuring iconic images that celebrate Johnson as a moonshining legend and racing hero.
Each bottle in the Midnight Moon Collectors Series features a collage of historic photos that document Johnson’s racing career – from building an engine, to driving, to swinging the jack. “I’m proud of Midnight Moon,” Johnson said. “It’s the kind of moonshine we always wanted to make, and I’m happy that Piedmont Distillers has done a special series for the Hall of Fame. I love how the series came together. Looking at all of those pictures brings back a lot of memories of some special moments in my life.”
The inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Class was officially inducted in a ceremony on May 23, 2010 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. In selecting Johnson to the inaugural Hall of Fame class, the committee recognized Johnson’s significant contributions to the sport, from the formative years to the modern era. “Being voted into this first class of the Hall of Fame is one of the greatest moments of my life,” Johnson said. “I was surprised that I was picked, and I’m honored to get this kind of recognition.”
In addition to being a part of the inaugural class, Johnson also made a significant contribution to the state-of-the-art facility by personally building an authentic moonshine still for display in the Hall of Fame. When it was time for the still to be installed in the historical section of the building, Johnson himself did the installation.
“The Piedmont Distillers family wanted to do something to honor Junior’s induction and celebrate all that he’s done for the sport,” Piedmont Distillers founder Joe Michalek said. “What better way to pay tribute to all Junior has done in NASCAR than to go back to where it all started and offer limited-edition bottles of Midnight Moon moonshine. The Collectors Series will give fans a chance to own a piece of history and celebrate this honor with Junior.”
Johnson’s past mirrors of the roots of NASCAR. Like the sport itself, Johnson’s racing career began on the back roads of North Carolina, hauling moonshine. The Johnson family moonshine was known as the best. Johnson grew up tending to the family still and began bootlegging at the age of 14. He soon became one of the revenuers’ most sought after bootleggers.
Johnson’s determination and ingenuity kept him two steps ahead of the law. He modified his bootlegging cars to make them faster and innovated signature driving moves, like the bootlegger turn. Like many other early stock car drivers, Johnson eventually gave up bootlegging and began racing full time. Johnson’s bootlegging experiences gave him the foundation he needed to become one of the most successful drivers and owners in racing history.
In 2007, Johnson’s life came full circle when he became part owner of Piedmont Distillers and introduced a legal moonshine called, Midnight Moon. Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon follows the Johnson family’s generations-old tradition of making moonshine. Every batch is born in a copper still and handcrafted in very small quantities. Midnight Moon is made from American corn and triple-distilled to deliver an ultra-smooth, clean tasting spirit that is often preferred over the world’s best vodkas.
Piedmont Distillers, a craft distillery run by fewer than 10 people, is located in the little town of Madison, N.C. Piedmont Distillers is committed to preserving the moonshining legacy and distilling traditions that have made North Carolina the “moonshine capital of the world.” Coupling these traditions with one-of-a-kind recipes and a state-of-the-art distillation process has enabled Piedmont Distillers’ spirits to transcend moonshine from the backwoods, to be among the finest spirits available anywhere.