Howard Johansen began his racing career on the dirt tracks of the Midwest prior to World War II. Johansen, known for his creativity, was a true mechanical genius and a move to California in 1941 placed him at the cutting edge of the hot rod industry. He built engines and cars for circle tracks, but his real love was drag racing and land speed runs. He campaigned on the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) circuit with a twin belly tank dragster, and then later with a twin-engine dragster, winning many races with both cars. Johansen was called the “quintessential hot rodder” and he was one of the inaugural inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame on March 15. 1991. Johansen passed away on October 25, 1988. He was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.