Chalk up another honor for three-time Atlanta Motor Speedway winner Jimmie Johnson...
Jimmie Johnson, who last month made history by winning his fourth Sprint Cup Series championship in a row, has made history again. Johnson has been named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He's the first race car driver to receive the honor.
Indeed, Johnson winning this award gives him, NASCAR and all of the sport's fans something to crow about. Consider this: Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Mike Tyson and Brett Favre are among the athletes to not be named the Male Athlete of the Year by the AP.
For Johnson to win this award speaks well of Johnson and the rest of the drivers currently competing in NASCAR.
"We'd like to congratulate Jimmie Johnson for winning the Male Athlete of the Year award," Atlanta Motor Speedway President and GM Ed Clark said. "Him winning this award speaks very highly of not only Jimmie and the No. 48 team, but the sport of NASCAR overall."
To some ardent fans of stick and ball sports, NASCAR drivers are not seen as athletes. With Johnson winning this honor, those folks' argument holds very little water now.
Johnson's racing career includes 47 wins, three of which have come at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2007, he swept both races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Come see Jimmie Johnson seek to add another victory to his trophy case on March 7, 2010 at the Kobalt Tools 500. Tickets start at $39 and are priced as low as $59 on the frontstretch.