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Jimmie Johnson Still NASCAR's Top Driver

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2009-03-11 07:40:27     
Article by Richard Paul

Jimmie Johnson does not receive the media attention that other drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart, or even Jeff Gordon demand. In fact, despite his accomplishments, Johnson sometimes takes a back seat to younger drivers such as Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, as they are considered spitfire personalities as opposed to Johnson's nice guy, sometimes robotic image.

Nevertheless, the three-time defending Sprint Cup champion does not allow it to bother him. He does not fret over his standing in the sport, but he will admit that he deserves some sort of recognition due to him and his team's hard work, even though there may be more colorful personalities in the sport.

"This is my moment in the sun too. I'm out there doing my job, trying to win races. There are other guys that are the characters and start the fights and say things and keep it colorful and entertaining. And I certainly enjoy watching those guys do their thing as well but I'm here to do my job and try to win as many championships and races as I can," he said in a recent interview.

Johnson is regarded as one of the good guys. Most of his fellow competitors admit that they have a difficult time disliking him because he is such a nice guy. He is not the driver that is going to intentionally wreck you, or punch you in the face if he feels that you said or did something that bruised his ego. There are times when Johnson may refrain from saying exactly how he feels because he is simply not the controversial sort of individual.

When asked if he was too nice for his own good, he responded by saying, "It's a great problem to have. I think the world's changing. The days of flash, I don't think people are so interested in those stories anymore. So maybe it's the year of number 48 in that respect, and the year of Jimmie that respect."

While fans and media typically flock in droves to storylines that entail controversy and hullabaloo, it is nice to give the good guys their due as well. Having a nice guy image does not take away on track achievements. Johnson is still NASCAR's top driver at the moment. After all, he owns three Sprint Cup championships and forty career wins in only seven full years on the circuit.

Jimmie Johnson is not the only nice guy in NASCAR that is sometimes disregarded. The 2003 champion Matt Kenseth often flies under the radar, even more so than Johnson. Kenseth opened the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with wins at Daytona and California, yet he is not 'The Story' in NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr's rough week in Daytona, as well as a possible Jeff Gordon resurgence seems to pique the interest of media and fans alike.

When their careers come to a conclusion, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth will be in the Hall of Fame, and they will be remembered as a couple of NASCAR's good guys, proving that 'Nice guys finish last' is nothing more than an off beam adage.

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