The fact that he came from California instead the Southeast United States where stock car racing had its roots, also works against him. The reality is Johnson had success at every level before joining what is now NASCAR’s Nationwide Series in 2000.
He won Rookie of the Year Honors in the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group (MTEG), The Short-Course Off-Road Drivers Association (SODA), Southern California Off-Road Experience (SCORE), American Speed Association (ASA)
There are those who believe he didn’t pay his dues in the Nationwide Series, winning only once in the series. He quickly moved to Hendrick Motorsports and the Sprint Cup Series in 2002. He immediately made an impact in stock car racing’s “major leagues”. Johnson won the first of five consecutive Sprint Cup Series in 2006. What many forget is that he had finished second in points twice in the four years prior. Like Pete Sampras who dominated professional men’s tennis for years, many saw Jimmie Johnson as a low personality ambassador for his sport. Obviously he was performing well for the sponsor of his #48 car, Lowes Home Improvement, who still maintains their sponsorship with Kobalt Tools today.
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