NASCAR Driver Jimmie Johnson AP's Male Athlete of the Year: Jimmie Johnson has become the first race car driver to be named AP's athlete of the year. Johnson's year included his fourth consecutive NASCAR championship -- a historic first -- and seven race wins. Johnson used the opportunity to make the argument that drivers are athletes. "I've looked at other sports, particularly baseball, and I've seen plenty of out-of-shape, fat players," he said. "So to anyone who wants to go head-to-head with me in athletic ability, let's go."