Truth & Rumors > Auto Racing

NASCAR drivers: the most influential athletes?

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02:29 PM ET 05.11 | Jimmie Johnson, Sprint Cup champion every year since 2006, isn't particularly charismatic. But he's America's most influential athlete this year. With the retirement of Lance Armstrong, the diminished reputation of Tiger Woods, and the fading of interest in 2010 Winter Olympians like Apolo Anton Ohno and Shaun White, three NASCAR drivers launched up the list of influential athletes. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Gordon join Johnson in the top 10 in third and eighth place, respectively. That's more NASCAR drivers in the top 10 than NBA and MLB players combined.

Forbes

Jimmie Johnson, Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR Jimmie Johnson, Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
May 11, 2011  02:40 PM ET

ok

May 11, 2011  03:10 PM ET

My heart isn't gonna take this,,, A new story Mid Week ??? About time they show some respect for OUR SPORT, just goes to show you.

May 11, 2011  03:45 PM ET

It must be the water in the Hendrick fountain. LOL

May 11, 2011  04:09 PM ET

Even as a JJ fan, I'm kinda shocked that he's number one on the list above Gordon and Earnhardt. I'd like to see the questions and how the poll was set up. I wonder if the anti-Gordon and anti-Earnhardt factions (which I would assume are MUCH bigger than the anti-Johnson camp) caused them to drop?

May 11, 2011  04:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Even as a JJ fan, I'm kinda shocked that he's number one on the list above Gordon and Earnhardt. I'd like to see the questions and how the poll was set up. I wonder if the anti-Gordon and anti-Earnhardt factions (which I would assume are MUCH bigger than the anti-Johnson camp) caused them to drop?

Gotta agree with you on that... 'not particularly charismatic' has to be the understatement of the year....

May 11, 2011  04:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Gotta agree with you on that... 'not particularly charismatic' has to be the understatement of the year....

LMAO

May 11, 2011  05:38 PM ET

lol at charismatic---------talking about charismatic-----we seem to have lost the charisma guy from texas--------peaceful here today

May 11, 2011  07:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

lol at charismatic---------talking about charismatic-----we seem to have lost the charisma guy from texas--------peaceful here today

Be carefull he don't jump up and bite you **** racer.

May 11, 2011  09:37 PM ET

These guys seem to sneak out when it gets dark. Attack of the Spammers, LOL

May 11, 2011  10:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Even as a JJ fan, I'm kinda shocked that he's number one on the list above Gordon and Earnhardt. I'd like to see the questions and how the poll was set up. I wonder if the anti-Gordon and anti-Earnhardt factions (which I would assume are MUCH bigger than the anti-Johnson camp) caused them to drop?

I don't know about the anti-Jr camp, I would think it would be pretty small if he keeps winning Most Popular Driver.

May 11, 2011  10:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

I don't know about the anti-Jr camp, I would think it would be pretty small if he keeps winning Most Popular Driver.

Well said Raist.

May 12, 2011  07:00 AM ET

this is a "truth and rumor"?????????

good morning all

May 12, 2011  07:35 AM ET

Good Day to all. Even T Bone

May 12, 2011  09:18 AM ET

While I am surprised that it is JJ on top of the list, the fact that NASCAR did so well on the list isn't too surprising.

Over the past several years the players of big sports (NFL, MLB, and NBA) have really dropped the ball as rolemodels for people, especially little kids. NFL had Micheal Vick dog fighting, Rothlesberger's legal issues, Ray Lewis post Superbowl shooting, and other player legal issues that make 95% of the roster look like thugs. And that's not even getting into the lockout issues and how the general public really sees that deal going down. NBA has image issues of their players looking and acting like thugs. MLB had the steroids controversy.

Plus if you read the full article one of the criteria was that 20% of the people surveyed had to know who the athletes were. Meaning that certain players who might be decent rolemodel-like might not have made the list because they don't have the name recognition. Michael Jordan was pretty much a household name in America whether you watched basketball or not, Drew Brees not so much even with a Superbowl ring.

May 12, 2011  09:19 AM ET

historically, nascar drivers have always been the marketing leaders; even now that the population of the sport has declined this makes sense...the nba is loaded with self absorbed dopes and mlb is still fighting fallout from the steriod era...i would think a few nfl players would make up some of the leaders on this list too (brady, manning, etc).

May 12, 2011  09:53 AM ET

No news is good news.

Comment #28 has been removed
May 12, 2011  10:12 AM ET

Jr can win a popularity contest ,but he can not win a championship.....

May 12, 2011  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#29):

Jr can win a popularity contest ,but he can not win a championship.....

He can't win a race.

 
May 12, 2011  11:15 AM ET

The only thing Johnson influences me to do is to cuss at the TV set.

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