Jimmie Johnson nominated for an ESPY

Jimmie Johnson nominated for ESPN Award for "Best Breakthrough Athlete" Charlotte, N.C., July 16, 2003 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series (NWCS) superstar Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, joins other talented young athletes, ...

Jimmie Johnson nominated for ESPN Award for "Best Breakthrough Athlete"

Charlotte, N.C., July 16, 2003 - NASCAR Winston Cup Series (NWCS) superstar Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, joins other talented young athletes, including LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets (NBA), Clinton Portis of the Denver Broncos (NFL) and Alfonso Soriano of the New York Yankees (MLB), as a nominee for the "Best Breakthrough Athlete" award at his year's 2003 ESPY Awards, honoring athletes in 33 categories who exhibit excellence in sports performance.

"Just to be nominated alongside those other great athletes is truly an honor," Johnson said. "This is not only an honor for me, but it is a testament to how mainstream our sport has become. There are a number of drivers in NASCAR deserving of this nomination, and to be recognized for the season we had last year says a lot, not only for me, but our entire Lowe's team."

Johnson, runner up in the hotly contested 2002 NWCS rookie of the year competition, took the circuit by storm last year, finishing 5th overall in the points standings and tying a modern-day rookie record with three victories. Additionally, Johnson posted 21 top-10 finishes and became the only rookie in the modern era to lead the points standings.

Halfway through his sophomore season this year, Johnson currently sits sixth in the points standings having posted one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He also won The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR's All-Star event, taking home the largest purse in its 19-year history, $1 million. Additionally, Johnson has ranked among the top-10 in points for 51 consecutive weeks, the longest current streak in Winston Cup.

The ESPY Awards will air on ESPN live from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre tonight at 9:00 PM (EST).

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson