Jimmie Johnson nominated for awards

Jimmie Johnson Nominated For Two ESPY Awards Reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Nominated For Best Championship Performance, Driver of the Year Awards DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- Jimmie Johnson, nominated for two ESPY Awards,...

Jimmie Johnson Nominated For Two ESPY Awards
Reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Nominated For Best Championship Performance, Driver of the Year Awards

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- Jimmie Johnson, nominated for two ESPY Awards, feels like he has a shot to win both, when the 15th annual sports awards are presented next Wednesday night (July 11) at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.

But Johnson admits he'll need some help -- from his fans.

Johnson, the reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, is nominated for Best Championship Performance and in the racing-specific Best Driver category. In the first category, he's up against NFL Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning, NBA star LeBron James and 2007 Australian Open tennis titlist Serena Williams.

"That's good company," Johnson said.

In the driver category, Johnson's competition starts with his car owner Jeff Gordon and continues with Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick, 2007 Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti, NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher and 2006 IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr.

"The Best Driver award, I feel pretty good about my chances," Johnson said Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, where he'll race Saturday night in the Pepsi 400.

"The Best Championship Performance? Well, if all the NASCAR fans start voting, I could have a good chance there, too. It'd be great for all of our fans to get involved and help really put motorsports on the map."

Fans can vote on-line for their favorites in all ESPY categories by going to http://espn.go.com/espy2007/index.html.

Johnson's two nominations are joined by four others that are NASCAR-related.

* In Best Driver: Harvick and Gordon. Harvick won last year's NASCAR Busch Series championship and also challenged for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title, then started this season by winning the Daytona 500. Gordon has led the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings since March;

* In Best Finish: This year's Daytona 500, won by Harvick with an .020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin;

* In Best Sports Movie: "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," the comedy starring Will Ferrell. "NASCAR and our partners involved in Talladega Nights are thrilled so many people wanted to see Ricky Bobby go fast," said Sarah Nettinga, managing director, film, television and entertainment for NASCAR. "Most of all, we appreciate NASCAR fans coming out to support the film and cheer on Ricky."

Double-nominee Harvick thinks this year's Daytona 500 was "what a 'Best Finish' is supposed to be all about. It was close, exciting. It was obviously very neat to be a part of it.

"I think it's pretty cool to be nominated a couple of times. Hopefully we can win."

Added Johnson: "To even be considered for one of these awards says a lot. It's a huge accomplishment and it speaks volumes about our sport."

The ESPYs will be broadcast by ESPN on July 15 at 9 p.m., ET, co-hosted by LeBron James and comedian/talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Dario Franchitti , Jimmie Johnson , Sam Hornish Jr. , Mark Martin
Teams Williams