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Johnson tops among Ask.com searches

OAKLAND, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2008) – This is one race that record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps didn’t win.

Popular search site Ask.com today unveiled its Real Deal list of 2008’s most popular searches, as determined by the millions of people who conducted billions of searches on Ask this year. Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, was ranked the most searched sports icon in 2008.

Johnson, who earned his third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in November, headlined the list that included his teammate Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, in third.

After Johnson, the list included: Kobe Bryant, Gordon, Lebron James, Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, Allen Iverson, David Beckham, Muhammad Ali and Serena Williams.

This season, Johnson earned seven wins, 15 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s en route to recording his third straight Cup title, something that has been achieved only once before. NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough claimed three straight championships from 1976-78.