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Johnson earns third consecutive SPEED Performer of the Year

CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2009)—Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson earned his third consecutive SPEED Performer of the Year award, edging out NHRA Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher and Formula One phenom Lewis Hamilton to earn the prestigious Mario Andretti Trophy, a unique bronze sculpture by artist Elie Hazak depicting Andretti’s career and heritage.

The award, part of the annual SPEED Performance Awards (air date Feb. 5 at 10 p.m. ET), was voted on by a 15-member SPEED panel, headlined by Andretti, “Wind Tunnel” host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Bob Varsha and Ralph Sheheen, SPEEDtv.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen and versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder.

Andretti, named the “Driver of the Century” by the Associated Press, and SPEED President Hunter Nickell surprised Johnson with the award during today’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway NASCAR Media Tour stop at Hendrick Motorsports.

Johnson finished the voting with an average ballot position of 3.2, followed by Schumacher (3.7), Hamilton (3.7), IRL champ Scott Dixon (4.4), MotoGP racer Valentino Rossi (5.1) and F1’s Felipe Massa (6.9).

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