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Johnson repeats as Best Driver in ESPYs

LOS ANGELES (July 16, 2009)—Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, picked up the ESPY for Best Driver during the 17th annual ceremony Wednesday at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live.

Fans can watch the ESPYs, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

This marks the second year that Johnson has won the award, which is based upon a fan vote. Johnson was chosen over 2009 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

“What an honor to be chosen Best Driver for the second time,” Johnson said. “NASCAR fans are incredible. The other drivers nominated are unbelievable competitors, and I’m humbled to have been picked for the ESPY.

“NASCAR is a team sport, and I’m lucky to have the group of guys I get to work with,” Johnson said. “The fact that fans across the country made this happen is an awesome feeling.”

Johnson, the three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, also was nominated for Best Male Athlete, which was presented to 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

NASCAR has dominated the Best Driver category, picking up 11 of the last 14 awards. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates have won five of them: Jeff Gordon in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2007, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004.