For the second straight year, Forbes magazine has ranked five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as the Most Influential Athlete in America. The Hendrick Motorsports driver edged NFL quarterback Tim Tebow for the honor.
Forbes determined its annual rankings by polling 1,100 adults about dozens of well-known athletes to measure the athletes' overall likeability as well as their appeal to marketers. Johnson was joined on the 2012 list by fellow Cup driver and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., although Earnhardt dropped to seventh from third a year ago.
From the polling answers, 25 percent said "influential" described Johnson, and 40 percent stated they liked the five-time NASCAR champion.
"It's just a huge honor," Johnson said. "Not only is it very good for me in my career and for what I do in my racecar, but I think it's very good for NASCAR as well. Of all the athletes in America, to be ranked most influential, I'm very proud of the award and happy to receive it."