Continued from page 1

He was collecting a paycheck, but he didn’t start picking up wins until he signed with Hendrick Motorsports in late 2001. Even with that big break, Johnson kept a clear distinction between work and play that created the stereotype of a “plain, vanilla driver.”

Here we are now, five championships, 55 victories and more than $108 million in purse winnings, and Johnson is that guy sparring with hateful fans on Twitter and unafraid to speak his mind.