During the 2012 season, Johnson finished third in points. Between 2002 and 2012, Johnson has recorded 60 wins, 166 top-fives, 248 top-tens, and 29 pole positions. Johnson became the first racing driver to become Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year (U.S.) in 2009, and has won Driver of the Year four times, most recently in 2010.
Johnson began racing full time in the Winston Cup Series during the 2002 season. During the season, he became the first rookie driver to lead the point standings, and the first rookie to win twice at the same track during a season. He recorded four pole positions and three wins.
He entered the American Speed Association (ASA), as well as the NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series). In the same year, Johnson won the ASA Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie title.
Johnson began racing full time in the Winston Cup Series during the 2002 season. During 2003, Johnson finished ninth on the all-time list for consecutive weeks ranked in the Top-10.
When Jimmie Johnson was seven, Rick Johnson attended one of his competitions and predicted a bright future for the pint-sized racer. During the race, Johnson approached a six-foot jump, sailed his bike 65 feet through the air and stuck the landing, though he later spun out into a crash. Rick Johnson was amazed watching Jimmie Johnson fearlessly attack the jump.
The oldest of three, Johnson was born on September 17, 1975, in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, California. Johnson grew up in a blue-collar family. His mother, Cathy, drove a school bus and his father, Gary, operated heavy machinery. At the age of four, Johnson could handle a 50cc motorcycle. He was racing by age five and won his first championship at age eight, racing larger 60cc motorcycles.