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Johnson is AP's top male athlete of '09

Updated: December 21, 2009, 5:26 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There was little recognition outside the racing world when Jimmie Johnson won his first NASCAR championship.

Same with his second, and again with his third.

But four straight championships? That's a different story.

Johnson, the first driver in NASCAR history to win four consecutive titles, earned mainstream recognition Monday when he was honored as the Male Athlete of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

Johnson received 42 votes from ...

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