Jimmie Kenneth Johnson (born September 17, 1975) is an American professional stock car racing driver. A seven-time champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, he currently competes full-time in the series, driving the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports.
Johnson was born in El Cajon, California, and began racing motorcycles at the age of four. After graduating from Granite Hills High School he competed in off-road series. He raced in Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group (MTEG), Short-course Off-road Drivers Association (SODA) and SCORE International, winning rookie of the year in each series. In 1998, Johnson and his team, Herzog Motorsports, began stock car racing. He moved to the national American Speed Association (ASA) series for late model touring cars, and won another rookie of the year title. In 2000, he switched to the NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity Series).
He moved to Hendrick Motorsports in the Winston Cup Series in 2002. After finishing fifth in the points in his first full season, he was second in 2003 and 2004, and fifth in 2005. Johnson won his first Cup Series championship in 2006 and with further wins in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, he became the first and only driver in NASCAR history to win five consecutive championships. Johnson finished sixth in the points standings in the 2011 season and third in 2012 before winning his sixth championship in 2013. In 2016, Johnson won his seventh championship, tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most Cup Series championships of all time. Johnson is also a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, winning in 2006 and 2013. Between 2002 and 2017, Johnson recorded seven championships, 83 career race wins, 222 top fives, 341 top tens, and 35 pole positions.
His successes have allowed many analysts and fellow drivers to consider Johnson to be one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time. Other drivers and teammates have also lauded Johnson for his leadership and helpfulness, including younger drivers Corey LaJoie (for whom Johnson advocated to get a seat in a Cup car), Chase Elliott, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, and Ryan Blaney as well as veterans including Brad Keslowski, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, and more.