DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In honor of his standout career, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was presented with one of the sport’s highest honors Wednesday night.
Johnson was named the recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence during NASCAR’s virtual awards show on NBCSN, an honor recognizing industry members who have made a massive impact on NASCAR during their time in the sport.
The Bill France Award of Excellence is not awarded annually, but rather when an individual deserving of its merit comes along, adding to its prestige. Past recipients of the award include Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joe Gibbs, Richard Childress and Roger Penske.
“What an honor this is,” Johnson said. “I am so grateful and thankful for your contributions and what your future holds for you in our sport. So thankful for the contributions of your family and the vision that your family had to create this premier form of racing in the country, and to play a part of that and to have had the success I’ve had in this sport is so meaningful to me.
“I am truly surprised and honored to receive this award. I wasn’t expecting it walking in here. I know the importance of it, and I’m really, really honored. So thank you.”
NASCAR vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy presented the award to Johnson on NBCSN as part of this year’s awards festivities, which were held virtually after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of NASCAR’s Champion’s Week in Nashville, Tenn.
Over 19 full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series, Johnson won 83 races, tying him for sixth on the all-time win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough.
His seven championships level him with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the all-time record, with five coming consecutively from 2006-10.
Five titles in a row is a mark that Johnson holds alone, breaking the previous record of three which was achieved by Yarborough.