Jimmie Johnson made history last year by becoming only the third driver in Cup Series history to win a record tying seventh championship and while Johnson now sits among such greats as Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty in the history books, it wasn’t enough for The Hendrick Motorsports driver to win an Espy. In fact, Johnson lost to Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton, which angered some NASCAR fans.
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With that being said, the argument NASCAR fans and other drivers are using is the fact that Johnson accomplished more last year then Lewis Hamilton did. Not only did Johnson capture his seventh championship in 2016 after a surprise crash took out two of the playoffs top contenders, he also won five races last season including three win in the playoffs to net him the championship.
Here’s what fans had to say after Hamilton was announced as the winner.
@JimmieJohnson You got robbed of that ESPY tonight.
— Mary Murray (@mm2448) July 13, 2017
Lewis Hamilton ESPYS driver of the year…who finished 2nd in a 2 car champ.
Meanwhile Ron Capps & Jimmie Johnson actually WON the champ…
— Chevy48 (@chevychevelle48) July 13, 2017
Jimmie Johnson won NASCAR championship. Simon Pagenaud won IndyCar championship. Both lose ESPY Best Driver to F1 Lewis Hamilton who didn’t.
— Julian Spivey (@julianspivey44) July 13, 2017
There were a few other drivers in the running as well such as fellow Formula One driver, Simon Pagenaud, The NHRA’s Ron Capps and NASCAR Cup Series driver, Martin Truex Jr, who won last week at Kentucky and has the most stage wins of any other Cup Series driver right now. Unfortunately for Johnson, Pagenaud, Capps and Truex Jr, they apparently didnt compare to the accomplishments and popularity of Lewis Hamilton
Compare that Lewis Hamilton, who despite claiming ten wins last season, finished second in the final standings for the second year in a row. Why the people who vote on the Espy’s would choose Hamilton over Johnson is unknown, or even why Martin Truex Jr didn’t get the award after having a great season last year, but the fact that remains that fans are outraged at the perceived slight and it really just casts the award show in a very bad light.