Top Sport Auto Racing Athletes in 2012
Auto racing is one of the most watched televised sports in the world. There are many different forms of racing and the two most popular organizations are Formula One and NASCAR. In order to be a great race car driver, one needs to display stamina, strength, precision, and a strict knowledge for how a car reacts at fast speeds. Professional driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and athletes have to be highly skilled to compete at the top level. Professionals are usually paid well, and the richest contract in the history of auto racing belongs to Kimi Räikkönen, who signed a three-year deal with Ferrari in 2007 worth $153 million ($2,942,307 per race).
Jimmie Johnson is widely regarded as the best driver in the world. He currently competes in NASCAR, and drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. In 2006, Johnson won his first Sprint Cup Series Championship and then continued to take the honor over the next four years. Between the years of 2002 and 2011, Johnson scored 55 wins and 230 Top 10 finishes.
In 2009, Johnson was named the AP Male Athlete of the Year. He is known for being a fierce competitor who can maneuver a car with ease. In 2011, Johnson struggled toward the end of the season, and finished the Sprint Cup Championship in sixth place. After the Daytona 500, Jimmie got off to a strong start in 2012 and will compete for another title.
The Formula One World Drivers’ Championship (WDC) is awarded to the most successful driver in the Formula One season. Similar to NASCAR, the honor is determined by a points system. For the past two years, the WDC has been won by a German man named Sebastian Vettel. Vettel is sponsored by Red Bull Racing, and is the youngest driver to ever win the Formula One Championship. At the age of 24, he holds a large number of records in Formula One. In 2012, Vettel has begun to receive comparisons to the great driver Michael Schumacher. In February 2012, he was given the highest sports honor in Germany, the Silver Bay Laurel Leaf.