Jimmie Johnson was NASCAR’s golden boy this year. The 34-year-old has youthful good looks, talent, drive, and a top-notch crew. Even after a wreck set him back in Texas, No. 48 driver busted a record by winning his fourth Sprint Cup championship in a row.
But he wasn’t the only racecar driver revving up NASCAR mania, as 24-year-old Kyle Busch prepared to clinch his first-ever Nationwide Series title, and Ron Hornaday broke a record to win his fourth Trucks Series: He became, at 51, the oldest NASCAR champ ever. With big names Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also gunning for the checkered flags, it’s no wonder playing fantasy NASCAR was all the rage in 2009. —LH