Look, NASCAR hater, it is too a sport and Jimmie Johnson's feat has been nothing short of incredible. Think of the driver as the QB of the team he drives for, the Crew Chief is the Head Coach and the Car Chief is the Assistant head coach, the car itself is the defense and the pit crew is the offensive line. If you consider golfers athletes, then race car drivers are as well.
Jimmie Johnson has been the most dominant athlete of this decade. Period. No athlete or team this decade has won four straight championships. He and his team are a dynasty...an absolute dynasty, and he's under appreciated because he doesn't cause controversy. He says all the right things, thanks his sponsors, and generally displays the personality of vanilla pudding.
That shouldn't get in the way of the facts: 4 straight championships (a feat that NASCAR legend Richard Petty couldn't even accomplish) and 47 wins this decade...and he missed out on 2000 and 2001 because his rookie year was 2002.
You can argue Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, maybe even LaDanian Tomlinson...but 4 in a row in a sport where there are many GREAT drivers and teams...you can't ignore Jimmie Johnson, my athlete of the decade.