Forbes names Johnson most influential athlete

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Associated Press

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 25 at 11:02 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Forbes' annual ranking of America's Most Influential Athlete has placed NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson at the top of the list for the second consecutive year.

The rankings are done by public opinion polling. Forbes says Tuesday that Nielsen and E-Poll surveyed over 1,100 adults about dozens of well-known athletes to measure their likeability and whether they are considered influential to marketers.

This year, six of the 10 featured on the list are NFL quarterbacks, including Peyton and Eli Manning, as well as Tim Tebow, who debuted last year at No. 10, but is now ranked second.

Five-time NASCAR champion Johnson was joined on the list by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. But Earnhardt slipped from third to seventh, while teammate Jeff Gordon dropped off the list completely.

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