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Jimmie Johnson closes in on 6th title amid renewed debate about his place among the greats

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    Driver Jimmie Johnson prepares for practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.(AP Photo/David Graham)The Associated Press

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    Jimmie Johnson leaves the garage during practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)The Associated Press

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    Driver Jimmie Johnson sits in his car waiting for the start of practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.(AP Photo/Terry Renna)The Associated Press

Jimmie Johnson is up almost every day by 5:30 a.m., the easiest time of day to do his training.

He runs five days a week, logging up to 40 miles on foot. He also swims two days a week and cycles two days a week.

Johnson has completed half marathons, multiple triathlons and now has his eyes set on an Ironman and the Boston Marathon, perhaps as early as next year.

Yet as the most dominant driver of the decade closes in on his sixth NASCAR championship in eight years, his accomplishments fail to earn proper due.

The latest slight came from retired NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, who said on a Fox Sports 1 program that Johnson is "absolutely not" an athlete.