Jimmie Johnson tweeted some harsh words for his critics after his Sprint… (Jerry Markland / Getty Images )
During his remarkable career that includes five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, Jimmie Johnson has calmly endured an undercurrent of hostility from some fans who find his winning ways, well, a turnoff.
But with the help of Twitter, Johnson is firing back at his critics.
After winning the Cup race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the eighth time Sunday, Johnson sarcastically tweeted: "You haters have it right. I'm a bad teammate. I have a cheated up car, I'm lucky and the race was fixed. Gotta love twitter & #NascarFans."
The teammate mention likely referred to the moment in Sunday's race when Dale Earnhardt, the immensely popular driver and Johnson's teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, was caught in a chain-reaction accident and spun out in front of Johnson.
Johnson slowed but went by Earnhardt as Earnhardt righted his No. 88 Chevrolet, putting Earnhardt one lap down to the leaders. Earnhardt ended up finishing 24th and lost his lead atop the Cup title standings.
Johnson, who also won this year's Daytona 500, now leads the standings in pursuit of his sixth championship. He's six points ahead of second-place Brad Keselowski, the reigning Cup champion, and 12 points ahead of the now third-place Earnhardt.
Johnson later sent out another tweet, saying, "On a serious note, thanks for all of the tweets. I really appreciate the support from all my fans."
Jimmie Johnson wins at Martinsville
Johnny Unitas' sons divided on casting of Joe Flacco as their dad
Watch a 7-year-old boy's long touchdown run in Nebraska scrimmage