I sense the tide is turning.

It wasn't that long ago that, whenever Jimmie Johnson won a race, there was angst throughout the NASCAR universe.  "When will somebody else win?"

But, now, after only one championship in the last four years, and as he closes in on Dale Earnhardt's win total and his 40th birthday this year, I'm beginning to hear less angst and more appreciation.  Fans, whether they like Johnson or not, are recognizing that Jimmie Johnson may be the best driver of his generation and one of the best of all-time.

We're hearing less, 'he wouldn't be that good without Chad Knaus', and more acknowledgement that they are, in fact, a team that, despite occasional appearances, works very well together.

 Jimmie Johnson is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.  But, beneath that cool exterior is one of the most competitive and determined people you'll ever meet.  It's nice to see fans begin to show him the appreciation he deserves.  After all, years from now, you'll be telling your grandkids, "I remember watching him race…".