On Wednesday, Tate ripped Johnson and NASCAR on Twitter when he posted, "Jimmy johnson up for best athlete???? Um nooo .. Driving a car does not show athleticism."
The tweets didn't stop there.
"I've driven a car on unknown roads at night at 90mph no big deal. No sign of athletism," Tate said.
He later apologized, saying he "actually read up on it and NO I couldn't race a car 150 mph."
Johnson, the 2009 AP Male Athlete of the Year, responded on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"I think it's easy to make a comment when you don't know," Johnson said. "In a lot of situations, people haven't been to a race or been close enough to our sport to understand what takes place here."
WATCH VIDEO AT THE TOP (Courtesy of ESPN.com)
Jimmy johnson up for best athlete???? Um nooo .. Driving a car does not show athleticism