John Cutts argued with the homeless man as he made his way into Asda at Victoria Retail Park in Worksop.
The pair knew each other and the homeless man allegedly called Cutts a “grass” and insulted his girlfriend during the confrontation.
Cutts told Nottinghamshire Police that he shouted abusive words back at him before entering the supermarket to do some shopping.
When the 57-year-old returned to his car and drove away, his Ford Mondeo mounted a kerb in Potter Street and struck the homeless man.
The homeless man was facing the oncoming car and managed to jump out of the way and avoid full impact.
He escaped with minor injuries.
Cutts, of Clinton Street, Worksop, drove away from the scene and called the police to report what had happened when he got home.
He denied it had been deliberate and that the homeless man had “lunged” in front of his car.
Cutts was arrested following the incident on August 25 2018.
He was charged with dangerous driving and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.
The case was set to go to trial in court until Cutts changed his plea to guilty on the dangerous driving charge.
He continued to plead not guilty to attempted GBH and that charge was left to lie on file.
Cutts appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday January 13.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, for dangerous driving. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Inspector Neil Bellamy, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a shocking incident and I fear that had the victim not managed to jump out of the way this could have been a fatality.
“Cutts showed absolutely no regard for anyone but himself when he drove in the manner he did.
“Nottinghamshire Police takes any incidents of dangerous driving very seriously and will always take action against any drivers seen to be committing such offences.”