I had to do a double-take during driver introductions in Atlanta.
Despite a less-than-stellar crowd, the noise level recorded by the Gluckometer had been outstanding. Fourth-place starter Mark Martin had received a thunderous cheer, followed by loud boos for Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch.
Now it was time for the pole-sitter, who just so happened to be the sport's most popular driver. Surely, this was one week where Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominate the noise rankings.
The cheer was loud, but not loud enough according to my decibel meter. I kept staring at the numbers, but they weren't higher than Martin's.
Is this thing on?
How to explain Earnhardt Jr. winning the pole but not the noise meter? Here's my theory: The track P.A. announcer had one of the longest introductions in history.
It went something like this (I'm paraphrasing):
Annnnnnd on the polllllllllle, from Kannapolis, North Carolinaaaaaaaaaaaa, the driver of the Number. Eighty. Eight. Amp. Energy. National Guard. Chevrolettttttttttttttttt. From Hendrick Motorsporrrrrrrrrrrts. It's Dallllllllllllllllllle Earnhardtttttttttttttt JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNIOR!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, really. By the time it was the crowd's turn to give its biggest cheer, perhaps they were a bit cheered out.
Either that, or Mark Martin is just that popular these days.
We'll see what happens at Bristol. Here are the Gluckometer rankings for Atlanta:
|Driver||dB||Type of Noise||Comment/Explanation|
|1||Mark Martin||90.5||Cheers||Remains extremely popular|
|2||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88.2||Cheers||Most popular driver|
|3||Kyle Busch||86.5||Boos||Hasn't won over the fans yet|
|4||Tony Stewart||85.9||Mostly cheers||No controversies lately|
|5||Jeff Gordon||85.1||Mostly cheers||Getting more cheers this year|
|6||Jimmie Johnson||84.7||Mix||Either loved or hated|
|7||Juan Montoya||84.2||Boos||Never any cheers for JPM|
|8||Bill Elliott||83.9||Cheers||Hometrack favorite|
|9||Kasey Kahne||83.8||Cheers||Ladies love him|
|T-10||David Ragan||83.1||Cheers||Hometrack favorite|
|T-10||Carl Edwards||83.1||Cheers||Will he get booed at Bristol?|