Each week, SB Nation brings you the "Gluckometer" rankings: A semi-scientific measurement of NASCAR driver popularity.
Typically, I use a decibel meter (sound-measuring device) to rank the crowd noise during driver introductions. The higher the decibels, the higher the ranking.
At Phoenix, however, the decibel meter couldn't overcome the loud bass music being played as drivers were being introduced. So I had to use the old-fashioned decibel meter: My ears.
Something strange happened, though – for the most part, all I heard was cheers. Jimmie Johnson – who typically gets booed – got mostly cheers. Even Kyle Busch, who is usually the most booed of them all, got a 50/50 mix of cheers and boos.
The explanation for this? All I can say is that everyone in Phoenix was in a great mood.
On a 1-10 scale (10 being the loudest), here's how the top 10 drivers in noise ranked at Phoenix:
|Driver||Noise||Type of Noise||Comment/Explanation|
|1||Kyle Busch||9||Cheer/boo mix||Most cheers ever for Kyle?|
|T2||Tony Stewart||8.5||Cheers||Phoenix loves Smoke|
|T4||Jimmie Johnson||8||Mostly cheers||Close to home state|
|T4||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||8||Cheers||Low qualifying spot, fans not warmed up|
|T6||Mark Martin||7.5||Cheers||Sentimental favorite|
|T6||Jeff Gordon||7.5||Cheers||Eventual race winner well-received|
|8||Trevor Bayne||7||Cheers||Daytona 500 winner|
|9||Kevin Harvick||6||Cheers||Long history in Phoenix|
|10||JJ Yeley||5||Cheers||Hometown guy|