Phoenix NASCAR fans seemed to be in a good mood on Sunday, offering more cheers than usual for drivers who normally get booed.
For example: Jimmie Johnson actually got a fair number of cheers to go along with his typical boos, and Jeff Gordon received mostly cheers instead of his usual 50/50 mix.
Who wasn't greeted as warmly? Kyle Busch led all drivers in noise and was observed to be the recipient of several Kyle-style finger salutes from the crowd (likely a regular occurrence, we just happened to be paying attention this week).
One note of interest: Though championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick were both in the top five for most noise, points leader Denny Hamlin wasn't even in the top 10. For some reason, fans still don't get fired up about Hamlin one way or the other.
Of course, that could change after Homestead.
The full ratings from Phoenix:
|1||Kyle Busch||93.9||Boos||Some fans returned Kyle's 'salute'|
|T2||Jimmie Johnson||90.2||Mixed||More cheers near West Coast|
|T2||Jeff Gordon||90.2||Cheers||Warm reception for veteran|
|4||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||89.9||Cheers||Bad quals spot, crowd wasn't warmed up|
|5||Kevin Harvick||89.1||Cheers||Happy's fan base passionate out West|
|6||Mark Martin||87.7||Cheers||Love for veteran driver|
|7||Tony Stewart||86.4||Cheers||Smoke has gotten cheered all year|
|8||Carl Edwards||84.1||Cheers||Pole-sitter's eventual win well-received|
|9||Juan Pablo Montoya||83.5||Boos||Consistently booed everywhere|
|10||Ryan Newman||82.5||Cheers||Veterans fare well at Phoenix|