There's plenty of passion in Alabama for both football and NASCAR – but which was king at Talladega Superspeedway?
The two sports went head-to-head in driver introductions when Auburn head coach Gene Chizik was introduced to the crowd as the grand marshal for the Aaron's 499.
Chizik, whose team won the national championship last season, received a ton of noise – boos from Alabama fans, cheers from Auburn fans. In consulting with a couple of others, we determined it was about a 50-50 mix.
But the passion worked up for Chizik's intro still wasn't anything close to the noise level for the top two NASCAR drivers: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon ruled the day. Considering it was Talladega, that's ultimately no surprise.
Another football-related reaction was for Michael Waltrip. Typically a fan favorite and always cheered, Waltrip actually heard a decent amount of boos. Why? Because he was driving the Auburn car, so Crimson Tide fans didn't feel like showing him any love.
One notable drop on this week's list: Kyle Busch didn't get as much noise as usual. This holds with our theory that when a driver has a poor qualifying effort, the crowd isn't quite prepared or warmed up when he's introduced (it's happened several times with Earnhardt Jr.).
Here are the results for this week (ranked in order of decibels measured by our handheld noise meter):
|Name||dB||Type of Noise||Explanation|
|1||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||85.7||Cheers||What else did you expect at 'Dega?|
|2||Jeff Gordon||85.3||Mostly cheers||A few holdouts still booed|
|3||Gene Chizik||83.9||Mix||Auburn coach incites fan passion|
|4||Jimmie Johnson||83.7||Mostly boos||Little love for eventual race winner|
|5||Mark Martin||83.1||Cheers||Veteran always showered with cheers|
|6||Tony Stewart||82.7||Cheers||Not a boo to be heard|
|7||Trevor Bayne||82.4||Cheers||Bayne the new Kahne with ladies?|
|8||Kyle Busch||82.1||Boos||Too far back in qualifying; crowd not warmed up|
|9||Carl Edwards||81.5||Mostly cheers||They still remember Carl's 'Dega flight|
|10||Michael Waltrip||81.3||Mix||First boos ever for Mikey?|