University of Michigan fans nearly let their love for former football coach Lloyd Carr beat out their passion for Dale Earnhardt Jr. during Michigan International Speedway's pre-race driver introductions on Sunday.
But Earnhardt Jr. ultimately got enough noise – as measured by our handheld decibel meter – to win by the equivalent of a last-second field goal.
Carr, who was the grand marshal for the Heluva Good! 400, was introduced to the crowd along with the drivers and other dignitaries. While it was no surprise Carr received the most noise of the celebrities, it was a bit surprising to hear Miss Sprint Cup (75.3 dB) get more cheers than NASCAR Hall of Famer and World War II veteran Bud Moore (72.4 dB).
Other surprises included a reception of mostly cheers for the typically-booed Jimmie Johnson and a similar reaction for pole-sitter Kurt Busch (who didn't make the top 10 but got 76.1 dB).
We're not sure why the oft-booed Busch got more cheers than usual, though one theory is he was the flagship driver for Dodge at that company's hometown track.
Here's the complete top 10, with Carr included:
|Driver||dB||Type of Noise||Explanation|
|1||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||81.6||Cheers||Sorry, Coach Carr|
|2||Lloyd Carr||81.3||Mostly cheers||Spartans' fans weren't thrilled|
|3||Kyle Busch||80.9||Boos||Just another day for Kyle|
|4||Jeff Gordon||80.3||Mix||More boos than expected after Pocono win|
|5||Tony Stewart||80.0||Cheers||Getting Mark Martin-style veteran love|
|6||Mark Martin||79.8||Cheers||See above|
|7||Brad Keselowski||78.7||Cheers||Hometown kid|
|8||Kevin Harvick||77.8||Mix||A few more boos than usual for Happy|
|9||Jimmie Johnson||77.6||Mostly cheers||Yep, you read that right: Mostly cheers.|
|10||Matt Kenseth||77.4||Cheers||Rare appearance here for Kenseth|