The Pagoda Plaza area at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a great place for people-watching, so I found a spot in the shade on Brickyard 400 race day and pulled out my notepad.
I wasn't there to take notes on the intoxication levels of race fans or how many mullets I could spot. Rather, I decided to try and make a tally of every fan who walked by and which driver shirt/hat/visor/jacket (yes, one wore a Jeff Gordon JACKET when it was 95 degrees outside) and report back to you.
The first surprise was that only about half the fans who walked by my spot were even wearing any NASCAR gear. The second surprise was how many of them wore manufacturer apparel (like a Ford or Chevy shirt) but had no driver affiliation.
I didn't get an accurate count on either of those, but I was able to keep track of each fan who was wearing driver-related clothing.
More details: I sat in the same area for 20 minutes; fans couldn't be counted twice; if fans were wearing two items, I still only counted them once; curiously, I didn't spot anyone wearing gear of two different drivers; the time was just prior to driver introductions.
Here's the complete count of the 110 fans I spotted:
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (27 fans spotted wearing his gear)
- Tony Stewart (19 fans)
- Jeff Gordon (12)
- Jimmie Johnson (11)
- Carl Edwards (7)
- Kyle Busch (6)
- Kevin Harvick (5)
- Dale Earnhardt Sr., Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth (3)
- Michael Waltrip (2)
- Brad Keselowski, AJ Allmendinger, Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan, Bobby Labonte, Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr. (1)