Gluckometer: Measuring NASCAR Fan Reactions During Driver Introductions

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, waves to fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Since the first NASCAR race I covered in 2004, I've been keeping track of which drivers get the most cheers and boos each week during the pre-race driver introductions.

Over the years, the unscientific "Gluckometer" has evolved from rating the noise level on a scale from one to 10 to a more accurate measurement with a handheld decibel meter.

As the drivers are introduced to the crowd, I try to find a spot that is close to the stands but far enough away to prevent any individuals from influencing the decibel meter. The biggest challenge is to shield it from the wind (which can cause an inaccurate reading) and the thumping bass of the music that often booms as the drivers walk out.

But the decibel meter can't do it all. The device only measures noise, not whether the noise was cheers or boos. I still rely on my ears to determine whether a driver was praised, jeered or received a mixed reception from the crowd.

Here are some links to past seasons (Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the overall noise championship every year so far):

2011 Gluckometer ratings

2010 Gluckometer ratings

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