Everybody knows that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is the most popular driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Even with his woe is me attitude. But the real question is who is the fans next favorite driver, when they aren't busy following the herd.
Main stream media would have you think it is Smoke or Rowdy Busch. Darrell Waltrip would try to lead you into rooting for Kevin Harvick after "June Bug."
Back in the day it was Awesome Bill from Dawsonville and the Intimidator.
Yahoo! Sports has created a great barometer that lets you see which drivers are in a fans top two.
In their fantasy auto racing, Yahoo! allows participants to join two "fans of" groups. They have 30 of the most relevant current and former drivers to choose from.
It is no shock that every year Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins that popularity contest. But what might come as a surprise to many is who comes in second.
Coming in second place is Junior's teammate, the Rainbow Warrior, Jeff Gordon himself. He is ahead of Tony Stewart by over 400 votes.
You wouldn't know by the amount of cheers that occur when Gordon gets wrecked.
Hendricks Motorsports makes it four of the top five most popular drivers with four time defending champion Jimmie Johnson coming in fourth, and Mark "the kid" Martin in fifth.
Coming in sixth as a former Hendrick driver, and the newest villain in NASCAR. Kyle Busch has electrified crowds since he bumped Junior out of the way last year. Love him or hate him, he is the most talked about driver in the Sprint Cup garage these days.
On Busch's heals is Carl Edwards in seventh. Many expected these two drivers to contend for the title in 2009, but maybe 2010 is the year they battle it out in the Chase.
Coming in eighth is Kasey Kahne, looking to get back is popularity of a few years ago.
The complete top 30 is listed on the next slide, with total number of fans.
Don't waste time scrolling down to see who failed to qualify, like I do after every poll. Because this list doesn't have that. But I will tell you that Elliot Sadler and Casey Mears didn't qualify on time.
They are tied as the least popular drivers in the group.
1. Earnhardt, Jr. 4,839
2. J. Gordon 3,138
3. Stewart 2,720
4. Johnson 2,070
5. Martin 1,922
6. Ky. Busch 1,069
7. Edwards 1,018
8. Kahne 948
9. Kenseth 803
10. Harvick 703
11. Hamlin 564
12. Montoya 538
13. Ku. Busch 537
14. Biffle 490
15. Newman 442
16. Logano 423
17. Burton 407
18. Bowyer 373
19. Keselowski 368
20. M. Waltrip 358
21. B. Labonte 354
22. Said 315
22. Truex, Jr. 315
24. R. Gordon 312
24. Jarrett 312
26. McMurray 311
27. Hornish, Jr. 310
27. K. Petty 310
29. E. Sadler 306
29. Mears 306
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