NASCAR Hotbeds: 5 Most Prolific States for Sprint Cup Drivers in 2011

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NASCAR Hotbeds: 5 Most Prolific States for Sprint Cup Drivers in 2011
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Mark Martin's night ended early at Bristol Motor Speedway this year, as evidenced by the picture.  However, he hails from a state that is among the top five home states for Sprint Cup drivers compared to population.

Obviously, the more people a state has the better the odds for producing more top level drivers.  However, some regions have a much higher interest in, and access to, racing, in general.

My home state of Pennsylvania has no drivers in the Sprint Cup series against a population of about 12 million.  Except for the two annual weekends at Pocono International Raceway, racing is not that popular in the Keystone State and is far behind football, baseball, and hockey in the most abundant sports markets -- Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

In comparing drivers to state populations, it is clearly evident that a large population pool is not necessarily a link to driver representation.  Further, it is not even closely related to NASCAR's historically Southeastern routes.  The statistics are surprising.

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