15 NASCAR Drivers With Most Broadcast Mentions in 2016
Joyce Julius & Associates compiled the data together that shows which drivers were talked about the most during NASCAR telecasts from the 2016 NASCAR Premier Series season.
If you feel like there was one driver constantly mentioned during the season, here's the list to back that information up. Check out the top 15 drivers mentioned the most during broadcasts.
Tony Stewart, 1,084 mentions
Even though he missed the first eight races, Stewart got plenty of attention from the media in his farewell season of NASCAR. He was interviewed 18 times for almost 20 minutes in 2016.
Austin Dillon, 1,090
Making the Chase for the first time and putting together his best season of his young career definitely helped Dillon to be featured more often in the 2016 season. He was interviewed 23 times for just over 17 minutes.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 1,247
There's a reason Dale Jr. is the most popular driver in NASCAR year after year. Even though he missed half of the season, Earnhardt found a way to be mentioned over 1,200 times. He was interviewed 17 times for slightly more than 12 minutes.
Kyle Larson, 1,549
Similar to Dillon, Larson's success in 2016 catapulted him into the spotlight as he captured his first Premier Series win and made the Chase. He was only interviewed 13 times this season, the lowest total among the top 10 drivers.
Kurt Busch, 1,671
The elder Busch brother completed every lap for almost the entirety of the regular season, when you're on the track that much, you're going to get talked about. Busch was interviewed 15 times for a top 15 low of 11 minutes.
Chase Elliott, 1,871
The NASCAR Rookie of the Year took the sport by storm in his first season by making the Chase and having strong stretches of consistency throughout the year. He was interviewed 21 times for over 15 minutes.
Denny Hamlin, 2,189
Racking up three regular-season wins, including the Daytona 500 made Hamlin a hot topic in 2016 as he raced deep into the Chase before getting eliminated at Phoenix. He was interviewed 29 times, the second-highest total on the season.
Brad Keselowski, 2,385
If Keselowski didn't lose an engine at Talladega, he very well could have competed for the championship at Homestead, but even with his somewhat early Chase exit, he was still interviewed 25 times for more than 24 minutes.
Matt Kenseth, 2,469
The consistency of Kenseth keeps him near the front of the field in most races and his mentions far outweigh his interviews, supporting the belief that Kenseth is referenced more on the track than talked to off of it.
Carl Edwards, 2,529
Edwards was 10 laps away from winning his first Premier Series championship but fell just short when he blocked Joey Logano and caused a huge crash at Homestead in the finale. Edwards was interviewed 28 times for almost 28 minutes and has become a fan favorite over the years.
Joey Logano, 2,688
Logano has been trending toward a championship for the past several years and came up short in the finale. He didn't win as much as he has in past seasons but still stayed on the lips of the announcers. He was interviewed 25 times for the second-highest total of 34 minutes.
Martin Truex, Jr., 2,834
With a photo finish at Daytona to start the season, Truex showed that his single-car Furniture Row Racing team was going to be a contender in 2016. He had impressive speed all season and was a championship favorite until he lost an engine at Talladega and was eliminated. He was interviewed 26 times for over 30 minutes.
Kyle Busch, 3,031
One of three drivers to get over 3,000 mentions by broadcasters, the younger Busch brother came close to defending his 2015 championship and that storyline kept him in the headlines all season. He was interviewed 28 times for over 28 minutes.
Jimmie Johnson, 3,071
The seven-time Sprint Cup champion had a strong early performance in 2016 but then hit a lull for a good portion of the summer before turning it on in the Chase. That slump probably kept him from being the most mentioned driver of 2016 but I'm sure he's fine being second on this list as he looks at all his trophies.
Kevin Harvick, 3,923
The 2014 Premier Series champion received almost 1,000 more mentions than second place, showing that he was clearly the focus on the 2016 season among broadcasters. When you look at the season as a whole, Harvick was the most consistent and likely would have been right there with Johnson if it wasn't for poor finishes at Martinsville and Texas that eliminated him in the Round of 8. He was interviewed a season-high 34 times for over 35 minutes, taking the highest mark across all three categories.