The most-mentioned driver in NASCAR this season isn’t Junior

Jay Busbee

Those of you who think that NASCAR telecasts do nothing but talk about Dale Earnhardt Jr. all race long, guess what: you're wrong! Way wrong, like 180 degrees wrong!

According to Joyce Julius & Associates, the firm that told us a few weeks ago that Jeff Gordon was the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on telecasts, there's a new champion in town: one Kyle Busch.

According to the firm's calculations, Busch has received 1,221 mentions and 11 interviews. Next up: Jimmie Johnson, with 739 mentions and six interviews, and Gordon, with 735 mentions and five interviews. Junior has totaled less than half of Busch's mentions, at 557 and five interviews. (For the full top 10 list, click here.)

The figures run through Martinsville, so obviously that's changed somewhat now that Busch hasn't been a significant factor of late. Even so, the implications are obvious: Busch is a polarizing figure and gives good-slash-snarky interviews when the mood strikes him, so it's natural that the cameras would find him. There's a lesson in there somewhere.