There hasn’t been a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion from the traditional South since 1999, when Hickory, NC’s Dale Jarrett hoisted the big trophy.
Since the Chase for the Sprint Cup format debuted in 2004, a mere 17.5 percent of the top-10 drivers have hailed from the South.
Twenty years ago, it was 70 percent.
OTOH, maybe the opening of NASCAR to them 'dam yankees' was a signficant factor in fewer Americans going from USAC to Indy?
Geoffrey Bodine, of Chemung, NY, remembers feeling like an outsider even as he was having success early in his NASCAR career in the 1980s.
“I think there for a while, the Northerners were so busy doing their own thing and didn’t think they had a shot (in NASCAR) until guys like Ken Schrader started working their way in,’’ said Newman. “You had guys that were race cars drivers like A.J. Foyt that were just race car drivers. Now drivers have come from other types of racing, USAC or World of Outlaws."I feel like I helped open the doors for anyone to get in the sport and make it - from Juan (Pablo) Montoya to the Busch brothers," Bodine said. "And I’m not hearing, ‘Yankee, go home’ anymore. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. People are making noise and most of it is cheers.’’