NASCAR 2018: The Year in Charts and Graphs
This is the time of the year when everyone takes one final look back at the last year before turning to think about the new one. So, in this last blog of the year, I thought I’d summarize the season in charts and graphs.
Winning vs. Consistency: The Delicate Balance of the NASCAR Playoffs
The NASCAR playoffs determine the season’s champion. Is the champion the guy who wins the most races? Or the guy who runs up front the most?
There’s no scientific way to answer this question, but there is data. NASCAR has modified their playoffs to try to create a suitable balance between winning and consistency. Have they succeeded?
Camber Angle and Tire Wear
We’ve heard a lot, especially this week at Richmond, about tire wear. A lot of right front tires were wearing excessively. As seems to be usual at this point, teams would like Goodyear to use a stronger tire and Goodyear would like teams to dial back their setups, especially their camber.
Is There Really a Second-Place Curse?
One of the commentators after the final race in Homestead mentioned that Jimmie Johnson should be happy he finished in third because it allows him to avoid the “dreaded second-place curse”.
Anytime someone says something like that, it makes me wonder whether there really is a curse, or whether that person had just been talking to Carl Edwards. So I analyzed a little data and guess what… there really IS a second place curse.
The whole RCR appeals process raised more questions than it answered. The RCR appeal is dead: Here’s the issue now. John Middlebrook, NASCAR’s chief appellate officer, will hear RCR’s (final) appeal tomorrow. He has a major advantage in that he can pretty much run the appeal however he wants. If I were in Mr. Middlebrook’s shoes, here’s what I’d do.
Breaking News: A Scientific Interpretation of the Upholding of the 33-Car Penalities
Here’s the fast analysis of the statement from NASCAR upholding the penalties on the 33-car from New Hampshire. More will follow after proper digestion and reflection. This is an interpretation of the penalty upholding statement (as reported by Jeff Gluck) because that’s the first tweet I saw. The panel’s statements are in italics and my interpretation in non-italics.
33 car penalties
After being a non-event (The 33 car from Richmond was “just barely legal” and NASCAR was checking with RCR to make sure they didn’t have a mistake on their build sheet) for a couple of days, the situation changed today when a 150-point, $150,000, 6-week crew chief/car chief suspension was announced based on violations from the New Hampshire car.