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?
NASCAR: Did Toyota’s New Car Give them the Advantage in 2017?
Advantage Toyota? NASCAR’s perennial challenge is keeping manufacturers’ cars even so that no one has an unfair advantage. There is no denying that Toyota had a great 2017. Some people would say that’s because Martin Truex, Jr. had a great 2017. Others think their new car gave them an unfair…
Retirements, Replacements and Rookies
Retirement He didn’t use the word ‘retirement’, but the sad news last week was that Matt Kenseth won’t have a Cup ride in 2018. It’s partly his choice. He could have done a Kasey Kahne and taken a ride with a lower-level team, but Matt said he wouldn’t race if…
Changing Manufacturers: More than just Decals?
I’d Rather Fight Than Switch If you remember what commercial that was from, then congrats. You are — like me — old. It used to be that an owner was loyal to his manufacturer to the death, but the last few years have seen some big switches in manufacturer affiliations….
How NASA Research could end NASCAR Engine Failures Due to Trash on the Grille
For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle…
Age and the NASCAR Driver: Can They Still Compete?
Jeff Gordon’s decision to step away from full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup racing has resulted in a lot of discussion about aging drivers. We’re on the verge of a turnover as a number of drivers (Johnson, Stewart, Junior, Harvick among others) reach their forties. And what an appropriate topic for this week…
Skirting the Issue
Flared side skirts became an issue when social media started noticing them somewhere around Kansas. The fact that the most obvious example of this was on the 2 car and Brad Keselowski is rapidly taking over from Kyle Busch as most-love-to-hate driver in NASCAR may have brought the issue to the fore faster.
America’s Motorsports Engineering Pool
Brad Keselowski, that never ending source of material on slow news days, had a few words about the state of American Motorsports Engineering. These quotes are from an article by Mike Pryson in Autoweek.com.
“It’s probably a larger story in itself that the American engineering pool is very shallow right now,” said Keselowski after he qualified sixth at Michigan International Speedway on Friday for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. “Penske is moving to any other country [to find them]. We’ve hired multiple engineers from Europe over the last three or four years and we’re pilfering everyone we can in the great country of Canada, so if you know any of them, send them our way.
“It’s just very hard to get engineers with the educational background and commitment that we need to be successful at this level from the United States. There’s certainly a shortage, not just at Penske, but throughout the garage.”
Can You Predict a Driver’s Success from their Rookie Year Stats?
Now that the season is over, it’s time to look through the statistics from the year. One big story this year was Danica Patrick’s rookie season in Sprint Cup. She didn’t set the world on fire: One top ten, one pole, five laps led and only thirteen lead lap finishes…