NASCAR’s Final Four’s Performance on 1.5-Mile Tracks

A lot of sites have overall statistics about the championship contenders for the season, or their performance at Homestead. Given that the final race is at a 1.5-mile track, it’s worth looking at how the final four contenders for the NASCAR championship have performed at 1.5-mile tracks. I was surprised…

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?

Safety vs. Speed: 2017 Changes to the Chassis

The Evolution of the Stock Car ADDITION: If you are more comfortable with Portuguese, check out this translation by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos – and thanks to them for being interested enough in my work to do the tough job of translation. While many fans decried the look of…

Maximum G

Sounds like an energy drink, right? Listening to Kyle Busch’s press conference Wednesday was alternately fascinating and cringe-worthy. The fact that he remembers so much about the crash is amazing – it will be a great boon to the safety people who probably will use this as a case study…

Are SAFER Barriers Everywhere the Solution?

TL;DR:  No. As the extent of Kyle Busch’s injury Saturday evening at Daytona became evident, Twitter erupted in angry calls for SAFER barriers to be put up on every wall at every track. An interesting division of sides appeared. A small number of people cautioned that simply plastering every track with…

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.

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