Do Less-Experienced NASCAR Drivers Get More In-Race Penalties?
NASCAR has assessed 376 in-race penalties after 34 races. Do less-experienced drivers make more of these mistakes? Let’s check the data.
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?
Let’s All Stop Wringing Our Hands About Having Only Seven Distinct NASCAR Race Winners
Much has been made of the fact that NASCAR has only had seven distinct winners this year — and that three drivers (Harvick, Kyle Busch and Truex, Jr.) have won 14 out of 19 races this year. What exactly — if anything — does the small number of distinct winners…
Jumping the (Air) Gun
(Air) Gun Control A lot’s changed on Pit Road this year. In addition to cutting the over-the-wall crew to five people, NASCAR decided (by majority vote of the Team Owners’ Council) that they would provide air guns to all teams. Not everyone was in favor of this. Rob Kauffman tweeted that Chip…
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…
Did Stage Racing Produce More Cautions Because Drivers Raced Harder?
One of the theories behind stage racing is that drivers would race harder to get stage points. That should theoretically be reflected by the number of cautions. Cautions appear to be up in 2017. Are they? And can we attribute the change to stage racing? Let’s go to the data….
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….
NASCAR’s Laser Inspection Process: Confidence and Accuracy
There Will Be Rules… The last time I was at the R&D Center, I was given a copy of the official NASCAR rule book for 1948. It was about a quarter of a page. Now there’s a thick booklet filled with detailed specifications, part numbers, measurements, tolerances and AutoCad drawings. Weekly…
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…
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.