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?

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…

A History of Toyota Wins: 2008-2017

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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