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?
The NASCAR Playoffs and Preordination
Preordination (n): The action of determining an outcome or course of action in advance; The fact of being determined in advance.The Oxford Living Dictionary You’d think with my interest in data that I’d be the type of person who loved brackets, right? While scientists usually have some idea of how an…
Do Road Courses (Like Restrictor Plate Tracks) Level the Playing Field?
NASCR only goes road course racing twice a year (plus a roval, this year). Does the road course offer all drivers a better chance of winning, the way plate tracks do?
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…
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…
Infographic: Fuel Mileage Races
Well, it finally happened. They made it so easy to made an infographic, even I can do it. It’s not perfect – the tool I used doesn’t like graphs with fractions, so I couldn’t get it to give me any lines between 0 and 1. But hopefully you can get a relative idea of how much fuel you need to complete a lap at different tracks.
Did Drivers Drive Differently During the Chase? I: Lead Changes
The primary motivation for all the changes to the Chase format was to up the excitement factor – the “game seven moments” as NASCAR brass put it. While the fact of the matter is that you can’t guarantee excitement, all the machinations put in place definitely increased the stakes of…
Can Anyone Really Win at Talladega?
Every year at this time, we hear that Talladega is a wild card because “Anyone can win”. Which, of course, made me wonder — can anyone win?
Opinion: NASCAR’s Restart Problem – What Would Einstein Do?
Sigh. So instead of talking about a couple great races this week, we’re focusing on restarts. Again. Everyone, from pundits to drivers, is questioning NASCAR’s decisions to not call penalties on the critical restarts of both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup races. The rule is that the leader of…
Toyota Engines: By The Numbers
There are somewhere in the vicinity of 840 parts in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Engine (at least the Chevy version and yes, I am taking someone’s word for this. I did not have time to sit down and count all the pieces.) The relevance of this is that if any…