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.
Cautions are Down in 2018: Are NASCAR Drivers Getting Better at Avoiding Accidents?
NASCAR Cautions are down again in 2018. Is this due to stage racing? The damaged vehicle policy? Or are drivers just getting better and having fewer accidents?
Early-Season Predictions Require Caution
Predictions: The Peril of the Early-Season Off-Week I can post only when I have something to contribute. The professionals who cover NASCAR don’t have the luxury of waiting until there’s news. The content monster remains perpetually hungry. That need to fill space is probably why, every year about this time, we see…
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….
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…
Next-Gen Tires: Chewy on the Outside, Crunchy on the Inside
Listen to SiriusXM NASCAR radio, or peruse any of the racing websites and you will find a lot of theories about how races should be changed to make them ‘more exciting’. To try to amp up the All-Star Race, NASCAR went with four 20-lap segments, followed by a realignment (the cars were ordered in rank of average finish over the first four segments) and a 10-lap shootout. With no series points on the line, that should have made for an exciting evening of hard driving and competitive racing.
Will the Gen-6 Car Affect the Number of Cautions?
I love the Gen-6 car. Not as much as I love the Nationwide cars (but that’s got more to do with what I drive than it does the cars). The big question is whether the decrease in cautions is going to be changed because of the new car.Let’s start (as we usually do) with the new car.
Cautions: A New Low for NASCAR
At the start of the season, the big news was that cautions were remarkably down from last year. As I showed, this isn’t a new trend – it’s a continuing trend since 2007. Since the season’s data are now complete, I thought it was time to revisit the data.
The Six-Year Downward Caution Trend: In the Nationwide Series, too!
ust out of curiosity, I decided to do a similar analysis on the Nationwide Series caution record as I did on the Cup record. My intent was that if there was something specific to the Cup series – the new car, the Chase, etc.), it would show up because the Nationwide would follow a different trend. Not at all! Remember that I’m plotting number of cautions per 100 miles run
Cautions: A Historical Downward Trend Over the Last Six Years
Being the data geek that I am, I was really curious if the decreasing number of cautions was specific to this year. It’s not: Cautions have been decreasing since 2005,as the graph below shows. The squares are the cumulative number of cautions per 100 miles, obtained by adding up all the cautions in a season and dividing by the total number of miles in the races. (This is a more accurate number than total cautions, given rainouts, shortening races and different venues from year to year.)