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?

Sciencing Out NASCAR Rules Changes

Rules changes in NASCAR are tricky.  There’s really no way to test them before implementing them. You’re relying on the judgement and experience of the NASCAR team, with input from race teams, drivers, Goodyear and tracks. How to Test Rules Packages? Robert Gauthier (@yetticrg) tweeted a question to me (You…

Fire: A Motorsports Safety Challenge

While NASCAR has made significant advances in protecting drivers from crashes, protecting them from fire is a much different — and much more scientifically challenging — problem. I was reminded of that by how Ryan Blaney’s night ended at the Coca Cola 600. Fire Safety and Racecars: A Brief History…

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…

Data Sharing: Fact and Fiction

New for 2018: Data Sharing NASCAR announced (in a somewhat roundabout way) they would share the data collected by each car during races, qualifying and practice with all teams in the 2018 season. This produced a mixed reaction in the garage. Newer drivers and those driving for smaller teams seemed to…

A History of Toyota Wins: 2008-2017
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