Where NASCAR’s Best Drivers Won First?

As part of my dive into what we should expect from the 2020 rookie class, I tallied the tracks at which future champions won their first races. Surprisingly, they weren’t the tracks I expected.

Future champions are shown in red and drivers who have finished in P2 through P5 in the season rankings at least once are shown in yellow.

A column chart showing where the best drivers won their first races.
The red bars represent the eventual champions and the yellow bars represent the drivers whose best seasons were finishes in the P2-P5 positions.
  • I wouldn’t have predicted Charlotte would be the number one track that future champions won their first race at, but it is.
  • The number two track for future champions is Bristol, but the number two track if you count all drivers who had a season-ending top-5, the second most hospitable track for first wins is Martinsville.
  • Two more short tracks — Richmond (I know, it’s misspelled in the graph) and Bristol round off the top four overall tracks.
  • Only when you get to numbers 5 and 6 do you find Daytona and Talladega.

I want to find the time to look at where all drivers won their first races and see if there are any trends in terms of superspeedway and road course races.

I’m still looking into the possibility of doing a video or webcast of at least part of the talks that I was supposed to give in Denver to see whether that’s feasible. If you’re interested, let me know. I’d hate to put the time in only to have no one watch.

Please help me publish my next book!

The Physics of NASCAR is 15 years old. One component in getting a book deal is a healthy subscriber list. I promise not to send more than two emails per month and will never sell your information to anyone.

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