Phoenix Spring Race: Passing

As I said yesterday, Phoenix is nothing if not consistent, and passing is no different, whether it’s passing for position or passing for the lead.


NASCAR reports lead changes, but I designed the quality leaders metric to eliminate drivers who took the lead during a caution. Because what we really care about as race fans is passing for the lead, right?

A column chart showing how many drivers pass for the lead at Phoenix under green.
  • The average number of quality leaders is 5.5.
  • The standard deviation is 1.4, which means that 68% of the races had quality leaders between 4 and 7
  • The smallest number of quality leaders was 3, in 2015.
  • The largest number was 8, in 2011 and 2018.
  • There were five races with only 4 quality leaders: 2007, 2008, 2014, 2016 and 2017
  • Expect between 4 to 7 quality leaders this year.

Phoenix: Green Flag Passing

The average number of green flag passes per lap tells us how racy the entire field is, not just the cars at the very front.

A column chart showing passing at Phoenix track-wide under the green flag.

Again, the range is fairly small compared to some other tracks.

  • The average number of passes under the green flag per lap is 5.3.
  • The standard deviation is 1.3, which tells us that, 68% of the time at Phoenix, the number of GF passes per lap is between 4.0 and 6.6.
  • The smallest number was 2.4 in 2016
  • The largest number was 7.3, in 2012.
  • There’s a 95% chance that the number of GF passes per lap will be between
  • Expect between 4 and 7 green flag passes per lap this year at Phoenix.
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About Diandra 451 Articles
I'm a recovering academic who writes about the intersection of science and life. I'm interested in AI, advanced prosthetics, robots and anything that goes fast. Author, THE PHYSICS OF NASCAR and Editor, BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY

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