Texas Race Report

A close finish, an underdog winner and tempers that matched the temperature. Here’s your Texas Race Report.

I know it’s technically not spring, but it’s the first Texas race of the year. Since most of the races are Spring/Fall, I decided to leave it like that.

Texas in One Picture

I managed to fit the caution-o-gram and the lead-o-gram on the same graph so you can compare them more easily.

The Caution-O-Gram and Lead-O-Gram for the first Texas race of 202
As usual, the white with diagonal lines represents a competition cautions, the crosshatched white represents stage-ending cautions and the red are all the accidents.

The thing I like about the visuals is that you can really see how Blaney dominated the race until the very end. Once again, the driver who led the most laps didn’t win the race.

The accidents all come in the third stage, aside from one in the second stage.

Laps Down at Texas

Texas Motor Speedway that it stands out in a couple interesting ways. One is that this track historically has a small fraction of the drivers finishing on the lead lap.

Boxplots showing the percentage of cars finishing the race and finishing on the lead lap for the first Texas race of 2020

On average, about 40% of the cars finish on the lead lap. This race was a little higher at 45%. Of the cars that finished the race running, three cars were 16 laps down.

A smaller percentage of cars finished the race (90%) relative to the average of 86%.

Accidents and Incidents

Texas has its share of accidents. We had seven, which ties with 2018 for the highest number of accidents in a spring race in the last 15 years.

The number of accidents and spins at Texas spring races

But what was really different were the number of cars involved in accidents at this race.

A bar chart showing how many cars were involved in accidents at Texas Motor Speedway spring races

There were more than 20 cars involved, which is the highest number for a ‘spring’ race in the last 15 years.

Good Racing at Texas

On the positive side, we had a lot of quality lead changes during the race. Restarts were a little more exciting than I think most drivers would have preferred. There weren’t a lot of lead changes during cautions. That’s despite having 10 cautions for 45 laps.

A bar chart showing lead changes for Texas races

We also had more green-flag passes per lap than the average of 8.5. Sunday’s race featured and average of 11.2 green-flag passes per lap.

Finally, Texas has one of the largest ranges of margins of victory. Some are close and some are almost ten seconds. Yesterday’s race was not one of those, however, with a margin of victory of 15/100 of a second.

A bar chart showing margins of victory at Texas Motor Speedway

That’s well down from the average of 1.9 seconds over the last 15 years.

So there you’ve got it: The highlights of the race in charts and graphs.

NASCAR mentioned today that they would consider other methods for determining the starting grid if they weren’t able to have qualifying during the chase. I think this is absolutely necessary. I wish I had a really good idea on how to do it fairly.

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