Dover Race Report

Last weekend at Dover provides a great example of how two races at the same track and within twenty-four hours of each other, can turn out very different.

Dover Lead-O-Gram

I like the Lead-O-Gram because you can see the story of the race all at one time. And these two races couldn’t be any different.

The #4 crew chief, Rodney Childers, commented that they’d had a problem with a trackbar mount that kept lowering itself. Harvick didn’t lead a lap all race.

Lead-O-Gram for the doubleheader at Dover

They fixed the trackbar issue (with a hose clamp) and look at all that blue on the bottom (Sunday Dover race.)

Leading Stats

Here’s another illustration of how different the races were. The data in blue are from the Saturday race. The data in red are from the Sunday race, and the two sets are pretty much at either end of the spectrum.

Boxplots of the GF passes per lap, the highest percentage of laps led and the margin of victory for Dover
The grey squares show the mean value

We’re talking

  • 6.0 average passes per green-flag lap Saturday vs. 3.4 on Sunday
  • The maximum percentage of the laps led was 37% on Saturday and 71.7% on Sunday
  • The margin of victory was 1.2 seconds Saturday vs. 3.5 seconds on Sunday.

Lead Changes

Although there were the same number of lead changes both days, they happened under different conditions.

Lead changes at Dover and the conditions under which they happened (green flag, restart, yellow flag)

Saturday, we have a lot of green-flag passing for the lead, while the majority of passes on sunday were under yellow because of all the yellow-flag pit stops.

Only 6.8% of laps at Dover were run under caution on Saturday, while 12.9% of the laps were under yellow Sunday.

Quality Leaders

Looking at Quality Leaders lets us eliminate the people who held the lead for a lap or two during pit cycles.

A column chart showing the leaders (quality and non) for Dover

There were 7 quality leaders on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. Again, more green-flag pitting cycles means more leaders that don’t qualify for the ‘quality’ tag.

Those were the most interesting results from Dover. On to Daytona for the last race of the regular season!

If you’re interested in more about Dover, take a look at how high loads on the tires there mandate the use of inner liners, even though Dover is only one mile.

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