Fontana (the old Fontana), Pocono, Indy and Michigan are larger than intermediate tracks, but not superspeedways. The number of such tracks is going way down in 2021, which means that drivers who did well at them won’t be as well rewarded this year.
One of the interesting things about this group is that Michigan and Pocono were two of the tracks where we had double headers this year.
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Career Average Finishing Position
The graph below shows the drivers active in 2021 with the best career record at these ‘other’ tracks.
- Harvick leads the group here with an average finishing position of 11.9
- Close behind is Chase Elliott at 12.1
The next graph compares how drivers did in 2020 to their career averages. As we found with the intermediate tracks, most drivers with average finishes below 20 did better than their career average
- Harvick did a whole lot better in 2020 than his career average, so he’ll be one of the drivers disappointed with the decrease in the number of these tracks by almost half.
- No one else was as good as Harvick here, but these tracks were a strength for Aric Almirola, who had just under a P7 average finish.
- As I noted for intermediate tracks, Matt DiBenedetto’s change of equipment really allowed him to improve relative to his career average.
With an average finishing position of 2.5, it shouldn’t be surprising that Harvick won most of these tracks. Out of the six races, Harvick won four, Hamlin one and Bowman one.
- Not only does Harvick have (by far) the best win rate, he didn’t finish out of the top ten in a single one of these races.
- Even though Kyle Busch didn’t win a race in this category, he still finished in the top ten in all the races he finished.
- Chase Elliott isn’t complaining that there are fewer ‘other’ tracks in 2021: they weren’t one of his strengths.
Let’s put these numbers in some context by looking at the career average finishing positions of drivers who drove at least one race at these ‘other’ tracks between 2000 and 2020.
Although Harvick is the best current driver at these tracks, Dale Earnhardt leads this list with an average finish of 10.3.
Carl Edwards trails in second at 11.7.
Next up is our final category: short tracks.