The Best Average Finishing Position by Track Type

We’ve looked in detail at the average finishing positions for the five track types (superspeedway, short tracks, road courses, intermediate tracks and the 2-mile non-superspeedway tracks, which I’ve creatively called ‘other’.

Now, let’s put all this data together to see who was best at which tracks i n2020 .

Overall Finishing Position

Let’s remind you first of the overall average finishing positions for 2020.

The overall average finishing positions of the top drivers in 2020
  • Harvick had the best overall average finishing position at 7.3.
  • He’s followed by Hamlin two full positions higher at 9.3
  • And Keselowski at 10.1

By Track

This graph shows that each driver had strengths and weaknesses in 2020.

A grouped column chart that shows how the top drivers (those with the highest overall average finishing positions) did on different types of tracks

In Table Form

Here’s another way to look at the data, which pulls together the top five finishers at each type of track.

A graph showing the top five finishers at each type of track for the 2020 season

Remember that this is only over 36 races. A couple drivers had really good years at a particular type of track. Hamlin had a great year at superspeedways, Harvick at the ‘other’ tracks, and Elliott at road courses. But it’s going to be tough to maintain that low a finishing average, especially for Hamlin at the superspeedways, where a lot of things are out of your control.

We also have to factor in that Kyle Busch just had a really bad year. The chances of two of those in a row are small. So I thought I’d look over the last three years to see what these numbers look like.

An another thing to factor in: the return of the road-course ringer in the form of A.J. Allmendinger running at least the Daytona road course and maybe more road courses for Kaulig racing.

Average Finishing Positions: 2016-2020

Let’s again look first at the overall average finishing position.

The overall average finishing positions of the top drivers averaged over the last five years (2016-2020)
  • Harvick still is on top in the five-year average with 9.4
  • But even a bad 2020 doesn’t keep Kyle Busch from coming in second with an average finishing position of 10.8.
  • Hamlin is close on KyBu’s tail at 10.9
  • Elliott is way back at 13.1, but we have to remember that he’s still a young driver in terms of number of races. He’s learning and getting progressively better, so that 13.1 isn’t as robust a number as those of the drivers who have much more experience.

2016-2020 By Track

The overall average finishing positions of the top drivers averaged over the last five years (2016-2020)
  • Best at short tracks (yellow)
    • Harvick (7.9)
    • Kyle Busch (8.7)
    • Hamlin (10.0)
  • Best at other tracks (orange)
    • Harvick (6.2)
    • Keselowski (9.6)
    • Hamlin (9.6)
  • Best at superspeedways (red)
    • Hamlin (12.2)
    • Almirola (13.3)
    • Newman (13.9)
  • Best at road courses (blue)
    • Truex, Jr. (7.3)
    • Hamlin (7.5)
    • Elliott (8.9)
  • Best at intermediate tracks (green)
    • Truex, Jr. (7.3)
    • Harvick (8.8)
    • Kyle Busch (8.9)

And again, in table form…

A graph showing the top five finishers at each type of track averaged over the 2016-2020 seasons

The asterisk is because AJ Allmendinger actually has a slightly better average finishing position.

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About Diandra 455 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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