2021 Spring Phoenix Race Review

The 2021 Spring Phoenix Race Review highlights lots of leaders, and more green-flag passing that we’ve seen at the spring race for quite some time.


As usual, we start off with the Caution-O-GramTM and Lead-O-GramTM. In addition to the cautions shown, there were green flag pit stops around laps 140 and 253.

The caution- and lead-o-grams for the 2021 Spring Phoenix race.

We had a caution or two fewer than we normally have at this race. With the exception of the known cautions, there were four cautions for accidents.

The Lead-O-Gram shows how some drivers faded away as the race wore on and other rose. Hamlin and Blaney (with a little Keselowski thrown in) dominated Stage 1. Logano dominated Stage 2 and the start of Stage 3, but Martin Truex, Jr. held everyone off until the end of the race.

The margin of victory (1.70 seconds) was the largest since 2012, when Jeff Gordon won by 7.32 seconds.

A column chart showing margins of victory for Spring Phoenix races since  2005

Lead Changes

Despite the large margin of victory, there were a number of strong cars battling for dominance in this race. There were 22 lead changes, with 9 different drivers leading.

A stacked column chart showing green-flag and yellow-flag lead changes for Spring Phoenix races.

Logano dominated with 130 laps or 41.7%. Eventual winner Truex, Jr. came in second with 64 laps (20.5%) of laps led.

The 22 lead changes is the largest number of total lead changes since 2012, and the largest number of green-flag lead changes since 2012. Before this race, the three-year average for green-flag lead changes was 6.62. There were 10 green-flag lead changes in the 2021 Spring Phoenix race.

2021 Spring Phoenix: Leaders/Quality Leaders

In addition, we had the largest number of distinct leaders since 2011. The plot below is shown in Leaders per 100 laps.

Green-Flag Passing

The big story, however, is that there was significantly more passing. The average of the last three Spring Phoenix races was 7 green-flag passes per lap. The five-year average was 5.5. We had a whopping 12.1 green-flag passes per lap this year.


I wanted to make a note that there were a lot of penalties for speeding on pit road. I’ll explain that on Wednesday’s post.

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