The 2022 Spring Kansas Race Report features the most penalties, the largest margin of victory and brings the average winner age over 30 years for the first time this year.
We had eight cautions for 47 laps, which is about average for a spring Kansas race. (There were seven cautions in each of the last two spring races.)
What’s not usual is that three of the six non-scheduled cautions this year were for spins. (NASCAR classified Daniel Suárez’s crash as an accident.)
That brings us to 23 spins total for the season. We only had 20 in all of 2021. If this rate keeps up, we could have over 60 spins by the end of the season and a much-higher number of cautions than normal.
Ten different drivers led laps, with seven of those being ‘quality leads’. I call drivers who get the lead by doing something rather than inheriting it when another driver does something ‘quality leaders’. Rickly Stenhouse, Jr., Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott were the three drivers with non-quality laps.
Four of the 18 lead changes were true green-flag passes (as opposed to taking the lead on pit road, or during a restart, for example.) We had 18 lead changes at this race last year, too.
The last pass of the race was one of those four true green-flag passes. This continues the streak of having winning passes within the last ten laps of the race. I’ll write something about that soon because it’s truly exceptional NASCAR history.
There were, however, fewer total green-flag passes in the 2022 spring Kansas race that at any race since 2018.
Other Winning Trends
The spring 2022 Kansas race also continued the trend of spring Kansas winners coming from within the top 10. We haven’t had a winner out of the top 10 since 2015.
Finally, with 43.81-year-old Kurt Busch taking home 23XI’s first win of 2022, the average age of winners this year has been raised over 30 for the first time this season.
Before Kansas, the average age of winners was 29.46 years. Now it’s 30.56 years.
Busch and Denny Hamlin are the only winners over 40.
Last week’s winner, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch, are the only drivers between age 30 and age 40 to win in 2011.
Margin of Victory
There was a tight fight at the end between Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson; however, Larson hitting the wall made the margin of victory (1.41 seconds) the largest we’ve had in 2022. It was also the largest margin of victory for spring Kansas races since 2011.
Lots of Lead Lap Finishes
The 2022 spring Kansas race had the highest percentage of drivers finishing on the lead lap of any spring Kansas race. The lead-lap finish percentage was a little less than 65%. It’s usually down more around 40%.
We broke a record for penalties for both the spring races at Kansas and for the season. There were 22 penalties in this race. The #99 team accounted for four of them: two by the pit crew and two by Suárez for speeding on pit road. All well after their accident, too.
The previous season record for penalties was 18, at Atlanta and COTA. I’m still undecided as to whether we should really count chicane penalties at road tracks because most of the errors we tabulate happen on pit road.
I’m working on comparing penalties this year to other years and will have more on that in the future, too. But for now, that’s your 2022 spring Kansas race report.
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