Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PPR and Getting into the Chase

As a biased Mark Martin fan, I sometimes focus my statistics to try to rationalize his greatness in my head and find statistics that prove my points, despite any other factual results-based evidence that other people may point to.

I am not very concerned that he is 34th place in the standings. But Mark himself was talking about how he's not putting the Chase as a priority now. That's ridiculous! We've only had 4 races, and have 22 more to go before the Chase. Let me show you how easy it is going to be for him to make it in.

Looking back over the last few years, we see what the 12th place driver had in points after 26 races. And we look at Points Per Race (PPR) to see what that average was.

In the 2004-2008 chase years, the average number of points needed to be 12th by the 26th race was about 3088, or a Points Per Race of 118.77.

Year Points PPR
1997 2884 111
1998 2857 110
1999 2781 107
2000 2863 110
2001 2948 113
2002 3078 118
2003 3009 116
2004 3158 121
2005 2972 114
2006 3039 117
2007 3155 121
2008 3116 120


Look already after 4 races in the standings, David Reutimann is 12th in the rankings with 475 points, or a PPR 118.75 --> nearly exactly the average 12th place PPR required to make it.

Assuming this is an average year, then Mark needs to get back to 3088 points within next 22 races. So he needs to make 2802 points in the next 22 races, a required minimum of PPR 127.4 from here on out.

If he scores 128 PPR from here, he'll just barely qualify for the chase. Look at the path below:

Race Points Mark's PPR Avg PPR pace Behind
4 286 72 475 (189)
5 414 83 594 (180)
6 542 90 713 (171)
7 670 96 831 (161)
8 798 100 950 (152)
9 926 103 1069 (143)
10 1054 105 1188 (134)
11 1182 107 1306 (124)
12 1310 109 1425 (115)
13 1438 111 1544 (106)
14 1566 112 1663 (97)
15 1694 113 1781 (87)
16 1822 114 1900 (78)
17 1950 115 2019 (69)
18 2078 115 2138 (60)
19 2206 116 2256 (50)
20 2334 117 2375 (41)
21 2462 117 2494 (32)
22 2590 118 2613 (23)
23 2718 118 2731 (13)
24 2846 119 2850 (4)
25 2974 119 2969 5
26 3102 119 3088 15


If he scores 148 PPR (6.5 average finish) he'll be back in qualifying position about 7 races from now:

Race Points Mark's PPR Avg PPR pace Behind
4 286 72 475 (189)
5 434 87 594 (160)
6 582 97 713 (131)
7 730 104 831 (101)
8 878 110 950 (72)
9 1026 114 1069 (43)
10 1174 117 1188 (14)
11 1322 120 1306 16
12 1470 123 1425 45
13 1618 124 1544 74
14 1766 126 1663 104
15 1914 128 1781 133
16 2062 129 1900 162
17 2210 130 2019 191
18 2358 131 2138 221
19 2506 132 2256 250
20 2654 133 2375 279
21 2802 133 2494 308
22 2950 134 2613 338
23 3098 135 2731 367
24 3246 135 2850 396
25 3394 136 2969 425
26 3542 136 3088 455


And if he scores a 168 PPR (about a 2.5 average finish), he'll be back in the top 12 about 4 races from now:

Race Points Mark's PPR Avg PPR pace Behind
4 286 72 475 (189)
5 454 91 594 (140)
6 622 104 713 (91)
7 790 113 831 (41)
8 958 120 950 8
9 1126 125 1069 57
10 1294 129 1188 107
11 1462 133 1306 156
12 1630 136 1425 205
13 1798 138 1544 254
14 1966 140 1663 304
15 2134 142 1781 353
16 2302 144 1900 402
17 2470 145 2019 451
18 2638 147 2138 501
19 2806 148 2256 550
20 2974 149 2375 599
21 3142 150 2494 648
22 3310 150 2613 698
23 3478 151 2731 747
24 3646 152 2850 796
25 3814 153 2969 845
26 3982 153 3088 895


So if he can just start getting some top 5s and with bonus points, he'll be back in contention very shortly. And even if he just gets 127 points per race (12th place finish), he's still going to be fine. He's definitely not that out of it. I am still holding to my prediction that he will make the Chase this year.