Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Average Points Per Race in past years

I took into account the full seasons from 1989 through 2003 (before the Chase started). I looked at the top 10 in rankings each season. And came up with these statistics

Rank avg min
max st. dev
1st 148 133 161 7
2nd 143 132 152 6
3rd 139 129 147 5
4th 135 128 140 4
5th 133 127 139 4
6th 130 124 136 4
7th 127 120 134 4
8th 123 119 130 3
9th 122 112 128 4
10th 120 112 124 4


Despite the fineprint below, here's what I find interesting from the data:

  1. For any given ranking, there is a narrow range of PPR you need to accumulate to get there. Want to finish 5th in points? then you need to average about 133 PPR
  2. The standard deviation is consistent about 4 PPR in rankings 4-10, but increases to 5 points for third place, 6 points for second place, and 7 points for the champion. This shows that the domination of the Top 3 drivers is more varied over time, but the 4th-place onward drivers fall within similar bounds.
  3. In every season but one, the champion needed at least 140 PPR to win the title. Only Tony Stewart's 133 PPR in 2002 serves as the exception, but in that year, 7th place scored 127 PPR (historically average for seventh place. Meaning the Top 7 drivers that year were within 6 points per race of each other. Very close and competitive that year.

(Fineprint: Remember that in these seasons, the number of races increased gradually from 29 races in 1989 to 36 races in 2003. And that in the earlier seasons there weren't always full fields. For example the 1989 night race in Bristol only had 32 drivers take the green flag, not the normal 43-car fields we always have now. Also remember that the number of points awarded to race winners compared to now was 10 points less during the period I analyzed.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kyle Busch leads ALRL ratings after 8 races

Driver ALRL
Kyle Busch 18%
Jeff Gordon 15%
Jimmie Johnson 12%
Denny Hamlin 11%
Kurt Busch 11%
Jeff Burton 2%
Tony Stewart 2%
Carl Edwards 1%
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 1%
Ryan Newman 1%
David Reutimann 1%
Elliott Sadler 0%
Clint Bowyer 0%
Kasey Kahne 0%

Denny Hamlin leads SAL rankings after 8 races

Driver SAL
Denny Hamlin 198
Matt Kenseth 150
Kyle Busch 140
Jeff Gordon 130
Kurt Busch 122
Greg Biffle 91
Mark Martin 74
Jimmie Johnson 72
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 63
Jeff Burton 52
Carl Edwards 29
Elliott Sadler 25
Ryan Newman 24
Tony Stewart 18
David Reutimann 17

Recent Power Rankings

We could base the recent power rankings simply on points in the last four races, and we'd get this result.

This is the same points earned since our first off-week after the fourth race.

(Before we get to that, also notice that Mark Martin is now 13th in points, just 9 points out of 12th. Didn't I predict that happening in my PPR article from last month?

And here you go, Total Points in Races 5-8

700 Jimmie Johnson
395 Martin Truex Jr.
651 Mark Martin
394 Casey Mears
632 Denny Hamlin
388 Reed Sorenson
617 Tony Stewart
381 Sam Hornish Jr.
608 Jeff Gordon
372 A.J. Allmendinger
556 Kurt Busch
371 Brian Vickers
539 Ryan Newman
365 Jamie McMurray
517 David Reutimann
358 Kevin Harvick
516 Jeff Burton
344 Michael Waltrip
512 Kyle Busch
341 Bobby Labonte
502 Juan Montoya
318 David Ragan
491 Kasey Kahne
307 Elliott Sadler
476 Carl Edwards
289 Joey Logano*
461 Clint Bowyer
253 John Andretti
450 Greg Biffle
250 David Gilliland
446 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
235 Robby Gordon
433 David Stremme
191 Scott Speed*
416 Marcos Ambrose
174 Aric Almirola
400 Matt Kenseth
149 Regan Smith
399 Paul Menard
109 Travis Kvapil

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Points going into each offweek

Coming up on our second off-week of the year, let's take a look at how different drivers fared. Remember after our first set of four races, the top in points were:

In the Second Set of consecutive races (Bristol, Martinsville, Texas) we saw these standings:

First 4 Races Points Per Race

Last 3 Races Points Per Race
Jeff Gordon 634 159

Jimmie Johnson 535 178
Clint Bowyer 591 148

Jeff Gordon 520 173
Kurt Busch 588 147

Denny Hamlin 482 161
Carl Edwards 547 137

Mark Martin 456 152
Matt Kenseth 546 137

Tony Stewart 442 147
Tony Stewart 521 130

Ryan Newman 419 140
Kyle Busch 514 129

Juan Montoya 411 137
Kevin Harvick 511 128

Kyle Busch 400 133
Kasey Kahne 484 121

Jeff Burton 398 133
Greg Biffle 480 120

Kurt Busch 386 129
Brian Vickers 477 119

Clint Bowyer 376 125



Let's see who made big improvements or declines in their PPRs from the first four races to the next set of three races. And which drivers have really lost a step since starting of well. Notice the 3 premier Roush cars in this bottom group:

Most Improved

Worst Deterioration
Mark Martin 81
Bobby Labonte -14
Jimmie Johnson 64
Robby Gordon -15
Ryan Newman 59
Kurt Busch -18
Denny Hamlin 47
John Andretti -20
Juan Montoya 35
David Ragan -21
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 24
Clint Bowyer -22
Jeff Burton 23
Carl Edwards -23
Tony Stewart 17
Michael Waltrip -24
Joey Logano 17
Kevin Harvick -25
Jeff Gordon 15
Brian Vickers -41
Jamie McMurray 13
Matt Kenseth -55
Paul Menard 12
Greg Biffle -56