Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Most Points in 10 consecutive Races

As we think about Chase potential, the previous post listed who had the best set of 10 races, but they were not in consecutive order.

So now let's look at the best consecutive set of 10 races this year. We have five options for this: Races 1-10, Races 2-11, 3-12, 4-13, and 5-14.

Using the same 15 drivers from our previous example, that gives us 75 possible data series to work with.

The best of those rankings are:

1522 Tony Stewart
1516 Ryan Newman
1483 Jimmie Johnson
1475 Jimmie Johnson
1474 Tony Stewart
1472 Jeff Gordon
1458 Ryan Newman
1441 Jeff Gordon
1431 Kurt Busch
1425 Tony Stewart
1418 Jeff Gordon
1412 Kurt Busch
1404 Ryan Newman
1402 Tony Stewart

in 75 data series, only 14 of them have produced more than 1400 points. These 14 data come from just 5 drivers: Stewart, Newman, Johnson, Gordon, Busch. With the exception of Newman, these are all former champions.

If we just consider the best set of 10 consecutive races from the 15 drivers, we can see each driver's best 10 consecutive:

1522 Tony Stewart
1516 Ryan Newman
1483 Jimmie Johnson
1472 Jeff Gordon
1431 Kurt Busch
1392 Mark Martin
1360 Denny Hamlin
1330 Kyle Busch
1326 Jeff Burton
1273 Greg Biffle
1267 David Reutimann
1215 Carl Edwards
1209 Juan Pablo Montoya
1206 Matt Kenseth
1163 Kasey Kahne

This would suggest to us that the same drivers in the top 4 in points (Stewart, Newman, Johnson, Gordon) as the best able to make a strong run at the end of the year to go for the win. Again, these are data we can monitor over the course of the season.

Interesting to see that Kyle Busch (1330) and Jeff Burton (1326) have basically the same best scores here. Yet Busch has the most wins this year, and Burton is part of an RCR team that has severely underperformed this year. It's very eye-opening to see that their best Chase-type scenario is actually the same. And that Hamlin would be the best of the Joe Gibbs cars in this measurement. Would you have ever guessed that?