StatChat - NASCAR Cup Series @ Martinsville

After an off-weekend for Easter, NASCAR is back with a Saturday night race.  Seven races and seven different winners have already taken up seven playoff spots.  With nine spots left, and many of the big championship contenders still left winless on the season, it might be time for the usual suspects to up their games. 

 

This weekend marks a return to “The Paperclip,” otherwise known as Martinsville Speedway.  It is both the shortest track on the NASCAR circuit (0.526 miles long), and the track with the longest tenure – being the only track that remains on the schedule from NASCAR’s inception in 1948.  It is known for its distinctive low-banked corners, and compared to the previous race in Atlanta, tire wear will likely not be a big factor.

 

The race will be 500 laps (for a total of 263 miles), with stage breaks occurring at 130 – 260 – 500, and a competition caution at lap 60.  The fuel window is approximately 145-155 laps.

 

NASCAR has run 2,501.05 miles so far this year, and the only driver who has driven 100% of them is Denny Hamlin.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Martinsville:

Denny Hamlin

9.93 over 30 races

Brad Keselowski

10.18 over 22 races

Ryan Blaney

10.70 over 10 races

Kyle Busch

12.19 over 31 races

Joey Logano

12.38 over 24 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Martinsville:

Quin Houff

33.50 over 2 races

Ross Chastain

30.25 over 4 races

Michael McDowell

29.75 over 20 races

Matt DiBenedetto

26.42 over 12 races

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

26.19 over 16 races

 

Martinsville Speedway is a Short Track.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Short Tracks:

Kyle Busch

11.71 over 154 races

Denny Hamlin

11.75 over 148 races

Brad Keselowski

12.45 over 111 races

Chase Elliott

12.82 over 50 races

Kevin Harvick

13.23 over 200 races

 

Richard Petty has the most wins by a landslide at Martinsville, with 15.  Darrell Waltrip has 11, and both Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson each have 9.  Denny Hamlin leads current drivers with 5 wins. 

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Martinsville:

Kyle Larson

(has won at 5 other tracks)

Ryan Blaney

(has won at 4 other tracks)

 

No current driver has Martinsville listed as either their BEST or WORST track.

 

No current drivers have ever scored their first Cup Series win at Martinsville – will that change this weekend?

 

Based on their point pace, let’s have a look at who’s having a better year than last year.

 

Drivers Faring Better than in 2020

Denny Hamlin

+378 pts

Daniel Suarez

+360 pts

Michael McDowell

+343 pts

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

+335 pts

William Byron

+267 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2020

Aric Almirola

-579 pts

Matt DiBenedetto

-309 pts

Kevin Harvick

-279 pts

Erik Jones

-240 pts

Tyler Reddick

-203 pts

 

While some drivers may be doing better this year than they did in 2020, how does this year stack up against their entire career?  This statistic does not include rookies, as this is their first full year in the Cup Series.

 

Drivers Having their BEST Career Year

Denny Hamlin

4.71

Kyle Larson

11.86

Michael McDowell

12.29

William Byron

12.86

Austin Dillon

15.00

Chris Buescher

16.29

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Tyler Reddick

21.57

 

 

 

In 2017, NASCAR introduced the concept of Stage Racing, which pauses the race at certain intervals and awards bonus points for the top 10 at that moment.  Here are the Top-5 Stage Point earners so far this year:

 

Stage Point Leaders:

Denny Hamlin

101 pts

Brad Keselowski

52 pts

Martin Truex Jr.

50 pts

Joey Logano

50 pts

Kyle Larson

48 pts

 

For those that aren’t aware, the Manufacturer Standings are calculated by awarding points to the highest finisher for each manufacturer according to their finishing position.  (40 for 1st, 35 for 2nd, 34 for 3rd, etc.)  No stage points or playoff points count.

 

Manufacturer Standings

Ford

257

Chevrolet

250

Toyota

247

 

Here is the same formula, but used on a team-vs-team basis:

 

Chartered Team Standings

Joe Gibbs

246

Hendrick

240

Penske

231

JTG-Daugherty

194

Stewart-Haas

193

Richard Childress

178

Front Row

177

Chip Ganassi

176

Roush-Fenway

166

Trackhouse

124

Richard Petty

119

Wood Brothers

108

23XI

107

Spire

96

Rick Ware

62

Live Fast

44

StarCom

36

 

 

 

The race begins Saturday, April 10th at 7:30 pm EST (4:30 pm PST) – Enjoy the race everyone!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @StatChat_RR

 

Is there an error? Is there a stat missing that you’d like to see? Let us know!