StatChat - NASCAR Cup Series @ Michigan

This weekend’s race will take place at Michigan International Speedway, located just outside of Brooklyn, Michigan.  It is a D-shaped 2-mile speedway with moderate banking.  The track opened in 1967, and hosted its first NASCAR Cup Series race two years later.  The first race was won by Cale Yarborough.

 

Sunday’s race is set to be 200 laps (400 miles), with stage breaks at 60 – 120 – 200 with a competition caution at lap 20.  The fuel window is approximately 46-51 laps.

 

NASCAR has run 8,278.53 miles so far this year.  Denny Hamlin has completed 99.89% of them, the most of any driver.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Michigan:

Chase Elliott

7.70 over 10 races

Kevin Harvick

11.13 over 40 races

Joey Logano

11.75 over 24 races

Kyle Larson

12.42 over 12 races

Brad Keselowski

12.70 over 23 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Michigan:

Michael McDowell

31.36 over 14 races

Quin Houff

30.50 over 4 races

Ross Chastain

30.00 over 3 races

Cole Custer

29.50 over 2 races

Corey LaJoie

27.00 over 8 races

 

For the purposes of this article, Michigan has been lumped together with the intermediate courses.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Intermediate Courses:

Kevin Harvick

11.18 over 368 races

Kyle Busch

12.40 over 299 races

Kyle Larson

12.45 over 122 races

Joey Logano

13.23 over 229 races

Brad Keselowski

13.35 over 220 races

 

David Pearson holds the record for most Cup Series wins at Michigan, with 9.  Cale Yarborough has 8, followed by Bill Elliott at 7.  Kevin Harvick is the winningest of all current drivers, with 5 – including the last 3 in a row at Michigan.

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Michigan:

Brad Keselowski

(has won at 17 other tracks)

Martin Truex Jr.

(has won at 15 other tracks)

Chase Elliott

(has won at 11 other tracks)

Alex Bowman

(has won at 5 other tracks)

Ryan Blaney

(has won at 4 other tracks)

 

Kyle Larson scored his first ever Cup Series win at Michigan, in his 100th start.

 

No drivers list Michigan as their BEST or WORST track.

 

Milestone Watch!

Martin Truex Jr.

Currently has 124 Career Top 5s

Chris Buescher

Currently has 24 Career Top 10s

 

 

 

 

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

William Byron

+279 pts

Daniel Suarez

+258 pts

Tyler Reddick

+220 pts

Christopher Bell

+159 pts

Michael McDowell

+129 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2020

Aric Almirola

-371 pts

Kevin Harvick

-308 pts

Erik Jones

-255 pts

Brad Keselowski

-195 pts

Matt DiBenedetto

-130 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

9.08

Kyle Larson

9.58

Chase Elliott

11.29

William Byron

12.54

Ryan Blaney

12.67

Austin Dillon

14.17

Alex Bowman

14.33

Chris Buescher

17.13

Michael McDowell

18.83

Bubba Wallace

19.88

Corey LaJoie

24.96

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Ryan Newman

21.46

Erik Jones

20.63

 

 

 

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

261 pts

Kyle Larson

257 pts

William Byron

182 pts

Chase Elliott

173 pts

Kyle Busch

166 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

Chevrolet

892

Ford

822

Toyota

815

 

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

 

Chartered Team Standings

Hendrick

869

Joe Gibbs

811

Penske

765

Stewart-Haas

704

Richard Childress

627

Chip Ganassi

616

JTG-Daugherty

548

Roush-Fenway

536

Wood Brothers

481

Front Row

447

23XI

414

Richard Petty

396

Trackhouse

385

Spire

352

Rick Ware

220

Live Fast

152

StarCom

116

 

 

 

The race is Sunday, August 22nd at 3:00pm EST (12:00pm PST) – Enjoy the races everyone!

 

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