StatChat - NASCAR Cup Series @ Watkins Glen

This weekend’s race will take place at Watkins Glen International, located in Watkins Glen, New York. While the track has multiple different configurations, the one used by NASCAR is 2.454 miles long, featuring 8 turns.  The permanent circuit at Watkins Glen opened in 1956.  Buck Baker won the first NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen in 1957, though they didn’t begin making a yearly visit to the track until 1986.

 

Sunday’s race is set to be 90 laps (220.5 miles), with stage breaks at 20 – 40 – 90 with a competition caution at lap 10.  The fuel window is approximately 35-37 laps.

 

NASCAR has run 7,825.96 miles so far this year.  Austin Dillon has completed 99.90% of them, the most of any driver.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Watkins Glen:

Erik Jones

6.33 over 3 races

Chase Elliott

7.00 over 4 races

Daniel Suarez

8.00 over 3 races

Kyle Busch

9.47 over 15 races

Martin Truex Jr.

10.64 over 14 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Watkins Glen:

Josh Bilicki

34.00 over 2 races

Corey LaJoie

33.50 over 2 races

Ross Chastain

29.50 over 2 races

Austin Dillon

27.83 over 6 races

Michael McDowell

27.10 over 10 races

 

Watkins Glen is a Road Course.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Road Courses:

Chase Elliott

6.18 over 14 races

Joey Logano

10.19 over 28 races

Denny Hamlin

11.70 over 34 races

Kurt Busch

13.13 over 44 races

Brad Keselowski

14.47 over 26 races

 

Tony Stewart has the most wins at Watkins Glen with 5, followed by Jeff Gordon with 4.  For current drivers, both Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott have 2 wins. 

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Watkins Glen:

Kurt Busch

(has won at 17 other tracks)

Brad Keselowski

(has won at 17 other tracks)

Ryan Newman

(has won at 12 other tracks)

Kyle Larson

(has won at 8 other tracks)

Alex Bowman

(has won at 5 other tracks)

 

Chase Elliott scored his first Cup Series win at Watkins Glen, in his 99th start. 

 

Erik Jones lists Watkins Glen as his BEST track, while Corey LaJoie lists Watkins Glen as his WORST. 

 

Milestone Watch!

Kyle Busch

Currently has 224 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

+320 pts

Daniel Suarez

+303 pts

Tyler Reddick

+196 pts

Christopher Bell

+170 pts

Michael McDowell

+142 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2020

Aric Almirola

-379 pts

Kevin Harvick

-307 pts

Erik Jones

-278 pts

Matt DiBenedetto

-170 pts

Brad Keselowski

-133 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

8.64

Kyle Larson

10.27

William Byron

11.91

Ryan Blaney

13.09

Austin Dillon

13.36

Alex Bowman

13.95

Chris Buescher

17.36

Michael McDowell

18.23

Bubba Wallace

20.05

Ryan Preece

22.09

Corey LaJoie

25.41

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Ryan Newman

21.82

Erik Jones

20.95

 

 

 

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

250 pts

Kyle Larson

238 pts

William Byron

176 pts

Chase Elliott

168 pts

Kyle Busch

160 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

812

Ford

758

Toyota

757

 

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

 

Chartered Team Standings

Hendrick

795

Joe Gibbs

755

Penske

707

Stewart-Haas

652

Richard Childress

584

Chip Ganassi

560

JTG-Daugherty

504

Roush-Fenway

489

Front Row

424

Wood Brothers

423

Trackhouse

378

23XI

376

Richard Petty

356

Spire

310

Rick Ware

197

Live Fast

144

StarCom

96

 

 

 

The race is Sunday, August 8th at 3:00pm EST (12:00pm PST) – Enjoy the races everyone!

 

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