StatChat - NASCAR Cup Series @ Bristol Night Race

Become a Patron!

After last week’s race at Richmond, this Saturday the NASCAR Cup Series will return to another short track.  Bristol Motor Speedway is a 0.533-mile oval, known for its high banking in the corners, and all-concrete surface.  It was built in 1960 and held its first NASCAR race one year later.  Only 19 of the 42 cars that started the race finished it.   

 

This weekend’s race is called the “Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race,” and is set to be 500 laps (266.5 miles).  Stage breaks will occur at 125 – 250 – 500, with a competition caution at lap 40.  The fuel window is approximately 165-180 laps, though teams will likely want to pit sooner due to tire wear.

 

NASCAR has run 9,892.35 miles so far this year.  Denny Hamlin has completed 99.91% of them, the most of any driver.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Bristol:

Chase Elliott

11.91 over 11 races

Erik Jones

12.56 over 9 races

Kyle Busch

12.91 over 32 races

Kevin Harvick

13.49 over 41 races

Daniel Suarez

14.00 over 9 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Bristol:

Josh Bilicki

34.67 over 3 races

BJ McLeod

32.25 over 4 races

Ross Chastain

31.00 over 5 races

Corey LaJoie

30.22 over 9 races

Michael McDowell

29.09 over 22 races

 

 

Bristol is a Short Track

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Short Tracks:

Denny Hamlin

11.58 over 152 races

Kyle Busch

11.91 over 158 races

Chase Elliott

12.45 over 54 races

Brad Keselowski

12.61 over 115 races

Joey Logano

12.96 over 123 races

 

Darrell Waltrip is by far the winningest driver at Bristol, having won 12 races.  Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace all each have 9.  The Busch brothers have won the most out of any current drivers, with Kyle having 8 and Kurt having 6 wins.

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Bristol:

Martin Truex Jr.

(has won at 15 other tracks)

Ryan Newman

(has won at 12 other tracks)

Chase Elliott

(has won at 11 other tracks)

Kyle Larson

(has won at 9 other tracks)

Ryan Blaney

(has won at 6 other tracks)

 

Kurt Busch scored his first Cup Series win at Bristol, his 48th start.

 

No current drivers list Bristol as their BEST track.  Anthony Alfredo lists it as his WORST, though he has only had one prior race there, and it was covered in dirt at the time.

 

Milestone Watch!

Denny Hamlin

Currently has 299 Career Top 10s

Kyle Busch

This will be his 598th Cup Series Start

 

 

 

 

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

Daniel Suarez

+268 pts

William Byron

+204 pts

Tyler Reddick

+201 pts

Christopher Bell

+173 pts

Denny Hamlin

+137 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2020

Aric Almirola

-337 pts

Kevin Harvick

-307 pts

Erik Jones

-258 pts

Brad Keselowski

-222 pts

Matt DiBenedetto

-137 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

8.54

Kyle Larson

9.32

Chase Elliott

11.50

Ryan Blaney

12.07

William Byron

14.04

Austin Dillon

14.79

Chris Buescher

17.82

Bubba Wallace

19.68

Michael McDowell

20.57

Ryan Preece

21.82

Corey LaJoie

24.46

 

 

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Erik Jones

20.61

Ryan Newman

20.57

 

 

 

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

320 pts

Kyle Larson

313 pts

Chase Elliott

212 pts

Kyle Busch

198 pts

William Byron

198 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

1,029

Ford

967

Toyota

962

 

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

 

Chartered Team Standings

Hendrick

996

Joe Gibbs

953

Penske

907

Stewart-Haas

814

Chip Ganassi

738

Richard Childress

720

JTG-Daugherty

645

Roush-Fenway

637

Wood Brothers

557

Front Row

499

23XI

488

Trackhouse

462

Richard Petty

462

Spire

427

Rick Ware

272

Live Fast

206

StarCom

133

 

 

 

The race is Saturday, September 18th at 7:30pm EST (4:30pm PST) – Enjoy the races everyone!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @StatChat_RR

Or you can email directly: acarabine@racingrefresh.com

Get all your StatChat Merch from the Racing Refresh online store!

Become a Racing Refresh Patron! Find us on Patreon!

 

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