StatChat - NASCAR Cup Series @ Talladega 2

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The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the second race of the Round of 12.  Talladega is the largest oval on the NASCAR circuit, at 2.66 miles long.  It was constructed in 1969, and hosted its first NASCAR race the same year. 

 

This weekend’s race is called the “Yellawood 500,” and is set to be 188 laps (500 miles).  Stage breaks will occur at 60 – 120 – 188, with a competition caution at lap 25.  The fuel window is approximately 40-46 laps.

 

NASCAR has run 10,559.35 miles so far this year.  Denny Hamlin has completed 99.91% of them, the most of any driver.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Talladega:

Tyler Reddick

11.33 over 3 races

Ryan Preece

12.00 over 5 races

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

14.00 over 16 races

Brad Keselowski

15.60 over 25 races

Chase Elliott

15.73 over 11 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Talladega:

Christopher Bell

28.33 over 3 races

Cody Ware

28.25 over 4 races

Michael McDowell

28.14 over 21 races

BJ McLeod

28.00 over 2 races

Quin Houff

25.67 over 3 races

 

 

Talladega is a Super Speedway

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Super Speedways:

Chase Briscoe

15.50 over 3 races

Ryan Preece

15.67 over 11 races

Kevin Harvick

16.46 over 82 races

Denny Hamlin

16.53 over 63 races

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16.82 over 35 races

 

Dale Earnhardt is the winningest driver at Talladega, having won 10 races.  His son Dale Jr., along with Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski are all tied for second with 6 wins each. 

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Talladega:

Kurt Busch

(has won at 17 other tracks)

Martin Truex Jr.

(has won at 15 other tracks)

Ryan Newman

(has won at 12 other tracks)

Kyle Larson

(has won at 10 other tracks)

Alex Bowman

(has won at 5 other tracks)

 

Brad Keselowski scored his first Cup Series win at Talladega in his 5th ever start.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also scored his first Cup Series win at Talladega, but it was in his 158th start.

 

Ryan Preece and Anthony Alfredo list Talladega as their BEST track on the circuit, though Alfredo has only been here one other time in the Cup Series.

 

Milestone Watch!

Tyler Reddick

Looking for his 25th Top 10

Daniel Suarez

This will be his 175th 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

+270 pts

Tyler Reddick

+218 pts

William Byron

+210 pts

Denny Hamlin

+167 pts

Christopher Bell

+152 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2020

Aric Almirola

-336 pts

Kevin Harvick

-289 pts

Erik Jones

-250 pts

Brad Keselowski

-193 pts

Matt DiBenedetto

-124 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

8.30

Kyle Larson

9.07

Ryan Blaney

11.57

Chase Elliott

11.63

William Byron

13.80

Austin Dillon

14.73

Bubba Wallace

19.43

Michael McDowell

20.70

Ryan Preece

21.87

Corey LaJoie

24.70

 

 

 

 

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Ryan Newman

21.13

Erik Jones

20.37

 

 

 

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

357 pts

Kyle Larson

342 pts

Chase Elliott

231 pts

Kyle Busch

221 pts

William Byron

212 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

1,104

Ford

1,034

Toyota

1,032

 

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

 

Chartered Team Standings

Hendrick

1,071

Joe Gibbs

1,023

Penske

972

Stewart-Haas

877

Chip Ganassi

790

Richard Childress

776

JTG-Daugherty

685

Roush-Fenway

668

Wood Brothers

609

23XI

530

Front Row

528

Richard Petty

502

Trackhouse

499

Spire

445

Rick Ware

288

Live Fast

211

StarCom

139

 

 

 

The race is Saturday, October 3rd at 2:00pm EST (11:00am PST) – Enjoy the races everyone!

 

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