(Cover Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
By Adam Carabine
In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2023 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the 36 charters of 2022.
22nd Place – Justin Haley – 698 pts
KAULIG RACING – CHEVROLET
77 Point Lead over teammate(s) in the #16 Car – When you think Cup Series, Kaulig Racing, 2022, I think the overwhelming first thought would be AJ Allmendinger in the #16. In fact, between the two, the 16 finished ahead of Justin Haley 20 times of 36. What that ultimately points to is that Haley had a more consistently solid season. While the 16 may have been a bit flashier at times, competing for wins, Justin Haley held his own and put up solid, consistent numbers – leading to him earning more points than his teammate(s).
+1.74 Start/Finish Differential in 2022 – Putting him in the Top-10 in this category, it Justin Haley often outperformed his qualifying position this year. In fact, he outperformed his average running position. On average, Justin Haley was running around 21st place this year. However, his average finish on the year was 18.4, meaning he gained an average of nearly 3 spots leading up to the end of races. Whether that shows an ability to ramp it up as the pressure grows near the end of the race, or the ability to avoid late-race trouble, it is a promising stat for a car that is traditionally mid-pack.
94 Fast Laps in 2022 – Unfortunately, despite Kaulig Racing’s success in the Xfinity Series, they still have some learning to do in Cup. Ranking 27th of all Cup Series charters, Justin Haley’s 94 fast laps this year just are not enough to cut it, when it comes to vehicle speed. Haley did an admirable job with what he was given, but Kaulig’s going to have some work to do in order to compete with the big guns next year.
2 DNFs in 2022 – Again, demonstrating what a nice and consistent season Justin Haley had, he only had 2 DNFs all year. That tied him for 2nd of all Cup Series charters this year, a stat that’s only beat by Joey Logano’s single DNF. He may not have always had the speed to contend for wins, but keeping the car clean is a great indicator of a driver who is in control, and is comfortable behind the wheel. As Kaulig continues to grow its Cup Series program, look for Justin Haley to gain momentum.
3rd Finish at Darlington in Spring 2022 – Widely seen as one of the most challenging of the ovals on the Cup Series circuit, Darlington happens to be where Justin Haley scored one of his two best finishes of the year (he also was third at Texas). Because of its asymmetrical design, Darlington is much harder to get into a rhythm, and is seen as a true ‘driver’s track.’ Whether Justin Haley deserved the singular Cup Series win he famously got at Daytona a few years back or not, it’s clear there’s a good driver in there. And at age 23, watch for him to keep growing.
Justin Haley is staying with Kaulig for more than just one year, as he signed a multi-year deal alongside newly-full-time teammate AJ Allmendinger. Justin will once again pilot the No. 31 Chevrolet for Kaulig, as they continue to grow their program in the Cup Series.
Coming up next in the Countdown to Daytona series – Chris Buescher!
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