Crunching The Numbers: Kansas – The Chase

A sponge takes over at Kansas

SpongeBob SquarePants takes over at Kansas Speedway in May

The last time our brave adventurers were in Dorthy’s home state, Jimmie Johnson took home the checkered flag after starting in the 19th place, in a race that was sponsored by a sponge. The pole sitter, Joey Logano, came home with a 5th place finish, and he is locked into the next round, so at this point, he just wants another win. The driver who led the most laps was Martin Truex Jr. and he led 95 of the 267 laps; he finished 9th after starting 4th. Based on the May visit, Johnson and Truex both hope to repeat their success; Johnson so he can get out of his slump of bad finishes, and Truex to make life easier going into the final Contender Round race at Talladega.

After the first race of the Contender round, it would appear that several of our Chase candidates find themselves in a hole after Saturday night’s Sunday afternoon’s Bank of America 400.

  1. Joey Logano [1 win]
  2. Kevin Harvick [-6]
  3. Martin Truex Jr. [-7]
  4. Denny Hamlin [-8]
  5. Kurt Busch [-9]
  6. Carl Edwards [-9]
  7. Jeff Gordon [-11]
  8. Brad Keselowski [-13]

  9. Ryan Newman [-19]
  10. Kyle Busch [-23]
  11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. [-32]
  12. Matt Kenseth [-45]

Kenseth finds himself in a similar situation to Harvick; having a huge points deficit to make up. There is hope though, for Kenseth, as he has some wins at Kansas. However, the same cannot be said for Kyle Busch, Dale Jr., and Ryan Newman. These 4 drivers will need to make some magic happen and also hope for those ahead of them mess up, mainly for Busch, Earnhardt Jr., and Kenseth.

After 4 rounds, 4 are out, a few are down, but many are still alive and kicking!

After 4 rounds, 4 are out, a few are down, but many are still alive and kicking!

Here are a few stats that may give insight into what the on track action could turn out to be:

  • Average Speed: 127.276 mph
  • Average Margin of Victory: 0.666 seconds
  • Average Number of Lead Changes: 21
  • Average Number of Cautions: 6
  • Average Number of Caution Laps: 25
  • Average First Lap of Caution: Lap 31.75
  • Average Final Lap of Caution: Lap 246 (scheduled 267 laps)
  • Average Number of Drivers on the Lead Lap: 21.273

Now, let us turn our attention to the leader board for some beautiful rankings conjured up by yours truly. Now, I know it has been a while since my numbers graced your eyeballs, so a quick recap might be in order of how the rankings are devised. You see, I use statistics  to guide the model for the power ranking. The parameters that are put into said model are: average finish this year, average finish at the track during the time of year, average finish at the track in general, average of the type of track (short, intermediate, etc.), how well the team and manufacturer are doing compared to the rest of the field, just to name a few. Those key points are then lumped together to give a ranking of best to worse. Now, a driver may be having a season of golden times, but may come into Kansas wandering off the yellow brick road, so they may not be as high up as one would expect; this way a variety of factors are taken into account. And without further ado…

Will a non-Chaser spoil the fun of the Chasers and send them scrambling into Talladega?

Will a non-Chaser spoil the fun of the Chasers and send them scrambling into Talladega?

It looks like Jimmie Johnson can find his groove again; but then again, this was possible at Dover and Charlotte and we know how those outings turned out. Looking down a bit we see another non-Chaser in Kyle Larson who could also spoil the party. Don’t let his 1 start in this race fool you! We also see 3 Chasers outside of the top 15 here, and 2 of those are drivers who need a very good day! Will the Great and Powerful Oz help them out? Or will he turn them away and send them clicking their heals home?

Kansas Team Stats

No, your eyes are not decieving you; Joe Gibbs Racing is running away with wins this year! And why is that so shocking? It should not be and if you are, well, too bad. When it comes to this race, it is almost everyone’s game. Sure, the numbers say Roush Fenway Racing has the most wins, but they have been off their game for quite some time now, so it really is anyone’s game.

Kansas Manufacturer Stats

And just to give a bit more depth into the field. Toyota’s, thanks to JGR, has pulled ahead of Chevrolet in overall wins as of now. The same cannot be said for this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400 however. No wins to boast, the worse average finish, and worst average start accompany the Toyotas. Can JGR change the stats at Kansas for Toyota? Or is Chevrolet poised to lift another trophy this weekend, bringing them back into a tie with Toyota for the Manufacturer’s Championship this year?

As long as the twisters stay away from Kansas, I am sure our friends, Dorthy, Scarecrow, Tin-man, Cowardly Lion, and Toto (too) will find their way to the track to enjoy the great racing that is bound to occur! Be sure to check out Kansas Speedway on Twitter for all their latest news!

Ashley Hobbs

Birthday: 9 March 1989 (so I do not have to update my age each year)
Location: Florida (Jersey native, born and raised)

What better way to combine 2 of my favorite things, NASCAR and statistics, than providing y'all with an analytical report each weekend during the NASCAR season.

When I am not crunching the numbers, I spend time with my hubby, 3 black cats (Ninja, Daytona, and Chronos), and I watch too much TV, especially Doctor Who. Why yes, I am a geek and proud! So join forces with me and follow my weekly Crunching The Numbers segment. Who knows, I may surprise you!

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