Crunching The Numbers: Talladega – The Chase

Before we jump into the numbers, I must give a shoutout to Talladega Superspeedway for covering every racing inch with the SAFER Barriers. Nothing is more important than driver safety and I know everyone is thankful for the entire crew at Talladega for putting aside the money talks and putting the drivers’ safety first. Bravo Talladega, bravo! Now, with a new safer track, let’s get onto crunching some numbers for the final race of the Contender Round!

 

How crazy is it that the deciding race for the Contender Round is Talladega a week before Halloween? How crazy will the racing be knowing that only 1 spot is locked in? How much crazier will it be knowing that 7 spots are up for grabs with 9 drivers realistically in the hunt and 2 drivers in a must win situation? Can the finale of the Contender Round get any better than this?! I know one thing that statistics cannot tell us and that is the race is bound to be crazier, more hectic, and exciting than previous years; you won’t want to miss this one!

Heading into Talladega, Joey Logano is the only driver assured a spot in the Eliminator Round thanks to his not 1 but 2 wins in the Contender Round. This means Logano has nothing to worry about at Talladega and can, yet again, go for the victory and make the rest of the field work even harder for the remaining 7 spots. The points currently shake out like this:

Pre Dega Points

Will Dale Jr. or Matt Kenseth grab victory this weekend and move on?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth are the 2 drivers in a must win situation; the remaining drivers (more or less) control their own destiny. Since Talladega is a race where anything and everything can happen, you can be sure that all drivers will be on edge the entire race. To help shed some light on how our brave drivers might fare this weekend, here are the power rankings for Talladega.

Dega Predictions

Will the stats be in favor of those needing help? Or will the stats be meaningless heading into the longest and fastest NASCAR track?

Brad Keselowski looks to be in a good place to move on with some solid numbers at Talladega. The majority of the top 15 is comprised on Chasers with Carl Edwards just outside the top 15 but in no way forgettable. On the other side, Matt Kenseth will have to dig deep to pull out a magical victory and he will have to battle Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well. Those P2-P10 in points will be the real ones to watch, with a close eye on those from Harvick to Newman. All of these drivers will do whatever it takes to finish ahead of the rest.

Dega Team Stats

Team Penske leads the field with the best average finish while Joe Gibbs Racing continues to smash the field with the most wins. In addition to the most victories this season, JGR has the edge during the Chase race at Talladega with the best average finish, but Roush Fenway Racing holds a slight edge with the most wins. If we look at Talladega as a whole, Richard Childress Racing has the best average finish while Hendrick Motorsports has the most victories. Let’s be sure to keep in mind that we have seen winners from all types of teams; your big guns may hold the most victories but the smaller teams of Front Row Motorsports won’t let anyone forget that they got a victory with driver David Ragan (who now drivers for Michael Waltrip Racing). No one can be counted out at Talladega.

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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