Crunching The Numbers: Jeff Gordon Raceway (JGR)

Challenger Round check mark
Contender Round check mark
Eliminator Round 2/3 check mark
And if you are Jeff Gordon check mark

Not much has changed since after Jeff Gordon’s Martinsville win as he is still the only driver who is heading into Homestead with a shot at the title. For drivers that needed a spectacular day at Texas, Joey Logano had a tire end his chances for redemption, Kurt Busch had a troubling day, and Brad Keselowski gained a little ground. Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch basically came out of Phoenix where they entered.

Phoenix Points

Realistically, 4 drivers have a shot at moving on to Homestead while the other 3 drivers really just need to win. Who has what it takes to capitalize on this final race before everything is down to just one race? We shall let the numbers do the talking.

chase stats

Here is a little more in-depth analysis on our Chasers. Remember that those in yellow and red are eliminated and their stats are frozen from once they have been eliminated. Focusing on our remaining 8 drivers, Joey Logano, as we all know, is in a huge hole and only a win can save him. I wonder if the Phoenix sun will be shining down on this 22 team this weekend, or if it will just burn up any remaining hope the team has. We can also here that Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski are in (numbers) trouble, while the rest of the field is getting the job done.

Phoenix Graph

Diving into their history during this Chase, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards boast the best overall finish. Kevin Harvick is the driver  who has improved the most, which is great news heading into Phoenix and Homestead. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, and Martin Truex Jr. have been improving every round of the Chase. Carl Edwards started off going the right way but needs to improve a little bit at Phoenix if he wants to battle for a Championship in 2 weeks. The 3 remaining drivers, well, as a broken record sounds, are in trouble and going the wrong way. They may have survived the Contender Round, but not all of them are going to survive this round. The 4 drivers currently moving on boast an average finish of 5.5; those who are outside looking in need a miracle (with the exception of Carl Edwards, who just needs a very good day) to move on.

jeff gordon racewayTurning our attention to the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 from Phoenix International Raceway Jeff Gordon Raceway, with so much on the line and basically every spot up for grabs, this tight 1.0 mile Ti-Oval has a variety of specs that make it just a unique track. Turns 1 and 2 have 11° of banking while turns 3 and 4 are slightly less banked at 9°. The front stretch has a mere 3° banking with the back stretch triple that at 9°.

Phoenix Stats

The biggest note of comparison from the the Spring race to the Fall race is the final caution lap comes out almost 17 laps soon, which sets up for a longer spring to the finish, yet tends to produce a slightly closer finish. But, like Martinsville (though a different beat), Phoenix is a short track and tempers can easily flair, especially with all that is on the line. Last year, Kevin Harvick emerged victorious and continued his hunt for the title, and we all know how that ended for him.

2014: Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500

Driver Finish Start
Kevin Harvick 1 3
Jeff Gordon 2 7
Brad Keselowski 4 2
Joey Logano 6 4
Kurt Busch 7 10
Martin Truex Jr. 12 14
Carl Edwards 15 13
Kyle Busch 34 6

 

Earlier this year, Kevin Harvick also won at Phoenix leading 71.8% of the laps and just dominating. Much like Jimmie Johnson just did, Harvick hopes that a win this weekend and sweeping the short track in the desert will provide more momentum for the final round of the Chase.

2015: Campingworld.Com 500

Driver Finish Start
Kevin Harvick 1 3
Kurt Busch 5 8
Brad Keselowski 6 6
Martin Truex Jr. 7 18
Joey Logano 8 2
Jeff Gordon 9 10
Carl Edwards 13 7

 

So now that I have provided you with a plether of knowledge about your Chaser contenders and PIR, here is a look into how they might perform:
Phoenix Predictions

With Gordon locked in, Harvick is looking to lock himself in as well with another Phoenix victory. Edwards, on the outside looking in, will need to improve upon his back to back 13th place finishes at PIR if he wants to get ahead of the cut line, which would be battling Kyle Busch and Truex Jr.; I feel those last 2 spots will be what we will be watching all day with Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Truex Jr. fighting until the bitter end. But hey, these stats are just history; drivers can change their history and destiny this weekend. Only time will tell.

Don’t forget to follow Phoenix International Raceway/Jeff Gordon Raceway on Twitter and like them on Facebook to stay tuned into any exciting or breaking news stories that may come out of the Sunset State.

And, if you haven’t yet, please give your favorite statistician a follow on Twitter and Facebook so you can be first to see my awesome stats!

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *