Crunching The Numbers: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – #88 Hendrick Motorsports Nationwide Insurance/AMP Energy Chevrolet

Jr4

Standings: 12th
Points: 1,198
Bonus Points: 21

  • 11.67% of total possible bonus points

Starts: 36
Wins: 3
Poles: 1
DNFs: 1
Top 5s: 16
Top 10s: 22
Top 15s: 27

DJ1

Best Finish: 1st – 3 Times

  • Race 10: Geico 500 – Talladega
  • Race 17: Coke Zero 400 – Daytona
  • Race 35: Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500 – Phoenix

Best Start: 1st (Race 17: Coke Zero 400 – Daytona)

Average Finish: 11.31 (6th best)

Average Start: 13.75 (13th best)

 

Laps Run: 10,208 (11th most)

  • 97.92% of total possible season laps

Miles Driven: 13,613 (7th most)

  • 98.49% of total possible miles

Laps Led: 287 (11th most)

  • 2.75% of total possible season laps
DJ2

Dale Earnhart Jr.’s Finishes

Jr 1Dale Earnhardt Jr. grabbed his first trophy this season by winning the Budweiser Duel. While it pays no points, it gave him a great starting position in the Daytona 500, and he finished exactly where he started. He backed up his great start with 2 more top 5 finishes, followed by his only DNF of the season in Phoenix. The rest of the season was quite the success for the driver of the 88 Chevrolet. His average regular season finish was a very respectable 10.16, which included 2 victories that earned him a spot in the Chase. When it came time for the Chase, Earnhardt Jr. continued his great season thus far and just made it through the Challenger Round, with an average finish of 13.33, into the Contender Round, edging out 13th place finisher Jamie McMurray. Heading into the Contender Round, Earnhardt Jr. got off to a rocky start with 2 finishes outside the top 20; that brought him into Talladega in a must-win situation. Known as one of the best restrictor plate racers, this certainly was doable by Earnhardt Jr. However, a controversial ending to the race relegated him to a 2nd place finish, which was not enough to get him into the Eliminator Round. Though he was now our of the championship hunt, he did not let that stop him from racking up great finishes, including a victory at Phoenix thanks to rain. His average finish in the Eliminator Round was 3.67 which, if he was still in the hunt, would really shine light on him entering the season finale. Earnhardt Jr.’s overall Chase average finish was 12.63.
Jr 3

It should come as no surprise that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was dominate at the restrictor plates, given 2 of his victories came there, with an average finish of 1.75 (5 positions than better than the next best driver). No one came close to his success at Daytona and Talladega this year. As always, Earnhardt Jr. will be a factor at Daytona and Talladega for years to come. While his short track program was worst, it was by no means horrible. He may have had his worst finish/only DNF at Phoenix (43rd), but he also had a victory as well; so clearly, he was the most improved driver at PIR this year. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going to do more great things next year and if he can get out of the Contender Round, the rest of the field may be trembling in their fire suits a little bit.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Finishes By Track Type

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Finishes By Track Type

 

Type Starts Avg. Finish Avg. Start Wins Top 5s Top 10s Top 15s DNF
Intermediate 14 13.00 14.36 0 6 8 9 0
Restrictor Plate 4 1.75 3.25 2 4 4 4 0
Road Course 2 9.00 13.50 0 0 1 2 0
Short Track 10 14.50 17.10 1 4 5 7 1
Super Speedway 6 9.17 13.83 0 2 4 5 0

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had an incredible season, and with each passing year at Hendrick Motorsports, he just seems to get better and better. I expect the same greatness from Earnhardt Jr. and the 88 team in 2016, if not slightly more. Congrats to Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a well done season!

Ashley Hobbs

I was born on the 9th of March in a year which you need not know. I was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey, but I now reside in Florida. Here is a bit about myself:

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I hope you enjoy my segment, Crunching the Numbers, and getting insights into each weekend's NASCAR race!

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