Crunching The Numbers: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta

Well, the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has officially begun and the first winner is Denny Hamlin. After 10 tries and no success, the driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing finally found victory in the Daytona 500 on his 11th go. Numbers are just great that way, eh?

Jumping right into the numbers for this weekend’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedways, let’s start with some track facts! The track is a 1.54 mile long quad-oval, Intermediate track. The 4 turns have a nice banking at 24°, while the straightaways have a mild 5° banking. This configuration bodes quite well for fast racing on a slick surface. Look for high speeds and drivers taking it right up against the SAFER Barriers. Drivers like Kyle Larson should put on a great race!

Atlanta Track Stats

The scheduled distance for the race is 325 laps/500.5 miles. 33.33% of races have gone into over time, most recently in 2014. Prior to 2011, Atlanta was visited twice a year, and during that time, the first stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway was quicker, had fewer cautions, and a caution that flew slightly before that of the second race. Comparing the 2015 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race statistics to the average, last year’s race was slower, earlier first and final caution, and had fewer drivers on the lead lap. Of the flip side, the margin of victory was longer, there were more lead changed and cautions (and by virtue, more caution laps). With the new car coming to town, who knows what sort of race we will end up seeing on Sunday!

2015 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Top 5

Driver Finish Start
Jimmie Johnson 1 37
Kevin Harvick 2 2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3 9
Joey Logano 4 1
Matt Kenseth 5 36

 

Past Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Winners:

  • The average race winner’s starting position is 8.5
    • Jimmie Johnson won in 2015 from starting P37, which is the furthest back a race winner has started
  • Since 2004, 1 pole winner has gone on to win the race
    • Kasey Kahne back in 2006
  • 41.7% of the winners have come from starting in the top 5
  • 83.3% of the winners have come from starting in the top 10
    • 2 winners have come from starting 79 since 2004
  • Winning drivers have lead an average of 102 laps (31.4% of the scheduled 325 lap race)
  • There have been 8 different race winners from 6 different teams since 2004
  • Pole winners have an average finish of 15.75, leading an average of 36.75 laps (11.3% of the scheduled 325 lap race)

Atlanta Manufacturer Stats

Atlanta Team Stats

Toyota is off to a great start this season, thanks to Denny Hamlin’s victory in the Daytona 500. Martin Truex Jr. and his lone ride had the best team average at the Daytona 500, while Joe Gibbs Racing had the best multi-car team average finish. Several big teams find themselves currently at the bottom of the chart, but never count anyone out this early in the season.

With all that said, we are down to the predictions for this weekend’s race. The 2015 season is still heavily weighted on the prediction for another few weeks before 2016 takes over.

Atlanta Predictions

It should be no surprise that we see Jimmie Johnson on top, With 2 victories in 12 starts, complimented by a top 10 average finish, he is hard to beat. The only driver that seems to be matching him at Atlanta is Matt Kenseth. While Kenseth has no victories, he matches Johnson pretty much toe-to-toe. In general, keep an eye on the Joe Gibbs Racing quartet, because Daytona might have been a sight of things to come. Also, we will now get a nice look at the rookie class and how they can actually race without the aid of drafting. It should be a great day of racing in Georgia!

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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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