Crunching The Numbers: Duck Commander 500 at Texas

This weekend’s Duck Commander 500 is at Texas Motor Speedway. After a stint on the west coast, the field came back east, only to head back west. That does not seem to be the optimal scheduling for the circuit, but then again, I am but a lonely statistician so what could I offer to the NASCAR big guns? Speaking of guns, Texas is known for handing its winners a nice pair of six shooters to celebrate with in victory lane. How much do you know about the history of Texas Motor Speedway’s April race? We shall put that to the test, bur first, a few track facts for ya!

  • Track Length: 1.5 Miles
    • Scheduled Laps: 334 (501 miles)
  • Track Configuration: Quad-Oval
  • Turns 1 – 4 banking: 24°
  • Frontstretch banking: 5°
    • 2,250 feet long
  • Backstretch banking: 5°
    • 1,330 feet long

Texas 1 Track Stats

Last year, the Duck Commander 500 gave us a race that was on par in terms of average race speed as well as when the first caution flew. The margin of victory was closer than the historical average. To date, not race has finished under caution.

Winner of the Duck Commander 500 driver Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway.

2015 Duck Commander 500 Top 5 – 4/11/15

Driver Finish Start
Jimmie Johnson 1 5
Kevin Harvick 2 2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3 25
Joey Logano 4 6
Brad Keselowski 5 3

 

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2015 AAA Texas 500 – 11/8/15

Driver Finish Start
Jimmie Johnson 1 8
Brad Keselowski 2 1
Kevin Harvick 3 2
Kyle Busch 4 3
Carl Edwards 5 13

2015 saw Jimmie Johnson just dominate and sweep the season at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson has also been on quite the roll in 2016 thus far, earning 2 victories, 1 of which came at Atlanta Motor Speedway which is a very similar configuration to what will be seen this weekend.

Past Duck Commander 500 Pole Sitters

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Year Driver Team Finish
2004 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing 25
2005 Ryan Newman Team Penske 26
2006 Kasey Kahne Evernham Motorsports 1
2007 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports 4
2008 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports 12
2009 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing 11
2010 Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing 32
2011 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing 7
2012 Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing 6
2013 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 1
2014 Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing 10
2015 Kurt Busch Stewart Haas Racing 14
  • Pole winners have an average finish of 11.58
    • Average laps lead: 68.03 laps (20.37% of the scheduled 334 lap race)

Past Duck Commander 500 Winners

  • The average race winner’s starting position is 6.92
    • Denny Hamlin won in 2010 from starting P29, which is the furthest back a race winner has started
  • 16.67% of pole winners have gone on to win the race
    • Kasey Kahne: 2006
    • Kyle Busch: 2013
  • 75% of the winners have come from starting in the top 5
    • 55.56% of winners starting in the top 5 have come from starting on the front row
    • 25% of winners have come from starting P2, the most common qualifying position
  • 83% of the winners have come from starting in the top 10
  • Winning drivers have lead an average of 103.08 laps (30.86% of the scheduled 334 lap race)
    • Fewest laps led by race winner: Jeff Burton led 1 lap (0.30% of the scheduled 334 lap race) in 2007
    • Most laps led by a race winner: Greg Biffle led 219 laps (65.57% of the race) in 2005
  • There have been 1 different race winners from 7 different teams since 2004
    • Greg Biffle is the only repeat winner since 2004, winning in 2005 and 2012

 

Now that the track facts have been covered, as we dove into the historical statistics around the pole sitter and the race winner, I think it is time we show the manufacturer and team statistics, which will lead us into a lovely prediction for the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday.

Texas 1 Manufacturers

When it comes to 2016, the Toyota camp overall is the best. While Chevrolet may have the most victories, Toyota is not far behind in that category, but they also have the best season forming. When we look at the Duck Commander 500, Fords seem to come alive. Holding the most victories must mean that Ford teams look forward to this track, especially Roush Fenway Racing.

Texas 1 Team Stats

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Roush Fenway Racing was at the top of the charts. Whenever the team visited Texas Motor Speedway, they always had speed and always found a way to find victory lane. The last time that happened here was back in 2012 with Greg Biffle; since then, the team has been rebuilding and finding their footing again. That allowed the power teams of Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske, and Hendrick Motorsports to close the gap on Roush Fenway Racing. And while these 4 teams are pretty darn good here, do not overlook the duo at Chip Ganassi Racing, as they hold the best average finish in the Duck Commander 500.

All of the above leads us to this – a potential ranking of drivers in the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday, April 9th.

Texas 1 Predictions

It is no real shock (at least to me) that we see Jimmie Johnson at the top of the leader board. We also see some the entire Joe Gibbs Racing team poised for a great weekend. It is not until you get to Team Penske where a Ford sneaks into the picture. Could this be yet another weekend of domination for Jimmie Johnson or the Joe Gibbs Racing team? It is hard to go against Jimmie Johnson and Joe Gibbs Racing with the power they have had these past few seasons.

Texas 1 Past Finishes

If we take a quick snapshot at the past few years of some of the top drivers, we still Greg Biffle has been laying down some great finishes so he could easily be a spoiler in the HMS/JGR party. We also see Joey Logano improving a lot, mainly once he moved over to Team Penske. Could Joey Logano break through this weekend? Will we see the rookies continue to make noise and try to burst the veteran bubble? Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney should never be overlooked!

There you have it folks; numbers have been crunched and reported out to you for this weekend’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Shall the normal continue this weekend, or will we see new faces at the front like we saw this past weekend at Martinsville? Tune in Saturday evening for the first night race of the season at 7:00pm (EST) on Fox for pre-race coverage.

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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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