Crunching The Numbers: Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen

After a very eventful weekend plus Monday of racing at Pocono where a true underdog (Chris Buescher) stole a victory, NASCAR heads a bit further north to New York’s road course – Watkins Glen. The first road course of the season, Sonoma, saw fan favorite Tony Stewart grab a victory and all but earn his way into the Chase in his final season. Last year at Watkins Glen, Joey Logano stole a victory from front runners Kevin Harvick, teammate Brad Keselowski, and AJ Allmendinger.

Watkins Glen Track Specs

  • Track Length: 2.45 Miles
    • Scheduled Laps: 90 (220.5 miles/355 kilometers)
  • Configuration: Road Course with 11 turns
  • Turns 1 – 11 banking: 6° – 10°
  • Frontstretch
    • Length: 2,141 feet
  • Backstretch
    • Length: 1,839 feet

Trends of the Race

WG Track Stats

  • Overtime: 2 times (2005 and 2011)
  • Caution Finishes: 1 time (2011)
  • Rain Shortened: 0 time

Trending of the past 5 races:

  • Margin of Victory 1.873 seconds
    • Caution finish in 2011
  • 6 cautions (average)
    • Lap 20 for the first caution
    • Lap 79 for the final caution
  • 28 drivers on the lead lap (average)

Trending of the past 10 races:

  • Margin of Victory 2.313 seconds
    • Caution finish in 2011
  • 6 cautions (average)
    • Lap 22 for the first caution
    • Lap 79 for the final caution
  • 30 drivers on the lead lap (average)

WG Metrics


Past Cheez-It 355 Pole Sitters

WG Past Pole Sitters

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  • Pole winners have an average finish of 19.67
  • Average laps lead: 31.67 laps (35.19% of the scheduled 90 laps)

 

 

 

 

Past Cheez-It 355 Race Winners

  • The average race winner’s starting position is 5.75
    • Joey Logano won in 2015 from starting P15, which is the furthest back a race winner has started
  • 16.67% of pole winners have gone on to win the race
    • Tony Stewart: 2005
    • Kyle Busch: 2008
  • 66.67% of the winners have come from starting in the top 5
    • P5 starting position has found victory lane 3 times
  • 83.33% of the winners have come from starting in the top 10
  • Winning drivers have lead an average of 35.42 laps (39.35% of the scheduled 90 lap race)
    • Fewest laps led by race winner: Joey Logano lead 1 lap (1.11% of the race) in 2015
    • Most laps led by a race winner: Tony Stewart led 83 laps (92.22% of the race) in 2005
  • There have been 7 different race winners from 7 different teams since 2004
    • Tony Stewart leads the [active] field with 4 wins
    • Joe Gibbs Racing leads the field with 5 wins

hi-res-6fb0ede3a4dc61afee4c91cada9f4d81_crop_north   WG 2015 Top 5

hi-res-c045ef40816922ca37eed5f3c9934bfd_crop_north  Sonoma 2016 Top 5

 

Team & Manufacturer Stats

WG Teams

WG Manufacturers

Front Row Motorsports snagged a victory this past weekend (or should I say Monday) at Pocono Raceway thanks to some strategy and weather. Chris Buescher is on the verge of entering the Chase, but needs to get into the top 30 in points and be there come the end of Richmond. Hendrick Motorsports continued their struggles and Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske continued to be the teams to beat. And can anyone recall the last time (this far into a season) where Chevrolet had the fewest wins? I can tell you that the only time Chevy was not leading was 2008 when Toyota came into the picture, and even then, they had the second most wins. In the past decade, Chevy has never once been at the bottom. Have the tides really turned? Chevy is truly dominate at road courses, but with the domination of Toyota this year, does the history really hold a lot of merritt?

Cheez-It 355 Predictions & Analysis

WG Predictions

Looking for a safe bet? Try Kurt Busch. Of the 5,811 laps that have been run this season, Kurt Busch has run every last one; 100% of the laps! Brad Keselowski is a close second, running 99.86% of all possible laps, and third place is Trevor Bayne at 99.67%. Martin Truex Jr. however, knows how to stay up front, leading the most laps at 1,005. The way a driver runs during the season may just help them when it comes to tracks they may not be the best at.

WG Past Finishes

2016 Finish is Sonoma

We all remember Tony Stewart’s memorable and emotional victory at Sonoma earlier in the year, and being the driver with the most victories at Watkins Glen, we can all hope for another emotional day for Smoke. Other drivers to keep an eye on are round course specialist AJ Allmendinger as this might be his last (best) shot at grabbing a Chase spot. Brad Keselowski  and Kyle Busch have also turned out to be pretty great road course racers in their careers as well and Kevin Harvick is always lurking come the end of the race. I know it has been said for weeks now regarding Chevrolet, but it is really do-or-die time for them to get things turned around and prove to be a fighting force against the Toyota drivers come the Chase.

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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