Crunching The Numbers: 2017 GEICO 500

After a short stint of short tracks, NASCAR teams head to Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500. Tune in Sunday, May 7th @ 2pm (EST) on FOX to find out what will happen on the high banks and speed of this monstrous speedway.

Talladega Superspeedway Track Specs

  • Track Configuration: 2.66 Tri-Oval
  • Scheduled Laps: 188 (500.08 miles)
    • Stage 1 End Lap: 55
    • Stage 2 End Lap: 110
  • Turns 1 – 4 banking: 33°
  • Frontstretch
    • Length: 2,150 feet
    • Banking: 18° Tri-Oval
  • Backstretch
    • Length: 4,000 feet
    • Banking: Minimal°

Trends of the Race

  • Overtime: 5 times since 2004; most recently in 2013
  • Caution Finishes: 5 times; most recently in 2016
  • Rain Shortened: 0

Trending of the past 5 Spring races:

  • Margin of Victory 0.225 seconds
  • 7 cautions
    • Lap 25 for the first caution
    • Lap 181 for the final caution (7 laps before the end)
  • 24 drivers on the lead lap

Trending of the past 10 Spring races:

  • Margin of Victory 0.144 seconds
  • 7 cautions
    • Lap 28 for the first caution
    • Lap 184 for the final caution (4 laps before the end)
  • 25 drivers on the lead lap

GEICO 500 Pole Sitters

  • Pole winners have an average finish of 17.46
  • Average laps lead: 16.15 laps (8.6% of the race)
  • 7.7% of pole winners find their way to victory lane
  • Most laps led by a pole sitter is 71 by Jeff Gordon
    • He went on to win the race in 2007

GEICO 500 Winners

  • The average race winner’s starting position is 9.77
    • Denny Hamlin started from P34 in 2014, the furthest back a race winner has started
  • 46.2% of the winners have come from starting in the top 5
  • 61.5% of the winners have come from starting in the top 10
  • The mode, or most common, starting position of the race winner is P2 and P4
    • Each position has 2 wins since 2004
  • Winning drivers have lead an average of 30.46 laps (16.2% of the race)
    • Fewest laps led by race winner: Brad Keselowski lead 1 lap (0.5% of the race) in 2009
    • Most laps led by a race winner: Jeff Gordon led 139 laps (73.9% of the race) in 2005
  • There have been 8 different race winners from 5 different teams since 2004
    • Brad Keselowski leads the [active] field with 3 wins and is the defending race winner
    • Hendrick Motorsports lead the field with 7 wins

Team & Manufacturer Statistics

Team Penske is going strong with 3 wins this year, thanks to Joey Logano’s victory at Richmond International Raceway. Not only does Team Penske have the most wins, they also have the best average finish and average start of all teams this year. When it comes to the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Hendrick Motorsports has the most victories, the best average start, and best average finish (of multi-car teams). It appears to be setting up for a Penske vs. Hendrick battle this weekend; but are there any other teams and drivers who can step into the mix?

GEICO 500 Predictions & Analysis

The defending race winner is Brad Keselowski, who is in the top 5 for best average finish this year, but also is tied with Jimmie Johnson for most victories this season as well. It is also worth noting that young drivers, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, have had successful ventures in the GEICO 500; and both are looking for their first victories in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Also look for fan favorite, and retiring driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to flex his muscles at one of his best tracks.

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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