Crunching The Numbers: 2017 Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

The Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is the second race in the second segment of the NASCAR Playoffs. In previous years, it was the cutoff race. So, with Martin Truex Jr. the only driver advancing thus far, will we see aggressive action from the rest of the Playoff field? Or, will they play it safe?

Talladega Superspeedway Track Specs

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

Alabama 500 Trends of the Race

  • Overtime: 7 (2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, & 2016)
  • Caution Finishes: 7 (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, & 2015)
  • Rain Shortened: 0

Trending of the past 5 Fall races:

  • Margin of Victory 0.133 seconds
  • 5 cautions
    • First Caution: Lap 52
    • Final Caution: Lap 190 (2 laps over scheduled)
  • 28 drivers on the lead lap

Trending of the past 10 Fall races:

  • Margin of Victory 0.080 seconds
  • 6 cautions
    • First Caution: Lap 42
    • Final Caution: Lap 187 (1 lap to go)
  • 26 drivers on the lead lap

Alabama 500 Pole Sitters

  • Pole winners have an average finish of 20.2
  • Average laps lead: 5.6 laps (3.0% of the race)
  • 0% of pole winners find their way to victory lane
  • Most laps led by a pole sitter was 18 (9.6% of the race) by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2010
    • Juan Pablo Montoya finished that race P3

Alabama 500 Winners

  • The average race winner’s starting position is 13.2
    • Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart started from P34 in 2007 & 2008 (respectively), the furthest back a race winner has started
    • The median race winner’s starting position is P10
    • The mode of race winner’s starting position is P2, P9, & P10
  • 30.8% of the winners have come from starting in the top 5
  • 61.5% of the winners have come from starting in the top 10
  • Winning drivers have lead an average of 24.9 laps (13.3% of the race)
    • Fewest laps led by race winner: Jeff Gordon led 1 lap (0.5% of the race) in 2007
    • Most laps led by a race winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 78 laps (41.5% of the race) in 2004
  • There have been 10 different race winners from 7 different teams since 2004
    • Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, & Joey Logano lead the active field with 2 wins each
    • Roush Fenway Racing & Team Penske lead the field with 3 wins each
  • 30.8% of Alabama 500 winners have come from the Playoff field

Alabama 500 & Manufacturer Statistics

Alabama 500 Predictions & Analysis

Alabama 500 Chaser Stats

Just like the very first Playoff race, Martin Truex Jr. finds himself sitting quite comfortably; which is a very good thing with Talladega Superspeedway looming. Some drivers are looking strong, with streaks of great finishes; and they hope to keep that going. However, the story this weekend will likely be around, perhaps the best, restrictor plate racer today; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He kept his Playoff streak going by staying alive for round 2. Given that he won earlier this year, and how well he performs at this track, the 10 other Playoff drivers might be fretting a bit. The big question is, can Ricky Stenhouse Jr. avoid the pressure that is on him this weekend in the Alabama 500 and grab another restrictor plate victory? The next biggest question is, will a Playoff driver even win this weekend?

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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