Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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Camping World 500 Stats

Friday, March 17, 2017


This week’s race: Can-Am 500
Traditional Name: None
Other Notable Names: Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, Phoenix AdvoCare 500, Kobalt Tools 500, Checker Auto Parts 500, Dura Lube 500, Slick 50 500, Pyroil 500

Short, flat tracks are prone to streaks.

Last year, six drivers swept the top 10 in both races on this track; two of them swept the top five. Not only did they sweep those positions, two of them finished within one position in the pair of events: Kurt Busch was sixth in the spring and fifth in the fall; Chase Elliott was eighth and ninth. Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch finished within two spots in both races, Kevin Harvick was within three, and Denny Hamlin was within four.

This week’s favorites should come from last year’s sweepers.

10 best drivers at Phoenix

Over the past six races, these drivers have the best average finish on this track, (current configuration only).

1. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 1.67
Career avg. finish: 10.0 in 28 attempts

Harvick has been so strong during the past five years at Phoenix that he has become a “no-brainer.” Most players will have him on their lineup, but that means anyone willing to roll the dice could pick up some points if he fails to finish in the top five.

2. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 6.67
Career avg. finish: 13.2 in 16 attempts

It is not customary to see a five-position drop from first to second on this chart. Harvick’s stellar performance is half of the reason; the other half is that Logano had a pit road mistake in this race last year and finished 18th. Otherwise, he enters with six top-10s in his last seven starts.

3. Chase Elliott
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 8.50 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 8.5 in 2 attempts

Elliott had been among the five strongest drivers in all three races so far this season. In fact, one could make the argument that he has been one of the top two. If he had a victory to his credit, that would be a foregone conclusion.

4. Ryan Blaney
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 9.00 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 9.0 in 2 attempts

Blaney is making certain that his name gets mentioned along with Elliott and Kyle Larson whenever one talks about the changing of the guard. One concern might be the level of funding with the Wood Bros. organization, but that playing field has been adequately leveled with their strategic partnership with Penske Racing.

5. Kyle Busch
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 10.60 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 12.9 in 23 attempts

Busch enters the weekend with a three-race, top-five streak at Phoenix and five top-10s in his last six starts. It is notable that both he and Logano are among the five best this week and that they both qualified near the front of the pack. Sunday’s contest between the two will be a thriller.

6. Denny Hamlin (tied with Keselowski)
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 10.83
Career avg. finish: 10.9 in 23 attempts

A 19th in the spring 2014 Phoenix race and a 23rd the next year keep Hamlin from being in the top five this week. If he can manage to finish inside the top 10 in the Camping World 500, he will have better numbers later this year. For now he needs to be evaluated in practice.

6. Brad Keselowski (tied with Hamlin)
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 10.83
Career avg. finish: 14.6 in 15 attempts

Keselowski’s three-year average is heavily skewed by a four-race streak of top-10s in 2014 and 2015. Last year, he finished six laps off the pace in 29th in the spring with crash damage and could only managed a 14th last fall.

8. Jamie McMurray
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 11.33
Career avg. finish: 19.4 in 27 attempts

McMurray makes the top 10 list this week on consistency. He has only two top-10s in the past six Phoenix races, but his worst result is a 16th. Equally important, that result is counterbalanced by a second in 2015.

9. Kurt Busch
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 11.50
Career avg. finish: 13.1 in 29 attempts

One can disregard Busch’s three-year average finish this week because it is skewed by a 39th-place finish in spring 2014. His last five attempts put him at 6.0 and that would land him second on this chart behind his teammate Harvick.

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at Phoenix: 11.80 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 16.1 in 28 attempts

The Camping World 500 is going to be critical for Junior. He needs a good run to stop his downward spiral and put to rest any concerns about his health. He won at Phoenix in 2015 and has six top-10s in his last seven starts. 

 

Rank

Driver

3 Yr. Avg. Finish

Attempts

1.

Kevin Harvick

1.67

6

2.

Joey Logano

6.67

6

3.

Chase Elliott

8.50

2

4.

Ryan Blaney

9.00

2

5.

Kyle Busch

10.60

5

6.

Brad Keselowski

10.83

6

6.

Denny Hamlin

10.83

6

8.

Jamie McMurray

11.33

6

9.

Kurt Busch

11.50

6

10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

11.80

5

 

 

 

 

11.

Matt Kenseth

11.80

5

12.

Kyle Larson

13.17

6

13.

Ryan Newman

13.83

6

14.

Aric Almirola

16.17

6

14.

Kasey Kahne

16.17

6

16.

Martin Truex Jr.

18.17

6

17.

Jimmie Johnson

18.33

6

18.

AJ Allmendinger

19.50

6

19.

Paul Menard

20.17

6

20.

Ty Dillon

21.00

2

21.

Austin Dillon

24.17

6

22.

David Ragan

24.50

6

23.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24.67

6

23.

Danica Patrick

24.67

6

25.

Clint Bowyer

25.83

6

26.

Matt DiBenedetto

27.00

4

27.

Trevor Bayne

28.25

4

28.

Landon Cassill

29.33

6

29.

Michael McDowell

31.00

4

29.

Chris Buescher

31.00

2

31.

Reed Sorenson

31.67

3

33.

Cole Whitt

32.60

5

Drivers with Only Start

 

Erik Jones

19.00

1

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt

33.00

1

 

Gray Gaulding

37.00

1

 

Timmy Hill

43.00

1

 

Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 12, 2014 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500
Fewest caution flags: 2, 1999 Checker Auto Parts / Dura Lube 500, 2015 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (rain-shortened to 219 laps)
Average number of caution flags per race: 7.3
In 2017: 6.7

Final Caution, last five races on this track:
November 2016: Lap of 324: 2-car accident on the frontstretch (Alex Bowman and Matt Kenseth)
March 2016: Lap 308 of 313 (to set up NASCAR overtime): 1-car accident in turn 3 (Kasey Kahne)
November 2015: 197 of 219: 1-car accident in turn 3 (Joey Gase)
March 2015: lap 297 of 312: 2-car accident in turn 4 (Danica Patrick and David Ragan—in a relationship at the time)
November 2014: 298 of 312: 2-car accident in turn 4 (Reed Sorenson and Mike Wallace)

Most caution laps: 66, 2003 Checker Auto Parts 500
Fewest caution laps: 10, 1999 Checker Auto Parts / Dura Lube 500
Average number of caution laps per race: 39.6
In 2017: 35.3

Leading the way

Most leaders: 15, 2012 Subway Fresh Fit 500
Fewest leaders: 2, 1990 Checker 500
Average number of leaders: 7.9
In 2017: 9.7

Most lead changes: 28, 2011 Subway Fresh Fit 500
Fewest lead changes: 1, 1990 Checker 500
Average number of lead changes: 13.3
In 2017: 20.0

Victory Lane

Last five winners (starting position):
November 2016: Joey Logano (fourth)
March 2016: Kevin Harvick (18th)
November 2015: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third)
March 2015: Kevin Harvick (pole)
November 2014: Kevin Harvick (third)

Worst starting position for race winner: 29th, Ricky Rudd: 1995 Dura Lube 500

A race at Phoenix has been won by the pole sitter 5 times and from the front row 8 times in 41 races.

Recent races won from the pole:
March 2015: Kevin Harvick, CampingWorld.com 500
November 2010: Carl Edwards, Kobalt Tools 500
April 2009: Mark Martin, Subway Fresh Fit 500
November 2008: Jimmie Johnson, Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 by Pennzoil
April 2007: Jeff Gordon, Subway Fresh Fit 500

Active winners at Phoenix:
Kevin Harvick: 8
Jimmie Johnson: 4
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 3
Kurt Busch: 1
Kyle Busch: 1
Denny Hamlin: 1
Kasey Kahne: 1
Matt Kenseth: 1
Ryan Newman: 1
Joey Logano: 1

First time winners at Phoenix:
Bobby Hamilton, 1996 Dura Lube 500
Alan Kulwicki, 1988 Checker 500

All-time Winners at Phoenix:
Top 10

Kevin Harvick: 8
Jimmie Johnson: 4
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 3
Davey Allison: 2
Jeff Burton: 2
Jeff Gordon: 2
Mark Martin: 2
Carl Edwards: 2
Bill Elliott, Bobby Hamilton Sr., Dale Earnhardt, Joey Logano, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace, and Kasey Kahne 1 each

All-time winners
Short, flat tracks (Phoenix, New Hampshire, Martinsville, and Richmond)
Top 10

Jimmie Johnson: 19
Jeff Gordon: 16
Richard Petty: 15
Rusty Wallace: 15
Kevin Harvick: 14
Denny Hamlin: 11
Darrell Waltrip: 11
Tony Stewart: 10
Dale Earnhardt, Sr.: 9
Jeff Burton: 8
Kurt Busch: 8
Kyle Busch: 8

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Phoenix race they started:
Kevin Harvick (28)
Denny Hamlin (23)
AJ Allmendinger (15)
Aric Almirola (12)
Austin Dillon (6)
Kyle Larson (6)
Matt DiBenedetto (4)
Timmy Hill (3)
Ryan Blaney (2)
Chris Buescher (2)
Ty Dillon (2)
Chase Elliott (2)
Jeffrey Earnhardt (1)
Erik Jones (1)

Trevor Bayne crashed out of his first attempt, but has been running at the end of the last four.

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Kasey Kahne: fifth (2004)
Chase Elliott: eighth (2016) and ninth in his second attempt.
Kyle Busch: eighth (2005), he won in his second attempt.
Ryan Blaney: 10th (2016) and finished eighth in his second attempt.

Denny Hamlin won the pole in his first attempt in 2005.

Current Streaks

At Phoenix
Kevin Harvick, seven top-fives (including five wins)
Kurt Busch, five top-10s
Kyle Busch, three top-fives
Denny Hamlin, three top-10s
Chase Elliott, two top-10s
Ryan Blaney, two top-10s

On Short, flat tracks (Phoenix, New Hampshire, Richmond, and Martinsville)
Kyle Busch, 10 top-10s
Denny Hamlin, two top-10s
Joey Logano, two top-10s

In 2016-2017
Joey Logano, nine top-10s
Kyle Larson, two top-fives
Chase Elliott, two top-fives
Brad Keselowski, two top-fives
Jamie McMurray, two top-10s
Martin Truex Jr., two top-10s
Matt Kenseth, two top-10s

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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