Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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I Love New York 355 Stats

Friday, August 4, 2017


This week’s race: I Love New York 355 at the Glen
Traditional Name: Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen
Other Notable Names: Cheez-it 355 at the Glen; Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, Centurion Boats at the Glen, Sirius at the Glen, Global Crossing at the Glen, The Bud at the Glen

NASCAR visits their second twisty track of the season and drivers with a propensity for turning right and left get a chance to shine. While Watkins Glen International is technically much different than Sonoma Raceway, there is a basic road course skill that will shine through.

The gap has closed between road specialists and the points’ leaders almost completely, however, and this week’s top-10 only has a few surprises. In order to identify a dark horse, fantasy players will have to look much deeper in the field.

10 best drivers at Watkins Glen

Over the past six races, these drivers have the best average finish on this track.

1. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 3.00
Career avg. finish: 12.8 in 8 attempts

Road courses are not where drivers who did not spend their formative years on this type come to turn their season around. That might be different for Logano, who won this race in 2015 and finished second last year. He is in a must-win situation if he wants to make the playoffs and time is running out.

2. Kurt Busch
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 6.33
Career avg. finish: 17.3 in 16 attempts

Busch finished 11th in last year’s Cheez-it 355, which snapped a three-race streak of top-10s. He has been equally impressive at Sonoma and that is one of only two times in the last nine races on this course type that he failed to crack the top 10. In that span, his worst outing was a 12th.

3. Matt Kenseth
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 7.67
Career avg. finish: 14.2 in 17 attempts

Kenseth is currently in playoff contention on points, but he needs to treat this race as his best opportunity to win between now and the regular-season finale. His numbers at the Glen are much better than those at Sonoma and three straight top-10s on this course give him a reason to be hopeful.

4. AJ Allmendinger
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 9.67
Career avg. finish: 9.4 in 8 attempts

Allmendinger came to Watkins Glen with high hopes in 2015. He won the previous season to put his team in the Chase and sat on the pole that afternoon, but a battery issue dropped him to the back of the lead lap in 25th. That is the only time in eight career starts on this track that he failed to crack the top 15. Last year, he rebounded to fourth.

5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 11.00 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 21.7 in 16 attempts

This has not always been one of Earnhardt’s better tracks and he has not earned a top-10 since 2005. He came close in the past two years, however, with a pair of 11th-place finishes in 2014/2015 after staring both races seventh.

6. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 14.00
Career avg. finish: 13.3 in 16 attempts

Harvick’s numbers would have been much better if not for an accident last year. Seven laps from the end of the Cheez-it 355, he was forced to retire. That put him in 32nd, which snapped a six-race streak of top-15s on this course. He won in 2006.

7. Brad Keselowski (tied with Truex and Larson)
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 15.00
Career avg. finish: 10.1 in 7 attempts

Keselowski is ranked seventh this week because he had a brake issue in 2014 that cost him five laps. Otherwise, he has finished seventh or better in six of his last seven races. Three of these were runner-up results and last year he finished third.

7. Martin Truex Jr. (tied with Larson and Keselowski)
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 15.00
Career avg. finish: 13.1 in 11 attempts

Truex is not the first driver who comes to mind on road courses, but four of his last six races at Watkins Glen ended in top-10s. He also has a 13th in 2014 and if he had not gotten turned on the final corner of 2015’s race he would be perfect in regard to top-15s since 2011.

7. Kyle Larson (tied with Truex and Keselowski)
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 15.00
Career avg. finish: 15.0 in 3 attempts

Larson lands in the top 10 this week, but his numbers are not uniformly good. In fact, he has gotten worse with each passing season, falling from fourth as a rookie, to 12th in 2015, and 29th last year.

10. Trevor Bayne
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 15.50 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 15.5 in 2 attempts

Bayne has only two Watkins Glen starts to his credit and the forecast is uncertain. He was 22nd as a rookie and ninth last year. If you are playing a game that offers place-differential points, you should note that he started outside the top 30 in both of those attempts. 

 

Rank

Driver

Avg. Fin

Attempts

1.

Joey Logano

3.00

3

2.

Kurt Busch

6.33

3

3.

Matt Kenseth

7.67

3

4.

AJ Allmendinger

9.67

3

5.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

11.00

2

6.

Kevin Harvick

14.00

3

7.

Martin Truex Jr.

15.00

3

7.

Kyle Larson

15.00

3

7.

Brad Keselowski

15.00

3

10.

Trevor Bayne

15.50

2

 

 

 

 

11.

Kyle Busch

16.00

3

12.

Clint Bowyer

17.00

3

13.

Denny Hamlin

17.33

3

14.

Danica Patrick

19.67

3

15.

Aric Almirola

20.33

3

16.

Jamie McMurray

20.67

3

17.

Paul Menard

22.33

3

18.

Ryan Newman

24.00

3

19.

Kasey Kahne

24.67

3

20.

David Ragan

25.00

3

21.

Jimmie Johnson

26.00

3

22.

Michael McDowell

26.33

3

23.

Austin Dillon

27.67

3

24.

Landon Cassill

29.00

3

25.

Matt DiBenedetto

30.00

2

26.

Cole Whitt

30.67

3

27.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

30.67

3

28.

Chris Buescher

33.50

2

Drivers With Only One Start

 

Chase Elliott

13.00

1

 

Ryan Blaney

19.00

1

 

Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 10, 2006 AMD at the Glen
Fewest caution flags: 0 (3 times), 1990 Budweiser at the Glen, 1965 Grand National Race No 33, 1957 Grand National Race No 35
Average number of caution flags per race: 5.1
In 2017: 9.1

Final Caution, last five races:
August 2015: Lap 58 of 90 – 1-car stalled on track (Tony Stewart, rear gear)
August 2014: Lap 88 of 90 – 1-car spin at pit entrance (Denny Hamlin), plus 2-car incident in turn 1 (Alex Kennedy and Reed Sorenson)
August 2013: Lap 86 of 90 – 3-car accident in turn four (Marcos Ambrose, Max Papis, and Brian Vickers)
August 2012: Lap 72 of 90 – one-car accident on frontstretch (Tony Stewart)
August 2011: Lap 92 of 92 – during green-white-checkered, three-car accident in turn three (David Reutimann, David Ragan, and Boris Said)

Most caution laps: 36, 1988 The Budweiser at the Glen
Fewest caution laps: 0 (3 times), 1990 Budweiser at the Glen, 1965 Grand National Race No 33, 1957 Grand National Race No 35
Average number of caution laps per race: 13.8
In 2017: 46.0

Leading the way

Most leaders: 11 (2 times), 2006 AMD at the Glen, 2001 Global Crossing at the Glen
Fewest leaders: 1, 1957 Grand National Race No 35
Average number of leaders: 6.6
In 2017: 9.0

Most lead changes: 14 (3 times), 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, 2006 AMD at the Glen, 1991 Budweiser at the Glen
Fewest lead changes: 0, 1957 Grand National Race No 35
Average number of lead changes: 9.1
In 2017: 18.8

Victory Lane

Last five winners at Watkins Glen (starting position):
August 2016: Denny Hamlin (6)
August 2015: Joey Logano (16)
August 2014: AJ Allmendinger (6)
August 2013: Kyle Busch (5)
August 2012: Marcos Ambrose (5)

Worst starting position for race winner: 16th, Joey Logano 2015 Cheez-it 355k at the Glen

A race at Watkins Glen has been won by the pole sitter nine times and from the front row 11 times in 34 races.

Recent races won from the pole:
August 2008: Kyle Busch, Centurion Boats at the Glen (set by NASCAR rule book)
August 2005: Tony Stewart, Sirius at the Glen (set by NASCAR rule book)
August 1998: Jeff Gordon, The Bud at the Glen
August 1995: Mark Martin, The Bud at the Glen
August 1994: Mark Martin, The Bud at the Glen
August 1993: Mark Martin, The Bud at the Glen

Active winners at Watkins Glen:
Kyle Busch: 2
Kevin Harvick: 1
AJ Allmendinger: 1
Joey Logano: 1
Denny Hamlin: 1

Top-10 All-time Winners:
Tony Stewart: 5
Jeff Gordon: 4
Mark Martin: 3
Marcos Ambrose: 2
Kyle Busch: 2
Ricky Rudd: 2
Rusty Wallace: 2
Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, AJ Allmendinger, Buck Baker, Geoff Bodine, Robby Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Ernie Irvan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Marvin Panch, Steve Park, Kyle Petty, Tim Richmond, and Billy Wade: 1

All road courses:
Jeff Gordon: 9
Tony Stewart: 8
Ricky Rudd: 6
Richard Petty: 6
Rusty Wallace: 6
Bobby Allison: 6
Dan Gurney: 5
Tim Richmond: 5
Darrell Waltrip: 5
Kyle Busch: 4
David Pearson: 4
Mark Martin: 4

First time winners at Watkins Glen:
2014: AJ Allmendinger, Cheez-it 355 at the Glen
2011: Marcos Ambrose, Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen
2000: Steve Park, Global Crossing at the Glen

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Watkins Glen race they started:
Matt Kenseth (17)
Kasey Kahne (13)
Kyle Busch (12)
Clint Bowyer (11)
Martin Truex Jr. (11)
AJ Allmendinger (8)
Joey Logano (8)
Brad Keselowski (7)
Landon Cassill (5)
Danica Patrick (4)
Austin Dillon (3)
Kyle Larson (3)
Trevor Bayne (2)
Chris Buescher (2)
Ryan Blaney (1)
Chase Elliott (1)

Kevin Harvick crashed on lap 83 last year and snapped a 15-race streak of running at the end.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had been running at the end of three races before he crashed last year on lap 52.

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Ryan Newman: 2 (2002)
Kyle Larson: 4 (2014)
Kevin Harvick: 7 (2001)
Denny Hamlin: 10 (2006)
Matt Kenseth: 10 (2000)

Current Streaks

At Watkins Glen
Joey Logano, four top-10s
Matt Kenseth, three top-10s
Kyle Busch, two top-10s
Brad Keselowski, two top-10s

On road courses (Watkins Glen and Sonoma)
Kyle Busch, five top-10s
Denny Hamlin, three top-fives
Jamie McMurray, two top-10s
Brad Keselowski, two top-fives

In 2017
Kevin Harvick, four top-10s
Brad Keselowski, three top-10s
Matt Kenseth, three top-10s
Daniel Suarez, three 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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