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Chase Elliott
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Statistically Speaking

Segment Points through Week 4

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: March 21, 2020, 4:04 pm ET

Segment Points can mean the difference between winning a losing a contest that rewards points heavily skewed toward NASCAR’s race scoring at the end of an event.

Chase Elliott has only two top-10 finishes in the first four races of 2020, but he sits just 20 points out of the points’ lead. One big reason for that is because 50 of his 144 points have been earned in the first two segments of the races.

NASCAR Fantasy Live offers bonus points for winning one of the stages, but frankly that can be a guessing game that requires a lot of luck unless a driver is truly dominant. Elliott has scored three stage wins. One of those came in the Daytona 500 in Stage 1. That race is not predictable by any stretch of the imagination, but it is notable that the No. 24 was among the top 10 in both segments.

Having weathered the wild card race, Elliott went on to score back-to-back stage wins at Las Vegas. He banked 20 points in doing so. That turned out to be a blessing for players because a late-race problem in the final stage dropped him to 26th at the checkers.

With three, Elliott is the only driver with more than one stage win.


Until he had a tire problem in Stage 2 at Phoenix, Elliott was perfect in regard to scoring points and that consistently adds to players’ coffers.

Ryan Blaney has been Elliott’s closest competition in terms of segment points. He also entered Phoenix with a perfect record of scoring during the first two stages and actually had the lead before an early accident in the FanShield 500k robbed him of any points on the short, flat track.

Blaney has only one stage win, but in the two races before Phoenix he was perfect in regard to top-five rankings on unrestricted tracks with a fourth in Stage 1 at Vegas, second-place results in Stage 2 of that race and Stage 1 at Auto Club, and finally a win at Auto Club in Stage 2.

Players can expect that his trouble at Phoenix will be put behind him quickly.

It has been a disappointing year so far for Martin Truex Jr., but he is one of the reasons fantasy players want to pay attention to other statistics than raw finishes. He is liable to break through at any time and his performance in the opening stages of the first four races indicate as much.

Truex failed to score points at the end of a stage only twice this year. One of those came in the wild card Daytona 500 when he was taking it easy in Stage 1. He was forced to start at the back in the Auto Club 400 and failed to crack the top 10 at the end of Stage 1 of that race. But he has been among the top five in five of the remaining six segments and seventh in the other stage.

Las Vegas was his biggest disappointment. After finishing second in Stage 1 and third in Stage 2, he slipped out of the top 10 and finished 14th.

Kevin Harvick is the only driver with a perfect record of top-10s at the checkers this year, but that does not mean he has not struggled. His performance in regard to stage points reveals as much. He cannot be faulted for failing to be among the top 10 at Daytona in either stage given the nature of that race, but he was outside the top five in one of the Vegas stages and both Auto Club segments.

It was not until Phoenix that he showed true signs of strength. As expected, he was dominant in that race with a Stage 1 win and a second in Stage 2. He lost out to Joey Logano on strategy, but would have won if the race had a longer green flag segment to end the race.

Alex Bowman won Stage 1 at Auto Club and finished second in Stage 2. That showed his strength as much or more than his victory in the 400 miler. With 38 total points, he has the fourth most in the field.

Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin also have stage wins, but they rank only 10th and 11th respectively in regard to total points earned.

Joey Logano is fifth on the stage points’ chart and he’s managed that without a single stage win. In fact, his best performance was third in the Phoenix race, but he has steadily banked points in seven of the eight segments so far. That should come as little surprise since he topped the charts in this regard last year with 358 points in 53 segments. In 2019, Logano had 11 stage wins.

Last year Kyle Busch scored the most stage wins with 12. He had the third-most points (299) behind Logano and Harvick. This year, he is ranked eighth in points and has not yet scored a stage win.

 

Driver

Segment
Points

Segments
earning
points

Segment
Wins

Chase Elliott

50

7

3

Ryan Blaney

43

6

1

Martin Truex Jr.

42

6

 

Alex Bowman

38

6

1

Joey Logano

37

7

 

Kevin Harvick

33

5

1

Jimmie Johnson

33

6

 

Kyle Busch

27

6

 

Aric Almirola

23

4

 

Brad Keselowski

22

3

1

Denny Hamlin

13

2

1

Matt DiBenedetto

13

3

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

12

2

 

William Byron

12

2

 

Kyle Larson

9

3

 

Tyler Reddick

9

2

 

Ross Chastain

7

2

 

Kurt Busch

6

1

 

Chris Buescher

3

2

 

Erik Jones

3

2

 

Clint Bowyer

3

1

 

Cole Custer

1

1

 

Ty Dillon

1

1

 

 

2020 Stats through Week 4

Average Running Position

Dan Beaver
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.