The worst thing that can happen to a qualifying driver is to take himself out of the race.
The second worst thing is to be taken out by another driver.
While discussing accidents on the SiriusXM Speedway, host Dave Moody asked if some drivers tend to bump into each other more than other drivers.
I thought they did, but here are the numbers.
Never trust statistics unless you know what data was used, where it came from, and how the plaintiff reached their conclusions.
I started with the NASCAR Warning List, identifying all accidents and turns involving two or more cars. For 2022, that amounted to 69 accidents involving 280 vehicles.
However, accidents that occur on road courses often do not warrant warnings. So I added the list of accidents I collected from the analysis of the Five Road Raceway video. This resulted in a further 20 accidents involving 48 cars.
Then I identified all pairwise associations. This is a great way to say that I have found all the pairs of drivers who have had the same accidents.
for Ross ChastainFor example, you counted the number of times car #1 had an accident that also included car #2, car #3, etc. I repeated this for each driver.
Each pair of drivers score is the number of accidents they have in common. These numbers ranged from zero to six.
There is no absolute analysis. So here are the caveats:
- Counting accidents is a personal matter. I may not have counted an accident or two in road track racing that someone else might count. NASCAR did not count accidents that did not warn.
- I did not differentiate between car accidents and multiple car accidents. All of them potentially hinder the driver’s termination. But drivers take the fights between two cars more personally. So they get more attention and we remember them better.
Who communicates with the most cars?
I start by examining the number of pair crashes each driver has scored in 28 races this year. Again, a double collision is just an accident or turnover involving both drivers.
Being a beginner doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to tangle with more cars. Austin Cendrick 45 double reactions only.
The third overall driver is a veteran Denny Hamlinwith 66. With the exception of Burton, Gillian and Hamlin, no driver has had more than 60 two-way collisions this year.
Six drivers get scores between 50 and 59.
Justin Haley It has the lowest score of all full-time drivers at 19. Other drivers with lower scores are:
If the collisions are random, then each car will have approximately the same degree of even collision with every other car. We already know not to expect that because the places where cars usually run affect who hits whom.
Cars that tend to run at the front of the field are more likely to crash into other cars that run in the front of the field. The same is true for mid-size drivers and back-end packages. The only exception is at high speeds because those collisions tend to accumulate a wider area of positions.
The two drivers involved in the most common accidents this year are Cendric and Burton, for a total of six. Cendric Burton’s nine incidents included.
But the mode of operation cannot fully explain this data.
Cindric’s average running position is 17.0, which is nearly five jobs away from Burton’s average running position of 22.9. But the playoff driver Austin Dillon It averages 18.2 running position and has no accidents in common with Burton.
There are no common incidents between Cendric and Dillon.
However, the sprint mode could explain the other two drivers who score highly with Burton. Gilliland and Corey Lagoy They each have five accidents in common with a number 21. LaJoie’s average running position is 25.4 and Gilliland is 23.5.
But LaJoie has one incident in common with Gilliland.
If this makes your head spin, the diagram below may help. I indicate to each driver his car number. The numbers on the arrows tell you the number of common occurrences for each pair.
Aside from the Burton/Gillliland and Burton/LaJoie pairs, only two of the other drivers’ pairs had five mutual encounters. Denny Hamlin shares five incidents with Eliot and Ryan Blaney.
How do you get out of Bristol?
The table below shows driver pairs with scores of four or more for each of the qualifying drivers. These are the cars every driver should avoid if they want to survive in Bristol (7:30pm ET on Saturday, USA Network). Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Tyler RiddickChase Brisco William Byron And the Alex Bowman They were not included because none of them had any scores of four or higher.
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