List of NASCAR Statistics
In sports, the biggest and most important factor of success is victory. Winning is how one succeeds in a sport, and is what most tend to pay attention to. Whether you win or lose doesn't tell the whole story, and isn't enough to judge whether or not someone is actually good at the sport. Statistics are useful analysis measurements that are used to keep track of how individual competitors are performing. NASCAR is no different, with a plethora of different statistics that measure different aspects of each driver's performance.
List of NASCAR Statistics
This statistic is a count of how many races each driver has won. This is arguably the most important statistic, as winning races is the primary goal of every NASCAR driver. This is essentially a measurement of the success within the sport of each NASCAR driver, as winning races is the definition of success within NASCAR.
NASCAR releases "driver ratings" every week in preparation of upcoming races. This rating is intended to be a measurement of the ability/form of the NASCAR driver in question. This statistic is based on a number of other statistics. If a driver finishes first place, their rating gets a significant boost of 180 points, while this number drops lower and lower in increments as the placement gets lower, until finally the driver who finishes 43rd only gets a boost of 34 points. The other statistics that factor into this number include Average Running Position (ARP), Average Speed, and fastest lap. There are bonus points awarded based on Wins, Top 15 Finishes, Leading Most Laps, Leading Lap Finishes, as well as Average Running Positions better than 10.0, 6.0, and 2.0.
This is one of the many statistics that are a factor in Driver Rating, but on its own, this is still an important statistic. Finish refers to the position that the driver finishes in out of all of the competing drivers, for example first place, second place, or last place. This is an important statistic in terms of an individual race, because it is a representation of each driver's overall performance in that race.
Average Running Position (ARP)
Average Running Position, abbreviated to ARP for short, is yet another statistic that is one of the many factors in Driver Rating, but is also important on its own. This statistic is the average position of the driver over the course of the race. This is important when looking at the race as a whole, not just the outcome, as a driver could lead for almost the entire race, then lose right at the end. The ARP helps show that driver's success over the course of the entire race, despite their loss at the end.
This is once again one of the primary factors in determining a driver's Driver Rating.The average speed is rather self-explanatory, it is simply the average of all the speeds a driver reaches during a race. This is not necessarily indicative of a better or worse driver, however, faster speeds tend to lead to better performances.
The final of the primary statistics that factor into a driver's driver rating, the fastest lap is an important indicator of a driver's potential. In general terms, the fastest lap of a driver is simply the time they took to complete their fastest lap, however, within the context of the formula for a Driver Rating, Fastest Lap indicates the average of a driver's three fastest lap times. This statistic is important because it is a representation of a driver's best, in other words it is an indicator of how good they have the potential to be. After all, a driver could run an extremely fast lap, but then perform horribly for the rest of the race. While they may not have ran a good race overall, their fastest lap shows that they have the potential to be that fast overall, even if they have yet to perform that well consistently.
Total Laps Run
This statistic is the first one listed that has no impact on Driver Rating, this is because Total Laps Run is not indicative of a driver's ability or success whatsoever. Instead, this statistic speaks to a driver's experience and how often they race. It is rather self-explanatory as well, as it is simply the total number of laps a NASCAR driver has completed in their career, between all of their races within a specific period of time.
This statistic is similar to Total Laps Run in that it speaks to a driver's experience, however it is also different in that it also speaks to a driver's ability. This is representative of a driver's success within an individual race, similar to the number of wins that a driver has, however it is a bit more broken down. Laps led looks at the total number of laps that a driver has led over a specific period of time. This helps take a more in-depth look at how good each driver is, as wins do not necessarily equate to ability, and may discount drivers who perform consistently well, but do not finish first.
Green Flag Passes
In NASCAR races, it is extremely rare for a driver to lead every single lap in a race. In fact, it has only been done three times in the history of the sport, by only two different racers, Jeff Gordon and Cale Yarborough. Based on this fact, it can be assumed that the ability to pass other cars and drivers during a race is essential to victory and success. This statistic is a count of how many times a driver has passed another under green flag conditions. "Green flag conditions" refers to the time during a race in which there is no delay or caution.
Green Flag Passes are a good indicator of a driver's ability to pass other drivers, however, it does not account for the fact that the more skilled drivers in higher positions are likely going to be much more difficult to pass than the less skilled drivers in lower positions. Quality Passes refers to the count of how many times a driver has passed another driver within the top 15 positions under green flag conditions.