The most important adjustments going into NASCAR this season have been the brand new aerodynamic and engine modifications and the way they’d have an effect on competitors.
Let’s face it, NASCAR had a contest downside, highlighted final yr with prolonged margins of victory and shrinking variety of lead adjustments and leaders per race.
However the steps they’ve taken have actually labored. It is ridiculous to anticipate week-to-week picture finishes, however the racing is tight, passing is up and pleasure has adopted this guidelines package deal, particularly on the intermediate tracks, which have been lately, fairly truthfully, complete snore-fests.
I am not going to simply inform you they’re higher although. I am a numbers man, so listed here are some numbers.
The proof’s within the passing
Final yr, Kyle Busch dominated the 600-mile race at Charlotte, main 377 of a doable 400 laps. This yr’s winner, Martin Truex Jr., led simply 116 laps, however it goes deeper than that.
There have been solely 9 lead adjustments over the 400 laps final yr (or one each 44.four laps). The 2019 model of the race had 30 (or one each 13.three laps).
These 30 lead adjustments have been probably the most at a observe aside from Daytona or Talladega since March 2015 at Martinsville. It was probably the most at any 1.5-mile observe for the reason that October 2014 race at Charlotte.
General, there have been 19.eight lead adjustments per race this yr, up 30 % from final yr’s 15.three per race.
And simply again to trying particularly on the 600, based on NASCAR’s loop knowledge, there was three,929 inexperienced flag passes within the race. That complete can be up 29 % from final season’s complete.
And we’re seeing a wide range of automobiles on the entrance. Sunday’s race was the fourth straight with at the least 10 completely different leaders. It is the primary time that is occurred within the final three seasons.
Maintaining it shut
The margin of victory of Sunday’s race was zero.330 seconds, with Truex Jr. beating Joey Logano to the road.
Since NASCAR started digital scoring in 1993, that is the third-closest we have seen in 48 races that ended below inexperienced in that point. Each of the nearer races befell within the 2005 season, with Jimmie Johnson getting the victory in every.
It is the second straight race and sixth time this season that the margin of victory has been below a half-second. Final season, there have been solely 10 such races out of 36, a “shut end price” of 28 %. This yr, it is 46 %.
General, the typical green-flag end this season has had a mean margin of victory of 1.54 seconds. In the event you take out Truex’s nine-plus second victory at Dover, it is .816 seconds.
Nonetheless, that 1.54 seconds trims almost a half-second off final yr’s common margin of victory.
And if we have been to get again nearer to the .816 common that we have now with out Dover, that will be simply the second time within the digital scoring period (since 1993) that the typical margin of victory was below a second. It additionally occurred in 2014.
So, even when Sunday was one other Joe Gibbs Racing victory (and one other Staff Penske robust run), relaxation assured the competitors stage is certainly shifting in the correct path.