The longest race of the NASCAR season is officially in the books and the summer months are upon us. Jimmie Johnson finally grabbed a victory and ended his "slump", if one can even call it that. So, how did the race look from a statistician's point of view? Well, let me give you a run down of what occurred during 600 miles of racing at the 1.5 mile, Quad-Oval (Intermediate track) of Charlotte!

 

Coca-Cola 600 Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson (41% of laps lead)

Laps Run: 400

Miles Driven: 600

Average Race Speed: 145.484 mph

Margin of Victory: 1.272 seconds

Lead Changes: 34

Number of Cautions: 8

Caution Laps: 44

First Caution: 109

Last Caution: 308

Drivers on the Lead Lap: 13 (30.23% of the field)

Percentage of Race Under Caution: 11.00%

 

Predicted

Actual

 

Matt Kenseth

Jimmie Johnson

 

Joey Logano

Kevin Harvick

 

Carl Edwards

Matt Kenseth

 

Kasey Kahne

Carl Edwards

 

Jimmie Johnson

Jamie McMurray

 

Kyle Busch

Brian Vickers

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jeff Gordon

 

Denny Hamlin

Paul Menard

 

Jeff Gordon

Kyle Busch

 

Kevin Harvick

Brad Keselowski

 

Greg Biffle

Aric Almirola

 

Ryan Newman

Joey Logano

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Tony Stewart

 

Brian Vickers

Kasey Kahne

 

Clint Bowyer

Ryan Newman

 

 

Top 5 Precision: 60% correct (3 driver; Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards)

Top 5 Accuracy: 0% correct

 

Top 10 Precision: 60% correct (6 drivers: Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, and Kyle Busch)

Top 10 Accuracy: 0% correct

 

Top 15 Precision: 66.67% correct (10 drivers: Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, and Ryan Newman)

Top 15 Accuracy: 0% correct

Dark Horses: All the dark horse I picked out ended up running in the Top 15 – 100% precision right there on dark horse (top 15) status! Kurt Busch, as well as he ran in the Indy 500, could not pull off a great night at Charlotte (through no fault of his own); avoiding Busch was the right strategy. Avoiding Marcos Ambrose was also the correct call. However, Paul Menard was the surprise driver to avoid turned dark horse with a Top 10 finish.

 

 Here is how the teams shook out after the race:

 

Team

Average Finish

Average Start

Drivers

BK Racing

32.67

32

3

Chip Ganassi Racing

11.5

25.5

2

Front Row Motorsports

36.33

37

3

Furniture Row Racing

25

15

1

Germain Racing

24

34

1

Hendrick Motorsports

10.25

10.25

4

Hillman Racing

36

40

1

Hscott Motorsports

37

17

1

JTG Daugherty Racing

23

20

1

Joe Gibbs Racing

11.33

8.33

3

Leavine Family Racing

30

30

1

Michael Waltrip Racing

19

19.67

3

Phil Parsons Racing

41

37

1

Richard Childress Racing

17.75

28.5

4

Richard Petty Motorsports

20

11

2

Roush Fenway Racing

17

23

3

Stewart-Hass Racing

23.5

15.25

4

Team Penske

11

5

2

Tommy Baldwin Racing

35

40

2

Wood Brothers

20

14

1

 

Hendrick Motorsports brought home the best average finish (yet again) including the victory, while Trevor Bayne piloted the single car for Wood Brothers Racing to the best finish for single car organizations.

 

This is the status of each team at the end of the race:

 

Team

Status

Count

BK Racing

Engine

1

 

Running

2

Chip Ganassi Racing

Running

2

Front Row Motorsports

Accident

1

 

Running

2

Furniture Row Racing

Running

1

Germain Racing

Running

1

Hendrick Motorsports

Running

4

Hillman Racing

Running

1

Hscott Motorsports

Running

1

JTG Daugherty Racing

Running

1

Joe Gibbs Racing

Running

3

Leavine Family Racing

Running

1

Michael Waltrip Racing

Running

3

Phil Parsons Racing

Accident

1

Richard Childress Racing

Running

4

Richard Petty Motorsports

Running

2

Roush Fenway Racing

Running

3

Stewart-Hass Racing

Engine

2

 

Running

2

Team Penske

Running

2

Tommy Baldwin Racing

Engine

1

 

Running

1

Wood Brothers

Running

1

 

4.65% of the field was out of the race due to involvement in an accident while 9.3% of the field was out due to engine failures. 86.05% of the field was still running on track at the end of the race, and of those still running, 35.14% finished on the lead lap.

 

Here is where the teams and manufacturers stand thus far in 2014:

Team

Wins

Tracks

Hendrick Motorsports

3

Daytona, Charlotte, Charlotte

Stewart-Hass Racing

3

Phoenix, Martinsville, Darlington

Team Penske

3

Las Vegas, Texas, Richmond

Joe Gibbs Racing

2

Fontana, Talladega

Roush Fenway Racing

1

Bristol

 

 

Manufacturer

Wins

Tracks

Chevrolet

6

Daytona, Phoenix, Martinsville, Darlington, Charlotte, Charlotte

Ford

4

Las Vegas, Bristol, Texas, Richmond

Toyota

2

Fontana, Talladega

 

 

 

Now, let's analyze the Coca-Cola 600 (race) statistics:

 

Race Speed: The average race speed in the Coca-Cola 600 was 145.484 mph, which is 8.25% quicker than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (133.478 mph). Trending pointed towards a quicker than average race and this race did just that.

Margin of Victory: The margin of victory in the Coca-Cola 600 was a 1.272 seconds, which is 186.24% closer than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (3.641 seconds). Trending pointed towards a closer margin of victory than the average and the race did just that.

Lead Changes: The number of lead changes in the Coca-Cola 600 was 34, which is 12.94% more lead changes that the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (29.6 lead changes). Trending pointed towards more lead changes than the average and this race also followed the trending.

Number of Cautions: The number of caution flags in the Coca-Cola 600 was 8 which is 40% less than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (11.2 caution flags). Trending pointed towards a decrease in the number of cautions and again, this held true.

Caution Laps: The number of caution laps in the Coca-Cola 600 was 44, which is 22.73% less than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (54 laps). Correlated to the number of cautions, trending also pointed towards fewer caution laps and thus was delivered.

First Caution: The first caution lap in the Coca-Cola 600 came out at lap 109, which is 43.94% later than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (lap 61.1). Trending pointed towards a later first caution and that was indeed the case; however, the trending did not suggest this far into the race.

Last Caution: The final caution lap in the Coca-Cola 600 came out at lap 380, which is 7.03% later than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (lap 353.3). Trending pointed towards a decrease in when the last caution came out (getting further away from the end of the race), but this race did the opposite and came out with 20 to go, thus setting up for a shorter run to the end.

Lead Lap Drivers: The number of drivers on the lead lap at the end of the Coca-Cola 600 was 13, which is 30% less than the average of all (spring) Charlotte races (16.9 drivers on the lead lap). Trending pointed towards a decrease in drivers on the lead lap, and that also followed suit; though the trending did not suggest as low as 13 but just slightly under the average.

 

Overall, the Coca-Cola 600 met the (statistical) average and expectations. Next race is the 1 mile concrete oval that is referred to as The Monster Mile; I am talking about Dover International Speedway! Stay tuned for a look at the numbers of Dover, who looks like a promising pick, and who you should leave alone.