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How driver trends can aid NASCAR bettors

By Steve Makinen  (Point Spread Weekly editor) 

May 27, 2020 12:52 AM
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Chase Elliott
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With the wagering spotlight turned on NASCAR recently, I’ve been investing more time than usual looking at different forms of analysis for the sport. I use my simulations as the basis for most wagering, but just as in any other data-rich sport, you can study race results many other ways to more accurately predict outcomes.

 

Since the beginning of the season, I have been working with my database colleague at VSiN to try to develop some trends to uncover strong and weak spots in each driver’s resume. Just naturally, scheduling situations and other factors contribute to a driver’s performance pattern. But with most sports down right now, it’s a good time to take a snapshot of current top driver trends.

 

I have listed several trends based on a number of factors. These include time of the year, location and type of track, starting position, day or night, and how a driver fared in the most recent races. If you’re a serious NASCAR bettor, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these trends, others you’d like to see and using trends in the sport in general. 

These trends are for active drivers and are dated since 2017, or the last three-plus seasons. In an automated package, I would love to see different time stamps on the trends, which of course could produce dramatically different results.

 

Trends by month

 

Top 5 trend drivers in May races by average finish

Christopher Bell: Average finish in May races is 15 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 29. Advantage: + 14

Tyler Reddick: Average finish in May races is 9.5 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 23.4. Advantage: + 13.9

Alex Bowman: Average finish in May races is 11.2 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 16.1. Advantage: + 4.9

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish in May races is 13.2 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 17.3. Advantage: + 4.1

Kurt Busch: Average finish in May races is 10.4 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 14.1. Advantage: + 3.7

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers in May races by average finish

Matt Kenseth: Average finish in May races is 20 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 15.6. Disadvantage: -4.3

Ryan Preece: Average finish in May races is 27.7 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 23.3. Disadvantage: -4.4

Brennan Poole: Average finish in May races is 31.7 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 27.0. Disadvantage: -4.7

Ryan Blaney: Average finish in May races is 20.8 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 14.7. Disadvantage: -6.1

Ryan Newman: Average finish in May races is 23.8 since 2017. Average finish in other months is 14.9. Disadvantage: -8.8

 

Trends by qualifying/starting position

 

Top 5 trend drivers when starting in front row

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish when starting in front row is 6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.3. Advantage: + 11.3

Daniel Suarez: Average finish when starting in front row is 10 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.7. Advantage: + 7.7

Austin Dillon: Average finish when starting in front row is 11.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.6. Advantage: + 7.3

Martin Truex Jr.: Average finish when starting in front row is 4.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 11.7. Advantage: + 7.2

Ricky Stenhouse: Average finish when starting in front row is 13 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.4. Advantage: + 6.4

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when starting in front row

Clint Bowyer: Average finish when starting in front row is 19.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.8. Disadvantage: -4.6

Joey Logano: Average finish when starting in front row is 18.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 11.4. Disadvantage: -7.1

Matt Kenseth: Average finish when starting in front row is 24 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.9. Disadvantage: -8.1

Ryan Newman: Average finish when starting in front row is 28.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.7. Disadvantage: -12.8

Ryan Preece: Average finish when starting in front row is 39 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.5. Disadvantage: -15.5

 

Top 5 trend drivers when starting in top 5

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 14 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.5. Advantage: + 9.5

Tyler Reddick: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.2. Advantage: + 9.2

Daniel Suarez: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 12.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.3. Advantage: + 6.1

Ricky Stenhouse: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 14.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.7. Advantage: + 5.3

Erik Jones: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 11.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.4. Advantage: + 5.3

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when starting in top 5

Matt Kenseth: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 16.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.2. Disadvantage: -0.3

Chase Elliott: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 14.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 12.6. Disadvantage: -1.8

Clint Bowyer: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 17.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.5. Disadvantage: -2.8

Ryan Newman: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 24 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.7. Disadvantage: -8.3

Ryan Preece: Average finish when starting in top 5 is 39 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.5. Disadvantage: -15.4

 

Top 5 trend drivers when starting in top 10

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 12.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 24.1. Advantage: + 12.0

Tyler Reddick: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.2. Advantage: + 9.2

Martin Truex Jr.: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 8.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.2 Advantage: + 6.1

Ricky Stenhouse: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 15.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 20.3. Advantage: + 4.5

Daniel Suarez: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 14.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.8. Advantage: + 4.3

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when starting in top 10

Chase Elliott: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 14.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 11.7 Disadvantage: -2.9

Brad Keselowski: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 14 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 10.9. Disadvantage: -3.1

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 19.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.9. Disadvantage: -3.8

Ryan Newman: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 19 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.2. Disadvantage: -3.8

Ryan Preece: Average finish when starting in top 10 is 39 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.5. Disadvantage: -15.5

 

Top 5 trend drivers when starting in 11-20

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 15.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 24.8: Advantage: + 9.2

Christopher Bell: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 18.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 26.5. Advantage: + 8.2

Tyler Reddick: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 12 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.7. Advantage: + 6.7

Brad Keselowski: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 9.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.4. Advantage: + 5.0

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 14.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.7. Advantage: + 3.8

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when starting in 11-20

Martin Truex Jr.: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 13.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 9.3 Disadvantage: -3.9

Kyle Busch: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 13.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 8.9. Disadvantage: -4.5

Ryan Blaney: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 18.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 13.6 Disadvantage: -5.1

Kurt Busch: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 17.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 11.7 Disadvantage: -5.7

John Hunter Nemechek: Average finish when starting in Spots 11-20 is 35 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 20.2 Disadvantage: -14.8

 

Top 5 trend drivers when starting in 21-30

Clint Bowyer: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 10.2 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.6 Advantage: + 5.4

Corey LaJoie: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 26.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 29.4. Advantage: + 3.3

Ryan Preece: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 23.0 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 26.1. Advantage: + 3.1

Kurt Busch: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 11.2 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.0. Advantage: + 2.8

Ryan Blaney: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 12.9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.5. Advantage: + 2.6

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when starting in 21-30

Kyle Busch: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 15 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 9.5. Disadvantage: -5.5

B.J. McLeod: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 40 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 32.8. Disadvantage: -7.2

Christopher Bell: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 26.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.3. Disadvantage: -8.2

Martin Truex Jr.: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 18.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 9.7. Disadvantage: -8.4

Joey Logano: Average finish when starting in Spots 21-30 is 20.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 11.4. Disadvantage: -8.7

 

Top 5 trend drivers when starting in 31-40

John Hunter Nemechek: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.1. Advantage: + 14.1

Ryan Blaney: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 5.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.6. Advantage: + 9.9

Brennan Poole: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 27.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 37. Advantage: + 9.3

Ryan Newman: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.0. Advantage: + 7

William Byron: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 12.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.1 Advantage: + 6.4

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when starting in 31-40

Erik Jones: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 21.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.4. Disadvantage: -6.2

Daniel Suarez: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 25.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.0. Disadvantage: -8.6

Kevin Harvick: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 18.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 9.5. Disadvantage: -9.2

Brad Keselowski: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 22 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 12.6. Disadvantage: -9.4

Tyler Reddick: Average finish when starting in Spots 31-40 is 27 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.0. Disadvantage: -11.0

 

Trends by day/night races

 

Top 5 trend drivers in day races

Brennan Poole: Average finish in day races is 27 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 34. Advantage: + 7

Matt Kenseth: Average finish in day races is 14.8 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 20.3. Advantage: + 5.5

John Hunter Nemechek: Average finish in day races is 20.6 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 26. Advantage: + 5.4

Ryan Blaney: Average finish in day races is 14.5 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 18.3. Advantage: + 3.8

Aric Almirola: Average finish in day races is 14.6 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 18.1. Advantage: + 3.5

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers in day races

Darrell Wallace: Average finish in day races is 24.2 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 21.6 Disadvantage: -2.6

Kyle Busch: Average finish in day races is 10.5 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 7.9. Disadvantage: -2.6

Erik Jones: Average finish in day races is 17.1 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 10.7. Disadvantage: -6.3

Tyler Reddick: Average finish in day races is 20.7 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 10.3. Disadvantage: -10.4

Christopher Bell: Average finish in day races is 28 since 2017. Average finish in night races is 10.5. Disadvantage: -17.5

 

Trends by track

 

Top 5 trend drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Christopher Bell: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 10 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 25.2. Advantage: + 15.2

Cole Custer: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 13 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.7. Advantage: + 10.7

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 7.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.3. Advantage: + 9.5

Tyler Reddick: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.2. Advantage: + 9.2

Martin Truex Jr.: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 2.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 10.75. Advantage: + 7.9

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway

William Byron: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 23 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.6. Disadvantage: -4.4

Joey Logano: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 17 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 11.9. Disadvantage: -5.1

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 30.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.1. Disadvantage: -7.7

Clint Bowyer: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 23.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.6. Disadvantage: -8.8

Ryan Newman: Average finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 25.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.4. Disadvantage: -10.2

 

Top 5 trend drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway

Matt Kenseth: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.8. Advantage: + 12.8

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 8.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.3 Advantage: + 8.5

Clint Bowyer: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 8.2 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.4. Advantage: + 7.2

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 17 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.7. Advantage: + 6.8

Ryan Newman: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 10.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.2. Advantage: + 5.9

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway

Chris Buescher: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 26.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.5. Disadvantage: -7.1

Michael McDowell: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 31 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.1. Disadvantage: -7.9

Brad Keselowski: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 20.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 12.4. Disadvantage: -8.1

Martin Truex Jr.: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 19.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 9.9. Disadvantage: -9.9

Aric Almirola: Average finish at Bristol Motor Speedway is 27 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.6. Disadvantage: -12.4

 

Trends by performance in last races

 

Top 5 trend drivers when coming off top-10 finish

Daniel Suarez: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 14.2 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.8. Advantage: + 4.6

Corey LaJoie: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 24 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 28.5. Advantage: + 4.5

Ricky Stenhouse: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 15.9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.8. Advantage: + 3.9

Gray Gaulding: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 28 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 31.5. Advantage: + 3.5

Erik Jones: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 13.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.2. Advantage: + 3.4

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when coming off top-10 finish

Michael McDowell: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 27 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.4. Disadvantage: -3.6

Alex Bowman: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 18.2 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.3. Disadvantage: -4.0

Ty Dillon: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 25.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 21.6. Disadvantage: -4.0

Tyler Reddick: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 20.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.3. Disadvantage: -4.2

John Hunter Nemechek: Average finish when coming off a top-10 finish is 35 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 20.2 Disadvantage: -14.8

 

Top 5 trend drivers when coming off finish of 30th or worse

Tyler Reddick: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.5. Advantage: + 11.5

Cole Custer: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 16 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 24.3. Advantage: + 8.3

John Hunter Nemechek: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 17 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 22.2 Advantage: + 5.2

Kevin Harvick: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 5.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 10.0. Advantage: + 4.3

Clint Bowyer: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 11.4 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.6. Advantage: + 4.2

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when coming off finish of 30th or worse

Michael McDowell: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 26 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 22.9. Disadvantage: -3.1

Erik Jones: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 18.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.1. Disadvantage: -3.4

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 25.9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 22.4. Disadvantage: -3.5

William Byron: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 22.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.1. Disadvantage: -4.4

Christopher Bell: Average finish when coming off a finish of 30th or worse is 31 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.8. Disadvantage: -11.2

 

Top 5 trend drivers when coming off race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Gray Gaulding: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 22 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 32.0 Advantage: + 10.0

Aric Almirola: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 7.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.5. Advantage: + 8.2

William Byron: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 13.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.9. Advantage: + 5.4

Chase Elliott: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 8.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 13.4 Advantage: + 4.6

Reed Sorenson: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 28 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 32.6. Advantage: + 4.6

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when coming off race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Alex Bowman: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 21 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.4 Disadvantage: -5.6

Darrell Wallace: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 29.5 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.4. Disadvantage: -6.0

Clint Bowyer: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 22.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 14.7. Disadvantage: -8.0

Ricky Stenhouse: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 27.8 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.9. Disadvantage: -8.9

Kurt Busch: Average finish when coming off a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 23 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 13.4. Disadvantage: -9.6

 

Top 5 trend drivers when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes

Ricky Stenhouse: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 10.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.4. Advantage: + 8.8

Austin Dillon: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 11 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.5. Advantage: + 7.5

Chris Buescher: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 14 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 19.9. Advantage: + 5.9

Matt DiBenedetto: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 18 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 23.4. Advantage: + 5.4

Daniel Suarez: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 15.1 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 17.8. Advantage: + 2.7

 

Bottom 5 trend drivers when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes

Brad Keselowski: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 14.9 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 12.0 Disadvantage: -2.9

Matt Kenseth: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 18.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.7. Disadvantage: -3.0

Alex Bowman: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 18.3 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 15.3. Disadvantage: -3.0

Jimmie Johnson: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 19.7 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 16.6. Disadvantage: -3.1

William Byron: Average finish when coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes is 22.6 since 2017. Average finish in all other races is 18.5. Disadvantage: -4.1

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