Whoaaa, we’re halfway there. Through the 2017 season, that is.
Here are a few facts and figures about the first half of the season so far. We tried to avoid statistics that are universally known — like Joe Gibbs Racing’s winless streak — and instead focus on things that may be eye-opening to you. There are a couple nuggets in here that even surprised us.
• Five drivers have multiple wins through the first 18 races of 2017. At this point a year ago, four drivers had multiple wins.
• Matt Kenseth is on pace for 12 top-10 finishes in 2017. That would be his fewest top-10 finishes since 2009 with Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth has had less than 12 top-10 finishes just twice in his career.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (seven) has already set a career-high in top-10 finishes.
• Martin Truex Jr. has led 1,115 laps, the most of anyone in 2017. Truex is the only driver who has led more than 1,000 laps.
• Eleven drivers have led over 100 laps. Matt DiBenedetto is the only driver who has started all 18 races and not led a lap.
• Kyle Larson has led 721 laps in 2017. He led 548 laps in three-plus seasons entering the season.
• Cole Whitt and Landon Cassill have finished on the lead lap just three times in 18 races. Five drivers have 15 lead-lap finishes.
• Keselowski and Truex Jr. are the best qualifiers so far this season with an average start of 7.9.
• Despite the new points system, things are pretty straightforward at the top of the standings. The top six drivers in the points are also in the top six by average finish.
• Ryan Blaney and Kenseth are the biggest outliers when it comes to a disparity between points position and average finish rank. Kenseth (11th in points) has the 16th-best average finish while Blaney (13th) is 18th in average finishes.
• David Ragan (+5.6) makes the most progress during a race. Ragan’s average starting position is 29.6 while his average finish is 24.0.
• Keselowski, unsurprisingly, has the biggest per-race fall. His average finish is 14.6. But when you’re starting so close to the front, you can’t make much progress anyway.
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