Saturday night’s race at Richmond was the ninth race of the 2018 season. That means the season is already 25 percent of the way complete. Let’s take a look at some statistics now that the first quarter of the season is over.
• Kyle Busch has 415 points through Richmond. That’s a total 17 points more than Kyle Larson had at the same point in 2017. Last season’s regular-season champion Martin Truex Jr. had 358 points through the first nine races.
• Kevin Harvick (528) and Busch (498) have combined to lead 1,026 laps in 2018. That’s more than one-third of the laps driven all season (3,047).
• Chevrolet drivers have combined to lead 343 laps. When you take out Kyle Larson’s 254 laps led from that total, the rest of the Chevy camp has combined to lead 84 laps among 10 different drivers. Jimmie Johnson is not in that group of 10 drivers.
• Busch, Harvick, Joey Logano and Bowyer are all averaging a finish inside the top 10. Only Truex Jr. averaged a top-10 finish in 2017.
• Ten different drivers have multiple top-five finishes. A year ago, 13 drivers had more than five top-five finishes.
• Austin Dillon is the only 2018 winner whose win is his only top-five of the season. Dillon’s best finish since winning the Daytona 500 is 10th.
• Chris Buescher’s fifth-place finish in the Daytona 500 is not only his only top-10 finish, it’s the only time he’s finished a race on the lead lap.
• Gray Gaulding, driving for the bankrupt BK Racing, is the only driver who has started all nine races and not finished on the lead lap.
• Busch, Logano and Bowyer are the only drivers to complete over 3,040 laps. Logano has completed 3,046. The two other drivers in the top five in terms of laps completed are William Byron and Darrell Wallace Jr. Both are rookies.
• Aric Almirola’s average finish in 2018 with Stewart-Haas Racing is five spots better than it was in 2017 when he was driving for Richard Petty Motorsports.
• Almirola is gaining just under eight spots from start to finish. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has the worst decline from start to finish. Stenhouse’s average starting position is 14.0 and his average finish is 21.0. That number is slightly skewed because Stenhouse is officially credited with a 17th-place starting position at Martinsville where he started last because he had to go to a backup car.
• David Ragan’s performance in 2018 is pretty much where it was in 2017. His average finish is within a position (24.9 to 24.0 last season). The only difference is that he’s qualifying approximately seven spots better in 2018 than he did a year ago.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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