Author Archives: Jed Henson

Early Rankings: Las Vegas, 2017

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick tops my early Las Vegas driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Update: I’ve posted my final Las Vegas driver rankings, which improve upon the below early rankings.

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding DaytonaTalladega and Watkins Glen;
  • the loop data for the past four races (excluding Daytona);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Las Vegas;
  • the loop data for the past six races at the other tracks in the Steeps track group (i.e., Bristol, Darlington, Dover and Homestead);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Las Vegas; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past six races at the aforementioned Steeps.

Update 3/8/17: I tweaked the rankings to match the official entry list.

The results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Jimmie Johnson
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. Chase Elliott
  10. Denny Hamlin Continue reading

DraftKings Lineups: Atlanta, 2017

Matt Kenseth photo

Matt Kenseth appears in 28 of my top 30 optimized DraftKings lineups for Atlanta tomorrow. (photo courtesy nascar)

I’ve used my lineup optimizer to compile my top 30 DraftKings NASCAR driver lineups for tomorrow’s Atlanta race. To compile them, first I plugged my final driver rankings for tomorrow’s race and the starting lineup into my driver points projection model to project how many DraftKings points each driver will score at Atlanta tomorrow. Then I ran those points projections through a knapsack-problem optimizer algorithm I created in Google Sheets with the OpenSolver add-on, which churned through all possible driver combinations to calculate the 30 best lineups for tomorrow’s race.

The lineups are sorted in descending order of total predicted points scored, and the total predicted points have been rounded to the nearest hundredth. I posted them in a PDF file you can download and view for $3. Here’s the link: Atlanta 2017 DraftKings Lineups

Note: No guarantee comes with my lineups, rankings, predictions, etc. Use them at your own risk. To get a feel for how the lineups look, check out my Kansas I 2016 DraftKings lineups.

Good luck today!

DraftKings Driver Values: Atlanta, 2017

AJ Allmendinger photo

To finish the bottom of your DraftKings lineups for Atlanta tomorrow, take a look at A.J. Allmendinger. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my DraftKings driver points and price/point predictions for tomorrow’s Atlanta race. To predict how many DraftKings points each driver will score tomorrow, I plugged my driver rankings for tomorrow’s race into my projection model, and the qualifying results/starting lineup. Then, to calculate each driver’s price/point, I simply divided each driver’s price by their predicted points.

The below table lists all drivers running tomorrow, and it’s sorted from lowest price/point to highest. If you’re on a small-screen device, scroll the table horizontally with a finger drag to see all the columns.

The table: Continue reading

Final Rankings: Atlanta, 2017

joey logano photo

Joey Logano remains my pick to win Atlanta in my final driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my final driver rankings for tomorrow’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta. I compiled them by crunching the practice and qualifying data from Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Denny Hamlin
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Martin Truex Jr.
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. Kyle Larson Continue reading

Early Rankings: Atlanta, 2017

joey logano photo

Joey Logano tops my early Atlanta driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Update: I’ve posted my final Atlanta driver rankings, which improve upon these early rankings.

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding  Daytona,  Talladega, and Watkins Glen);
  • the loop data for the past four races (excluding Daytona);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Atlanta;
  • the loop data for the past eight races at other tracks in the Large Ovals track group (i.e.,  Michigan,  Kentucky,  Fontana,  Charlotte,  Texas, and  Kansas);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Atlanta; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past seven races at the aforementioned Large Ovals.

Update 2/28/17: I’ve updated the rankings with the official Atlanta entry list.

The results:

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Jimmie Johnson
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Denny Hamlin
  10. Brad Keselowski Continue reading

DraftKings Lineups: Daytona I, 2017

Kyle Busch photo

Kyle Busch looms large in my top 30 optimized DraftKings lineups for the Daytona 500 today. (photo courtesy nascar)

I’ve used my lineup optimizer to compile my top 30 DraftKings NASCAR driver lineups for today’s Daytona 500. To compile them, first I plugged my final driver rankings for today’s race and the starting lineup into my driver points projection model to project how many DraftKings points each driver will score at Daytona today. Then I ran those points projections through a knapsack-problem optimizer algorithm I created in Google Sheets with the OpenSolver add-on, which churned through all possible driver combinations to calculate the 30 best lineups for today’s race.

The lineups are sorted in descending order of total predicted points scored, and the total predicted points have been rounded to the nearest hundredth. I posted them in a PDF file you can download and view for $3. Here’s the link: Daytona 500 2017 DraftKings Lineups

Note: No guarantee comes with my lineups, rankings, predictions, etc. Use them at your own risk. To get a feel for how the lineups look, check out my Kansas I 2016 DraftKings lineups.

Good luck today!

DraftKings Driver Values: Daytona I, 2017

Martin Truex Jr photo

My numbers say Martin Truex Jr. offers top DraftKings value at Daytona today. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my DraftKings driver points and price/point predictions for today’s Daytona 500. To predict how many DraftKings points each driver will score today, I plugged my driver rankings for today’s race into my projection model, and the qualifying results/starting lineup. Then, to calculate each driver’s price/point, I simply divided each driver’s price by their predicted points.

The below table lists all drivers running today, and it’s sorted from lowest price/point to highest. If you’re on a small-screen device, scroll the table horizontally with a finger drag to see all the columns.

The table: Continue reading

Final Rankings: Daytona I, 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. photo

Dale Jr. took over the top spot in my final Daytona 500 driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

The practice speed chart numbers have long held very little predictive value at the restrictor plate races because the cars draft during plate practices. So, to compile final rankings for today’s Daytona 500, I updated my early rankings with data from Thursday’s Can-Am duel races. And unfortunately, I had to massage that data a bit because the Duel 1 loop data wasn’t available. That reduces the Duel data’s predictive value, so I dialed back its weight in my spreadsheet accordingly.

The results:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Chase Elliott
  7. Clint Bowyer
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Martin Truex, Jr.
  10. Kasey Kahne Continue reading

Early Rankings: Daytona I, 2017

brad keselowski photo

Kez remains on top in my early Daytona I driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Update: I’ve completed my final Daytona I driver rankings, which improve upon these early rankings.

Here are my early driver rankings for the Daytona 500. I compiled them by crunching the qualifying data from Daytona yesterday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Ryan Blaney
  10. Kurt Busch Continue reading

Early, EARLY Rankings: Daytona I, 2017

brad keselowski photo

Kez tops my early early Daytona I driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Update: I’ve now completed my early Daytona rankings, which improve upon these early-early rankings.

Here are my early-early driver rankings for the upcoming Daytona 500. I compiled them by crunching the loop and qualifying data for the past four plate races. I think these two metrics reflect speed, the ability to pass and the ability (and inclination) to run a lot of laps up front, all of which should give me the best chance to get in the ballpark with race-result predictions.

Note: These rankings are rough, especially because I’m not even sure yet what the final entry list will look like. I’ll update the rankings as we work our way through Speedweeks.

OK, here they are:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kurt Busch
  6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Austin Dillon
  9. Matt Kenseth
  10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Continue reading