NASCAR Track Predictability

Earlier this year I asked Cliff DeJong from NASCAR Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet how he ranked the tracks according to their predictability. He sent me the following, which lists all the tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule ranked from most predictable to least:

  1. Kansas
  2. Kentucky
  3. Texas
  4. California
  5. Bristol
  6. Dover
  7. Atlanta
  8. Pocono
  9. Chicago
  10. Darlington
  11. Loudon
  12. Michigan
  13. Homestead
  14. Charlotte
  15. Martinsville
  16. Richmond
  17. Indianapolis
  18. Phoenix
  19. Sonoma
  20. Watkins Glen
  21. Las Vegas
  22. Talladega
  23. Daytona

I think it’s worth noting these rankings reflect how predictable each track is when using DeJong’s handicapping process, the Accupredict Method. (Specifically, it reflects how well the race results at each track correlated with DeJong’s predicted race results.) A different method could conceivably return different results, though I think these rankings are pretty close regardless of the method.

So, what can fantasy NASCAR players do with this information? Well, successful fantasy NASCAR players must be good at two things. First, you must handicap each race effectively. If you don’t know who’s going to run well each week, you’re doomed to poor fantasy results over the long term.

Second, you must be adept at making strong strategic and tactical decisions to navigate your fantasy league’s rules package. In the Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR league, for instance, you’re limited to nine starts per driver, so you must put together a solid driver-start allocation plan.

That’s where knowing track predictability comes in handy. Example: According to DeJong, Kansas is the most predictable track on the circuit (i.e., it offers the lowest standard deviation from DeJong’s predicted results). Yahoo! players should therefore lean strongly toward running their top-ranked drivers at Kansas and not worry about saving driver starts those weekends.

At tracks with relatively poor predictability, on the other hand, you should look to save starts more aggressively.

 

Good luck!

 

3 thoughts on “NASCAR Track Predictability

  1. DIY

    Ola! Jed Henson,
    Thanks for the above, ok me and my dad are big nascar fans and we love camping! And we really want to know how to get a campingsite in the middle of the track at the kasas city track (for nascar). We’re wondering if we have to get a membership or do you have to be important to get that? well idk but i really need to get that so please help me out!
    BTW great blogpost

  2. Vero

    Actually, you need to be a bit more involved with the ins and outs of riancg to properly answer your question, because things are not as clear cut as to the level of scrutiny.The switch from Open Wheel to NASCAR is just now becoming a trend Before that you have a handful of people here and there, but the names of those that switch (or do both) are almost legendary, including A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Tony Stewart.But now to answer your question of whether others get similar scrutiny but not necessarily the same notoriety (or publicity) as Danica. People such as Juan Pablo Montoya, have also made the switch, and have been disappointing so far (I put that in quotes, because just how disappointing depends on who you listen to or read), but unlike Danica, you need to really be a race fan to know his name well.Many people like to harp on Danica for all the other marketing that is done for and around her, but to be honest, I do not have a problem with it. She is still trying to compete in a sport dominated by good ol’ boys and riancg is expensive, and you need sponsors. If you look back, at some other great female drivers, what you see is that they did not (or do not) race near as often as they could/should have. Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher all have far fewer races than many men far below their talents, because they could not market themselves well enough to get the sponsors they needed to race.Danica has turned herself into a brand. With that, she has given herself up to additonal spotlight and scrutiny, but at the same time, it keeps her in a race car, and regardless of how much people may hate her Lime Green Jumpsuit, or doing Go Daddy commercials, it will allow her to do what she wants to do, and that is get her a sponsor that will allow her to race, because only the only way to win a race, is to actually be able to be in the race.

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