2022 Avg. Run Position: Dover through Sonoma

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Editor’s Note: Don't just bet your favorite sports. LIVE YOUR BET LIFE! Get started today at PointsBet with two risk-free bets up to $2,000. Bet now!

A few weeks ago during the All-Star break, we looked at Driver Rating over the most recent 45-day period and how that was one of our key indicators of strength. This week, we’ll look at Average Running Position.

Quite often, winning the race comes with one of, if not the, best Average Running Positions. For the six points’ paying races in the past 45 days, the winning driver had a running position that ranks among the 25 greatest. And while it would be tempting to dismiss this stat as being meaningless for that reason, it remains an important part of the Power Ranking formula.

Even when it reinforces the data at hand, it is a truer indicator of strength.

Joey Logano has struggled for many of the first 16 races this season. His average finish of 14.19 despite earning five top-fives and another pair of top-10s tells an important story about the inconsistency he’s shown. His standing in the points would rank him among the top 16 even without his wins, but with only a handful of spots open for winless drivers at the moment, he would be in peril.

When Logano has been strong, he’s been incredibly strong. His Average Running Position of 2.36 for the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway is not only the best anyone has shown in the past 45 days, it’s the second-best through the first 16 races. (William Byron had a 1.65 at Martinsville Speedway.) Logano’s World Wide Technology Raceway win was a little less dominant with a 7.58 Average Running Position, but it too was enough to make the top 25 list.

Last week’s Save Mart 350k at Sonoma Raceway showcased an interesting mix of people at the front of the pack, but no one could say they were there without merit. Second-place finisher Chris Buescher’s 3.07 was the second time in the past 45 days that he had a top-25 ranked day. Daniel Suarez’s 3.55 is the third-best ranking in the past 45 days, while Michael McDowell’s 4.92 in the eighth-best rating in this timeframe.

Part of the reason for this unexpected mix at the front of the pack was the large number of lugnut problems among the favorites. That spate of issues happened mostly in the first two stages of the race, which caused Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson to get mired in traffic for much of the day, but it is not as if the top three finishers backed into their positions by any stretch of the imagination and their solid rankings will help us handicap Road America more accurately.

The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!

This week, Ross Chastain ascended to the top spot in the Power Rankings, displacing Kyle Busch. One of the contributing factors to both drivers’ high ranking is because they have had one of the 25-best rankings in the past 45 days on three occasions each.

Chastain’s 4.38 in the Coke 600 helped offset the crash damage he sustained late in that race and underscores one of the reasons this stat is valuable. His 4.65 at Dover Motor Speedway and 7.08 at Kansas Speedway confirmed his finishes of third and seventh in those races respectively.

Busch’s 4.09 at Gateway ahead of his second-place finish weighs that race a little heavier in his favor and will be important as part of the handicapping formula when the series rolls into New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway later this season. His 5.29 on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway and 5.91 at Dover reveal his strength on nearly every track type.

Average Running Position can also provide a balance for late-race mishaps. Byron would easily have scored a top-five finish at Darlington if he had not been wrecked by Logano with a lap and a half remaining. Logano’s contact was violent enough to send the No. 24 into the wall and with damage, Byron limped home 13th. That result does not do credit to how well he ran.

Martin Truex Jr. had two races in which he suffered late-race issues. His 12th-place finish at Dover and 24th at Darlington are likewise not indicative of his runs in those races. Finishing position is ultimately what matters most in points and the potential to make the playoffs, but strength during a race is a much more predictive of how a driver will run in the next relevant races.

Driver

Avg.
Running
Position

Finish

Race

Track

Joey Logano

2.36

1

Goodyear 400

Darlington

Chris Buescher (2)

3.07

2

Save Mart 350k

Sonoma

Daniel Suarez

3.55

1

Save Mart 350k

Sonoma

Kyle Busch (3)

4.09

2

Enjoy Illinois 300

Gateway

Chase Elliott

4.11

1

Drydene 400

Dover

Ross Chastain (3)

4.38

15

Coke 600

Charlotte

Ross Chastain

4.65

3

Drydene 400

Dover

Michael McDowell

4.92

3

Save Mart 350k

Sonoma

Kurt Busch

5.02

1

AdventHealth 400

Kansas

Kyle Busch (2)

5.29

3

AdventHealth 400

Kansas

Aric Almirola

5.31

5

Enjoy Illinois 300

Gateway

Kyle Busch

5.91

7

Drydene 400

Dover

William Byron

6.11

13

Goodyear 400

Darlington

Martin Truex, Jr.

6.26

12

Drydene 400

Dover

Kyle Larson

6.30

2

AdventHealth 400

Kansas

Martin Truex, Jr. (2)

6.44

24

Goodyear 400

Darlington

Christopher Bell

6.77

6

Goodyear 400

Darlington

Alex Bowman

6.78

5

Drydene 400

Dover

Ryan Blaney

6.78

4

Enjoy Illinois 300

Gateway

Ross Chastain (2)

7.08

7

AdventHealth 400

Kansas

Denny Hamlin

7.13

1

Coke 600

Charlotte

Austin Cindric

7.53

11

Enjoy Illinois 300

Gateway

Joey Logano (2)

7.58

1

Enjoy Illinois 300

Gateway

Chris Buescher

7.87

8

Drydene 400

Dover

Christopher Bell (2)

8.07

5

AdventHealth 400

Kansas

PointsBet Sportsbook is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links. NJ, IA, IN, IL, CO, MI, VA, WV only. 21+. T&C apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Driver Rating: Martinsville through Kansas
Superspeedway Streaks
Keystone Races of 2022