2022 Driver Rating: Martinsville thru Kansas

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All stats are not created equal.

A lot can happen at the ends of races: accidents while racing for the lead, an ill-timed penalty, or simply guessing wrong on strategy can deny a driver the strong finish he fought for all day. NASCAR Statistical Services provides some strength-based stats that we have incorporated in our Power Rankings formula to lessen the impact of late-race incidents that change the ultimate running order.

One of these is NASCAR's Driver Rating, made up of a complicated formula that includes Primary Statistics as well as Fixed and Variable Bonus Points. The Primary Stats include the race finish, Average Running Position while on the lead lap under green flag conditions, Average Speed, and an average ranking of a driver's three fastest laps.

Add all the points together, and a perfect Driver Rating is 150. Included in the Fixed Bonus Points is 20 that goes to the winner, so a driver cannot have a perfect rating without winning the race.

Since power is gained and lost during a season, we fixed on a period of 45 days as what we believe shows drivers current strength. Typically, that includes six or seven races depending on off weeks.

Often the best driver in a race wins. William Byron's victory in the Blue Emu 400 at Martinsville Speedway, Chase Elliott's Dover Motor Speedway victory, Joey Logano's win at Darlington Raceway, and last week's triumph by Kurt Busch at Kansas Speedway each came with the best Driver Rating.

There are other times when the Driver Rating is much more closely linked with race performance on a given day. Kyle Busch was running third in the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track until he was presented with a gift in the form of Chase Briscoe wrecking Tyler Reddick – the driver with the second-best rating that afternoon.

And on other occasions, the Drier Rating shows just how much of a lottery some races can be. Ross Chastain's Talladega Superspeedway victory came with a Driver Rating of 87.6, which was 10th-best that afternoon and well below the threshold for inclusion on the chart below, which shows the 25 best Driver Ratings during the past 45 days.

Driver Rating can also confirm strong runs, even when a driver does not land in Victory Lane. Austin Dillon's third-place finish at Martinsville came with fifth-best rating. A week later, Ty Dillon confirmed his 10th-place finish with the fifth-best rating at Bristol.

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The Driver Rating often reveals who has the most current momentum. Of the six races in the past 45 days, three drivers have earned of the 25-best ratings on three occasions. Logano did so at Darlington, Martinsville, and Bristol. Ky. Busch had strong showings at Bristol, Kansas, and Dover. Kyle Larson was near the top of the charts at Bristol, Talladega, and Kansas; he earned top-fives in all of those races.

NASCAR has long sought out parity among drivers and teams. They are getting it with only four other drivers making two appearances on the chart. They are Elliott, Christopher Bell, Chastain, and Reddick. This takes on greater importance when looking for a dark horse.

It is also notable that no one has yet earned a perfect Driver Rating in 2022. The 144.9 rating Byron earned at Martinsville is the closest anyone has come. Chastain's 141.7 in the EchoPark Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is the only other rating above 140 in the first 13 races this season.

Driver Rating shows the consistency or lack thereof for a racer. Busch's AdventHealth 400 win with a rating of 137.2 was well above his average-to-date of 73.53. Busch also has three results below 50. On the other hand, Chase Elliott's average of 98.42 is more closely surrounded by similar numbers as his worst performance in this statistic came in Auto Club Speedway's Wise Power 400 with a 67.5 rating.

Rank

Driver

Driver
Rating

Finish

Race

1.

William Byron

144.90

1

Blue-Emu 400

2.

Joey Logano

138.50

1

Goodyear 400

3.

Kurt Busch

137.20

1

AdventHealth 400

4.

Kyle Larson

136.00

4

Food City Dirt Race

5.

Chase Elliott

132.80

1

Drydene 400

6.

Tyler Reddick

132.30

2

Food City Dirt Race

7.

Kyle Busch

131.20

1

Food City Dirt Race

8.

Christopher Bell

125.80

7

Food City Dirt Race

9.

Ross Chastain

125.20

3

Drydene 400

10.

Kyle Busch (2)

124.00

3

AdventHealth 400

11.

Chase Elliott (2)

122.50

10

Blue-Emu 400

12.

Kyle Busch (3)

120.70

7

Drydene 400

13.

Kyle Larson (2)

118.00

4

Geico 500

14.

Ty Dillon

118.00

10

Food City Dirt Race

15.

Kyle Larson (3)

117.90

2

AdventHealth 400

16.

Joey Logano (2)

116.90

2

Blue-Emu 400

17.

Joey Logano (3)

116.20

3

Food City Dirt Race

18.

Christopher Bell (2)

109.40

5

AdventHealth 400

19.

Alex Bowman

109.10

5

Drydene 400

20.

Erik Jones

107.20

6

Geico 500

21.

Tyler Reddick (2)

106.40

2

Goodyear 400

22.

Ryan Blaney

105.80

4

Blue-Emu 400

23.

Austin Dillon

105.10

3

Blue-Emu 400

24.

Martin Truex, Jr.

104.70

12

Drydene 400

25.

Ross Chastain (2)

104.60

7

AdventHealth 400

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