All 40 Challenge: A NASCAR statistical tracking

All 40 Challenge: A NASCAR statistical tracking

Forty cars can start a NASCAR Cup Series race. That means somebody‘s got to claim every position from first through 40th each week.

While the goal of a racing driver is to finish in first place, it turns out that‘s quite a common goal among competitors (thus, motorsports); as a result, we get one winner and 39 losers each week.

To quote Reese Bobby, “you can be second, you can be third, fourth … hell, you can even be fifth!”

A driver really could — and often does — finish second, third, fourth or even fifth at some point over the course of their careers. They can finish all the way back through 40th, in fact.

And we‘ve got a stat for that.

What we‘ve dubbed the All 40 Challenge — checking a box after a driver finishes in each of the 40 possible finishing positions at least once — has become the latest statistical craze in motorsports (OK, not really, but we have fun tracking it).

We‘ve tracked this metric for several years now (and for no good reason), like in 2018 when Kyle Busch nabbed his first-ever 26th-place finish, completing the All 40 Challenge in his 493rd career start, or when Alex Bowman pulled off the sweep at Chicagoland in 2019 with his first-career victory. And who could forget David Ragan‘s ninth-place triumph to join the club after 476 starts in a one-off start at Daytona?

The latest driver to join the club — Michael McDowell, who capitalized on Martin Truex Jr. running out of gas at Sonoma to claim his first career second-place finish.

We‘ll update our #All40Challenge tracker here after each race this season. Follow along to see who joins the club next!