Whoa, we're halfway there: Statistics from the first 18 races of the 2019 Cup Series season

Yahoo Sports

While the domination of Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske has been the big storyline through 2019, there are eight different winners through the first 18 races of the season. There were just seven different winners in the first half of 2018.

Yeah, this year has actually had more variety in victory lane than 2018 did at the halfway point. Kinda crazy. Let’s take a look at some other statistics through the first 50 percent of the season.

Joey Logano is taking advantage of stage points at the top of the points standings. Logano leads Kyle Busch by 18 points but Busch has more wins, top fives, top 10s and a better average finish by two whole positions.

• The driver with the third-best average finish in the Cup Series isn’t in the top five of the points standings. Logano and Busch are the only two drivers with average finishes inside the top 10. Kurt Busch is third at 10.1, but he’s just eighth in the standings thanks to a lack of stage points.

Justin Haley’s win at Daytona boosted Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 car’s average finish to 30.8 from 32.5. The only two charter cars with a worse average finish belong to Rick Ware Racing.

• Eight drivers have finished in the top 10 in half of the races so far. Kyle Busch’s 15 top-10 finishes are the most of any driver.

• Just three drivers have multiple top 10s without getting a top five: Paul Menard, Chris Buescher and Austin Dillon.

• Dillon has as many poles (3) as top-10 finishes.

• Among all drivers who have participated in every race in 2019, just three haven’t gotten a top 10: Bubba Wallace, David Ragan and Landon Cassill. Had Cassill’s team not pitted ahead of the one to go declaration during the final caution flag at Daytona he would have finished in the top 10.

• Wallace and Cassill also have a 0 in another statistic. They, along with Corey LaJoie, are the only full-time drivers to not lead a lap in 2019.

• Three drivers have completed over 7,100 miles so far in 2019. Predictably that group includes Logano and Kyle Busch. It also includes Ryan Newman.

• Newman is ahead of Daniel Suarez for the final playoff spot by three points and he’s ahead of Erik Jones by 13 points. A year ago at this time, Alex Bowman was ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the final playoff spot by 19 points.

• Eight of the drivers in the top 10 of the standings halfway through 2019 were also in the top 10 halfway through 2018. The swaps from a year ago are Clint Bowyer (15th) and Kyle Larson (14th) for the Hendrick duo of Chase Elliott (7th) and Alex Bowman (9th).

• If you expand the top 10 cross-reference to the 16 playoff drivers, the playoff field only has two changes to it. Austin Dillon and Erik Jones were in the provisional playoff field a year ago and aren’t at the moment. William Byron and Newman are in the provisional playoff field in 2019 after being outside the top 16 at this point a year ago (and each missing the playoffs)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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