David Smith

NASCAR Numbers Game: Taking stock of the 2013 Sprint Cup season

David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some telling stats in the Cup Series
David Smith crunches the numbers for the Sprint Cup Series in his weekly "NASCAR Numbers Game" column.

The off week prior to the race at Indianapolis serves as a welcome respite to everyone in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series except crew chiefs who might be on the hot seat. One casualty of “chopping block week” occurred Tuesday morning when BK Racing relieved Pat Tryson of his duties as the head wrench for David Reutimann’s No. 83 entry.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 7 Amazing Stats for Sonoma

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Toyota-Save Mart 350
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Toyta-Save Mart 250 at Sonoma Raceway.</p>

With the first half of this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winding down, one of two annual visits to a road course — right-hand turns, everybody! — presents itself this weekend as the tour heads to Sonoma Raceway, a track that has seen eight different winners in the last eight years.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Michigan

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Quicken Loans 400
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.</p>

Watch the telecast of this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway and you will hear it referred to as “the sister track” to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. While that’s true in some ways — both are two-mile D-shaped tracks and the latter was built by Roger Penske to resemble the former — the two surfaces have now created two completely different styles of racing.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Pocono

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Party in the Poconos 400
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway.</p>

Dover International Speedway, a high-banked one-mile concrete oval, and Pocono Raceway, a 2.5-mile asphalt triangle with three wildly different corners, are two tracks that shouldn’t warrant much comparison.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Dover

David Smith crunches the numbers for the FedEx 400
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway.</p>

“The Monster Mile” isn’t just a title for the purposes of ticket sales. It is a fine summation of a truly unique racetrack that causes fits for the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver roster twice a year.

Dover International Speedway is a one-mile, high-banked attention grabber of a facility with fast closing speeds and diminished reaction time. It also offers some of the greatest lore in modern day NASCAR.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 7 Amazing Stats for the Coca-Cola 600

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Memorial Day marathon in Charlotte
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.</p>

Jimmie Johnson stirred up the masses with his second straight Sprint All-Star Race win on Saturday. Johnson, historically dominant at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a track that was once referred to as “his house” when his car and the facility shared primary sponsor branding, now looms large as the driver to beat in this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. At least that’s the narrative, as I understand it.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 7 Amazing Stats for the Sprint All-Star Race

David Smith crunches the numbers for the million-dollar payday.
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.</p>

The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race isn’t a typical all-star event.

Unlike the stick ‘N’ ball all-star “breaks” that feature lackadaisical effort and are more celebrated for the parties that supplement the fan activities rather than the actual contests, the Sprint Cup Series version of an all-star event pits recent race winners and champions in a race comprised of dash-style formats which has a $1 million carrot dangling on the end of a stick. It’s wild, unpredictable and in no way resembles a normal NASCAR race.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Darlington Raceway

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Southern 500
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.</p>

Denny Hamlin’s much-discussed return to the seat of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry became an afterthought at Talladega once Brian Vickers climbed into the seat and provided Hamlin with a paltry 10 points thanks to a crash-caused 34th-place result. Ouch.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 5 Amazing Stats for Talladega Superspeedway

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Aaron's 499
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.</p>

Let’s say you’re a gambler. Parading across the casino floor, you feast your eyes on the roulette wheel. It’s noted next to the wheel that the last five spins have landed on black. Your chips are now burning a hole through your pocket because you know that the next spin is due to land on red. You throw your chips down, bet on red and as the wheel once again lands on black, you’re filled with confusion. What just happened?

You’re a sucker. That’s what happened.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Richmond International Raceway

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Toyota Owners 400
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.</p>

Every year the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits a stretch of the season in which it is premature to judge the championship hunt, but cogent enough to pinpoint problems with underperforming drivers and teams. It’s an odd stretch, for sure. Through eight races we have seen some unexpected strong performances from non-household names, while also getting much of the same from the usual title-contending suspects, some of which you will read about below. It’s been a crazy, competitive year that has provided plenty of statistical fodder.

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