How NASCAR Cup is on tempo for a record-breaking season in 2022 - Motor Informed
NASCAR

How NASCAR Cup is on tempo for a record-breaking season in 2022

With 10 races remaining earlier than the beginning of the 2022 playoffs, NASCAR has already seen larger TV rankings, sturdy race-day crowds and loads of on-track motion, notably on intermediate tracks.

Whereas the Subsequent Gen automobile hasn’t been a smashing success in all places – brief monitor races at Martinsville and Richmond had been sub-par for example – however total the automobile has acquired good critiques from drivers and followers alike.

Statistics stored by NASCAR appear to bear that conclusion out.

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, Onx Homes / Renu Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his win

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, Onx Properties / Renu Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his win

Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

A wide range of race winners

There have been a complete of 12 totally different race winners by way of the primary 16 races, which ties the 2000 and 2012 seasons for second-most winners by way of 16 races within the trendy period (since 1972). The 2003 season had essentially the most with 13.

Of these 12 totally different race winners, 4 have earned their first profession victory this season. They’re Team Penske’s Austin Cindric, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe and Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez. The collection report for essentially the most first-time winners in a single season within the trendy period is 5, and it has occurred 3 times – in 2001, 2002 and 2011.

The totally different winners have helped maintain the playoff factors battle shut up and down the standings, not like in years previous the place a handful of drivers had gained a number of instances by this level within the yr and constructed up a large cushion.

“You need to create some separation for your self amongst the remainder of your opponents,” mentioned Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch, who has one win and is third within the collection standings. “That betters you all through the playoffs.

“With everybody being so shut collectively and protecting bunched up, and with the season being as unpredictable, up and down for everyone, the playoffs could possibly be that very same approach – the place there are simply far more unknowns.”

Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Worldwide Specific Chevrolet Camaro

Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

No clear playoff chief

Ross Chastain and William Byron at the moment are tied in playoff factors with 13 every, whereas Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin each have 12. After that, there are eight drivers with six or extra playoff factors.

“We’ve seen in earlier years; guys rack up a ton of wins and a ton of playoff factors to lean on. Usually, they’re the perfect guys within the playoffs in any case,” mentioned Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman.

“So, it’s just a little bit attention-grabbing, however, yeah, I believe it’s fairly huge open proper now. I believe you’re going to have groups get sizzling after which type of cool off even between now and the playoffs. I believe a lot adjustments with this race automobile.”

Strictly when it comes to the on-track product, the 2022 Cup season has to this point produced 786 inexperienced flag passes for the lead, which is essentially the most recorded by way of the primary 16 races because the knowledge started to be collected in 2007.

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Ally/Better Together Chevrolet Camaro, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, M&M's Crunchy Cookie Toyota Camry

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Ally/Higher Collectively Chevrolet Camaro, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, M&M’s Crunchy Cookie Toyota Camry

Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

No lack of on-track motion in 2022

Every race this season is averaging 49.1 inexperienced flag passes for the lead – a 35.three% enhance over the typical of 31.eight per race since 2007.

As well as, seven tracks have set data in inexperienced flag passes for the lead – Circuit of The Americas (30), Atlanta (141), Las Vegas (57), Bristol Filth (20), Darlington (28), Kansas (41) and the Charlotte oval (64).

5 of these tracks are intermediates – which for years had been criticised for his or her lack of drama and side-by-side motion. They’ve simply seen essentially the most enchancment this yr when it comes to the standard of racing.

“I believe [the car] drives worse, which makes it a greater race. Like I believe on the brief tracks, Martinsville specifically, it drove approach too properly and it made for a foul race,” mentioned Bowman.

“The 1.5-mile tracks, it appears to race very well. It positively isn’t as snug to drive because the outdated automobile, however the guidelines package deal that we’ve ended up with and the place all the pieces shook out, it’s placed on actually good races.”

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