Statistically, 2019 has been a highlight reel for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Despite Martin Truex Jr.’s rather convincing win last week at Richmond Raceway, the Margin of Victory on the season averages 1.649-seconds and in 15 of the 28 races so far, it’s been less than 1-second.
That’s a narrative that isn’t being pushed enough right now. See, the drivers weren’t too thrilled with the action that we saw last weekend in Richmond. They were right in a sense. The racing is going the wrong direction at some of the short tracks.
But, for the season as a whole, the racing package has produced some much closer racing. Is it as close as we thought it would be? Not necessarily. Despite that, the stats tell a story that this new racing package is indeed working.
The average number of race leaders (8.89) is the most since 2014 (9.75). The lead changes per race (17.43) through the opening 28 races is the most since 2015 (17.79).
Green Flag Passes are up 38.1 percent from last year and Green Flag Passes for the Lead are up 64.3 percent (in 18 of 28 races – including all 1.5-mile tracks). In fact, new records were set at six events – at Las Vegas-1, Kansas-1, Bristol-1, Chicago, Kentucky and Indianapolis).
Five of the last six races, the mark for Green Flag Passes was better than the 10-year average.
I’ll admit that there are some tracks that need to be readdressed to see if something can be done to improve the racing. These stats also show that the changes are working at a majority of the tracks though.