WILL HAMLIN’S INJURY AFFECT HIS 2010 SEASON?

The big story right now is Denny Hamlin's injury. We are seeing a lot of discussion out there wondering whether his 2010 start will be just as good as his 2009 ending. Some of the PR from the Joe Gibbs camp is that this will be no problem.Let's compare some recent examples of NASCAR injuries. In 2009, Carl Edwards broke his right foot in September.  In the following twelve races after the injury (the last twelve of 2009), he had three Top Tens, and a total of ZERO Top Fives. His average ...

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TOYOTA DRIVERS HELPED THE STOCK MARKET MOST IN 2009

Late in 2008 I did some analysis showing which drivers over their careers helped the stock market most. Who do you root for if you want the stock market to go up? And which winners hit your wallet the hardest?I have resurrected the data for the 2009 season. I considered the first trading day after a race, and compared the performance of the S&P 500 to the winning driver and manufacturer of the most recent race. Here is what I found: Kyle Busch's four wins produced a total stock market gai ...

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ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THE CHASE

As we have discussed before, the simplicity of the Watermill Score is that it can summarize what it takes to succeed in the NASCAR points system with just four basic inputs: Wins Top 10s Lead lap finishes Races at the finish A simple count of each of these gives you the Watermill Score of zero to four, and it is almost 100 percent correlated with the real points system. We have seen it work over the course of an entire season, but what happens if we look at it just using the ...

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WHAT IS THE WATERMILL SCORE?

Editor's note: Earlier this year All Left Turns introduced the Watermill Score, the four-pronged strategy that Sprint Cup teams should follow in order to win a title. In a follow-up story, we showed how winning a NASCAR title is like counting cards. This third post elaborates on the first two, covering why the Watermill Score is important and how teams can use it to affect race strategy.I. Introducing the Watermill ScoreThere is a startlingly basic relationship that almost fully defines the trad ...

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UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY TABLE: JOHNSON HAS 97 PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING

After his win in Phoenix on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson's lead is now 108 points over Mark Martin. We almost don't even need a probability table for this week, but let's go ahead and check it out anyway. (Can you tell I’m a Martin guy?)1) First off, everybody from third place on down is eliminated. That includes you, Jeff Gordon.2) Martin needs to outscore Johnson by 109 points or more in the last race at Homestead in order to win the title. Obviously, that's a tough task, basically requiring t ...

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UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY TABLE: JOHNSON HAS 98.6 PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING

Jimmie Johnson found yet another way to beat the competition Sunday, this time during a bizarre finish at Talladega. As much as this Mark Martin fan hates to say it, Johnson is going to coast to the title unless he has three bad races in a row. And what are the odds Chad Knaus is going to let that happen?First off, we can officially eliminate Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers from contention. Anybody who is more than 483 points behind can't catch Johnson. After next week's race, anybody 322 points ...

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UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY TABLE: JOHNSON ROUTING THE FIELD

Following Sunday's race in Martinsville we have a new, updated championship probability table. As always, the numbers are determined by using past results from this season to predict future success. 1) With the exception of the already-eliminated Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson's second-place finish added to his lead against all of his Chase competitors.2) There really isn't much to say here, with Johnson pulling off finishes like this. It's going to take a wreck for him to lose this title. And ...

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UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY TABLE: ONLY THREE DRIVERS CAN CATCH JOHNSON

With a win in Charlotte on Saturday, Jimmie Johnson has taken a commanding lead in his quest to win a fourth straight title. 1) Johnson has scored three wins in the last four races.  In each of those wins, he also earned bonus points for leading the most laps. 2) The top four drivers, all in Hendrick-powered equipment, now have a more-than 99 percent chance of winning the championship.  That's up from 94 percent last week.3) Mark Martin and Tony Stewart, by finishing outside th ...

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UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY TABLE: JOHNSON PULLING AWAY

The championship probability table underwent a major shakeup this week thanks to Jimmie Johnson’s win in Fontana. (For a refresher on how probability is determined, go here.) 1) Johnson was the big winner in every department. He won the race, took the points lead and gained 18 percentage points here, moving from a 24 percent chance of winning the title to 42 percent. That almost doubles his next competitor. 2) Fortunately for Mark Martin, his fourth-place finish kept him within striking ...

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CHAMPIONSHIP PROBABILITY TABLE: JOHNSON, STEWART TIED AND MARTIN RIGHT BEHIND

With three Chase races down and seven to go, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson have emerged as strong favorites, with Mark Martin nipping on their heels and Jeff Gordon still lurking in contention. Championship probability table notes:1) Obviously the big winner in Kansas was Stewart, as he halved the points gap with Martin, and in doing so doubled his percentage chances of winning the title. What was once a two-man race between Johnson and Martin is now a three-man race that includes Stewart. ...

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