Statistically Speaking

2. Joey Logano

Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:02 pm ET

Logano became the first driver to receive an invitation to the Chase when he won last year’s Daytona 500. All he needed to do was stay near the top of the points and perhaps win another race as insurance. Six top-10s in the next six races took care of the first part of that equation and a victory at Watkins Glen International in the summer gave him multiple wins.

His victory was part of 17 top-10s in a 19-race streak of races at the end of the regular season and the start of the Chase and he was widely considered one of the top threats—along with Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick—to challenge for the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy at Homestead. Logano swept Victory Lane in the Contender Round, but his Hollywood Casino 400 win was a pyrrhic victory. After getting pinched into the wall late in that race, he showed a lack of patience passing Kenseth and spun the No. 20, which sparked a sequence of events that led him to be intentionally wrecked at Martinsville Speedway by the normally passive Wisconsinite.

The Goody’s 500 was followed by another poor finish at Texas Motor Speedway the following week, but Logano’s fate in that race might have been different if not for the Martinsville melee. One will never know.

But a certainty is that Logano had top-fives in more than 60 percent of his starts and finished outside the top 15 only six times. At various stages of the season, he was rivalled only by Harvick in terms of combined strength and consistency.

In fact, in the second half of the season he was actually stronger than Harvick with five wins and his only two poor results coming as the result of crash damage. Both the No. 22 and 4 cars defined place-and-hold entries; it simply relied on which was on the roster before the fall season began.

Predicting future behavior for Logano might not be as easy as one would imagine, however. Logano’s best attribute in 2015 was his consistency. Fantasy players did not have to worry about predicting which tracks would favor him based on historical trends and that was good because his career on certain courses has been uneven. Unless he shows the same overall strength in 2016, he is destined to settle into a pattern much more akin to teammate Brad Keselowski and will be only an occasional good value when one guesses correctly.

Overall, Penske Racing is becoming a powerhouse as two traditional favorites Hendrick Motorsports and Roush-Fenway Racing slip down the order. What fantasy owners need to consider is the reason for one’s rise and the other’s fall. If Penske is actually becoming stronger because their drivers and team are hitting the prime of their careers, they will keep challenging into the later stages of the playoffs. If their strength is simply based on NASCAR’s emphasis on parity among organizations, however, then the waves will continue to swell and wane.

Remember: NASCAR’s priorities are different than fantasy players. The sanctioning body wants every fan of every driver to think their favorite can win on a given week. Players want predictability.

Those two things are mutually exclusive. 

 

Track

Career
Avg. Finish

Career
Avg. Start

Best
Finish

Career
Attempts

Race 1

Race 2

Charlotte Motor Speedway

9.57

13.21

1

14

13

1

Kentucky Speedway

10.20

10.00

2

5

2

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

12.00

9.14

4

7

10

 

Dover Downs International

13.36

12.86

3

14

11

10

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

13.43

13.86

2

7

2

 

Michigan International Speedway *

13.64

13.43

1

14

5

7

Phoenix International Raceway *

13.71

13.29

3

14

8

3

Richmond International Raceway +

13.79

11.36

1

14

5

3

Watkins Glen International

14.29

16.57

1

7

1

 

Sonoma Raceway

14.29

12.00

5

7

5

 

Martinsville Speedway

14.86

10.50

2

14

3

37

Chicagoland Speedway

15.29

13.29

4

7

6

 

Pocono Raceway

15.93

11.14

1

14

4

20

New Hampshire Motor Speedway +

16.00

17.80

1

15

4

3

Auto Club Speedway

17.11

11.78

3

9

7

 

Kansas Speedway +

17.23

10.31

1

13

5

1

Homestead - Miami Speedway

17.71

14.43

4

7

4

 

Texas Motor Speedway

18.47

14.53

1

15

4

40

Daytona International Speedway

18.57

22.00

1

14

1

22

Bristol Motor Speedway

18.64

7.93

1

14

40

1

Talladega SuperSpeedway

19.50

21.64

1

14

33

1

Atlanta Motor Speedway

19.56

21.67

2

9

4

 

Darlington Raceway

20.29

13.14

4

7

4

 

 

+ Top-five sweeps
* Top-10 sweeps

3. Matt Kenseth 
4. Kurt Busch 
5. Kyle Busch 
6. Brad Keselowski 
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
8. Jimmie Johnson 
9. Denny Hamlin 
10. Martin Truex Jr. 
11. Kyle Larson 
12. Carl Edwards 

 


Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/statistically-speaking/2-joey-logano