Unfortunately, those rules turned out to be flawed, leading me to scrap my work and start all over again.
The biggest problem has to do with the stage-racing format that NASCAR began this year in all of its top series. If you read that post, you noticed that the results of the stages depended on the historical data of all the drivers in those particular races of those particular series. Many of them had such records to fall back on, but many others did not, and the consequences were obvious in some cases:
- Herb Thomas, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame (class of 2013) for his great success in the 1950s, was given an automatic last-place finish in one of the races of the Can-Am Duel at Daytona because his career effectively ended before the track opened. Per the rules, the only chance he had to make the Daytona 500 in my scenario was to have a fast-enough lap in Sunday's previous qualifying. He did not, and therefore, he failed to qualify. Most importantly, the purpose of the qualifying race - to determine who would make the main race among those not yet locked in - was defeated.
- Adam Petty - one of my other full-time drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - is locked out of receiving any chance at stage points due to having made one career start in that series. (More races were planned, but he was killed in a race practice crash in May 2000).
- Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, and Justin Allgaier similarly had limited opportunities to get stage points due to having few (Logano and Kahne) or no (Allgaier) career starts in the Camping World Truck Series, for which they "race" full time.
So what I will do from now on is to base all race results on the same criteria used for the supplemental statistical data - averages from the five-year period from 2012 to 2016. Whatever finishing positions were attained by drivers in the same starting positions over that five-year period will be averaged together and the driver corresponding to the position with the best averages will win the stages and the race. Points will be awarded to the 10 best averages after each stage and to all drivers in descending order at the end of each race.
Playoffs will be conducted under the rules outlined on the original page and the procedures will not change.
This week, I replayed the first nine MENCS races. While full reports are pending, here is a glimpse based on my calculations:
- Dale Earnhardt unfortunately does not get the Daytona sweep. He still wins the Daytona 500 and the Advance Auto Parts Clash (the latter is the only race still completely using historical data, as that was available for all drivers), but he falls to third place in Duel race #1. Jimmie Johnson is the new winner, and Ned Jarrett finished second. However, had Earnhardt won race #1, he would have finished 18th in the "Great American Race," and would have had to beat the new five-minute crash clock just to get that; he would have been one of 17 cars involved in the "big one" toward the start of stage 3.
- Two drivers earned "perfect scores"; that is, wins in both stages then in the race itself - Earnhardt in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond, and before that, Davey Allison in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas. Under my original rules, Allison would have received no stage points as he never started there. In fact, he was not even alive when Texas Motor Speedway opened in 1997; he had been dead for four years at that point.
- Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon had taken over the championship lead and were separated by just three points. The key to their success was by dominating the stage points; Gordon was first with 95 points while Johnson was second with 88. The battle to accumulate race points was very tight.
I plan to replay the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series races next week, and then the writeups will resume shortly after that. In the meantime, I will delete all the posts reflecting past results.
(Construction barricade picture courtesy Uline)