Do Cautions Really Breed More Cautions?

Anyone who has watched a bit of IndyCar racing on TV has probably heard an announcer say something to this effect after a caution period at one time or another: “You know what they say, cautions breed cautions.” It’s unclear who “they” are in this sentence, but we can take it to be the conventional wisdom in racing. The announcers are saying that after a caution flag has been thrown, it’s more likely there will be another caution during the ensuing restart from the caution period. Some explanations for this are that the cars are all bunched up together, some cars will have come to pit while others didn’t, and it’s a prime overtaking opportunity. c

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Analyzing Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dominance at Texas and the Battle for Second Best Team

There is no denying that Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist were the two fastest drivers at last weekend’s Genesys 300 at Texas. Dixon won the race by 4.4 seconds and Rosenqvist had a second place finish practically guaranteed before he crashed while attempting to pass lapped traffic and charge after Dixon with nine laps to go. Given that the high line had already caught several people out throughout the day, it probably wasn’t the best place to attempt that pass when you could have been pretty sure of a second place finish and it’s the first race of the season. He would have made himself much better off in the championship by taking the second place finish and securing the 1-2 for Chip Ganassi Racing. As always though, hindsight is 20/20, and if he had made the pass stick and passed Dixon for the win we would be telling a different story about that move. Even with an unfortunate ending, Rosenqvist gained a ton of experience at Texas that he can take with him to the four remaining oval races this season.

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Upgrading the Championship Projection Model

If you followed this site last year you’ll remember the championship projections model that simulated the remaining races of the season 50,000 times and returned the probability of every driver finishing in every position in the championship. This model was rooted in each driver’s average finishing position, average track position, consistency, and influenced by how many races had already been completed. For this season I have completely overhauled the projection system and I am going to run through a few of the major changes in this article.Read More »

A New Way to View Stats on The Single Seater

For the past few years, the stats that I tracked on this website have been posted with the help of Google Sheets. This worked fairly well, but it didn’t support even simple sorting by columns or searching for drivers. For this upcoming season, I have completely changed the way my stats will be presented and available to people. I have been developing an R Shiny app that will be the new home for all of the stats that I track throughout the IndyCar season. It has a lot of nice features that I just want to briefly mention in this article so that you can get the most out of using it. It is still very much under active development, so there will likely be a few updates to it as I continue work and receive feedback.Read More »

Ranking IndyCar Drivers With Elo Ratings

This is a really fun article for me to write because one of my first “big goals” when I started writing about IndyCar statistics was to apply the Elo rating system to IndyCar drivers. Elo ratings were developed by Arpad Elo to rank chess players, but they have since been used to rank sports from soccer to football to basketball and more. Elo ratings have a couple of great qualities that make them a good choice to rank and compare IndyCar drivers. The first part of this article will detail how the ratings are calculated, but feel free to skip past that for the results or come back to it later!

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