NASCAR: Breaking Down the Stats

Updated: February 1, 2007, 5:49 PM ET
By Christopher Harris | Special to ESPN.com
The lifeblood of all fantasy sports is statistics. I assume I will not win a MacArthur Genius Grant for making this assertion, but it's worth noting that not only do fantasy baseball, football, basketball, etc. rely on statistics to tell us whether our fantasy teams are performing well, they also rely on stats as predictors of player value. And, perhaps it should go without saying, fantasy NASCAR works the same way.

Driver reliability, track-type expertise and on-track ability define the drivers whom you should select for your fantasy team each week. Looking at season composite statistics certainly gives you a decent overview of the best overall drivers, however, we can get far more granular than that. Should you start Ryan Newman on a road course? Should you bench Kurt Busch at a SuperSpeedway? How likely is it that Denny Hamlin's going to crash out of this week's race, and hurt your fantasy team? How likely is it that Greg Biffle can overcome a poor qualifying performance and make enough quality passes to do some damage? The more informed we are about last season's numbers, the smarter we can be about our week-to-week decisions.

As we've discussed elsewhere in this Draft Kit, racing venue matters. In fact, this stat is one of the best places to begin your weekly analysis. In the past, how have the roster of available fantasy drivers performed on this week's track? And how have they performed on this type of track? We're offering you two simple tools that will show current drivers' average finishes at each track, over the past five seasons and, for a more recent sample, the past two seasons.

ALSO SEE