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Cup driver intro song in Bristol - NASCAR Talk

With only Christopher Bell locked into the next round of the playoffs, the first item on every other driver’s to-do list is surviving in Bristol.

The worst thing that can happen to a playoff driver is him withdrawing from the race.

Second worst is another driver taking him out.

During a discussion of accidents at the SiriusXM Speedway, host Dave Moody asked if there were any drivers who tended to hit other drivers more than they hit others.

I thought they were, but here are the numbers.


Do not trust statistics unless you know what data was used, where the data came from, and how the claimant arrived at the results.

Starting from the NASCAR warning list, we selected all accidents and spins involving two or more cars. In 2022, there were a total of 69 incidents involving 280 vehicles.

However, incidents on road courses often don’t attract attention. That’s why we’ve added a list of incidents compiled by analyzing videos from five road course races. This led to 20 more incidents involving 48 cars.

We then identified all pairwise correlations. This is a great way to say you found all pairs of drivers who had the same accident.

For example, in the case of Ross Chastain, we counted the number of times car 1 was in an accident involving car 2, car 3, and so on. I repeated this for each driver.

Each pair of driver scores is the number of common accidents. These numbers ranged from 0 to 6.

No absolute analysis. So here are the caveats:

  • Accident counting is subjective. In a road course race, he might not have counted one or he two incidents like someone else counted. NASCAR didn’t count accidents that didn’t pay attention.
  • I am not distinguishing between a two car accident and a multiple car crash. All of them can interfere with the driver’s finish. But Driver takes his two-car altercation a little more personally. Therefore, they get more attention and we remember them better.

Who has the most car contact?

We start by looking at the number of pairwise collisions recorded by each driver over the 28 races this year. Again, a pairwise collision is simply an accident or spin involving both drivers.

This year, two rookie class jumps to the top. Harrison Burton was involved in his 75th pairwise his interaction and Todd Gilliland was involved in his 70th.

Just because you’re new doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get caught in a lot of cars. Austin Sindrick had only 45 of his pairwise interactions.

The third driver in the overall ranking is veteran Denny Hamlin with 66.

Six drivers score between 50 and 59.

Justin Haley holds the lowest 19 points among full-time drivers. Other low-scoring drivers are:

specific pair

If the collisions were random, all cars would have approximately the same pairwise collision score as all other cars. We already know that where cars generally drive affects who collides with whom, so don’t count on that.

Cars that tend to drive in front of the field are more likely to hit other cars that drive in front of the field. The same applies to midpack and backpack drivers. The only exception is Superspeedway. Because these crashes tend to collect a wider range of positions.

The two drivers involved in the most common incidents this year were Cindric and Burton, for a total of six. Burton was involved in his ninth of Sindric’s cases.

However, running position alone cannot fully explain this data.

Sindrick’s average running position is 17.0, almost five positions away from Burton’s average running position of 22.9. But playoff driver Austin Dillon, with an average running position of 18.2, doesn’t have the same incidents as Burton.

The incident was not shared with Cindric and Dillon either.

However, the other two high scoring drivers at Burton can be explained by their running position. Gilliland and Corey LaJoie each share No. 21 and his five accidents. LaJoie’s average rank is his 25.4 and Gilliland his 23.5.

But LaJoie only shared one accident with Gilliland.

If this confuses your mind, the diagram below may help. Identify each driver by car number. The numbers on the arrows indicate the number of incidents shared by each pair.

Apart from the Burton/Gilliland and Burton/LaJoie pairings, only two other driver pairs experienced five encounters. Denny Hamlin shares his five accidents with Elliott and Ryan Blaney respectively.

How to survive in Bristol

The table below shows the driver pairs with a score of 4 or higher for each playoff driver. These are the cars every driver should avoid in order to survive in Bristol (Saturday 7:30 PM ET US Network). Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe, William Byron and Alex Bowman all have four or more points.A table showing the playoff drivers and the cars they had the most accidents with.