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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

NASCAR Playoffs by the Numbers

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Four races are down and six left in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, with Martin Truex Jr. owning a commanding points lead after winning Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Truex and Kyle Busch have each won twice so far in the playoffs, which means no one else has visited Victory Lane yet during the championship hunt.

Still, some interesting trends are emerging.

Here’s a snapshot of the Cup playoffs so far, by the numbers.


Toyotas have won 10 of the last 13 Cup races, a winning percentage of 76.9 percent. Chevrolet drivers won the other three, while the last time a Ford driver won was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the July 4th weekend race at Daytona.  Or to put it another way, Toyotas have won 100 percent of the playoff races.


So far, there have been 1,304 laps run in the four playoff races. Truex has led 331, while Kyle Busch has led 324.  That means Truex has led 25.4 percent of the playoff laps to 24.8 percent for Busch. Collectively, the two Toyota drivers have led 50.2 percent of the laps run.


Kyle Busch has had a playoff of extremes so far. He won at New Hampshire and Dover, but his average finish in the two races he didn’t win — Chicagoland and Charlotte — is 22.00. That’s not good.


Of the 12 drivers still competing for a championship, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has the worst average finish in the playoffs at 18.00. Stenhouse is also the only one of the 12 who hasn’t posted a top 10 in the playoffs so far.


Chase Elliott’s runner-up finish at Charlotte was his third in four playoff races. Add in an 11th-place finish at New Hampshire, and Elliott’s average playoff finish is 4.25, second only to Truex’s 2.75.


Truex is the only driver to post top-five finishes in all four playoff races so far. Elliott and Kyle Larson have three top fives each and Larson is the only driver other than Truex with four playoff top 10s.


Jimmie Johnson has seven Cup championships, but his results in the Chase so far have been pedestrian at best. He has only one top five in the playoffs, a third place at Dover, and in all four races so far, he’s finished behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Elliott.


With wins at Chicagoland and Charlotte, and finishes of fifth at New Hampshire and fourth at Dover, Truex leads the field with an average finish of 2.75.


Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.