Monday, December 17, 2012

Some really Loopie NASCAR awards

   For the sixth consecutive season, NASCAR has pored over a season’s worth of Loop Data and filtered out the top statistical performances of the 2012 season. After a painstaking review, a select committee created awards to recognize those drivers who numerically excelled this season. Those awards have evolved into arguably the most coveted prize in all of NASCAR. They are – and this is – The Loopies.

   Loop Top Dogg: This award yearly goes to the driver who led the most Loop Data categories. Winner: Jimmie Johnson (led 13 of 15 categories).

   Quantity of Quality Award: This award goes to the driver who led the Sprint Cup Series in Quality Passes, which are passes of cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions. Winner: Brad Keselowski.

   Most Improved Driver: The driver with the biggest improvement in Driver Rating from 2011 to 2012. Winner: Greg Biffle (85.9 to 99.5).
   Least Improved Driver: The driver with the biggest drop in Driver Rating wins this Loopie, and it goes to Carl Edwards – with an asterisk. Edwards actually only had the third-biggest drop – 16.8, from 101.0 in 2011 to 84.2 this season. But it was the biggest drop among drivers who didn’t switch teams.

   Coffee’s For Closers Award: The “Closer” statistic measures the positions gained or lost in the last 10 percent of races. The top Closer this season: Ryan Newman, who improved 68 total positions in the last 10 percent of races this season.

   Worst Closer Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt lost 41 spots in the last 10 percent of races this year, among the worst of any driver.

   Stefan Kretschmann Lifetime Achievement Award: Stefan Kretschmann works for Stats, LLC in Chicago, and is considered the godfather of Loop Data. We started this award last season to honor a driver who has been statistically strong throughout the Loop Data Era (2005-present). Jimmie Johnson took home the inaugural Lifetime Achievement trophy. The 2012 winner is Kyle Busch, who has landed an unparalleled 20 perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 throughout NASCAR’s three national series.


  1. This is what makes NASCAR's loop data stupid - a quality pass is NOT of a top 15 car - it's only of a top ten car, and is ONLY for position - lapped cars don't count even though NASCAR inexplicably counts them.

  2. from the first presentation of loop data it's been poorly represented and explained. I sure hope NASCAR doesn't waste too much money on this bunk. I guess they kind of get the data for free from the having all the loops in the it's better than nothing...but I don't see them doing a very good job of making it interesting for fans or numbers people (like myself)