Predicting NASCAR race results

I’ve given it a shot for 4 out of the first 6 NASCAR races to predict the Top 10 based solely on previous performance statistics. So far, my percentage of correct Top 10 predictions is at a dismal 47% accuracy.

Race Correct predictions
Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Auto Club 500 5 of 8
Fantasy NASCAR Picks: UAW DiamlerChrysler 400 5 of 10
Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Golden Corral 500 4 of 10
Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Food City 500 4 of 10

My predictions have been based on:

  • Previous year & multi-year average finish at that track
  • Previous year & multi-year average finish at the most similar track
  • Previous year & multi-year average finish at that particular track shape
  • Previous year & multi-year average finish at that particular track length

I believe there are more factors that play into predicting a more accurate result. I’ve found 2 excellent studies on this very topic.

  1. Do Reliable Predictors Exist for the Outcome of NASCAR Races? external link
  2. Hierarchical Models for Permutations: Analysis of Auto Racing Results (.pdf)

Pretty meaty stuff for a guy that only took Basic math 1 & 2 in college. But, they have provided some great insight into other factors that contribute to more accurately predicting the outcome of a NASCAR race.

I’m going to add some more statistics to my Ultimate NASCAR Database and whip up some groovy PHP scripts to mix the suggested variables together and see if the accuracy picks up.

Definitely more to come.