Tony Stewart Under The Microscope

I’ve been overanalyzing Tony Stewart’s performance for the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. I’ve got an odd sort of shock over him not making the Chase.

I’m seeing 7 specific races that really knocked him out of contention for back to back championships. Of course, a few spots better in any one or combination of races (or just a little more remodeling) over the season and he would be ahead of Kasey Kahne for 10th place.

Below Average Finishes

If Tony had been running par with his averages over the last 4 years, his point total after Richmond would be 3417. Enough to put him solidly in the Chase For The Nextel Cup.

The table below is a summary of Tony’s performance this year as compared to his averages over the last 4 years. You’ll see his average finish position & points. Following that is his 2006 finish position.

The + / – column is how many positions off his average finish he was. The ‘Off Average’ column is a cumulative total of how off he was throughout the progressing NASCAR race season.

When Good Race Tracks Go Bad

The ‘Chase Killers’ for Tony this year were: California Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowes Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway & New Hampshire Speedway.

Each of these tracks, except for Lowe’s & New Hampshire, are historically good tracks for The Home Depot team.

Tony Stewarts 2006 NASCAR Season vs. 4 year Averages
Track Average Finish Average Points 2006 Finish + / - Off Average
Daytona International Speedway 10 147 5 +5 +5
California Speedway 10 100 43 -33 -28
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 10 141 21 -21 -49
Atlanta Motor Speedway 8 150 5 +3 -46
Bristol Motor Speedway 18 114 12 +6 -40
Martinsville Speedway 10 148 1 +9 -31
Texas Motor Speedway 16 122 3 +13 -18
Phoenix International Raceway 13 130 2 +11 -7
Talladega Superspeedway 9 149 2 +7 0
Richmond International Raceway 15 125 6 +9 +9
Darlington Raceway 13 125 12 +1 +10
Lowes Motor Speedway 22 104 42 -20 -10
Dover International Speedway 10 140 25 -15 -25
Pocono Raceway 18 116 3 +15 -10
Michigan International Speedway 11 137 41 -31 -41
Infineon Raceway 14 131 28 -14 -55
Daytona International Speedway 10 147 1 +9 -46
Chicagoland Speedway 10 149 32 -22 -68
New Hampshire International Speedway 18 119 37 -19 -87
Pocono Raceway 18 116 7 +11 -76
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 7 156 8 +1 -75
Watkins Glen International 3 175 2 -1 -76
Michigan International Speedway 11 137 3 +8 -68
Bristol Motor Speedway 18 114 22 -4 -72
California Speedway 22 100 9 +13 -59
Richmond International Raceway 15 125 18 -3 -62