As we discovered earlier this year, attention doesn’t capture everything. Sometimes drivers spin, crash, lose a wheel or blow a tire, but the race continues. Caution is an imprecise proxy for counting these incidents.
For greater accuracy, each race should be revisited in detail to find incidents that were not paid attention to.
that’s what i did.
As with caveats, non-cause incidents use the same categories. Only incidents severe enough to lose a driver’s spot count, regardless of where they occur on the field. I wouldn’t say I found all the cases, but I think I found most of them.
The table below summarizes the counts of attentional and inattentive incidents in the 2022 Cup Series.
Inadvertent incidents account for 30.1% of all incidents. However, the percentages vary widely within categories.
Example: Inattention accidents make up only 14% of all accidents, but inattentive spins account for almost 40% of all spins.
Racial Carelessness Incidents
The chart below shows the total number of incidents — attention and carelessness. Displays the races in chronological order from left to right. Total does not include planned notes.
Road courses have the highest number of careless accidents. The length and expansive nature of these tracks allow drivers to recover from spins and accidents without drawing attention.
- The Indy Road course had the highest total number of inattentive accidents, including 9 spins, 6 accidents and 1 car fire. This amounts to a total of 16 inadvertent incidents and 3 natural caveats.
- COTA had the second highest total of 13 inattention incidents, with 2 accidents, 9 spins, 1 tire problem and 1 wheel problem. Seven natural warnings bring COTA’s total to 20 incidents.
- The Bristol Asphalt Race came third in total incidents. Accidents, spins and stalls recorded there all called for caution, but six tire problems and his five wheel problems did not. Bristol won the award for the least heeded incident in the Oval.
Road courses accounted for a third of all spins in 2022. Knowing your total spin is important because spin indicates that you are likely to lose control of your car.
The first third of the season scored 34 spins. That number increased to 40 in 2/3, but dropped to 25 in his final 12 races of the year. The numbers for the first two-thirds of the season included 10 spins each on the COTA and Indy Road courses.
Spin rate is highly dependent on track type, so it’s difficult to draw conclusions about whether drivers have improved their ability to manage their cars over the course of a year.
the tire flew
Next Gen’s symmetry makes the car turn harder and puts more stress on the tires. The crew chief also gained the ability to adjust rear camber. Goodyear reports that he encountered 200-300 lb force spikes on the tires. Force spikes can quickly load a tire and lead to a puncture.
We only counted situations such as spins and accidents where it was clear that the tire had gone flat before another accident. If another accident could have punctured the tire, we did not include it as a tire issue.
The number of blown tires in the 2022 season is 59, including tires that need attention and tires that do not.
The team has used around 26,600 tires this season. 59 tire failures represent approximately 0.2% of all tires driven.
Christopher Bell and Austin Sindrick each broke the most tires with five punctures. Bell’s teammate Martin Truex his junior was his four. Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe and Daniel Suarez had three each.
Four Joe Gibbs Racing cars accounted for a total of 13 flat tires, or 22% of the total. The same number of Hendrick Motorsport had eight tires blown, while Stewart Haas Racing had six.
The Bristol Asphalt Race had the most tire problems with 13. Texas ranked second with his eight and Kansas third with his five. Repaved and reconfigured Atlanta, in two races he had six tire problems.
Tire problems at Kansas dropped from five in race one to two in race two. We expect overall numbers to drop next year as crew chiefs use what they have learned this year to refine their set-ups.
Next Gen’s single-lug wheels challenged the pit crew despite built-in indicators to make sure the wheels were properly tightened. There were 13 times the car had to back off on pit road to deal with a loose tire, and 19 times the car pitted to re-tighten the wheel immediately after a tire change.
A four-race suspension of crew chiefs and pit crew members will make the team even more cautious.
There were 14 wheels that came off the car during the 2022 season. Seven notes. His remaining seven occurred on pit road or allowed cars to return to pit road after losing a wheel on the track.
14 wheels are 0.05% of all tires used. Again, this number reflects more human error than design flaws in the wheel.More concerning to me is the handful of stops the team has failed to get the wheels on off car. For example, debris between Darlington’s wheel and hub cost Ross Chastain her four-lap loss.
The good news is that as the season progressed, less and less wheels left the car.
- In the first third of the season, 8 wheels came off the car.
- Four wheels were lost later in the season.
- Only two wheels were stuck in the final third of the season.
As is the case with most stats for the first year of a new car, these numbers will become more meaningful next year when they serve as a benchmark.