2014 NASCAR Driver Finish Predictions

I got an email from Cliff DeJong this morning. Cliff is the creator of our exclusive AccuPredict weekly NASCAR Driver finish position predictor algorithm. He has worked with statistics his whole life and each off-season he pours back over the NASCAR numbers to learn how his computations can be modified to increase their accuracy. Cliff is and has been a great asset for me and all the subscribers at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet that use his AccuPredict data each week to help pick their weekly fantasy NASCAR drivers.

CLIFF HAS BEEN HARD AT WORK AGAIN

During this off-season Cliff examined the 2010 – 2013 NASCAR seasons and projected what he thinks will be the statistically likely finishes for the 2014 NASCAR season.

He used 2010 – 2012 to predict 2013, and then the same methodology with 2011-2013 data to predict 2014. As an interesting side-project he also looked at the last 10 years of notable rookies to estimate how Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Danica Patrick will do this year. As well as how well the rookies in general will do.

He is pretty happy with his results. Those of you that are really geeky into stats will get how exciting it is to have correlations of 0.88+. That is what Cliff was able to accomplish in this study.

ANY SURPRISES?

You bet.

Kevin Harvick is projecting to be the best average finisher in 2014. Matt Kenseth is second, and Jimmie Johnson will fall to third. Carl Edwards is in fourth, and Kyle Busch is just behind Carl in fifth. Cliff still is uncertain about how to predict who will be in the Chase with the new format, but right now he is comfortable to pick the top-twelve on his list almost for sure to be in.

Cliff shared that the major unknowns are how well Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart will bounce back after their respective injuries. Plus, he notes the performance of rookies Austin Dillon and Parker Kligerman are also only rough estimates. For all the #3 fans he says the Austin Dillon in particular could do much better than the forecast shows.

ON TO THE RESULTS

Without further ado, here is Cliff’s predictions for the 2014 NASCAR season.

Rank Driver Average Finish
1 Kevin Harvick 10.9
2 Matt Kenseth 11.4
3 Jimmie Johnson 11.7
4 Carl Edwards 12.3
5 Kyle Busch 12.4
6 Brad Keselowski 12.7
7 Clint Bowyer 13.1
8 DaleĀ  Earnhardt Jr 13.4
9 Jeff Gordon 13.7
10 Tony Stewart 13.9
11 Kasey Kahne 14.1
12 Greg Biffle 14.3
13 Martin Truex Jr 15.1
14 Joey Logano 15.3
15 Ryan Newman 15.4
16 Kurt Busch 15.7
17 Paul Menard 17.0
18 Denny Hamlin 17.3
19 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17.7
20 Brian Vickers 18.3
21 Marcos Ambrose 18.7
22 Jamie McMurray 18.8
23 AJ Allmendinger 19.3
24 Austin Dillon 19.6
25 ParkerĀ  Kligerman 22.7
26 Danica Patrick 24.3
27 David Ragan 24.8
28 Casey Mears 25.7
29 Kyle Larson 26.7
30 David Gilliland 27.2
31 David Reutimann 27.4
32 Dave Blaney 29.4
33 Justin Allgaier 29.5
34 Travis Kvapil 29.6
35 Landon Cassill 30.0
36 David Stremme 32.8
37 JJ Yeley 33.6
38 Michael McDowell 37.3

PHOTO CREDIT: NASCAR via Getty Images. PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 12, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

5 thoughts on “2014 NASCAR Driver Finish Predictions

  1. Good catch. He didn’t run in 2011, so the statistics process dropped him. He is forecast to have an average finish of 21.6, which ranks him 25th for 2014. He was a little better in 2012 and 2013: 20 and 18.5 averages,. Another way of processing Aric gives 19 for an average finish, which would put him in 23rd.

    1. Denny’s average finish in 2013 was almost 20, so he is predicted to improve. His 2011 average was 16; 2012 was 12.8. Which Denny will show up this year? So far, looks like the 2012 version!!
      Thanks for your interest.

  2. Has the new 2014 qualifying format changed anything in terms of how these or the Accupredict predictions are being made? I’m wondering if qualifying with other cars making qualifying sessions more predictive (that is better simulating race conditions) or less predictive by weaker cars doing better by being in a pack. Curious.

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