Some interesting stats from the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season

Nick Bromberg
·4 min read

Now that the 2020 NASCAR season is done, it’s time to take a look at some stats that stood out.

Chase Elliott’s victory at Phoenix made him the youngest Cup Series champion since Jeff Gordon won the 1995 Cup Series championship at 24. Elliott, who turns 25 at the end of the month, is just the fourth 20-something to win a Cup Series title since Gordon got his first championship 25 years ago.

Here are some other interesting stats from the 2020 season:

• Kevin Harvick’s nine wins are the most of any driver since Carl Edwards won nine races in 2008. Like Harvick in 2020, Edwards didn’t win the title that season.

• Thirteen drivers won a race in 2020. That’s one more than in both 2019 and 2018 and one fewer than 2017.

• Elliott’s win at Phoenix was his fifth of the season. That made it the second consecutive year that three drivers won five or more races.

• Kevin Harvick led the series with nine wins and completed 9,911 of a possible 9,914 laps. Harvick finished a lap down at Martinsville and Homestead in June and a lap down at Texas in the fall.

• Harvick’s 33 lead-lap finishes were tied for the series lead with Brad Keselowski.

• Harvick was the only driver who was running at the finish of every race. Denny Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto were the only two drivers who failed to finish one race.

• Harvick had 20 top-five finishes. Only seven drivers had 20 or more top-10 finishes.

• Bubba Wallace and Ty Dillon were the only two full-time drivers with exactly one top-five finish.

• Six full-time drivers had no top-five finishes: Michael McDowell, Corey LaJoie, Ryan Preece, John Hunter Nemechek, Quin Houff and Timmy Hill.

• While McDowell failed to score a top five, the four top 10s he had were the most of his career and his 20.9 average finish was the best of his career.

• Harvick led the series with 1,531 laps led. That was ahead of Elliott (1,247) and Hamlin (1,083). They were the only three drivers to lead over 1,000 laps.

• Fifteen drivers led over 100 laps in 2020. Fourteen of those drivers made the playoffs.

• One of the two playoff drivers who didn’t lead 100 or more laps was Cole Custer. He led just five laps all season.

• Only Nemechek and Houff led fewer laps than Custer among drivers who ran every race.

• Thirty drivers ran all 36 races. Timmy Hill was the only one of those 30 who didn’t run for points. Houff averaged the fewest points per race of all those drivers with 5.9 points per race.

• Hill and Houff were the only drivers to compete in every race and not finish in the top 10 in a single one.

• Houff finished just 93 points ahead of Kyle Larson in the points standings. Larson ran four races before he was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing.

• Ryan Newman’s average finish of 20.0 in 33 races was his worst average finish since 2008 when he won the Daytona 500 but had an average finish of 20.3.

• Joey Logano had the best average starting position of any full-time driver at 6.4. Ten drivers had starting spots inside the top 10 because of NASCAR’s modified starting position format in 2020 in lieu of qualifying after the coronavirus pandemic.

• Harvick was one of those drivers who had an average starting position in the top 10. His average start was 7.7 and his average finish was somehow better than that. Harvick’s average finish was 7.3, the best of anyone in the series.

• Because qualifying didn’t happen for most of the season it was hard for drivers to achieve a considerably better average finish than a better average starting position. Christopher Bell improved by 3.7 spots per race and Ty Dillon improved by 3.6 spots per race. No other rivers gained over three spots from start to finish.

Chase Elliott holds up the season championship trophy as he celebrates with his race crew in Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Chase Elliott became the youngest champion since Jeff Gordon won in 1995. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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