Next Gen is giving the fans what they want – great competition

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Action-packed racing has been the norm this season thanks to the introduction of the Next Gen car in the NASCAR Cup Series and with 16 races in the books, the stats keep adding up. 

A total of 12 different race winners through the first 16 races of the 2022 season ties the 2000 and 2012 seasons for second-most winners through 16 races in the Modern Era (1972-2022); behind the 2003 season with 13 winners.

A total of 10 different pole winners through the first 16 races of the 2022 season are the most since 2014 (11 poles winners).

Of the 12 different race winners this season, four are first-time Cup Series winners: Team Penske’s Austin Cindric (Daytona 500), Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe (Phoenix) and Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain (COTA) and Daniel Suárez (Sonoma). The NASCAR Cup Series record for the most first-time winners in a single season in the Modern Era (1972-2022) is five first-time winners, and it has occurred three times – 2001, 2002 and 2011. 

The average Margin of Victory of the first 16 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is 0.710-second; the second closest average Margin of Victory through the first 16 races of a season since advent of electronic scoring in 1993; the closest is 2014 with 0.691-second. The first 16 races of the 2022 season have produced a Cup Series record of 12 races concluding with a Margin of Victory of less than a second.

A total of 35 different drivers have led laps in the NASCAR Cup Series through the first 16 races of the season with an average of 10.31 leaders per race; up from last season’s 8.90 (+15.3%). The most average leaders per race since 2014 (11.50).  

The average number of lead changes through the first 16 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is 21.0; up from last season’s 17.9 (+17.4%) – the most average lead changes per race since 2014 (25.4).  

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has also produced 786 green flag passes for the lead; the series-most through the first 16 races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (the last 16 seasons). The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is averaging 49.1 green flag passes for the lead per race – up +35.3% from the 16-year average of 31.8 per race.

A total of seven tracks have set records in green flag passes for the lead this season; including Circuit of The Americas (30 GFPL), Atlanta Motor Speedway (141 GFPL), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (57 GFPL), Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt (20 GFPL) Darlington Raceway (28 GFPL), Kansas Speedway (41 GFPL) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (64 GFPL). Previous best GFPL totals were  – COTA (14 in 2021), Atlanta (44 in 2015), Las Vegas (56 in 2021), Bristol Dirt (8 in 2021), Darlington (tied previous record in 2008), Kansas (tied previous record of 41 in 2019) and Charlotte (48 in 2012 Playoff race).

Plus, the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 55,452 total green flag passes throughout the field; the seventh-most through the first 16 races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (the last 16 seasons). The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is averaging 3,466 total green flag passes per race – up +2.53% from the 16-year average of 3,378 per race. 

Three tracks this season have set track records in total green flag passes – Atlanta (6,439), Richmond (3,072) and Bristol Dirt (2,703).

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Stage stats from the 2022 season – Following the 16th race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, all but one fulltime series driver has scored stage points this season – Corey LaJoie is the only driver without a single stage point.

Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Chase Elliott has scored the most stage points with 136 of his total 536 points this season coming from stage points (25.3%).

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney has won the most stages this season through 16 races with four stage wins.  

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