Volume IX, Issue 5, Page 92

The season so far

ecently, the boss, in a recent column empirically delved into the NHRA stats for the 2007 season. Jeff mentioned he seemed to notice the qualifying for the events this year seemed to be tighter. This, of course, prompted a research of the numbers on my behalf. I’m happy to report that the Burkster was right on with his observations. As the sport evolves, we all know the speeds and elapsed times have gotten faster and quicker….thus the fields should be better and closer. The numbers do prove out. Note the graphs below:

In Top Fuel, three of six events in 2007 have had the shortest amount of time between the #1 and #16 spots. In Funny Car, two of six in 2007.

Left: In Pro Stock Motorcycle, five of nine in 2006.

Actually the stat that will blow you away is the standard deviation of the elapsed times this year. Now before you pull the chutes on this article and move on to something else, standard deviation is simply a statistical measurement that tells you how close numbers are to their average. If they are close on both sides of the average, the standard deviation is small. For drag racing it means more cars are running closer to the average for a class, like Top Fuel. If the number is larger, that means more cars are running really good numbers and really bad numbers. But as the graphs show below, everyone this year is running closer to the average, which means CLOSER RACING!!!

For Top Fuel 2007 is #1.

For Funny Car 2007 is #2.

For Pro Stock 2007 is #1.

For Pro Stock Motorcycle 2007 is #1, with the previous two years rounding out the other spots

So far so good this year.

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