From the beginning of the 2013 season to the shut of final month’s finale in Phoenix, the NASCAR Cup Collection skilled the period of the Gen 6 automotive. With this chapter of inventory automotive racing at its bittersweet finish — and a brand new one starting with the introduction of the Subsequent Gen automotive in 2022 — NBC Sports activities is spending this month trying again on the very best particular person performances throughout the final 9 years.
Who have been the very best restarters of the Gen 6 period?
To establish essentially the most succesful movers throughout the two laps following every restart, we’ve sought out every driver’s place retention price, or extra informally, the speed through which they keep their place on a restart. From right here, just a few names are frequent fixtures among the many year-end rankings.
The rankings inside every capsule seek advice from a driver’s year-end rating in place retention price throughout restarts from inside the primary seven rows:
Rankings: 2nd (2014, 2015), third (2019), sixth (2021), seventh (2013, 2020), ninth (2016, 2017, 2018)
Whereas there definitely have been indelible Logano restarts — he efficiently fended off a herd of title contestants for a 2016 victory in Phoenix that catapulted him into the Championship 4 the next week — the Connecticut native extra routinely crushed with consistency. He by no means ranked as the very best restarter in any singular season throughout the Gen 6 period however he was the solely driver to rank inside the highest 10 for place retention every year. It’s a formidable feat, a reliability that’s grow to be his calling card.
His banner years of 2014-15 introduced respective retention charges of 78.51% and 75.75%, leading to a internet achieve of 111 positions. Spots he earned inside these two-lap home windows accounted for practically 49% of his two-year adjusted cross differential (+228) in what served because the period’s most efficient seasons for any driver aged 24 or 25 years.
Rankings: 1st (2016, 2018), third (2013, 2014, 2015), 4th (2017), eighth (2020)
Busch’s popularity for restarting now precedes him, primarily based on moments worthy of inclusion on any spotlight reel and for the sheer dominance on this particular statistical class throughout 2013-18. Throughout this six-year stretch, Busch twice ranked first in general retention (2016 and 2018) and retention particularly from the non-preferred groove (2014 and 2018). His 41-position internet achieve out of the non-preferred groove from 2013-15 was larger than the mixed internet of all different drivers throughout the timeframe.
His knack for the quick runs was constructed in the course of the high-horsepower days predating the select rule. However this talent crept into the trendy guidelines panorama final 12 months when he once more ranked first in place retention from the non-preferred groove and was considered one of simply two full-time drivers (together with Ryan Blaney) to efficiently defend place on over half of such makes an attempt from inside the highest 14.
Rankings: 1st (2014, 2015), 4th (2013, 2016), fifth (2017), sixth (2019), eighth (2018)
It stands to purpose that the motive force who benefited from the Gen 6 period greater than every other proved dominant on restarts. And Harvick was certainly dominant; in truth, from 2014-15 particularly, there was no higher restarter.
In his title-winning season of 2014, Harvick retained his place on restarts a series-best 80.09% of the time. He bested that effort the subsequent 12 months with an 83.6% price that served as the very best single-season clip of all the period. Throughout each seasons, his instant return on restarts yielded 141 positions on the observe, roughly 26% of a two-year adjusted cross differential (+544) that made him some of the environment friendly general passers in the identical timeframe.
Rankings: 2nd (2018, 2019), third (2020), fifth (2013), seventh (2014, 2021), eighth (2017)
A few of Keselowski’s particular person performances on restarts could also be extra pronounced than his cumulative output, however that’s solely as a result of his most celebrated efforts produced a formidable outlay. Throughout all the period, the three biggest gains on any restart all belong to Keselowski: He earned 18 spots on a single restart in 2017 at Kansas, 17 on a single bid from Las Vegas this 12 months and 17 in a single restart window at Talladega 4 years in the past.
However he paired sensibility together with his sizzle, rating inside the highest 10 for retention in seven of the 9 Gen 6 seasons, together with 2021. He ranked second — his excessive level — throughout 2018-19, a span comprised of two radically completely different guidelines packages.
Martin Truex Jr.
Rankings: 1st (2019, 2020), 2nd (2017), third (2021), sixth (2015, 2016), seventh (2018)
Truex’s short-run prowess is elite, extra so than his general passing acumen past the restart window. His retention price on restarts ranked seventh or higher in every of the final seven seasons whereas his potential to overhaul — as he did earlier this season at Phoenix in a devilish dive previous Logano — proved helpful in a number of wins for each Furnishings Row Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing.
His years atop the listing have been 2019-20, through which he earned a nine-position internet achieve, essentially the most of any driver throughout the 2 seasons. He additionally showcased a defensive potential that resulted in reliable loss mitigation: His 0.62-position internet loss per non-preferred groove restart in 2020 ranked first within the sequence, 0.2 spots per try higher — and price a further place each 5 restarts — than the next-best driver.
Rankings: 1st (2017, 2021), 4th (2019), fifth (2016, 2014), sixth (2018)
It’s most likely not a shock that the 2021 title-winner is included right here however respect the trajectory: Larson was a top-five restarter in his rookie 12 months.
He’s solely improved with age, main the Cup Collection in retention price in each 2017 and 2021. This 12 months, he held regular on restarts 76.77% of the time when launching from inside the highest 14, the high-water mark of the low-horsepower years. His internet loss on non-preferred groove makes an attempt this season was a mere 0.11 positions on non-drafting tracks. He was nearly untouchable on quick runs, particularly when restarting from the entrance row, the place he retained place over 85% of the time.
Restarts have a tendency to not favor the younger — at age 29, Larson is the youngest driver on this listing — so the truth that he’s been an environment friendly short-run site visitors navigator since his very first Cup Collection begin makes for one more accolade amongst his many accomplishments.