Every week in NASCAR there’s drivers who have problems in the race and walk away with an asterisk mark result. Understanding misleading finishes and knowing how good drivers truly were can help give you the edge on your competition. Many fantasy racers just look at results and assume that’s how good drivers were. This post explains who had a misleading result last year at Atlanta, and how good they truly were.
Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson didn’t have a great car last spring at Atlanta, but he wasn’t 27th place bad. On lap 159 while he was running one lap down in 19th he spun and shredded a tire which did a good amount of damage to his car. “Performance Wise” if he would’ve had an incident free race I think he was likely a high-teens driver. It just wasn’t a good performance from him.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 16th last spring at Atlanta, but I think he was marginally better than his result. With 29 laps to go Bubba Wallace ran into the back of him which resulted in some minor damage. In the race his average running position was 14th and seven laps before his problem he was running in 13th.
Ryan Newman – Ryan Newman didn’t have an incident free race last year at Atlanta and finished an asterisk mark 22nd. In the race Newman started in 2nd and led the opening 17 laps. Over long runs his car faded. On lap 80 while he was running in 12th he got into the wall and then made an unexpected pit stop. His car was never the same after that. “Performance Wise” I think he was likely a mid-teens driver if he would’ve had an incident free race.
Bubba Wallace – Bubba Wallace had a tough race at Atlanta last year and finished 32nd when the checkered flag waved. With 29 laps to go while he was running in 22nd he plowed into the back of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Trevor Bayne’s engine just blew up). If his race would’ve been incident free I think its clear he was going to finish in the low-twenties.
Martin Truex Jr. – Not many drivers had problems in 2018 at Atlanta so I’m being very picky here. Last year when the checkered flag waved Martin Truex Jr. finished 5th. I’ll note there’s a slight chance he was better than his result because he had to come up through the field twice. He started in 35th and then during the Jimmie Johnson caution around lap 160 while he was running in 5th he had a slow pit stop that dropped him to the rear of the field again.