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Monday, October 29, 2007

New working paper

Another (small) Depken production rolls off the line, this one is on my own and needs a lot of work. Thanks to discussion in Savannah a couple of weeks ago, I have some new directions in which to take this idea:

The Value of the Pole: Evidence from NASCAR

This paper investigates the value of the pole-position over the history of NASCAR. Early in the sport's history, the pole-sitter enjoyed a considerable advantage over other racers both in terms of the probability of winning a race and in the percentage of a race’s purse won. Over time, however, the probability of the pole-sitter winning a particular race has declined considerably, especially in the socalled modern era of NASCAR during which time the sport has intentionally pursued parity amongst drivers and teams. While the odds that the pole-sitter wins a race have declined over time, the expected value of winning the pole has increased, caused by the increased popularity of NASCAR and the corresponding increase in race purses.

Available here

Hi Craig, hope this finds you well in NC. As a former sportswriter on the NASCAR beat, I found your pole research interesting. One thing you might want to consider is that we are actually in a "new" modern era vis-a-vis qualifying. Up until 2002 qualifiers lost their position only if the "car" (mainly the chassis) was changed. Engine changes were fair game until then. In fact, teams then had qualifying engines and race engines. This policy was expanded to include transmission changes in 2005.

Alan Cannon
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