When I was a kid back in the early ‘60s in Pennsylvania, I had a neighbor who was one year younger than me. He was my best friend.
He was a baseball fan, and especially a Yankees fan. One thing he loved was reading and creating statistics for baseball, and he had lots for the Yankees.
This was 1963, I was 10 years old and there were no computers or even hand-held calculators yet. He did all of his stats on paper and they were interesting.
I liked reading them, but never had any interest in compiling all of the information to create them.
There is a website on the Internet where someone does the exact same thing for sprint car racing. If I didn’t know better, I would think the owner was my friend from over 50 years ago, but it’s not. My friend is busy keeping stats on every golf game he’s ever played.
The website is called Sprint Car Ratings and is run by Bill Vanselow. If you are reading this column on the internet, you can just click the link www.sprintcarratings.com to check out Bill’s site. If you have the magazine in your hand, you will have to remember the site URL.
Bill says he was always interested in stats and wanted to see computer-generated rankings like in college football, golf, etc. He put together a formula of 20 percent money, 30 percent wins and 50 percent average finish, and started to compile race results for all 410 winged sprint car races.
The formula breaks each of those sections down more, where he values wins and average finish for some races over others. He also ranks each race based on the level of rankings of drivers there, car counts and purse.
After taking the time to enter all of the data each week, the computer comes up with all sorts of stats for drivers and tracks. Bill has been keeping all of these stats about winged 410 sprint cars since 2015 and wingless 410 sprint cars since 2018.
The website has way too much information for me to even tell you about all of it here. The main idea of the site is coming up with driver rankings, track rankings and race rankings.
He takes the time each week to enter info for all of the drivers, tracks and series, including car counts, finish positions and money won.
Once he has all of this data entered, he can come up with every combination of statistic imaginable. Besides the rankings, he can tell you how many drivers have raced each year, how much money was paid out, average car counts, number of races run, number of winners and more.
It breaks down details on every driver, track, series and major event for the past six years. There is so much information here for those past six years that I can’t imagine how he finds the time to enter all of the race and driver data. It makes you wish he could have started this long before 2015 or had the resources to go back and do earlier years.
The site is clean and works really well, with drop-down boxes listing all of the different ways of viewing the stats.
Bill Vanselow did a fine job with Sprint Car Ratings, and hopefully he keeps it going, because it is an excellent source of information now and will be for the future.