VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 6/22/2010
For the no-longer-active Bernstein, I had to go back a few Media Guides to find his information. Because Glidden has been inactive for some time, and when he was racing even recently he was only part-time and not included in the Media Guide, I had to count through our listing of events to determine his total, and that number is only accurate if he didn't skip an event for some reason, which I don't think he did.
LAUNCH PAD with Phil Burgess presented by More Fun with Numbers: The 50-Win Club s I may have comparing them all and decided on the most first wins in the Sportsman ranks, and although I A hinted here last week, I love stats. Heck, to basic measure I could think of: How long it took to get to 50 wins. It’s a favorite measuring stick of my other had their Pro records, I couldn’t find out how many events they had attended as Sportsmen. Coughlin sent me some guesstimates, so I used work in this job, you favorite sport — hockey — to see how many those to compile his number, but, short of looking kind of have to at games it takes a player to reach 50 goals in a through every issue of National DRAGSTER in least like them season (not so easy anymore). “The Great One,” the late 1970s and early 1980s, I had no way of because we’re Wayne Gretzky, owns the record and probably determining Amato’s pre-Top Fuel appearances. surrounded by them. always will with a stunning 39-game achievement The situation is pretty similar for Sportsman Career wins, career- in the 1985-86 season. heroes such as Austin, Rampy, Fletcher, Manzo, best performances, average reaction times, 60-foot and Newberry. Without going back to each event “ times, win-loss ratios, true-win margins, best packages, and so on … sometimes it seems as if Getting 50 of anything of their 50 wins — and for Manzo and Newberry that spanned more than 20 years, into the 1970s this job requires a math degree as much as a is pretty huge, — it was impossible to know how many events journalism diploma. whether it’s Wallys or they attended because sometimes even our ND ” On the surface, stats are stats, a series of stats wouldn’t show that. I thought about calling numbers that are concrete. They come from an walleyes. them, but the odds of them keeping such records official source — whether it be timers, the win light, is pretty slim. That’s why you’ll see an or the record books — and you can’t really change The NHRA Communications Department unfortunate “n/a” in that field in my story. them. What you can do, however, is manipulate does an amazing job of keeping career statistics How else to compare them? How about the them. Once you have all the stats, you can sort and on our Full Throttle Series drivers and for the last length of time it took to get from No. 1 to No. study them in multiple ways to try to wring new several years has published a detailed year-by- 50? Well, again, it’s kind of flawed because information from them. Thank you, Excel. year accounting of their appearances and Schumacher did his winning in a 24-event Larry Dixon’s 50th win at the Full Throttle accomplishments, so for almost all of the active schedule and Glidden when the schedule was in Drag Racing Series event in Houston was one of drivers — such as Force, Anderson, W.J., single digits, but I went through it anyway. those milestone accomplishments that deserves to Schumacher, and
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