Rain-outs, Rain-outs, and more Rain-outs


2017 is the year some people have deemed the “Year of the Rain-out”. Here we are in the first week of July and most tracks have around seven modified races complete. Has this year been cursed by more cancellations than most? Or is this a “Things were better back in the day” sort of statement. So I decided to take a look. Using the last nine years of Northeast Modified data and the current 2017 season I performed a quick analysis to try and quantify this season against the recent past. Before I get too deep into this I want to throw out a few disclaimers, this is using only data from Modified events. This will not quantify those tracks that are not racing Modifieds. Several factors go into this more than just cancellations, but this article will be assuming most of the other variables will remain relatively constant. As I sit here and write this it is July 2, 2017 at 8am, so all data is true to this point.

Ok so let’s get into it. First I think it would be helpful to understand where we are today. Year to date, 246 Dirt Modified Races have been completed. A typical fully scheduled racing weekend (Fri-Sun) will contain roughly 30 modified races, with another 3-5 races occurring during the week (Mon-Thurs). Doing the quick math on that would tell you, that is roughly 7.5 weeks of full racing. Going purely from that number says that the racing season started in the second week of May. Everyone knows that is not true, so that means there is another factor in this and yes that factor is cancelations.

So the next question is what is normal? Well using the past nine seasons of data (2008-2016), I can tell you that we would have had around 282 modified events. That puts us down 36 races from the average, or as shown above about a full week’s worth of racing. With the average season having 621 total events we have already missed 5.8% of the year’s races because of cancelations. But since every season has cancelations, a strong finish can get those back, but we will get to that later.

Is 2017 the worst season in recent memory? Well…yes. But just barely, 2011 to this point only 249 events had been completed. The best season was 2012 where we were sitting at 315 events at this point in the year.  Below I have attached a chart showing the past year’s performances.

What does this mean for the rest of the year? I spoke earlier of the “621” number for total races in a season, can we get there? Short answer yes, 375 additional races would need to be run for this to be a “typical season”. Has it been done before, surprisingly YES. In 2015, 376 races were completed from this date to the season’s end, so don’t lose hope. But, it would have to be a very strong finish. As of now there are 388 more events scheduled for the 2017 season. Meaning 12 or less cancellations and we will be “normal”. Will this happen? Probably not, one rain storm on a Saturday can wipe out 12 events. But how many events are normally run from this point forward? An average season will run 388 more events. So to remain average I would expect about another 50 cancellations.

Hopefully we can reach the 621 average number and have the opportunity to see a bunch of races for the rest of the summer and into the fall. Unfortunately our sport lives and dies by the hand of Mother Nature. That wraps it up for now, until next time, stay dry, and remember the truth is in the numbers.

For more statistical information on Northeast Dirt Modified Racing, visit our site at http://nemodfacts.racestatcentral.com. Follow us on Twitter @RaceStatCentral and on Facebook search Northeast Dirt Modified Facts & Stats.