Car or Driver Magazine

Hey folks, kckolbe here again once more to talk about attributes vs results, only this time doing something a bit different.  However, let’s start with what you were probably expecting…

THE UNLUCKIEST DRIVER WASN’T BOWEY!  Crash Bandicoot (23 spots behind) and Rory Walker (20 spots behind) both passed Bowey in the final race of the season as Bowey passed everyone everyone else for her second win of the season.  Jean Girard held on to his title as the luckiest driver, finishing 20 spots above his attribute rank, but Joe Trickle, who finished 2nd overall, was the second-luckiest at 13 above.

With that settled, though, I started looking into the matter of archetypes…kind of.  After all, all attributes start the same, and the effects of the attribute don’t come in to play until the end of the build, so I guess I looked more into which archetype people built as.  Naturally, since every track was a short track, no one devoted the lion’s share of their attention to that category, meaning that every driver built as either Wheelman or Engineer.  So, which build had more success?  The results will shock you!

As I have for the luck rankings, I ranked every driver by total attribute increases, and compared that ranking to how they finished the season.  In the interest of fairness, I only counted drivers who were present for every race.  After all, anyone who joined mid-season and spent even their initial TPE would be destined to represent the archetype poorly.  Also, I naturally didn’t count anyone who didn’t spend any TPE, because there was nothing to learn there.

There were 18 drivers with Wheelman-ish builds, and 20 with Engineer-ish builds.  So far, pretty even.  Of the 18 Wheelmen, the total difference in standings v attribute rank was -94, an average of -5.22 spots below attribute rank.  That is some considerable underperforming.  You might be expecting the Engineer types to be on the other end of the spectrum, but it isn’t a one to one, as many drivers who either joined late or spent nothing finished ahead of many of the ones I was evaluating.  There were 20 drivers, who combined for a +17 result, less than +1 per driver.  Compared to the first group, that is pretty impressive, but it shows that random sim luck may have been a bigger factor than build.

Now, some predictions:

Most improved, Season Two: Charlotte Bowey.  Yeah, being one of the unluckiest drivers does set you up for a big turnaround, but Bowey has shown what she can do in the last few races, so I don’t think anyone is too surprised here.

Biggest sophomore slump: Jean Girard.  Girard was one of the initial joiners, which, combined with a LOT of luck, got him a 14th place finish in the inaugural season.  However, Girard will be starting this season further behind than last season, and I think he is going to miss a lot of A Mains.

S2 T1 Champion: Rick James.  Yeah, this guy was easily top 10 of the Season 1 guys (and the only one of that tier to not move up to T2), and while he does have what appears to me to be a poor build, I expect that to even out considerably as he continues to gain TPE.

S2 T2 Champion: Charlotte Bowey.  Okay, she was already one of the best drivers in T1 last season, but through that whole season she was smuggling a few points in other tracks as well, giving her a bit of a head start.  On top of that, I’m not crazy about the builds of the two directly under her (Stevens and Wert).

Well, that’s it for this week.  As always, feel free to ask questions.  I will respond.

30 Comments

    • Bear in mind, my build assessments are based on a small sample size of races, a bit of my own flawed logic, and comments made by Wally, Stevens, and various posters on NASCAR 03 forums. I am not an authority on it and may be wrong, but finishing appears to be low value, and pitting will be basically non-existent in T1.

  1. Great read as always! I also thought that engineer types outperformed wheelman builds in the lower TPE tiers, but I would’ve thought that the difference is more defined.

    • Yeah, driver still looks good late game, but it seems the car is the foundation for early build. Far and away, though, track mastery seems most important T1 (since there is only one type)

  2. With Rick James being the only experienced driver to remain in T1, would he be considered the favorite or is the SIM just that random?

    • I definitely have him as my favorite for T1 champion. It’s worth noting, however, that even if he finishes first place in EVERY race (which is beyond unlikely, don’t see him winning more than 5), he will still make less money than finishing dead last every race. Long term, he’s hurting himself pretty badly.

  3. I still think T1 is going to come down to Spark Spencer III vs scooter Bigsby.

    But, this is your show, so if you had list a Top 5 Rookie List, who would it be?

  4. I still think T1 is going to come down to Spark Spencer III vs Cooter Bigsby.

    But, this is your show, so if you had list a Top 5 Rookie List, who would it be?

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