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Tournament Chasing NASCAR Style: Driver Incentives in Stock Car Racing's Playoff Season

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Author Info

  • J Brian O'Roark

    ()
    (Department of Finance and Economics, Robert Morris University, 6001 University Blvd., Moon Township, PA 15108.)

  • William C Wood

    ()
    (Department of Economics, James Madison University.)

  • Benjamin Demblowski

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Legal Studies, Robert Morris University.)

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    Abstract

    This paper applies tournament theory to NASCAR racing's playoff season, the Chase for the Cup. The consequences of a mixed tournament with the top 10 and lower-ranked drivers racing simultaneously are explored and tested. Using individual driver and race data, we empirically show that Chase races experience more accidents. In the lead up to the Chase, the relative position of drivers to the leader in terms of rank is more important in predicting accidents than the absolute position in terms of points. Once the Chase begins, contrary to tournament theory, the increase in accidents is spread across the subsets of drivers, and occurs without regard to the relative position of the drivers to the leaders of each subgroup.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-17

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:38:y:2012:i:1:p:1-17

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