Driver floors and ceilings

It looks to me like JGR is replacing an elite, high ceiling driver with a pretty safe, low ceiling driver, and I don't like it.

Driver floors and ceilings

With news that Chase Briscoe will likely be heading to Joe Gibbs Racing to replace Martin Truex Jr. in the #19, I've been thinking a bit about floors and ceilings. It looks to me like JGR is replacing an elite, high ceiling driver with a pretty safe, low ceiling driver, and I don't like it.

Elite teams like JGR, Hendrick, and Penske should target high end, high ceiling talent. They should demand three or more wins and deep playoff runs from each of their veteran drivers. Briscoe, and Alex Bowman on the HMS side, are good drivers who should deliver a win or two every year, but they haven't shown any proof of championship upside.

With the above thinking in mind, I've sorted drivers into four categories. I view high variance drivers has having a high ceiling but a lower floor (but not necessarily a low floor); these drivers have championship upside – their lower floor means it'd be difficult for them to sustain a multi-year campaign as a top two or three best driver in the series. High ceiling drivers have a high ceiling (perhaps marginally lower than the high variance drivers), but their higher floor means they have "best in the game" upside. High floor drivers may not have as high a ceiling, but they have a higher floor, giving them championship upside. Low variance drivers have a lower ceiling and a middling floor – they're safe picks who can run into a win or two in good equipment but would be truly a shock to win a championship.

The categories follow. The drivers are not sorted within each category.

High Variance

  • Ross Chastain
  • Kyle Busch

High Ceiling

  • Kyle Larson
  • Joey Logano
  • Chase Elliott
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Martin Truex Jr.

High Floor

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Christopher Bell
  • William Byron
  • Tyler Reddick

Low Variance

  • Austin Dillon
  • Chase Briscoe
  • Michael McDowell
  • Daniel Suarez
  • Alex Bowman

More opinionated names for the categories would be:

  • High variance: wild men
  • High ceiling: elite
  • High floor: high floor
  • Low variance: safe
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