RCR's preference

Sheldon Creed says RCR likes Austin Hill in the above video. Since they joined RCR in 2022, Hill's 21 has had better results than Creed's 2, so I'm curious if RCR's preference for Hill manifests explicitly in the data.

Driver Season Car ASP ARP AFP Avg. PFAE PGAE/100 cPOMS GR-LR SS
Sheldon Creed 2022 2 9.7 (7) 11.57 (10) 17.45 (13) -3.245 (31) 2.196 (12) 0.9722 (12) 0.98 (11) 1.05 (8)
Austin Hill 2022 21 10.18 (8) 9.53 (7) 11.0 (6) 3.25 (5) 4.382 (10) 0.974 (11) 1.42 (6) 1.91 (7)
Sheldon Creed 2023 2 9.55 (6) 11.16 (9) 13.52 (8) 1.51 (11) 6.369 (10) 0.9743 (10) 1.42 (5) 0.94 (10)
Austin Hill 2023 21 8.42 (4) 7.52 (3) 8.97 (1) 5.194 (1) 10.323 (4) 0.9797 (4) 1.75 (1) 4.52 (4)

You can see in the table that the 21 has made a massive jump, whereas the 2 has made only marginal improvements. Both drivers improved their performance as suggested by their sizeable PFAE improvements - common for drivers in their second year in a series. On the equipment end, the 21 gained almost two starting spots, going from eighth-best to fourth-best. A Creed-favoring interpretation is that, after a relatively weak first year for their two cars, RCR put all its resources into improving the 21 equipment, and Hill is reaping the rewards; all of the 2's gains would thus be credited to Creed's adjustment to the Xfinity series.

That might be a fair assessment. In 2022, Creed tore up a lot of equipment, completing only 88% of laps - third-worst among the 18 drivers to run every race. On the other hand, Hill completed the second-most laps in that same group and won two races. It's possible that RCR gave up on Creed, and they may feel vindicated in doing so, given the results this year. Hill won four races in 2023 and again completed the second-most laps, while Creed still has not won a race in the Xfinity series.

However, the underlying numbers remain favorable to Creed - he'll win Xfinity races. A reasonable target for him next year at Gibbs would be replicating Hill's 2022: winning races and knocking on the door of an average finish in the top-10.

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