• MTROC Staff

Case Study - Pueblo, CO

Here is a short explanation of how we awarded racing points for an event where the racing brackets were less than ideal. In this case, we're looking at the two events from Pueblo, Colorado on March 16th, 2019.


Our goal here is not to chastise or nitpick, but rather to explain the situation from the statistician point-of-view and hopefully to demonstrate that we are doing our best to be fair in our analysis even when dealing with confusing data.


After reading through the case, do you agree or disagree? Feel free to let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.


THE EVIDENCE


We received two sets of reports from Pueblo: the first was posted on the promoter's official Facebook page, and the second was messaged to us by a driver who competed in the event and who has provided us with reliable results in the past. The promoter's results listed the final standings while the driver provided heat-by-heat results with commentary.


Here is the data we received for the Saturday afternoon event:


1a. FROM THE PROMOTER

1st = Tantrum

2nd = X-Maxx

3rd = Jus' Get 'Er Done

4th = Instigator

5th = King Krunch


1b. FROM THE DRIVER

Tantrum bye run

X-Maxx defeated Instigator

King Krunch defeated Jus' Get 'Er Done


Tantrum defeated X-Maxx

Tantrum defeated King Krunch


Tantrum defeated X-Maxx


1c. THE PROBLEMS

While both reports agree on the 1st and 2nd place trucks, the actual heat-by-heat results are confusing. If X-Maxx lost in the semi-finals, why did he advance to the final round? And why did Tantrum race twice in the semi-finals? Finally, how did King Krunch end up in 5th place?


Here is the data we received for the Saturday evening event:


2a. FROM THE PROMOTER

1st = Tantrum

2nd = X-Maxx

3rd = Jus' Get 'Er Done

4th = Instigator

5th = King Krunch


2b. FROM THE DRIVER

Jus' Get 'Er Done defeated Tantrum

X-Maxx defeated Instigator


Tantrum (fast loser) defeated King Krunch (3rd place race)

X-Maxx defeated Jus' Get 'Er Done (1st place race)

2c. THE PROBLEMS

It appears that the promoter accidentally copied the afternoon results and posted them as the evening results. The heat-by-heat results are again confusing. Why did King Krunch not compete in the first round? How did King Krunch end up in the consolation race? It appears that the last two heats should have been the semi-finals, with Tantrum and X-Maxx then racing in the (uncontested) final round.


THE ARGUMENTS


We have three choices to consider:

  1. Award points based on the promoter's reports

  2. Use the driver's report and accommodate discrepancies

  3. Do not award points


Option 3 is always the last choice. Our goal at the MTROC is to reward drivers for excellence in racing. We do not want to penalize drivers for mismanaged events or other circumstances beyond their control. Sometimes the brackets are too flawed and we cannot fairly award points, but first we try to find a solution if at all possible.


Option 1 is the choice we would like to make since the promoter is the authority on the results. The promoter in question has been reliable and accurate in their previous reports. However, in this case, the detailed report from a respected source who was in attendance at the event seems to be the more-reliable choice.


So, looking at the driver’s heat-by-heat report, what can be done to fairly award points based on the evidence we currently have available?


THE VERDICTS


1d. Afternoon. The problem is the heat between Tantrum and X-Maxx. Aside from that one heat, we see winners advancing toward the final round as you would expect. So to reward drivers for their efforts while still maintaining fairness to the results, the official MTROC decision is to consider the Tantrum / X-Maxx race as an exhibition heat that is unrelated to the bracket.


As a result, we now have Tantrum advancing to the 2nd round via a bye run and racing King Krunch, who had advanced with a win against Jus' Get 'Er Done. Meanwhile, X-Maxx won in the first round against Instigator and advanced to the finals via a bye-run in the semi finals. King Krunch will be placed in third as the only semi-finalist. Jus' Get 'Er Done and Instigator are given first round loses.


Promoters are not required to use fast losers. The purpose of the fast-loser position is to avoid bye runs so that the spectators can watch more side-by-side races, but this is not necessary. Furthermore, MTROC rules allow for a bye-run to be awarded without actually being driven. Our decision is saying that the promoter elected not to use a fast loser in the semi-finals and that X-Maxx's bye run was implied.


2d. Evening. The problem is the heat between Tantrum and King Krunch. If we assume that King Krunch was given an implied bye run (as in the afternoon example), then we still have a problem because that should have advanced him into the semi-finals, not the consolation race. The official MTROC decision is to consider the Tantrum / King Krunch race an an exhibition that is unrelated to the bracket.


As a result, we now have a 4-truck bracket excluding King Krunch. Both first round winners (Jus' Get 'Er Done and X-Maxx) advanced to the final round. King Krunch will be marked as "Did Not Compete" (DNC) because even though he raced in a heat, it was not part of the racing bracket. Although this means that King Krunch will not be able to increase his Total Points, it also means that he will not be lowering his Average Points since a DNC does not count against a driver's season total.


COMMENTARY


The monster truck world is full of variety and that sometimes includes the racing structure. In past years, we've seen even wilder bracket attempts than the ones given here, but we're not doing this Open Championship to criticize and nitpick. Rather, we are doing all this because we're passionate about monster truck racing and we hope others will be, as well. That's why we want to find viable ways of awarding points if at all possible. We want to make every race count from the biggest event to the smallest, because we know that the drivers are competing hard no matter the situation.


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