No surprise, Truex led almost every category

Every now and then, we dip our toes into NASCAR’s loop statistics for the Monster Energy Cup Series.

This mystical data is collected by NASCAR’s scoring system, which is completed automated (unless, there’s an encumbered situation and the points have to be manually adjusted by a human being).

The season-ending stats — just pure numbers — help tell the story of 2017.

There is nothing more mysterious than the Cup Series driver rating, which involved several factors, too numerous to list here.

As you would expect, Martin Truex Jr., who captured the title by winning Sunday’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, topped the last driver rating.

Truex earned a rating of 116.1, followed by Kyle Busch (108.6), Kevin Harvick (103.1), Kyle Larson (102.3) and Chase Elliott (96.3).

Here are some more odd stats compiled by NASCAR’s computer banks.

Laps led

There is no complex formula here. This is a straight-forward stat and dominated by Truex, who paced the field for 2,253 laps, including the all-important last lap of the season. He was followed by Busch (2,023), Larson (1,352), Harvick (850) and Brad Keselowski (778). Other notable drivers leading laps include Matt Kenseth (421), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (47) and Danica Patrick (7).

Average running position

No surprise here. Truex topped this statistic area. The average running position of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota was 7.205. There were only two other drivers in single figures. Busch posted an 8.884, while Harvick averaged out to 9.684. Rounding out the top-5 drivers were Denny Hamlin at 10.324 and Larson’s 10.327 effort.

Fastest laps run

This stat is taken during the course of each of the 36 races and the laps in each of those races. Truex was scored with the fastest lap (not necessarily the leader) 1,338 times, or 15.6 percent of all laps run in 2017. He was followed by Busch (1,129), Larson (818), Brad Keselowski (680) and Harvick (643).

Laps in top-15

This is the number of laps each driver completed while running in the lead pack, in this case, the top-15. Again, Truex tops the list with a percentage of 89.7, or 9,478 laps in the lead pack. He was followed in this category by Elliott (8,831 laps), Busch (8,628), Larson (8,523) and Harvick (8,509).

Green flag speed

Chase Elliott was fifth in this category with an average rank of 7.226. Ahead of him was the usual cast of characters. Truex led this column with a ranking of 3.710. He was followed by Larson (5.429), Busch (5.938) and Harvick (6.219).

Laps run on lead lap

Believe it or not, Truex did not lead this category in 2017. The honor belongs to Hamlin, who ran 93.51 percent of his laps on the lead lap. Truex was second in this bracket at 92.91 percent. Rounding out the top-5 drivers were Elliott (90.69), Matt Kenseth (89.30) and Larson (88.54).