So far the 2024 NASCAR season is off to a near record start

HAMPTON, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 25: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Freeway Insurance Chevrolet, crosses the finish line ahead of Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Zero Sugar Ford, to win the NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 25, 2024 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

In some cases, statistics can be deceptive—but not when it comes to the qualify of racing on display in the first three NASCAR Cup Series races of the season.

The average margin of victory so far is 0.222 seconds, fourth closest in that category since the advent of electronic timing and scoring in 1993 and just behind the series record of 0.136 seconds through three races in 2022.

Foremost among the close races was the Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where winner Daniel Suarez and runner-up Ryan Blaney were separated buy 0.003 seconds at the finish line.

It was the third closest finish in series history, and with third-place Kyle Busch just 0.007 seconds behind the winner, it also stands as the closest finish among three cars in the history of auto racing.

Other important milestones include a record 407 green-flag passes for the lead through three races (based on loop data that debuted in 2005), obliterating the previous mark of 302 set in 2022.

Overall, the young season has produced 23,027 green-flag passes, surpassing the mark of 21,245 set last year. A total of 28 different drivers have led races in 2024, the second largest number in the Modern Era (1972-2024). Only 2011 had more (32).

The average number of lead changes per race is 37.7, second in the Modern Era to 2011, which average 41.0 through three events.

The NASCAR Cup Series has produced three different point standings leaders in the first three races of the season for the first time since 2017.

The bottom line is that the first three races of 2024 have produced compelling racing, as increased fan interest and television ratings will attest.