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47 drivers have earned the free pass in 2018

David Ragan
David Ragan (Photo by Jonny Olkowski | The Racing Experts)

Through the first 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, 47 drivers have earned the free pass at least once in a race this year.

David Ragan leads the competition with six free passes awarded total.

Five drivers have each earned the free pass five times; Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray.

Absent from the list are Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who have combined to score nine wins this season.

Erik Jones is the only driver this year to earn a free pass in the same race and win. Jones earned a free pass while scored off the lead lap during a caution in the third stage of the July Daytona race. He went on to score his first career victory in the series.

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(Photo by Dominic Aragon | The Racing Experts)

There have been 133 caution flags in the first 20 races with the free pass awarded 122 times, or approximately 92 percent of the time.

The free pass, also known as the beneficiary rule and the “Aaron’s Lucky Dog” award in the past, allows the first car off of the lead lap at the time of caution to earn one lap back, barring the driver is not the reason for the yellow flag.

Last year, 44 drivers total earned the free pass at least once.

FREE PASSES THROUGH 20 RACES

RANK DRIVER FREE PASSES
1 David Ragan 6
2 Ross Chastain 5
3 Denny Hamlin 5
4 Jimmie Johnson 5
5 Kyle Larson 5
6 Jamie McMurray 5
7 A.J. Allmendinger 4
8 Ryan Newman 4
9 Kasey Kahne 4
10 Darrell Wallace Jr. 4
11 Chris Buescher 3
12 William Byron 3
13 Matt DiBenedetto 3
14 Austin Dillon 3
15 Gray Gaulding 3
16 Timmy Hill 3
17 D.J. Kennington 3
18 Michael McDowell 3
19 Paul Menard 3
20 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3
21 Aric Almirola 2
22 Trevor Bayne 2
23 Ray Black Jr. 2
24 Ryan Blaney 2
25 Clint Bowyer 2
26 Kurt Busch 2
27 Landon Cassill 2
28 Ty Dillon 2
29 Chase Elliott 2
30 Erik Jones 2
31 Matt Kenseth 2
32 Brad Keselowski 2
33 Corey LaJoie 2
34 Joey Logano 2
35 Harrison Rhodes 2
36 Daniel Suarez 2
37 Cody Ware 2
38 J.J. Yeley 2
39 Alex Bowman 1
40 Derrike Cope 1
41 Cole Custer 1
42 Jeffrey Earnhardt 1
43 Kevin Harvick 1
44 Blake Jones 1
45 Reed Sorenson 1
46 Kyle Weatherman 1
47 Cole Whitt 1

SOURCES
Racing-Reference.info

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Dominic Aragon View All

I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.

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