Introduction to Fantasy Racing

Ok, so I think most of us know how much I love stock car racing and Nascar. Few (if any) know that I used to write articles previewing the race each week on a fantasy sports site. Yep, that was like 3 years ago (my first article is here).

I’ve done fantasy racing for a while, and last year a UGA fantasy league on Yahoo! Sports started from scratch. My old roommate (Paul) and I started a league of 4 people, and at the end of the year he and I were the only participants. This year we expanded and invited quite a few people and we hope to have a good time (if you want to participate in our league, UGA Fantasy Racing, get in touch with me).

Most of the folks in our league haven’t done fantasy racing before, so I’ve decided to crank back up my old fantasy writing skills and provide an overview for the Daytona 500.

For those of you new to Yahoo! fantasy racing, here’s how it works. There are 3 lists of drivers (A, B, and C). I don’t know how Yahoo! decides which drivers go on which lists, but each driver is on only one list. The best drivers are on list A, worst on list C (generally). Each week, typically the night before qualifying but not always (set it up so you get an email from Yahoo! to remind you to pick your drivers), you need to pick 8 drivers that you might want to earn points with for the race that week. 2 from the A list, 4 from the B list, and 2 from the C list. You want to pick drivers that you think will do good that week. Then, before the race actually starts (up to 5 minutes before the scheduled start time of the race, and there are reminders in the fantasy racing panel), you need to pick the drivers that you ACTUALLY want to have earn points for you this week (called “Active” in the fantasy racing panel) – 1 from the A list, 2 from the B list, and 1 from the C list. You will receive points for where these 4 drivers finish and bonus points for leading laps, and you will receive qualifying points for all 8 of your drivers. The important note is that you can only start a driver (make him one of the 4 active drivers that you receive points) 9 times. This may sound confusing, but it really isn’t. Jump in and you will learn as you go along. There is strategy involved – ie, since you can only start a driver 9 times, don’t use all 9 of those at the beginning of the season for a driver that crests at the end of the season, like Jimmie Johnson or Tony Stewart. If you would like more info or have questions, put them in the comments or look here.

That might not be perfectly clear, so here is Yahoo!’s explanation:

Before each race, you must select four starting drivers from the eight listed on your team Roster page. These four drivers are “active,” while the remaining four are “inactive.” The active drivers must include one from the A List, two from the B List, and one from the C List. To activate drivers, click the check boxes next to their names and then click “Save Selections.”

Click the “Select Others” link for any List to change the drivers on your Roster page. Your Roster must have exactly two drivers from the A List, four from the B List, and two from the C List. You can only change your Roster up until the deadline listed near the top of the page.

All eight drivers on your Roster are eligible to receive qualifying bonus points, regardless of whether or not they are active. However, only activated drivers will be able to collect points for the week’s race.

If you change a driver’s status, you must click “Save Selections” or your changes will be lost.

OK, that is a start. After the field for the Daytona 500 is set, I am going to post my fantasy outlook and drivers to watch for, so check back. For this week, because the Daytona 500 has a really wierd scheme to set the field, you don’t need to have your lineup set until Sunday.

Also, here is the list of driver’s in each list:

A Team

Jimmie Johnson
Carl Edwards
Clint Bowyer
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Kurt Busch
Jeff Burton
Matt Kenseth
Tony Stewart
Jeff Gordon

B List

Jamie McMurray
Casey Mears
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Kyle Busch
David Ragan
Kasey Kahne
David Gilliland
Dave Blaney
Reed Sorenson
J.J. Yeley
Martin Truex Jr.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Elliott Sadler
Robby Gordon
Mark Martin
Ryan Newman
Greg Biffle
Bobby Labonte

C List

Paul Menard
David Reutimann
Travis Kvapil
Brian Vickers
Johnny Sauter
Scott Riggs
Chad Chaffin
Jacques Villeneuve
Tony Raines
Kirk Shelmerdine
Jason Leffler
Scott Wimmer
Jon Wood
Aric Almirola
Marcos Ambrose
Chad McCumbee
Michael McDowell
AJ Allmendinger
Regan Smith
Patrick Carpentier
Dario Franchitti
Sam Hornish Jr.
P.J. Jones
Scott Pruett
Kyle Petty
Michael Waltrip
Ward Burton
John Andretti
Ken Schrader
Johnny Benson
Dale Jarrett
Terry Labonte
Bill Elliott
Jeremy Mayfield
Kenny Wallace
Sterling Marlin
Kevin Lepage
Ron Fellows
Mike Bliss
Boris Said
Todd Bodine
Mike Wallace
Mike Skinner
Joe Nemechek
Jeff Green
David Stremme