Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet | 2017 NASCAR Season Preview
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2017 NASCAR Season Preview

Season Preview

Welcome back everyone! I want to start out by inviting you all to join my Yahoo Fantasy Racing League once again this year. Just click on the link to sign up Yahoo Fantasy Racing League. The ID number is 671 and the password is johnson. Yahoo limits the league to 50 players, so first come first served. When the league is full it is full. Put your team up against mine and see how you do.

The biggest surprise for myself and almost everyone else who follows NASCAR this offseason was the announcement that Carl Edwards was retiring effective immediately. Carl said he wanted to pursue other opportunities and spend more time with his family. I wish him the best of luck on his future.

The series also has a new sponsor this year. It is no longer called the Sprint Cup Series. It is now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The length of the contract has not been revealed, although they have said it is a multi-year deal.

There will be three full-time rookies vying for the Rookie of the Year. They are Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, and Daniel Suarez who is the driver replacing Carl this season for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Clint Bowyer moves into the #14, replacing the retired Tony Stewart. This had been agreed to right after Tony announced that 2016 would be his final season competing in the Cup Series, so this is no surprise. I think this will be a good fit for Clint and we should see significant improvement with his finishing positions this season.

Greg Biffle doesn’t have a ride at the moment. He split with Roush/Fenway Racing and the Charter was leased to a second JTG Daugherty car for the season. Not sure if this means that Greg is retired or if he has something in the works with another team that hasn’t been announced yet. He might also be a replacement for any injured drivers during the year.

The Stewart-Haas teams have switched from Chevrolet to Ford this season, which means they are going from Hendrick engines to Roush-Yates engines. We will have to see if this affects the speed of these cars and how the drivers adjust to the new package.

Michael Waltrip will try to qualify for his thirtieth Daytona race and it was announced that this will be his last Cup race as he will officially retire from driving in the series.

Finally, NASCAR has changed the points format once again. Following are the new rules they are implementing this season:

• Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.
• The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.
• The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
• All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
• Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.
• The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.

So much for them making the points easier for the fans to follow.

I will have my Daytona 500 picks posted once the Can-Am Duels are over. The Duels are scheduled for the night of February 23rd with the running of the Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, February 26th. Remember to sign up for my Yahoo Fantasy Racing League before all of the spots are taken!

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  • Jeff L

    I have ran a fantasy nascar league for nearly 25 years…..for the last 10+ years we have done an auction format where each team starts with 100.00 and must buy 4 drivers auctions style……no more no less. I have yet to see anyone give any advice or input on this style league and they are gaining in popularity…….how about some input???

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      This is the first I have heard of this type of league. I guess the best we could do would be to rank the drivers and put a cap on what we would be willing to spend on them. Tough to do something like this unless you are live in the auction because I wouldn’t know what the other people were bidding and on who.

      Reply
  • Mel

    Will Yahoo be changing their format to reflect drivers’ success in the segment/heat races that NASCAR Cup is now pushing on us, or will it remain the same as years past?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I do not know.

      Reply
  • Howard Rose

    What’s next? Are they going to have the fans vote at each race on whether the field will be inverted after this segment? Vote now on twitter and facebook. The regular season is starting to sound like that all-star debacle they run every year. The problem with Nascar is they don’t have one strong dictator running it like Bill France sr and jr were. Now they have a drivers committee, this committee that committee all coming up with different ideas because Brian France doesn’t know what to do. If you run a marathon, they don’t hand out prizes after the 1/4 and halfway point in the race, it’s where you finish after 26 miles. It used to be the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Now it’s going to be the thrill of victory and some guys who even though they crashed in the last segment, still had good points days because they did well in the first two segments. Can’t wait till the first time the winning driver is not the driver that scores the most points in the race. Watch for fuel mileage and short pitting to be the name of the game in the first two segments of every race.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I have to agree. First it was boys have at it and then it was change the scoring so it is easier for the fans to understand. Now this. What’s next?

      Reply
  • Ron O

    Nascar just isn’t any fun anymore, points system is way to confusing. I’ve bought season tickets to TMS for 15 years, but not anymore. I’ll watch it on TV and try to figure out who won the race.

    Reply
  • Bobby W

    Howdy Jeff,
    I was happy to see you in the Experts picks this year. I look forward to your perspective on the drivers this year. Good Skill.

    Reply
  • Daytona 2017

    I am happy to see Monster Energy Present Daytona 500.

    Reply
  • Doug

    What was yahoo thinking putting Buscher in B?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I think that when he qualified for the Chase last year, Yahoo moved him up a spot in their league. Probably someone you might not use all season.

      Reply
      • Doug

        I agree with not using him as a B driver but I did think he be fairly valuable in a weak C group.

        Reply
  • shaquan

    i believe c list isn’t that weak this year with the 77,13, 19 and 95 that 36 starts right there

    Reply
  • Joe

    Will Yahoo update the c group drivers for Daytona? I don’t see Some drivers.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      They usually do, but they might wait until after the races on Thursday when they know who qualified.

      Reply
  • Doug

    What are your thoughts on group C? Do you think 19 will be the most successful early and should use his starts early and let 13 and 77 latter?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Yes, I think Suarez will be the cream of the crop for the simple fact he will have one of the best cars. I like to wait to use the better drivers until they show that they are working well with the rest of their teams and not making foolish mistakes. Also, I won’t use any of the better drivers at a restrictor plate track.

      Reply
  • Mike

    I would like to see NASCAR run Trucks on Thurs, Nationwide on Fridays and Monster Energy on Saturdays. That schedule would allow more flexibility in regards to rain delayed races. They want to know why attendance has dropped so dramatically it’s because people have to go to work on Monday and can’t afford the expense to go to a race and have to go home empty handed if the race gets bumped to Monday. How about rain tires and wipers? Run as fast as you dare in the rain but give the fans their moneys worth, they do it during road races where traction is at a premium. I don’t know man, but 12 hour race Sundays are just too much… much less to finally give up on the weather and reschedule on a Monday. They better figure it out soon, tv viewership is down 50% since 2004.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I agree. I used to go to Chicagoland every year and they finally put in lights. Now they run during the day for a Chase race. NASCAR just isn’t getting it.

      Reply
    • Ron O

      I totally agree Mike. I have been buying season tickets to TMS for the last 15 years, but not this year. Both the April race, and November race, were delayed because of rain. I think the November race had to be ran the next day. Didn’t get to both races. Wasted money.

      Reply
  • Ron O

    Hey Jeff, when are you going to post your Daytona picks?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Sorry, I thought they were up.

      Yahoo Driver Group A
      Denny Hamlin
      Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      Yahoo Driver Group B
      Danica Patrick
      Trevor Bayne
      Aric Almirola
      Paul Menard

      Yahoo Driver Group C
      Michael McDowell
      Michael Waltrip

      MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
      Denny Hamlin
      Dale Earnhardt Jr.
      Chase Elliott
      Joey Logano
      Brad Keselowski

      Dark Horse: Michael McDowell

      Stay Away From: Daniel Suarez

      Big 18: Denny Hamlin

      Reply
  • Ron O

    Thanks Jeff….used to your weekly comment on each of your picks…

    Reply

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