Next up, in this series of Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing interviews, is none other than Hot Rod Lincoln. That would be Marlon Clark, Yahoo username Jmarlonc. Marlon was another fellow competitor in one of my groups in 2010. I was no match for him. Marlon has an incredible history of success in the game.
Marlon’s Yahoo Auto Racing Results
- 2011: 99%
- 2010: 98%
- 2009: 99%
- 2008: 99%
- 2007: 99%
- 2006: 99%
Marlon is flat out incredible at this game! And, it’s not just Yahoo’s Fantasy Auto Racing, he whoops up on the competition in Golf, Baseball and Football too! His Yahoo profile ranks him as an ‘All-Star’. His trophy case is stocked.
Lucky for us, Marlon was more than happy to share some of his insight into how to use the right strategy to do well in Yahoo fantasy NASCAR!
Getting to Know This Yahoo Racing Expert
Q: How long have you been a NASCAR fan?
A: Since the early 1970′s
Q: How long have you been playing fantasy NASCAR games?
A: Since 2006, where I finished 99th in the entire Yahoo pool.
Q: How many fantasy NASCAR games a year do you play?
A: For online games from 2006 to 2009 just Yahoo. In 2010 I played Yahoo, Speedfantasy and On Pit Road. I have always been playing a local ‘One-and-Done’ type racing pool since 1997. It uses drivers for half a season just one time. So, for 2010: 8 teams, 5 games, 7 different groups or pools. (Does it look like that I have the need for speed?)
Q: Who is your favorite driver?
A: There is no favorite, I like too many of them. But, back in the 70′s I liked David Pearson and the Wood Brothers (I grew up in Stuart, VA).
Marlon’s Yahoo Fantasy Racing Strategy
Q: What is it that you like the most about the Yahoo fantasy racing game?
A: I like that it brings out the best of those that pay attention. The point structure for leading laps and qualifying. It helps me in other games and vice versa.
Q: Your performance in the Yahoo game has been extremely impressive. Do you just really ‘get’ this type of game (having multiple driver groups with limited usage)? Do you have as much success on other types of NASCAR games?
A: Yes, I pretty much do well in other games too. I have won every sport (Racing, Football, Golf, Baseball) in our own little group the first time I played. Remember, I already had a feel for this before Yahoo came along (another buddy had been playing other Yahoo sports earlier than 2006 and then asked some others to play – all work related friends spread out over 4 states).
I believe that those who are competitive in sports are just as successful in business.
Q: What are the factors you take in to consideration when making your Yahoo picks?
A: The factors I look at are:
- I usually try to pick drivers that like that track.
- Sometimes a big team will always be good at a certain track.
- Some tracks are similar to others.
- Sometimes stats.
- Sometimes momentum.
I kept my own stats over the years, gradually thinking of more things to keep track of (I don’t always look at them). I love the driver rating system NASCAR uses, but I noticed that they just keep adding on every year, now using too many races. Remember that the car and tires have changed quite a bit over the last 3-4 years, you have to adjust quickly and the stats eventually will catch up (if they will ever stop making changes).
Q: Do you go into the season with a plan for which drivers you want to run the most? How do you handle ‘driver management’?
A: I always tried to spread everyone out over the year. A lot of times I use a ‘not-as-popular’ pick most races in the B-group. I like to call them research picks. You can see as the year progresses who will do good and use them all up.
Always pick guys that will lead laps and even try to pick someone just for winning the pole (sometimes I will start them instead). I Tivo and watch practice or qualifying sometimes, the people covering this have inside info on what should happen for that race.
Q: What is the biggest mistake that you think fantasy NASCAR players make on the Yahoo game or any other games you’ve played?
A: Playing only drivers at the top of the groups at that time. They will just use them up too quickly. It may help in the short run, but usually not overall.
Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: I don’t know if you noticed or not but there is another player in D’s 2010 Elim. League! that I am in that has been doing the same as me since 2004 (Captainvatmotorsports). I want to give him his props.
There are a lot of opinions out there, listen and mix in your gut feeling. And, I do so love to beat all the experts at their own game!
Here is a Summary of Marlon’s Yahoo Racing Strategy
- Pick drivers that like that track.
- Is a particular team (organization) always good at this track?
- Identify which tracks are similar to other tracks.
- Consider stats and driver momentum.
- Consider NASCAR’s Loop Data Driver Rating, but not too many years back.
- Spread your drivers out over the year.
- Use ‘not-so-popular’ picks in the B-group. Research to find the best.
- Always pick a driver that will lead at least a lap.
- Bring a driver that has a good shot at the pole.
- Watch practice & qualifying to gain insight from the broadcast.
- Don’t play the ‘top’ drivers in the group too fast and use them up.
- Listen to other opinions but also use your ‘gut’.