As the 2018 NASCAR season approaches, tens of thousands are realizing Yahoo! has closed its game down. If you’re like me, you’d anxiously await that day in January when the message changed from “The Yahoo Sports Fantasy Auto Racing season has concluded” to the page announcing my favorite fantasy NASCAR game was open for the new NASCAR race season! I could begin to re-connect with my online friends and start creating my groups and building my driver teams!
Not long into the transition from the 2017 to the 2018 Monster Energy Cup season these lines were added: “Thank you for your participation this year and congratulations to all the winners. We will not be offering Fantasy Auto Racing in 2018. We thank you very much for playing our game over the years and hope you will continue to play our other fantasy games.”
WHAT THE HECK Yahoo!?!?
It’s like waking up Christmas morning to find the Grinch has stolen all the presents!
18 years ago Yahoo! added Fantasy NASCAR Auto Racing to their repertoire of fantasy sports games.
Yahoo hosted games for their millions of subscribers that ranged from mainstream sports like football, baseball and basketball to niche sports like golf, hockey and college football and even oddball fantasy games for the Oscar’s, the Stock Market and even CBS’s Survivor!
During it’s heyday, I remember calculating that about 250,000 entries were entered each week in the Yahoo fantasy NASCAR game. It’s dwindled to around 40,000 entries now, but that is still a lot of people enjoying the game.
FANTASY NASCAR PLAYERS STILL WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME!
Currently, the 2nd ranked post on Yahoo’s User Voice forum is Where is NASCAR on your Daily Games? . Read through the comments and you’ll realize it was way more then the game itself, it was the relationships that went along with the game. Sure, we all want to be the Season Champion of our group. We all want to be in the coveted 99% percentile of all players. But, we also want to have the fun that is enjoyed by having others we can enjoy the great sport of NASCAR with.
YES, NASCAR IS GRAPPLING WITH A DIMINISHING FAN BASE
Numbers are down in many sports when you measure the attendance and the television market share. No doubt, NASCAR is in a critical phase of filling their fan base with new, younger fans. Fantasy NASCAR is an venue that lets old and young fans alike share in the excitement that only NASCAR brings. It is a glue that lets us stick to the sport. It fuels enthusiasm and interest through the week and especially on race day.
It’s a sad situation that the economics of hosting a fantasy NASCAR game is not worth it to Yahoo! and Fox. Pay-to-Play games like the weekly Draft Kings games are taking over the space.
DISCOURAGED. SCARED. FILLED WITH ANXIETY.
That’s how I really felt deep down when I saw Yahoo! fantasy auto racing was not coming back in 2018.
Why? I’ve spent the last 12 years building Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. From day one the primary goal has been to be the best NASCAR statistical tools web site useful for all types of fantasy NASCAR games. But, my strongest focus has always been to help players of the Yahoo fantasy auto racing game!
OUR YAHOO-CENTERED FEATURES
- Jeff Gutowski has written hundreds of his NASCAR Fantasy Preview articles here that put a prime focus on the Yahoo game.
- Our Experts Picks page, that lets you play along with the experts and contribute to the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ picks, features not only the top-5 and dark-horse drivers, but our weekly Yahoo A, B and C driver groups experts picks.
- My Custom Driver Groups feature was born out of a desire to group the full statistical table of drivers into their Yahoo A, B, C driver groups. Subscribers can create their own groups, but the Yahoo group was built in each year by default.
PRAYERFULLY CONSIDERED MY OPTIONS
Thankfully, I quickly came to realize that this is a great opportunity!
I rallied (am still rallying) together with a few guys that have been a great help to me through the years and we hashed (still hashing) through the small tweaks we felt that could make the A, B, C driver group concept game that Yahoo pioneered even better.
I’m coding the game now and anticipate a beta test with a small group of die-hard fans of the game. The game is FREE TO PLAY. A paid subscription to Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet is not required!
Just create an account with the $0 forever plan and you are in.
INTRODUCING THE DRIVER GROUP GAME
Currently, I’m referring to our version of the game as the Driver Group Game. It’s more functional than anything else, but it will stick until someone comes up with something better. You can read the Driver Group Game rules and see the drivers in each group here.