10 Keys of Fantasy Racing success

“The 2009 Fantasy Racing season is right around the corner. It’s time to forget your Fantasy Football cross training. You can relax because in Fantasy Racing you won’t be a victim of injuries, fumbles or suspensions (unless you’ve had Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, or Robby Gordon in the past). In Fantasy Racing you’re the victim of blown tires, engine explosions and wrecks, but that’s half of the fun.

In order to succeed in Fantasy Racing the most important thing is to play it smart. The NASCAR season is 36 weeks long and every team will have their good days and their bad days. The key is to minimize the bad days.

Below I have listed the 10 keys that will help you find Fantasy Racing success in 2009. These 10 keys are what I view to be the cornerstones of successful Fantasy Racing.

1. Don’t play with your heart
Playing with your heart is by far the #1 reason why people who do Fantasy Racing don’t succeed. NASCAR is a loyalty based sport, but that doesn’t mean your fantasy team needs to be also. Personally I’m a Ryan Newman fan, but in the Fantasy Racing world there ALWAYS comes a time when you need to let them go. It’s alright to have a favorite driver but be smart about it.
*** Playing with your heart revolves both ways in terms of liking drivers and not liking them.

2. Know your competition

No matter what type of fantasy league you’re in you must know your competition. For example in the Onebadwheel.com’s Champs, Chumps, and Sleepers game you have every right to snoop around and look at other players profiles and see their prior roster of drivers. In fact it doesn’t make sense why you wouldn’t. If you notice that some team is doing really well by all means click on their profile and see what sort of lineup they’ve found success with.

3. Don’t set it and forget it
In every fantasy league I’ve ever been in teams can get everything set on Monday and be ready to go for Sunday. Averages and statistics are good for giving you a good baseline to what your team of drivers should look like. However, fine tuning your team is what will get you over the hump. In Football when Peyton Manning goes up to the line of scrimmage he takes a look around and calls an audible if something doesn’t look right. A Fantasy Racing audible should be considered after qualifying, happy hour, or any mechanical problems that are discovered on the driver’s car.

4. Get out of sequence
In Fantasy Racing don’t be afraid to get out of sequence with your competition. Just be smart about when you choose to do this. When you get out of sequence, just make sure you understand your competition. No one ever gets ahead of their competition by playing follow the leader.

5. Don’t get to much out of sequence
Getting out of sequence with your competition is always encouraged but not when you take it to a whole new level. The track where people will get into trouble by getting too much out of sequence is Infineon Raceway. Road course ringers from around the world show up every year to take on the NASCAR regulars. However they rarely produce the results that you hoped for. In 2008 no road course ringers even finished in the top 15. Having a team full of road course ringers is admirable but you can almost guarantee that it won’t work.

6. Don’t beat yourself
This seems easy enough, but you would be surprised that this happens so frequently. Beating yourself ranges from having drivers in your lineup who aren’t racing to forgetting to set your lineups for the week. When you have drivers who don’t score points winning becomes impossible. In 2009 with the weakened economy, race weekends may mean that less then 43 cars might show up for the race. So fantasy racers beware.

7. Trust your instincts
If you know you have bad luck please move on to #8. Sometimes on a race weekend you can just get the feeling that something isn’t right with a particular driver. Last year at Texas I had the feeling that Jeff Gordon was going to have a bad day and he most certainly did. The most common way of getting bad feelings about a driver is by observing how the drivers feel about their car.

8. Don’t be a prisoner of the moment
Every year some driver steps up his game and drives better then his known ability. Just don’t get caught up in the unrealistic hype. Usually the drivers who over perform are high risk drivers. When you consistently pick high risk drivers you are playing Russian roulette with your teams chances.

9. Be Patient
The NASCAR season begins in February and ends in November. There is 36 point paying races per year so you’ve got a lot of races to accomplish your team’s goals. The season is a marathon, not a sprint race. This means that not every weekend needs to be the time for you to “make your big move”. Most likely if you’re trying to make your big move every race your team is moving towards the basement.

10. Do your homework
The Fantasy Racing world is constantly evolving. This year will be the most volatile year in the garage area ever. This means that you need to stay current with your NASCAR news and not let anything catch you be surprise. Breaking news in the NASCAR world is bad news, so always stay ahead of the game. Also don’t be afraid to do some networking in the Fantasy Racing world by visiting the forum.