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FANTASY: Chasing the Tail

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tums Fast Relief 500 Fantasy Preview

Round ... and around ... and around ... and around.  If you like cars going in circles, this weekend's Tums Fast Relief 500 is for you!

Martinsville Speedway is the shortest of short tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at just 0.526 miles.  While the race itself is listed as a "500," it's actually the shortest non-road course race of the season at 263 miles.  The number refers to the laps, not the miles.  As I said, if you like cars driving in lots and lots of circles, this is your race.

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It's Friday again. Time to dust off the ol' Mini Stock for a test drive around the cul-de-sac at the end of the street...

WHILE FANS OF NASCAR at the sport's highest level have clamored for years that a greater emphasis needs to be placed on winning, there aren't any such complaints in these parts. To wit: the title runs of ACT Late Model Tour champion Wayne Helliwell and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champ Doug Coby.

Both Helliwell and Coby took remarkably similar paths to their respective championships in 2012.

Helliwell won four of 10 ACT points races this season (.400 winning percentage), while Coby won five of 14 races (.357) on the Modified Tour. Helliwell posted Top-5 finishes in seven races and was in the Top-10 in nine of the 10 events on the schedule. Coby, meanwhile, scored eight Top-5 finishes and 11 Top-10s.

It's all about consistency, but more than that, it's about consistently being in contention for a trip to Victory Lane.

Almost as remarkably, Helliwell won the third and fourth races of the season to help build a lead at the top of the ACT standings, while Coby was similarly dominant in the first half of the year with a pair of wins at Stafford Motor Speedway and a win at Waterford Speedbowl all before the month of June had ended.

Perhaps it has to do with the relatively short schedules the two tours utilize – when compared against a 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – where there is very little wiggle room for poor results. Brian Hoar nearly chased Helliwell down, literally, in the final race of the season before Helliwell won the Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway to lock up his first career ACT title. Hoar also won four races this season, and third-place finisher Austin Theriault won a race and never finished outside the Top-10 once.

When you've only got 10 races to accumulate points, you've got to make the most of every available weekend on the calen Continue...

Hollywood Casino 400 Fantasy Preview

Kansas Speedway looks like just another 1.5-mile tri-oval.  As a "cookie cutter," it's usually a place where you can predict the results based on the history of intermediate tracks of similar build.

However, the history books got wiped clean this summer when Kansas repaved the track and created variable banking.  Sure, it might still look the same from the outside, but on the actual track, drivers are saying that old notes might as well be used to spark campfires in the brisk Kansas evening.

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THOMPSON, Conn. – Doug Coby did all that he had to do on Sunday at Thompson International Speedway, turning in a smart – if unspectacular – performance to finish sixth in the Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series 150 to clinch the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

Ahead of him, Bobby Santos III took the lead with 21 laps remaining and held off Ryan Preece and Todd Szegedy to win his second consecutive race to close out the season in a victory that, coupled with Coby's championship, highlighted the efforts of two of the smaller teams on the Tour.

“I don't feel like I drive like a Modified driver.,” said Santos, the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion. “I feel I'm an open-wheel style driver, and I try to race really clean. The way this Modified racing is right now, you have to be really aggressive and you've got to use the nerf bars a little more. I hate doing it, but I did it a couple of times in today's race where I would normally never do that.

“But if you want to win in this series right now, the way it is, you have to race like that.”

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FANTASY: Banking on America

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bank of America 500 Fantasy Preview

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yahoo Fantasy lineups lock early this week due to Thursday qualifying.  It's recommended you pick your team before going to bed on Wednesday night.

The fifth race in the Chase will be a defining moment in this year's championship.  Now that the scraps are all picked up from what was a wild, and frankly unnecessarily dangerous, wreck at Talladega, it's time to get back to normalcy in terms of racing.

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Good Sam Road Side Assistance 500 Fantasy Preview

There's really only one goal for the Chase drivers this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway: don't wreck.  This restrictor plate race is notorious for multiple "Big Ones," and if this past May's race is any indication, fans complaining about follow-the-leader action will be mute this weekend.

In May's Aaron's 499, only 24 of the 43 entered cars finished the race, the 24th of which was Tony Stewart.  Stewart finished four laps down after being involved in multiple wrecks and he famously went on a sarcastic rant about how not enough of the field wrecked out and NASCAR should try to do a figure-8 race to make sure fans got more excited.

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