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Fantasy picks and race winner for the Daytona 500

By admin | February 18, 2011

By Richard Allen

I play the ESPN Stock Car Challenge fantasy game. It is free and very easy to understand. There are no drafts. Points are amassed based on the NASCAR scoring system. Fantasy players have a budget of $100 per race and each driver is given a value based on his prior performance. Players choose five drivers, while staying within the budget, to make up a team. Obviously, players want to use their ‘money’ wisely so that their team can score maximum points.

Here are the five drivers I have chosen for the Daytona 500 and why:

Kevin Harvick- This is my highest priced driver at $22.2. Last year, Harvick was a force on restrictor plate tracks. He won in Talladega and Daytona and added a 2nd and 7th on these tracks. He also looked strong in his qualifying race.

Clint Bowyer- I have loaded my team entirely with Chevrolets, and in particular with Chevrolets that use Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines. Last year, ECR power plants won every restrictor plate race. Bowyer himself won the 2010 season’s final plate race in Talladega. He has scored six top-10s at Daytona in ten starts there. Bowyer’s value on the ESPN scale is $21.2.

Jeff Burton-
This is another of those drivers with an ECR engine powering his Chevrolet. Burton’s value on the ESPN scale is $20.7. His record on the plate tracks has not exactly been stellar overall but he does have one career victory at Daytona back in July of 2000 when he drove for Roush Fenway Racing. In July of 2010 he finished 5th at Daytona and he has looked very strong in practice on the 2.5 mile track so far.

Jamie McMurray- Getting this driver on a restrictor plate track for only $19.7 feels a little like stealing. He is the defending Daytona 500 champion and was a serious contender in each of the four plate races held in 2010. His Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team also employees engines built by ECR. Of his six career wins, three have come on restrictor plate tracks.

Regan Smith- Fantasy players have to find value in their selections and Smith offers good value at only $15.5. Smith’s Furniture Row team has an alliance that provides them with ECR engines. He placed 2nd in his qualifying race on Thursday.

Obviously, this is a restrictor plate race and anything can happen. Perhaps of all types of NASCAR racing this is the most difficult to predict because of the possibility of the ‘Big One’ eliminating top drivers. However, fantasy players can give themselves the best chances for success by playing the odds. Last year, the odds were with Chevrolet and ECR engines.

The winner of the Daytona 500 will be Clint Bowyer.

My score from the previous week- This is the first week of play.
This column is for the purpose of advising players on a free fantasy game. No wagers should be made based on the contents herein.

Daytona International Speedway Data
Race #: 1 of 36 (2-20-11)
Track Size: 2.5 miles
Race Length: 500 miles (200 laps)
Banking/Corners: 31 degrees
Banking/Straights: 3 degrees
Banking/Tri-Oval: 18 degrees

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One Response to “Fantasy picks and race winner for the Daytona 500”

  1. Justin Says:
    February 18th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I can tell you who I wouldnt pick:
    Dale Jr, because you know someone is going to do something stupid and he is going to end up getting wrecked (see Bud Shootout/Wed practice)

    Kurt Busch, because no one has ever won all three events in one Daytona 500 weekend (3 events being Shootout/Duel/500)