The SuperSpeedway Fantasy League Week 2

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UPDATE: Chase Elliott’s penalty has been added. The 24 team received a 15 point penalty following Chicagoland.

Fantasy League Standings after Chicagoland

After week one of the Playoffs, James leads Eric 267-249. Stage points played a huge role in the driver’s totals at Chicagoland. Eric had race winner Martin Truex Jr. but early struggles cost him total points. Also, Kyle Busch’s issues plagued him the whole race after a dominating first stage.

James was able to take advantage of two 50+ point drivers Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick. Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski also had strong days helping his cause.

Rules

  • Eric and James each picked 8 playoff drivers, draft style.
  • The total points earned by a driver throughout the playoffs will contribute to the team’s total.
  • Most points earned wins.

Eric’s Team (249 Total Points)

49 Martin Truex Jr.
32 Kyle Busch
45 Denny Hamlin
26 Ryan Blaney
14 Ryan Newman
21 Austin Dillon
34 Matt Kenseth
28 Jamie McMurray

James’ Team (252 Total Points)

42 Kyle Larson
42 Brad Keselowski
29 Jimmie Johnson
52 Kevin Harvick
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
53 Chase Elliott (-15 points for penalty. New Total 38 Points)
21 Kurt Busch
16 Kasey Kahne

Bracket Challenge

Eric and James each filled out a bracket for all 10 races. We are also joined by our follower/friend of the podcast, Todd Henry.

Rules

  • Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.
  • Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.
  • Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.
  • Most points win.

Eric’s Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson

James’ Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Todd’s Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Points will begin to accumulate at the end of round one.

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SuperSpeedway Fantasy League Week 1

Here we go! It’s Eric vs James in the SuperSpeadway Fantasy League. We have two games setup for this year’s Playoffs. The fist our Fantasy League, the second is our Bracket Challenge. Remember that you can join the fun! Just submit your picks on our Facebook page and compete alongside us “experts.”

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Fantasy League

Eric and James each picked 8 playoff drivers, draft style.

The total points earned by a driver throughout the playoffs will contribute to the team’s total.

Most points earned wins.

Eric’s Team

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Busch
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Ryan Newman
Austin Dillon
Matt Kenseth
Jamie McMurray

James’ Team

Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Kasey Kahne

Bracket Challenge

Eric and James each filled out a bracket for all 10 races.

Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.

Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.

Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.

Most points win.

Bracket Challenge Standings

Eric’s Championship Four

Truex
Larson
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson

James’ Championship Four

Truex
Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Points will begin to accumulate at the end of round one.

The SuperSpeedway Podcast #30 — It’s Time for the Playoffs

  • Recap of the Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond Raceway
    • Kyle Larson can win on a track that’s not two miles
    • Martin Truex gets hosed — can’t finish again
    • NASCAR officiating leaves a lot to be desired
      • Caution for Kenseth locking the tires
      • Ambulance issue
      • Caution for Derrick Cope with four laps to go
  • Playoffs
    • Come out of Richmond exactly the same way they went in.
    • Dale Jr., Joey Logano, Erik Jones all OUT
      • Is Logano missing the playoffs the biggest story of the year?
  • Silly Season News
    • Smithfield is leaving RPM
    • Aric Almirola also is out
      • Spat between Smithfield and Richard Petty
    • Smithfield is going to Stewart Haas
    • Danica Patrick is out at SHR
    • Kenseth says 10 is not an option
    • Kahne is up in the air
      • Doesn’t want a non-competitive ride
      • Willing to do sprint cars, NASCAR and Indycar
    • 77 team likely to shut down next season
  • Post-Season Draft
  • Bracket Talk and compare
  • Preview the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway
    • Eric’s Pick: Brad Keselowski
    • Eric’s Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray
    • James’ Pick: Martin Truex Jr.
    • James’ Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer

Close show

Podcast Episode 29 — Take the Win Away

Recap of the Southern 500 at Darlington

  • Hamlin Wins – Almost gives it away!
    • We now know the win was encumbered
      • What does this mean?
      • Loss of 25 Driver/Owner Points
      • Mike Wheeler is gone for 2 races, including the start of the Playoffs
  • Truex another strong showing without a win
    • James theory about not closing races keeps him from wanting to take Truex for Homestead
  • An abrasive track surface makes for tire wear and more passing. Who would have thought?
  • Richard Petty gets the black flag

Random discussion:

  • Suarez loses Subway after NBC segment with Dunkin Donuts
    • Our thoughts
  • Austin Cindric vs Kaz Grala finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
    • Was Austin in the right or the wrong?

Silly Season Discussion

Playoff Picture heading into Richmond

  • It’s cut and dry. Guys just have to win.
  • Will the race be crazy? What do we think
  • Who has the best chance to win?
    • Bowyer – 91
    • Jones – 123
    • Logano – 129
    • Dale Jr. -303

Preview the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

  • Perhaps our preview will go with the Playoff discussion???
  • Picks:
    • James: Kevin Harvick. Dark Horse: Trevor Bayne
    • Eric: Denny Hamlin. Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray

Fun announcements for the Playoffs

  • We will be doing a fantasy draft!
    • Eric and James will each pick 8 playoff drivers.
    • The total points earned by a driver will contribute to the team’s total.
    • Most points earned wins.

Bracket Challenge

  • Eric and James will fill out a bracket for all 10 races.
  • Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.
  • Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.
  • Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.
  • Most points win.

Our listeners can join the fun!

– Make your picks and play along with us.

– Share your picks on our Facebook page

It’s time to start taking wins away

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 3, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. — Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

The time has come for NASCAR to begin taking wins away when the winning team breaks the rules to get that win.

This issue has again come to light this week after NASCAR determined that Denny Hamlin’s wins in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity series were encumbered after the team broke a rule.

In both instances, NASCAR assessed an L1 penalty, which basically means the crew chief is suspended for two races and receives a fine, and the driver and team loses 25 points.

But Hamlin keeps the win. His name is still in the record books. He keeps the trophy. And that simply should not be the case.

NASCAR is a descendant of local racing. I work at a local race track, Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, MI. When a driver wins a race and does not pass post-race inspection, they are disqualified. Period. They don’t receive points, and they don’t receive the win.

Everything about NASCAR’s penalty is essentially taking the win away. The driver/team loses money, they lose points, and the win doesn’t count toward the playoffs. So why should they get credit for the win at all?

NASCAR’s argument has long been that they don’t want the fans to see a driver win only to find out after they left the track that another driver won the race.

That argument may have worked in the 60s and 70s, when races weren’t always televised and there was no internet. But now, as soon as the race is over there’s a post-race show. There is a television show on every single night during the week recapping the news of the day in NASCAR racing. There are countless websites, including this one and NASCAR’s own, which constantly churn out content and make people aware of things that are going on. There is even a 24/7 radio channel on satellite radio devoted to NASCAR.

It used to be if NASCAR took a win away, you might not find out until the following week. But that just isn’t the case anymore. Allowing the driver to keep the win as NASCAR does now only cheapens the sport, makes it seem like cheating is acceptable, because in the end, it’s the win that really matters. $50,000 isn’t a big deal for the team. With the current system the points don’t mean as much either, unless you’re Joey Logano, who depending on the outcome at Richmond Saturday night could have suffered the biggest penalty of all this season.

And this isn’t just a Cup issue. It’s even worse in the Xfinity series. Jeff Gluck said today in his post on this topic that not only are the Cup drivers going down to the lower series and whooping on the series regulars, but they’re doing it in cheated up cars. That makes this even worse, because the penalty really means nothing to the Cup drivers in the lower series. They get the win, they do the burnouts, they get the photo in victory lane, and taking some team points away and a crew chief they won’t be working with next week anyway is not a punishment.

I’m a big supporter of Cup drivers being allowed to run in the lower series, but they need to be held to an even higher standard when they run there. And if NASCAR isn’t going to take the win away in Cup when they cheat, they certainly should do it when a Cup driver does it in a lower series.

This issue continues to be discussed every time it happens, and I think the more it happens the more NASCAR will look at it. I think NASCAR will eventually do the right thing, as they did with the overtime line, and start taking wins away. But until they do, we need to tell them that that’s what we expect.

Hamlin gets late-race pass on Truex to sweep Darlington weekend

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, poses with the winner?s decal on his car in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 3, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. — Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Another weekend, another Joe Gibbs racing sweep.

It wasn’t a three-way sweep like two weeks ago at Bristol, but JGR’s Denny Hamlin got the late-race pass on Martin Truex Jr. to score his second win of the season and his second Southern 500 victory.

Hamlin overcame a pitroad miscue earlier in the race when he missed the entrance to pit road, costing him significant time. But he was able to catch Truex after being down 20 seconds to pass him on Lap 365 when Truex got into the wall and cut down a tire. Hamlin cruised the last two laps to the win.

“To win in the Flying 11 and to win the Xfinity race, to win the Cup race, both in very exciting fashion was a great feeling, and tonight through the adversity of missing the pit road and coming back,” Hamlin said after the race. “We had great strategy, a fast car, and it all just worked out in the end. I was hoping it would. Otherwise I would have looked pretty silly after the race trying to explain why we lost.”

Truex told the media after the race that without the blown tire, he was doing everything he could to stay ahead of Hamlin.

“Well, the plan was to try, you know?” Truex said. “I didn’t know how far back they were. I didn’t know how fast they were going. I didn’t know how many laps fresher their tires were. They told me that they thought I could hold him off and they gave me the intervals and how fast he was catching me. With two to go, I seen him coming, but catching somebody and passing him is a whole different deal here, and I was really holding my own pretty well if I could get some clean air, and every time I’d catch a lap car they’d just drive off in the corner, slide up in front of me and then I was just so loose on those old tires around other cars that there wasn’t much I could do to keep my pace, my momentum.”

“That was really the only reason he even caught us, besides the flat tire,” Truex continued. “I don’t know, we may have blew a tire either way, obviously, you never know. But it’s interesting, Cole said he wanted to wait two more laps to pit, and with two to go we blew a tire. It’s crazy how those things work out sometimes.”

The series now heads to Richmond Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Saturday night. The playoff future of several drivers hinges on that one race, as without a win, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Joey Logano will miss out on the playoffs this season.

The biggest story would be if Logano missed out, as he actually has a win at the first Richmond race this season, but the win was deemed encumbered after Logano failed post-race inspection, making the race ineligible for qualification into the playoffs.

Most thought Logano would get another win, but the team has struggled this season since the penalty, and that win hasn’t come, leaving him currently on the outside looking in. Logano has eight top-fives this season, 11 top-10s and one pole. He’s led 257 laps this season, with an average finish of 16.5.

Podcast Episode 28 — Throwing it Back for Darlington

Show notes:

Random discussion:

  • Harvick says NASCAR should have a wildcard race
  • Chase Elliott to drive the 9 next season in Cup
    • Byron will take over the 24
    • 5 goes bye bye
    • Do we care? Is this a big deal?
  • Truck Series/Xfinity Series.
    • Is there a problem?
    • How do you fix it?

Silly Season Discussion

Preview the Bojangles Southern 500 from Darlington S.C.

  • We have a post on the site of all of the paint schemes NASCAR has released so far. Go check them out and let us know which ones are your favorites.
  • What is our favorite scheme so far this year?
    • James: #43
    • Eric: #5
  • What are our expectations for the race?
  • Has NASCAR got a winner in the throwback weekend?
  • How will the stages affect Darlington?
  • Weather could be an issue?
  • Picks:
    • James: Erik Jones
    • Eric: Martin Truex Jr.

Don’t forget the truck series

  • The trucks run at Canadian Motorsports Park
  • Some excellent finishes there over the years
    • Chase Elliott with the dump and run to win his first truck race.
    • John Hunter Nemecheck runs Cole Custer off the road and out of the playoffs for the win
    • How important is this race being that it’s in Canada?
      • Do we miss Montreal?
      • Should the Cup Series have a race in Canada or Mexico?

Shout outs

  • James:
  • Eric:

Close show

Chase Elliott to return to the #9 next season

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chase Elliott is changing numbers next season.

Hendrick Motorsports announced today that the number 9 will move to Hendrick Motorsports next Season with Chase Elliott at the wheel.

“I wasn’t sure I’d ever drive the 9 again,” Elliott said in a news release from Hendrick. “It’s a huge deal to my family and everyone back home, and I hope all of our fans will be pumped to see it back on the racetrack. There’s a legacy attached to that number, and I want to carry it on. I think it’s awesome that Hendrick Motorsports and NAPA wanted to do this. It’s impossible not to be excited.”

The no. 5 will no longer be on a car at Hendrick next season, as the 9 will replace it. William Byron, who joins Hendrick Motorsports next season in place of Kasey Kahne, will drive the 24, formerly driven by Jeff Gordon.

“Jeff and Jimmie (Johnson) are the drivers I’ve always watched most closely and tried to learn from,” Byron said. “I didn’t think I could be more motivated, but when Mr. Hendrick called to tell me, it took things to another level. I have so much respect for all the people who have contributed to the success of the 24. I know it’s rare to have the chance to be part of something like this. I’m going to make the most of it.”

Jimmie Johnson will continue to drive the 48 car, and Alex Bowman will take over the 88 currently driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will retire at the end of the season.

The 9 was most recently piloted by Marcos Ambrose for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Elliott took to Twitter Tuesday to say how excited he was about the number change next year.

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Photo Gallery: Darlington Throwback Paint Schemes

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DARLINGTON, S.C. — After a week off, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers return to the track this weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Sunday.

Since the Southern 500 returned to Labor Day weekend, a new tradition has been born — NASCAR Throwback Weekend. It has become one of the most anticipated events of the year, as the sport honors its past and the drivers run paint schemes from throughout the history of NASCAR.

This weekend will be no different, and while the tradition began with the Cup Series, many teams in the NASCAR Xfinity Series have jumped on the bandwagon and are running throwback schemes this weekend as well.

Below are the ones we’ve seen so far — we are sure there will be some surprises as the weekend arrives. Enjoy a trip down memory lane, as we look forward to seeing these cars on the track this weekend.

All photos courtesy of NASCAR Media.

The SuperSpeedway Power Rankings – August

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We’re entering the home stretch of the 2017 season! This is our last rankings before the Playoffs begin. Let’s take a look at who’s on top before we head to Darlington.

1 Martin Truex Jr. (LM 1)

Lock it up! The one seed in the Playoffs is going to be one of the last four standings.

2 Kyle Busch (LM 4)

Last month I asked KB to “Just. Win. Kyle.” He’s done that and is now the top Kyle in the rankings. His average finish is just as good as Martin Truex’s. The big difference between the two is Playoff Points. 

3 Kyle Larson (LM 2)

In July I said this guy was still dangerous even though the team was slumping. Michigan proved that his talent, when put in the right position, will get the job done. If he can make Homestead, he’s got just as good of a shot as anyone.

4 Kevin Harvick (LM 5)

In 2017 we have not seen the Happy we’re used to. However, the dude is still really consistent. It’s impressive considering everything SHR has had to change going into the beginning of the year. 

5 Denny Hamlin (LM 6)

He’s the third best Toyota driver. That’s enough for a top 5 spot for me. 

6 Jimmie Johnson (LM 3)

The most impressive thing he’s done in the last two months is his 107 mile bike ride in Michigan. I still won’t count him out. 

7 Chase Elliott (LM 7)

Just hang in there. Don’t let the bubble burst on you.

8 Jamie McMurray (LM 8)

Same with Jamie. Just hang on!

9 Brad Keselowski (LM 10)

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what to do with 7-10 in the rankings. It’s a weird paradox! Brad should have won Michigan. The second half of that race was pure Toyota power. Sandbagging? 

10 Erik Jones (LM NR)

I’m not going to defend putting Erik here. He’s on fire! A win is coming but will it be before the Playoffs? I think so.

Also considered

Ryan Blaney, Trevor Bayne, and The Darlington Stripe.