I started this blog to provide a casual, recreational level of fantasy NASCAR advice and discussion. I've been playing these contests for a number of years and am annoyed by lineup sellers and groups of players using the same lineup. I'm hoping to give the casual player some help in building solid lineups that can beat that annoying crowd most of the time. I'm not a "tout" and don't do this for a living, so proceed accordingly. I hope you enjoy the discussion here and Good Luck!
I want to talk next about Aric Almirola, who left the famed 43 team at Richard Petty Motorsports to take over the 10 car from Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing. Almirola will be an interesting driver to watch this year. He is transitioning to what most would consider a better team at SHR, but that comes with added pressure to perform. And, while there is some familiarity with the car since both RPM and SHR run Ford equipment, everything else will be new. On top of that, the 43 team will be led by first time crew chief, John Klausmeier, who previously served as a race engineer at SHR. He does, however, have a race win as interim crew chief for Kurt Busch in 2016 at Pocono.
From a fantasy perspective, Almirola may be under priced in salary cap games and otherwise under appreciated because he is likely to have significantly better equipment and support at SHR. This could allow him to generally outperform his prior results. RPM is a solid team and all, but it simply doesn't have the kind of recent experience that SHR has in competing for (and winning) championships with Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart before him. So, we'll finally see what Almirola can do with an elite level team.
For fantasy NASCAR purposes, Almirola will be in play at restrictor plate tracks and most short tracks. At the plate tracks, Almirola has a great history in recent years. At Daytona, he won the rain-shortened event in July 2014. In addition, he has finished in the Top 15 in five of the last six races there and he has only 1 DNF in that span. While Almirola doesn't have a win at Talladega, he does have three consecutive Top 10 finishes there. And he finished in the Top 20 in eleven of the last fourteen races. Avoiding the wrecks at a plate track is mostly luck, but some drivers just seem to have a feel for where to be. It seems like Almirola might be one of those guys. While he doesn't have multiple wins at either track, a long history of finishing races in and of itself sets him apart from most of the field.
For short tracks, look for Almirola at Phoenix, Richmond and Martinsville in particular. He has finished in the Top 20 in eleven of twelve Phoenix races; nine of ten Richmond races; and ten of twelve Martinsville races. We are hoping this consistent, solid performance with a mid-level team translates into Top 10's and maybe more at an elite level team like SHR.
My name is Steve and I've won thousands playing NASCAR fantasy racing games. This blog will share my advice for enjoying and winning your fantasy racing games. I'm also a NASCAR writer at the motor sports website slicksandsticks.com