Fantasy NASCAR: Competitors content to ride along with Jimmie Johnson
It was like a big summer blowout (said in your best Norwegian voice imitating the shop owner from the Disney movie “Frozen”) last week in the Post-Tribune Fantasy NASCAR contest.
Either readers are stepping up their games as we get closer to the culmination of another season and the drawing of people who finished first or second in a given week, or it was just a lucky week in which a huge chunk of entrants was feeling good after Jimmie Johnson crossed the finish line first Sunday at Michigan.
Maybe the first sign it was going to be a weird week in our contest was that Johnson previously never had won at Michigan, which seems impossible considering his success in the past decade.
How good was the effort by our readers? More than 20 of them (22 to be exact) scored 200 points or more, and numerous others ranged from 190 to 199 points, which usually gets your name mentioned here.
Not this week. In fact, there’s not enough space to mention all of the 200-club (Chris Shmagranoff, of Munster, and Lynn Henson, of Cedar Lake, just missed the top 10).
Heck, it’s going to take up some space in mentioning the winners since there was a seven-way tie for first.
Yes, you read that right. Seven readers were close to perfect, posting a score of 210 with the lineup of Johnson, Kevin Harvick (second), Brad Keselowski (third), Jeff Gordon (sixth) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (seventh).
Four of the winners were from DeMotte: John Daras Sr., Ellen Sayers, Allen Curtis and Dennis Halloran. (Wonder if they met up at a restaurant or coffee shop on State Road 231 or 10 and planned that?) Two other winners are from Hobart (Cheri Rearick and Ken Swiney) and the last is former overall drawing winner (two years ago) Ron Zochalski, of Whiting.
If any one of them would have picked Paul Menard (fourth) or Kasey Kahne (fifth) instead of Gordon or Junior, they would have been the sole winner. Then again, Gordon and Junior were pretty popular picks this week, and it doesn’t matter if you had finished in a seven-way tie for first or six-way tie for second behind a sole winner — they all qualify for our drawing.
This week: It’s one of the more interesting events on the schedule. NASCAR heads to one of the two road courses on the circuit at Sonoma in California. That means picking drivers is more of a challenge this week. Yes, some of the popular guys also are good road racers, such as Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch. But you also have to consider Marcos Ambrose, (five top-five finishes in 11 career road race starts), Boris Said (five top-10 finishes in 11 starts at Sonoma) and Martin Truex Jr., who shined in both road events last year.
Pick wisely, and maybe you can be part of another seven-way tie.