Jeffrey D. Nicholls/Post-Tribune Post-Tribune sports writer Steve Gorches
Top 10 readers this week
Christine Kerr 211
Steven Arnold 211
Ken Swiney 211
Allen Curtis 210
Gary Hartkorn 207
Randy Ritchie 205
Kenneth Moldovan 205
Mike Moldovan 204
Shelley Ganzeveld 204
Sheila Smith 203
Donna Conley 203
The annual Post-Tribune Fantasy NASCAR contest has returned for a seventh season. Each week readers pick five drivers and points are based on the same system NASCAR uses in its standings. Lineup entries can be submitted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (219-331-5600). Entries can also be texted to that cell number. No faxes, please. With your entries, please include your name, hometown and a contact number. First and second place each week will be entered into a drawing in July for tickets to the Brickyard 400.
Updated: April 8, 2014 6:36AM
In the two sports that I participate in the most — bowling and golf — a frequent saying is “go big or go home.”
Actually in golf, the more appropriate phrase would be, “go low” since the lowest score wins, but you get the point.
Sometimes on an easy oil pattern in bowling or an easy golf course with pin placements that aren’t very difficult, participants unnaturally can feel good about themselves — sort of a false success factor.
That’s what the scores for this week’s Post-Tribune Fantasy NASCAR contest reminded me of vividly.
Most weeks, a score of 200 for five driver picks (based on NASCAR’s point system) is good, and will at least get you in the top 10 readers and make you feel good about yourself. Last week, seven out of the top 10 reached that plateau, which is good for any week, but great for a restrictor plate race when unpredictability is the norm.
But that was nothing compared with this week’s contest for the race at Phoenix, when almost every driver in the top 10 of the race was a well-known name. Only Ryan Newman (seventh) was a little out of place, but even he gets picked by a handful of readers.
The rest of the top 10 — Kevin Harvick in first, then Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards (eighth) and Kyle Busch and in the majority of lineups.
In the end, the result was predictable: Possibly the highest scoring week in our seventh annual contest, and definitely the best under NASCAR’s new point system.
It took 203 points just to get into the top 10, meaning readers such as Anita Keray of Crown Point (201) and Harry Petruska of Hobart (200) didn’t make it, not to mention the four readers who had 199 points. So kudos to the more than 100 entrants (yes, entries actually went up again after the first week) who collectively did a great job picking drivers this week.
There was a three-way tie for first this week between Christine Kerr of Gary, Ken Swiney of Hobart and Steven Arnold of Munster at 211 points, so all three earn spots in our drawing in July. Just missing in second place was Allen Curtis of DeMotte with 210 points. He would have been a repeat winner after scoring 211 points in the Daytona 500.
I forgot to submit a lineup of my own this past week, but I doubt I would have done as well.
Contact info changes: As you can see in the info box attached to this column, the phone number and email has changed to text or call in lineups. Please email lineups to email@example.com or call or text lineups to (219) 331-5600.