Hello, and welcome to the 2019 NASCAR season! In only three weeks the green flag will wave at Daytona International Speedway for the running of 61st annual “Great American Race”. But, even sooner than that Speed Weeks starts. That is only 2 weeks away.
Now before we get into what’s new for 2019 there is some exciting news for all of you fantasy racing players. The Commish is working on rolling out some exciting new changes this season. Customized leagues, with customized scoring! He has acknowledged that he isn’t quite finished with the project and also knows that there will be some bumps along the way as there were last year in the inaugural season on the Driver Group Game. From what I have seen so far, I am looking forward to creating some different leagues with their own scoring system. I like the fact you can now set your own scoring, run a playoff format for your league, and set your own groups.
My favorite of the ones I mentioned is setting your own groups. I know in the past the C group was mostly a hit or miss group with someone having to be extremely lucky to pick a driver who would even finish the race. I think this option is going to help everyone who spends time researching which drivers perform better on certain tracks and will give us a plan as we move through the season. Check out some of the new additions and create some leagues. Let me know if you have an interesting concept for a league.
So with that being said I will give you a few things that have changed this season in the sport.
There are three familiar names who won’t be running a full schedule if at all this season as of this time. They are Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, and Jamie McMurray. The only thing I have seen so far is that Jamie is going to run in the Daytona 500, but after that his schedule is up in the air and the other 2 have no definitive plans to run any races this season.
Rookie of the year candidates include the following: #8-Daniel Hemric, #36-Matt Tifft, #47-Ryan Preece, and #97-Tanner Berryhill.
Other driver without a ride this season include: #6-Trevor Bayne, #47-A.J. Allmendinger (who you will see on tv.), #96-Jeffrey Earnhardt, and Reed Sorenson (who is rumored to be close to signing a deal.)
Drivers switching teams this year include: Daniel Suarez who moves to the #41 for Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman who moves to the #6 for Roush Fenway Racing, Matt DiBenedetto who moves to the #95 for Leavine Family Racing, Kurt Busch who moves to the #1 for Chip Ganassi Racing, Corey LaJoie who moves to the #32 for Go Fas Racing, and Martin Truex, Jr. who moves to the #19 for Joe Gibbs Racing.
There will also be a news rules package at certain tracks that is supposed to make the cars more equal and, according to NASCAR, make it a race about drivers instead of a race about the fastest cars. We will have to see how this plays out, but in any event it is going to be learning curve when setting your lineup this season at these venues.
So, my predictions for this season are as follows:
Even with the new rules package the Ford drivers will still dominate on the intermediate tracks with the speed they carry.
Jimmie Johnson gets back to victory lane.
Roush/Fenway Racing is much improved this season.
Kyle Busch breaks Ford’s dominance during the playoffs and wins his second championship.
That’s all for now. Come back after the Duels at Daytona to see my picks for the first race of the season under the old format. If you have any trouble with the DGG or have questions, contact the Commish. I am looking forward to another season with all of you!