We’ve already covered the basics of some of the more esoteric fantasy sports you can play—tennis, golf, and baseball, for instance. But, we’re willing to bet that if you’re reading this from the UK, there’s one sport that you never thought would translate to the world of DFS—NASCAR.
While it’s a huge phenomenon in the US, the UK hasn’t really taken to NASCAR. Instead, we tend to prefer motorsports with a more international fanbase, such as Formula 1, MotoGP, and WRC. So, what makes NASCAR so popular, and how can I play fantasy NASCAR online?
The basics of NASCAR
NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. It was founded way back in 1948 by Bill France Sr., a former racing driver himself. NASCAR is actually the governing body of the sport, but the name is used to refer to the sport in general.
In comparison to F1, NASCAR races are much longer. In a similar way to baseball, there is no clock, so the race is only over once a certain number of laps have been completed.
Geometrically, the tracks are fairly straightforward, with only 3 or 4 turns at most. That’s not to say that F1 is more difficult than NASCAR, however—you just can’t compare these two very different disciplines.
Why is NASCAR so popular?
To many of the sport’s super-fans, it’s the drivers that make the sport so exciting. In comparison to the stars of Formula 1, whose lifestyles can make them seem like they live on another planet, NASCAR’s biggest names are often relatable boys from the Southern states.
As Bill France Sr. once quipped, “Common men in common cars could appeal to common folk en masse”.
Serious fans of NASCAR will know everything there is to know about their favourite driver. It’s often not difficult for fans to meet their heroes either—autograph signing sessions are commonplace.
The cars used in NASCAR are what’s known as stock cars. This comes from the sport’s origins, when the cars used were just regular cars that you’d see going up and down the streets. The cars today are actually very advanced racing cars which can cost up to $25 million, but they still resemble normal cars that you can buy in showrooms all across America. This allows fans to identify with their favourite make or model of car.
The cars used in NASCAR can reach speeds of over 200mph, are veritable tanks compared to those used in Formula 1. More on that below…
NASCAR is simply a really entertaining day out for many Americans. Some of the tracks hold over 250,000 people, so as you can imagine, the atmosphere can be absolutely electric.
Also, in comparison to the highly technical approach favoured by F1 drivers, in NASCAR you see a lot more car-on-car contact. The drivers aren’t afraid to share a bit of paint, let’s put it that way!
Playing fantasy NASCAR online
You can tap into some of the excitement that hundreds of thousands of people experience every weekend by playing NASCAR online. Like any form of fantasy sports, it will take a bit of work, but we can guarantee you’ll be pleased when your efforts pay off!
Like other fantasy sports, you’re required to pick a ‘team’ of drivers every week. Naturally, you’ll need to pay close attention to which drivers are on good form, but don’t forget that anything could happen during the race! You just can’t predict when there’s going to be a crash or a mechanical failure, and both of these events can seriously shake up the online NASCAR contests.
Scoring works in a similar way to NASCAR itself: most sites give you a certain number of points for picking the winner, and every position after that gets a certain number of points fewer than the position before. This does vary from site to site, though, so as ever it’s a good idea to read the small print.
You can also gain points for the number of fastest laps one of your drivers completes, and the number of laps they spend in pole position.
One of the most important ways you can gain an advantage over your rivals is by knowing the track. By researching the different types of NASCAR track, and which drivers tend to do best on each one, you can make an educated decision when picking your team.
Secondly, some games place a limit on the amount of times you can start a driver during a season. If you fall foul of this, then you’ll score the grand old total of 0.
Also, you need to make sure that the drivers you pick have actually qualified for the weekend’s race. If you see the letters NE or DNQ next to the driver’s name, then that means they’ve either not entered, or not qualified.
Where to play
One of the main sites that we’ve covered, Sportito, promised to cover NASCAR when they launched in the UK. However, it appears that there are no tournaments open at the time of writing. DraftKings, on the other hand, provides a solid selection of NASCAR contests, so it’s our pick of the bunch.
Playing at DraftKings
To fill you team at DraftKings, you need to pick 6 drivers, with a total budget of $50,000, as is common in all DraftKings contests.
There aren’t any specific time constraints—you can keep changing your drivers right until the start of the race. We’ve provided some screenshots below to give you an idea of what to expect.
So, welcome to the exciting world of fantasy NASCAR. We’re sure some of you will be full-blown fanatics by the end of the season!
Don’t forget to check back every week for more DFS tips, tricks and hints. At DailyFantasyUK, we’ve got you covered!