by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMarch 21, 2008 2:23 pm UTC 6 Comments
The pressure is off for NASCAR fantasy players this week. If you participate in a Sprint Cup Series fantasy game, you get an extra week to figure out your best picks to win your NASCAR fantasy league since the Cup Series is on Easter break.
Perhaps now is the time to plot your ultimate winning strategy. Or line up your latest wild ass guesses, which is what I’m planning to do. For me, putting too much thought into this whole thing hurts my head. But that doesn’t stop me. In fact it got me to thinking about why certain drivers – having all of the requisite tools and pedigree – just can’t close the deal. At least not as often as it seems they should.
Of the current crop of Cup competitors, Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray are the two that jump out at me. Both drivers are approaching 200 starts in Cup rides ranging from pretty good to top-shelf.
McMurray won in his second start ever after taking over for an injured Sterling Marlin- who could very well make this list too – and then went win-less, through the rest of his Ganassi career and high profile drives for Roush Racing, until 2007′s summer Daytona race.
Mears broke the ice last year with his first win, but had nothing to show for his Ganassi seat time and, I’m betting, not enough to keep the Hendrick franchise happy much longer.
Those are winning percentages along the lines of .5 to 1%. If that criteria is followed, I hate it but I have to put Kyle Petty in here too. Eight wins in 819 starts makes winning a rare enough occurrence for someone who, at times has been in top equipment. Sorry Kyle, it just seems like you should have been first more than this.
Picking four was tougher that I thought it would be. I keep wanting to go back to New Zealander and 60′s-70′s F1 driver Chris Amon. Amon drove for the best teams and was acknowledged by peers and journalist’s alike as one of the best for more than a decade. But he never won a race. If I pick him, I’ll never hear the end of it from Steve – who thinks I live totally in the past – or Marc, who actually does.
No, unfortunately I’ll have to call recent ON PIT ROW guest and genuine good guy, Jeremy Mayfield out as my fourth enigma. Big contracts with top teams (allegedly at least) Penske Racing and Evernham Motorsports produced just 5 wins in 425 Cup starts. Mayfield did qualify for the Chase a couple times though, which ought to count for something.
Luke has an interesting take at the Thunder Lounge on the current crop of Rookie of the Year candidates, and how NASCAR’s goofy qualifying rules can screw with that race. I just wonder if any of the four ROY favorites will make a list like mine in five or ten years.
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