The Frontstretch: Fantasy Insight : Bud Shootout by Dennis Michelsen -- Wednesday February 8, 2006

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Fantasy Insight : Bud Shootout

Dennis Michelsen · Wednesday February 8, 2006


Yes, Race Fans, the race season is finally here! We might have the shortest offseason (except for the PBR), but it still feels like it was a long time ago that we last heard the roar of those Nextel Cup cars"¦and the whine of the NASCAR drivers! But the new race season is here at last.

With the new race season also comes a complete menu of race games for you Fantasy Racing aficionados! Frontstretch is the now the proud new home of "Bob’s Corner Racing Game." Check out the rules here and make sure you join the game today in time for the Budweiser Shootout. The game is FREE, and Bob has some great prizes, so what are you waiting for"¦a written invitation? Well, great…now you have one of those too!

Meanwhile, back by popular demand is the always-challenging "Last One Standing." NASCAR handicapping meets "Survivor" in this fan favorite that returns for another fun season. This year, the entry page moves over to a new home at Just like the NASCAR champ, the champion of "Last One Standing" will win a jacket from! We kick off the insanity with the Daytona 500 next week.

Finally, a brand new game has arrived for the 2006 season. "Beat the Hawk" is a simple game with the potential for a big payoff! This weekly game is sort of like a pari-mutuel wagering on NASCAR. Each weekly $5 entry has a chance to win the pool of money bet that week if you can just "Beat the Hawk!" Check out the rules and get in the game over at

Alright, time to get down to RACING…here are the picks for this weekend’s Budweiser shootout! Don’t forget, for more details and an opportunity to go “By the Numbers,” check out stats at

Horses For Courses

Driver, Car #, Daytona Track Rating
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 8, 96.6
Jeff Gordon, 24, 93.8
Tony Stewart, 20, 92.8
Jimmie Johnson, 48, 92.8
Dale Jarrett, 88, 88.8

Consistency Factor

Driver, Car #, Rating Over Last 5 Races
Jeff Gordon, 24, 94.2
Tony Stewart, 20, 92.8
Carl Edwards, 99, 92.4
Greg Biffle, 16, 90
Mark Martin, 6, 89.8

Track Type Factor

Driver, Car #, Restrictor Plate Rating
Tony Stewart, 20, 96.4
Dale Jarrett, 88, 93.4
Kurt Busch, 2, 89.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 8, 89.6
Jeff Gordon, 24, 88.4

Power Rating

Driver, Car #, Power Rating
Tony Stewart, 20, 282
Jeff Gordon, 24, 276.4
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 8, 270.4
Dale Jarrett, 88, 265.8
Jimmie Johnson, 48, 262.4
Kurt Busch, 2, 260.8
Matt Kenseth, 17, 259.2
Carl Edwards, 99, 252.4
Kevin Harvick, 29, 252.2
Jamie McMurray, 26, 250.4

Handicapping the Race
The Bow Tie brigade was dominant in Daytona Preseason testing as usual. The new Ford Fusion did a good job in traffic, with the Dodge Charger lagging a bit behind. This comes as no surprise, so it is hard to go against the strong Chevy contingent. DEI was missing at the top of the speed charts, but come raceday I think they will find that speed that is always expected from them.

Winner : Jeff Gordon

At the top of the speed charts in testing, and comes into 2006 hungry to prove himself.

Place : Tony Stewart

Still the king of the hill in NASCAR until someone knocks him off.

Show : Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Another guy looking to bounce back from a lousy season.

Top Rookie : Denny Hamlin

Wins top rookie pick by default but could challenge for the win.

Last Place : Michael Waltrip

A daring pick with his flair for the dramatic here, but will his car even finish?

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Swan Racing Announces Restructuring, No. 26 & No. 30 ‘Sold’ Off
Tech Talk with Tony Gibson: Taking Stock Of Danica Patrick In Year Two
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Fantasy Insider: Team Revelations For NASCAR’s Short Tracks



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Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.