With the NFL draft on the minds of many this week, Clayton Caldwell and Michael Massie debate what drivers they would pick if they were each to start a four-car team and contracts weren’t an issue. So here’s a look at what Caldwell’s and Massie’s teams would look like.
Clayton Caldwell Incorporated:
Round 1: Joey Logano
The defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion was my number one pick. The Middletown, Conn. native is one of the most talented drivers in the sport and is still only 28 years old.
Logano is one of a handful of drivers that has the capability to win at any track at any time. Whenever you need a win, Logano is able to provide that. Even though he’s still young, he’s got a championship under his belt and is hungry for more.
Logano has just got so much raw talent. He’s also one of the nicest guys in the business, so I know I don’t have to worry about him doing something stupid off the track.
Round 2: Kyle Larson
Larson is an extremely talented driver who I believe is ready to take the next step in his NASCAR career. Larson has proven his skills in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and, in 2017, had a career year in the Cup Series. Even though Larson hasn’t had the most success over the last couple of seasons, I still think there is tremendous upside and his best years are in front of him. A little bit of polish and this pick will be the best pick in this draft.
Round 3: Brad Keselowski
Keselowski’s talented and still relatively young. He’s only 35 years old, and I believe he’s got at least eight years left in him. Like Logano, I feel like Keselowski can win at any racetrack on any day when the car is right. There are only about 10 drivers you can say that about and to have two of them on my team makes me really happy.
Plus, Keselowski is used to being a veteran team leader. Every successful team needs one of those.
Round 4: Christopher Bell
This is an unusual pick for me. I normally would not have gone with a driver without any Cup experience. The reason I went with Bell is that he is a special talent.
Bell’s one of the few drivers in the XFINITY Series that can run with Kyle Busch on a regular basis. There always seems to be a learning curve when it comes to Cup though.
However, having Bell and Larson on the same team is a major factor in why I drafted him. Larson and Bell are good friends and come from the same background – they can push each other and lean on each other for information. They also speak the same language, so hopefully that learning curve won’t be as great with Bell and his true talents will shine when he comes to the Cup Series and drives my fourth car.
I believe Clayton Caldwell Incorporated has four extremely talented race car drivers and a nice blend of young, up-and-coming stars and ready-to-win veterans. Clayton Caldwell Incorporated won this draft. –Clayton Caldwell
Round 1: Kyle Busch
Busch is the face of NASCAR and currently the best driver in the business, which makes him an obvious first-round pick for Massie Enterprises. No one gets more out of a car. Want proof? Last season, Busch won eight races while the other three Joe Gibbs Racing cars won a combined one.
Having already established himself as a NASCAR legend and future Hall of Famer, Busch is the perfect candidate to build a team around. With 54 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins, Busch is already in the top 10 all-time. And he’s still only 33 years old. He’ll be good for 10-15 more years — perfect for getting a new team on the right track.
Round 2: Chase Elliott
The quickest way for a new team to gain a following is by signing Elliott. With that will come plenty of fans and sponsors looking to support the most popular driver.
Oh, and Elliott is a pretty good up-and-coming driver as well. He won three races last year and ranks as one of the best passers in the Cup Series. At only 23 years old, Elliott has a lot of years left and we’ve not yet scratched the surface of his potential.
Round 3: Ryan Blaney
Blaney falls under many of the same categories as Elliott. He’s only 25 years old, yet has three years of experience and two career wins to his credit, and Blaney’s also really popular with fans and sponsors. How many other active drivers have their own podcast?
If Blaney could ever get rid of his horrible luck, then he’d be winning races all the time. For much of last season and currently this season, Blaney is the driver who has led the most laps without a win. So Blaney is good at getting his car to the front before something happens to him. Well, the bad luck has to run out eventually, which is why Blaney would be a solid choice for a new team.
Plus, Blaney and Elliott are best friends, so they would work well together as teammates. Imagine the content.
Round 4: Brett Moffitt
Moffitt is the biggest dark horse of my draft, but he has huge potential. Isn’t that what the last pick is all about?
If sponsorship wasn’t an issue, then Moffitt would probably have a full-time ride in the Cup Series. If Michael Waltrip Racing hadn’t folded, then he definitely would. Moffitt filled in for Brian Vickers in the Cup Series 2015 and finished eighth at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a driver’s racetrack.
Last season, Moffitt overcame driving for the one-truck team of Hattori Racing Enterprises — a team that didn’t know if it would make all the races because of sponsorship woes — and he won six races and the championship. His only other career Truck win came when he drove in relief of Matt Tifft at Red Horse Racing in 2016.
So the bottom line is when you put Moffitt in a vehicle, no matter what the circumstances are, he is going to deliver. Even if he’s not as established, Moffitt’s a winner, which is precisely what a team needs. Also, he has the most epic mustache in the garage.
Massie Enterprises has the perfect combination of a legend with plenty of years left, mixed with three youngsters with the potential and work ethic to be NASCAR greats. Massie Enterprises definitely came out on top of this draft. –Michael Massie