The Chase is on!
And in the traditional world of fantasy sports, fantasy NASCAR in particular, the Chase marks the homestretch as fantasy combatants fight for position each week in order to win their grueling 36 race weekend marathon of a fantasy season.
The fantasy sports world is seeing the birth of a new baby named "daily fantasy sports". Note the new keyword, "daily".
So how is this newborn different from its predecessor? First, take the word "league" and throw it out the window as you're driving 175 mph down the back stretch. Use the word "contest" instead.
Second, little brother Daily offers players a chance to participate in daily (or weekly in the case of football and NASCAR) contests that start and end all within the course of a sports day or weekend. Participants get paid at the end of the contest, not at the end of the given season.
With the Chase for the Nextel Cup getting started this weekend, fantasy NASCAR buffs can now head over to sites like 365FantasySports.com and participate in 2, 4, or 6 team contests with buy-ins ranging from $6 to $110 and payouts from $10 to $600.
"Our contests allow NASCAR fans the chance to really 'get into the race' even more than before since they now have a financial interest in the outcome of that weekend's race", says Neil Odze, co-founder of 365FantasySports.com
One of the rules that must be followed to ensure that a contest falls under the category of "fantasy" is that it must be comprised of at least two "real world events"
To comply with that rule, the weekly NASCAR contests at 365FantasySports.com all involve a combination of Qualifying results AND the actual race results.
365 will offer two distinctly different types of contests this weekend and throughout the Chase.
The first contest type, the All-Star Challenge, allows you to choose from one of six drivers for qualifying. The better a driver qualifies, the more points a contestant earns. The following seven draft rounds are each pre-loaded with two very comparable drivers. Contestants must select one or the other in each round. These seven drivers earn points for the contestant based on their performance in the actual race. The All Star Challenge is offered only as a 2 team, head to head (H2H on the site) contest.
The second NASCAR contest is available in 2, 4 and 6-team options. This contest is structured with a "points cap". Each driver is ranked 1 - 100 based on their 2009 on- track performance. Rosters must be compiled without going over the allotted point cap. One driver from each draft round must be selected.
Odze added, "We appeal to both fans of fantasy sports and to people who like having a little 'action' on any given sports day or weekend. We love traditional fantasy sports but we really believe that "Daily fantasy" is bound to be the next 'big thing' in the fantasy world."
If Odze is correct, NASCAR fans can look forward to some serious fantasy NASCAR action and real cash winnings from Loudon to Homestead and every other track in between this fall.