After watching the 2010 NFL Draft, in prime time, I thought to myself: Hey, what if NASCAR did a draft? Well the idea sat in my head for a few days, and I decided to roll with it. So here it is, the 2011 NASCAR Draft: Because Drafting isn't limited to the track.
Picks are set by owners points of the previous year (2010). This will apply to all levels of NASCAR (NSCS, Nationwide, Trucks, etc.). Trades can be made, involving draft position/owners points. Drivers must be eligible for each series they run in. Sorry Ryan Truex, you've got another year to go. If an owner wishes to declare as a driver, he will become exempt from being chosen (That means if you're an independent owner/driver, you choose either yourself or one of the best available. I'm looking at you, Robby Gordon). All drivers race for one year. Crew chiefs are the sole choice of the drivers. The order will begin from highest finish in owner points to lowest in owner points. If you have owner points, you're eligible.
This is kinda like a mock draft in how I think it could play out. I would have to assume that there would be multiple strategies: pick young, go for a championship, protect your driver(s), or develop your developmental drives. (Taken as of May 1st, 2010)
1. Richard Childress (29)- Jimmie Johnson. Too good to pass up. With Harvick iffy about his return, Childress goes out and gets a winning driver with the best crew chief and good sponsorship. Somewhere, Hendrick weeps, and Gordon is smiling.
2. Jeff Gordon/Rick Hendrick (48)- Dale Earnhardt Jr. Simply put, his marketability nets him the two spot, and Chevy would have a heart attack should he be racing in a Toyota or Ford.
3. Joe Gibbs (18)- Kyle Busch. Keeping his driver, Gibbs grabs the young gun who is week in and week out one of the most talked about drivers in the sport.
4. John Henry/Roush (17)- Carl Edwards. Quite frankly, Roush has invested too much to risk letting him go. One of the most marketable drivers, Edwards is also young, and Roush feels he's gotta have at least one of the Roush-keteers.
5. Jack Roush (16)- TRADE. Ganassi and Earnhardt trade the 42 car and 1 car owner point for the 16 and the 6. PICK- Jeff Gordon. EGR, realizing that Gordon still sat there at 5, had to have him.
6. Rick Hendrick (24)- Kevin Harvick. People will say that the dynasty is done, but Hendrick just nabbed the current points leader. Still, its hard to imagine Hendrick motorsports w/out Johnson or Gordon.
7. Joe Gibbs (11)- Denny Hamlin. See pick three for my reason.
8. Roger Penske (2)- Kurt Busch. Golden Boy of Dodge, he stays, especially after locking up Shell/Pennzoil and Steve Addington.
9. Richard Childress (31)- Matt Kenseth. Hard to imagine him out of the Ford stable, but too good to fall any lower. He and Johnson form a powerful 1-2 punch.
10. Rick Hendrick (5)- Kasey Kahne. This has been one of the bigger news stories, and if he can put aside his differences with Bud, he will have locked up a good driver.
11. Jack Roush (99)- Greg Biffle. Keeping two Roush-keteers together, Biffle will feel like a new driver, now getting No. 2 equipment.
12. Richard Childress (33)- Joey Logano. Childress just locked up the championship for 2015 and beyond. In this equipment, with these teammates, he can't fail.
13. Hendrick (88)- Mark Martin. Now having a seat locked in, Martin can just race. Just like Favre can just play.
14. Michael Waltrip (56)- Martin Truex Jr. The safe pick, Truex knows everyone at the shop and has that NAPA Know How.
15. Stewart Hass (14)- Tony Stewart. Not liking what's available, he picks himself.
16. Stewart Hass (39)- TRADE No. 2. RPM trades picks 20 and 21 for 16. Stewart Hass looks to expand, while RPM goes smaller. PICK- Clint Bowyer. Still on the board at 16, RPM jumps up for him.
17. Joe Gibbs (20)- Jeff Burton. Gibbs just got his mentor for the other two drivers, while also fielding a competitive car.
18. Earnhardt/Ganassi (42)- This pick belongs to Roush. PICK- David Reutimann. Solid pick for Roush as Reutimann brings charisma and success.
19. Earnhardt/Ganassi (1)- This pick belongs to Roush. PICK- Juan Pablo Montoya. Very marketable, and once again, Ganassi helps "develop" another driver.
20. RPM (98)- This pick belongs to Stewart Hass. PICK- Ryan Newman. Good chemistry, coupled with his win at Phoenix, Newman stays in SHR hands.
21. RPM (43)- This pick belongs to Stewart Hass. PICK- Jamie McMurray. In the expansion car at SHR, Jamie lands a good ride with good equipment. With his restrictor plate racing skills and marketability, Stewart jumps all over him.
22. RPM (9)- Brad Keselowski. In a shocking move, Petty attempts to name his true successor.
23. Roush (6)- This pick belongs to Earnhardt Ganassi. PICK- Marcos Ambrose. Ganassi's love of the foreign driver guides his hand. Assures himself that he just won the road courses.
24. Red Bull (83)- Brian Vickers. Former chase driver stays in his place.
25 Red Bull (82)- AJ Allmendinger. They rewrite their error of letting him go originally, hostility a possibility.
26. Roger Penske (12)- Paul Menard. Not the worst driver, not the best. But he has sponsorship, and that nets him the pick.
27. Michael Waltrip (00)- David Ragan. Young driver, but nobody knows if this is the same driver that almost made the chase, or the driver that almost fell out of the top 35.
28. Michael Waltrip (47)- Casey Mears. In a surprise pick, Waltrip picks Mears, hoping to resurrect his career.
29. Roger Penske (77)- Scott Speed. No matter how much I hear Penske say that Hornish is in his plans, I just don't believe it. Similar background, more talent with Speed.
30. RPM (19)- Regan Smith. The former rookie of the year gets an upgrade in his ride, chance to show what he's made of. Sadler files a lawsuit.
31. TRG (71)- TRADE No. 3. Pick traded to FRM for the No. 35 and No. 36 pick. PICK- Elliott Sadler. Bob Jenkins needs a name, and he gets one.
32. Richard Childress/Furniture Row (78)- David Gilliland. He can compete, all he needs is some good equipment. This isn't it, but it could be a stepping stone.
33. Robby Gordon Motorsports (7)- Himself. Is anyone really surprised?
34. Bob Jenkins/FRM (34)- Travis Kvapil. He has run well, and in a two-car operation with Sadler, this tream might find a home in the top 35.
35. FRM (37)- This pick belongs to TRG. PICK- Reed Sorenson. Quite frankly, TRG is giving david his last chance.
36. FRM (38)- This pick belongs to TRG. PICK- Bobby Labonte. He saved this organization, and nets a ride right here. Plus, he's locked in with a Champions provisional.
37. Bill Jenkins (26)- David Stremme. They have enjoyed moderate success together, and could have been in the top 35 were he in the car sooner.
38. Tommy Baldwin (36)- Sam Hornish Jr. Baldwin sees something in him, plus, he's the "best available".
39. Bob Germain (13)- Max Papis. he's too much fun, and at road courses, he does give them a chance to win.
40. James Finch (09)- Mike Bliss. he loves this driver, and he has run well with both Phoenix and TBR.
41. NEMCO (87)- TRADE No. 4. Pick traded along with conditional rights of the 97 car to Prism Motorsports for the rights to the 55 and 66. PICK- Michael McDowell. Young driver who could pan out, Prism jumps early to get him.
42. Prism (55)- This pick belongs to NEMCO. PICK- Himself. With sponsorship, he could be competitive.
43. Prism (66)- This pick belongs to NEMCO. PICK- Bill Elliott. Has a chance to use the provisional, he agrees as long as NEMCO switches to Ford. They do.
UFA's: Dave Blaney, Kevin Conway, Boris Said, Aric Almirola, Johnny Sauter, Scott Riggs.
End of NSCS draft.
The others will take too long, sorry, maybe another time. I figure this is a good alternative to Silly Season. Who knows? With NASCAR struggling for sponsorship money, it could be a good way to market.