NASCAR DFS DraftKings Discussion: Fade The Road Rage

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Sergio Balatan

NASCAR DFS Writer.NFL Fan, Detroit Lions Fan and NFL DFS DraftKings player.
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Last week’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup race featured a dominating track performance by Furniture Racing’s Martin Truex Jr.  He is the first driver to “hit for the cycle”, meaning that he not only won the first two stages of the race, but went on to win the race (with some luck as Brad Keselowski had some mechanical issues at the end) to complete the sweep of the stages getting the maximum stage and bonus points for the race.   But of course, this masterful performance was completely overshadowed by another incident, a brawl on pit road immediately following the race.

This brawl hit the mainstream news and social media news, giving NASCAR some extra publicity as fights, conflicts, and brawls generate views, clicks, and ratings.    On the Monday following the race, I usually watch the business channel CNBC to catch up on the stock market, and they showed highlights from the brawl during their news updates!    NASCAR got some very rare coverage on this business channel where Wall Street types tune in to watch which companies or economic news are moving the stock market.    So, what exactly happened in Vegas?

Kyle Busch Attacks Joey Logano

On the final lap of the Kobalt 400,Kyle Busch and Joey Logano were fighting for 4th and 5th place.   Both cars were approaching Brad Keselowski’s fading 3rd place car.   Kyle Busch darted to the left quickly to avoid Keselowski’s slowing car, slightly bumping Logano out-of-the-way.  Logano didn’t like this manuever, and accelerated fast into the corner spinning Kyle Busch who was in front of him.   Logano finished fourth, while Kyle Busch spun out into pit road finishing 22nd.     To many of the NASCAR analysts such as Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett, neither driver was at fault.  This was a case of hard racing on the final lap where each driver was trying to get the best possible finish to get the most possible points.   However, Kyle Busch didn’t exactly see it this way.

After the race, Kyle Busch walked up to Joey Logano on pit road, and threw a punch, startling Logano who was expecting a heated conversation.   Busch was then jumped by Logano’s pit crew, wrestling him to the ground and inflicting a cut to Busch’s forehead.   Busch attacked Logano like a hockey forward going after a goalie, and the goalie’s defenseman jump into the fray pummeling the enemy attacker.

After the fight, a bloodied Kyle Busch said, “I got dumped.  He flat-out just drive into the corner and wrecked me.  That’s how Joey races, he’s gonna get it.”     It doesn’t seem like this incident is a “one and done”, especially in NASCAR where future races are battle arenas for the next retaliatory move.

NASCAR, NHL, and the MLB:  The Players/Drivers Always Settle the Score on the Field/Track

Feuds, fights, and rivalries intensify every sport and enhances a fan’s experience.    Certain sports have unwritten rules, that are religiously enforced by players and coaches.  If these unwritten rules are broken, then retaliation will surely take place at the next game.   In baseball for example, if you are a little too cocky running around the base path after hitting a game winning home run or if you flip your bat improperly at home plate after the home run, the other team may take exception to this, as the unwritten rule is to be humble, or don’t showboat, or be nice.  It is a little silly in this day and age, but the other team should expect that their best player will get a fast ball in the back or shoulder as retaliation in the next game.   This could escalate into a bench clearing brawl, delighting fans and exciting the sports news networks who will show replays of this for several news cycles.

In hockey, “Goons” are kept on the benches as security guards or bouncers.   These Goons, or protectors of hockey evil,  will be sent into the game to take out any player who may have either run into their goalie, or may have inexcusably roughed up their best player.   A goon’s presence keeps other teams from getting out of hand, or the opposite happens, goons from both teams collide to instigate multiple fights throughout a hockey game.  Again, this delights fans and excites sports news channels!

NASCAR is no different, compared to the MLB and NHL.  NASCAR has a long history of post race fights where drivers confront each other after the race to argue it out and possibly end the conflict right there.   However, feuds and conflicts can continue and spill out into the next race, or at least within the next few races.   For example, in 2015, a familiar name in Joey Logano, unintentionally spun out Matt Kenseth at Kansas, eliminating him from the playoff chase.   In the following week at Martinsville, Kenseth enacted some revenge, by crashing into Logano, who happened to be in first place at the time, ending Logano’s race.    Joey Logano was going for this fourth victory in a row in the playoffs, but the crash destroyed his momentum as he faded during the rest of the playoffs.    There are many more examples in NASCAR history where scores were settled on the track in back to back races.

What Happens in Vegas, Could Spill Over into the Next Race

So, coming back around to daily fantasy sports for NASCAR on DraftKings, I recommend fading both Joey Logano and Kyle Busch in your DFS Cash and GPP lineups for the next race at Phoenix.   Don’t use either of them, it would be too risky as Kyle Busch could retaliate in the next race.  In Kyle Busch’s interviews this week during practice, he was calm and nice, but as reporters kept antagonizing him to talk about the brawl, his mood darkened and he tightened up.   In the heat of the moment during the race, if given the chance, an emotional and notoriously hot-headed Kyle Busch could crash Joey Logano, potentially taking both of them out of the race.   This could destroy many Cash and GPP lineups, and the risk is too great to take.   It could be difficult to fade them, as Kyle Busch performs decently at Phoenix, and Logano has run extremely well in his #22 this week, capturing the Pole Position for this Sunday’s race.   Don’t be tempted, as both drivers are not cheap or good values.   The risk is not worth it…at least for this week and possibly the next…

 

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Sergio Balatan

NASCAR DFS Writer. NFL Fan, Detroit Lions Fan and NFL DFS DraftKings player.

Sergio Balatan

NASCAR DFS Writer. NFL Fan, Detroit Lions Fan and NFL DFS DraftKings player.

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