What’s New for NASCAR Fantasy Live in 2013

January 28, 2013, Dan Beaver, NASCAR.com

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New points system that resembles NASCAR's Sprint Cup series among many highlights

NASCAR Fantasy Live returns for its third consecutive season and is destined to continue to be the most popular fantasy racing game in existence. The game still has the same characteristics that have made it so enjoyable and challenging for the past two years, but as the NASCAR fantasy team continues to tweak the rules, it will become more closely aligned with the sport itself.

NASCAR Fantasy Live is the only interactive game with real-time, live statistics provided by NASCAR Timing and Scoring, which allows players to keep track of their team during the running of every race. This valuable piece of information is not only entertaining, but it also lets players determine their strategy for future races.

A redesigned front page for the fantasy portal will provide players with improved access to their teams and allow them to quickly find news and articles that help manage their roster.

NOW OPEN: Register now for Fantasy Live

A revised points system will place more emphasis on winning each race, as will weekly cash prizes. Two bonus categories have been added to the game to incentivize players to return every week, which makes this one of the most interactive contests around.

In 2013, the NASCAR Fantasy Live game will have two segments, just like the Cup series. The regular season will consist of 26 races that are followed by a 10-race Chase. And just like the Cup series, points will be reset during the Chase with bonuses provided for winning weekly during the regular season.

The points system will continue to reward both strength and consistency. Points will be awarded for laps led, fastest laps run, spots gained or lost from the official qualification position, and a driver’s finishing result. In 2013, however, the game will score at least one additional strength-based category and points can be earned for the number of quality passes (a pass for position while racing inside the top 15).

Players will continue to field a team of five Cup drivers and will manage them against a fixed salary cap of $100. Drivers’ values will increase or decrease based on recent performances and players can change their lineup every week so long as they do not exceed the salary cap. As with last season, however, placing and holding drivers for too long comes with a risk because certain teams are much stronger on certain types of tracks.

NASCAR is a team sport, so points will continue to be awarded for teams that execute superior pit stops. Instead of awarding points to every team for their positions gained or lost on pit road as with the 2012 rules, this category will provide bonus points in 2013. Players will be required to pick a pit crew each week, and if they are among the five best in terms of positions gained on pit road, a 10-point bonus will be awarded. Another 10-point bonus can be earned by picking the winning manufacturer. Selections must be made every week—they will not carry over from the previous race—but the hidden good news in that rule is that players are required to analyze their roster regularly.

Once these points have been added up when the checkered flag waves, they will be converted into race points with the winner of the league receiving 47 points, the second-place finisher receiving 42 points, and then each player in order receiving one less point, which will more closely replicate the NASCAR Sprint Cup points system.

There is no minimum number of players for each league, although a maximum of 43 has been set, and a player can be in as many as five separate leagues. In order to qualify for cash prizes, however, the league must have at least 16 players; having at least 16 players makes this a prize-eligible league, which is important for the overall reward as well. Once a league has been entered, the player cannot be removed from it. Leagues may be started at any time during the season, but still need to have at least 16 members to be prize-eligible.

The winner of each prize-eligible league will be entered in a random drawing for a weekly award of a $100 NASCAR SuperStore gift card and will receive three bonus points to be awarded at the beginning of The Chase. For example, a player who wins eight of the 26 regular-season races would start the Chase with 24 points, and the past couple of seasons have proved that this is extremely important to winning the overall championship.

Bragging rights are not the only thing at stake; the player who manages the team with the most race points earned during the Chase along with accrued bonuses during the regular season, and who is in a prize-eligible league, will win $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip for two to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Award Ceremony during the 2013 Champions Week in Las Vegas.

NASCAR’s teams are already building cars for the 2013 season. The best way for fantasy players to prepare is to study the news and analysis at NASCAR.com, so keep checking back for updates.

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