Fantasy Chase 2016 entries now open

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Annnnnnnnnnd we’re back! Welcome to the third edition of the Fantasy Chase game.

Once again, the game is completely FREE. There are no catches to this. The reason I’m doing this is because I enjoy competing with you guys and it’s fun to have something else to talk about on Twitter.

All you need to do is submit your picks with your Twitter name (which will be published weekly in the standings) and your email address (which will be kept private and only used to contact those who make the Fantasy Chase).

The winner gets bragging rights and a hand-me-down media gift at the end of the season (a Dale Call and a backpack have been the two prizes so far).

The rules this year are basically the same as last year except for a BIG TWIST you can read about below:

RULES:

  • When you submit your picks, you have to pick every available race. Once you press “submit” on your entry, that’s it for the regular season.
  • You can pick any driver (from a list of 2015 winners or “Other”) as many times as you like. If you want to pick Kevin Harvick every week, go ahead. If you pick “Other” and a non-2015 winner goes to victory lane, you get credit for a win.
  • You make the Fantasy Chase if you have five or more wins in the regular season. The format for the Fantasy Chase itself will be announced in September.

****!!!! BIG TWIST ALERT !!!!****

The big twist for this year is you do not have to submit your picks prior to the Daytona 500. You can submit your picks ANY TIME during the regular season.

This means if you want to wait until Las Vegas or even the Coke 600 to get an idea of who is running well, you can. However, the longer you wait, the more risk you take that you won’t reach five wins.

Remember, you get one entry and once you submit it, that’s it for the season. So time it wisely.

At some point on the day of each race, I’ll delete that week’s race from the entry form to ensure no one enters after the race has begun. So if you’re waiting to enter until a certain week, make sure you do it the day before the race at the latest.

Shoot me a tweet @jeff_gluck if you have any questions. Good luck!

DJ Khaled, King of Snapchat, needs to be part of your life

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If you have Snapchat, you need to be following DJ Khaled. If you don’t have Snapchat, it’s a reason to start.

I was only vaguely familiar with Khaled until recently. I knew the song “All I Do Is Win” but that was pretty much it. But then people on Twitter started talking about Khaled’s snaps, reciting his catchphrases (“Bless Up,” “Another One,” etc.). There was a buzz about it, so I started following him in early December.

I’ve been fascinated ever since. There’s insight into the celebrity life, sure — he has a waterside mansion in Miami and lives like a baller, riding his elevator to breakfast and jet-skiing — but his daily doses of motivation are what really sets his social media presence apart from any other star I’ve seen.

The common theme for most of Khaled’s snaps are the keys to success (he uses a key emoji to represent this) and how you can achieve them while also avoiding the pitfalls along the way.

He often talks about what “they don’t want us to have.” They don’t want us to enjoy breakfast, he says. They don’t want us to work out. They don’t want us to win — so we’ll win more.

It’s fun and entertaining, like his other expressions as part of his daily routine when he’s home (he waters the lion statue in his backyard and says, “LI-ON!” and has his personal chef, Chef Dee, tell us what’s for breakfast and lunch).

But there’s a lot of truth in what he’s saying. Specifically about they.

Khaled wants us to surround ourselves with positive people who support us. They — the haters, the detractors, the critics, the negative influences — don’t want us to win. They don’t want us to succeed.

Sadly, that’s very true. There’s so much jealousy and envy toward others today, and it manifests itself into bitterness. I’m guilty of this at times, admittedly. And it’s a dangerous emotion.

In that same way, you have to be conscious that not everyone is happy for you. Not everyone wants to see you do well. The more success you have, the less some people will like you.

I think that’s what Khaled is saying in his snaps. And I love that reminder, because it’s a message to value the people around you who really have your best interests at heart. That’s how you win at life.

We all could use a little daily motivation about what really matters on the pathway to success, as Khaled calls it. He invites us to walk with him as he shares the secrets.

They don’t want you to accept his invitation. But you should.

DJ Khaled can be found on Snapchat at djkhaled305. For a sampling of his sayings, check out this site.

Five observations from a first-time trip to the Middle East

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We just got back from a 10-day honeymoon in the Middle East, where we visted the United Arab Emirates, Oman and (very briefly) Jordan.

This was my first time traveling to that region of the world, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew Dubai would be like Las Vegas on steroids (just without the gambling and drinking) and the basics of how to conduct ourselves (no inappropriate clothes in public, no PDAs outside of holding hands).

But there were plenty of things that caught me a bit off-guard. If you’ve never been to that area, here are five things you might be surprised to learn. (Apologies in advance for my ignorance if you’re a world traveler who already knows this stuff, but it was new to me.)

1) English was everywhere

It was easier to navigate through the UAE (at least Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Oman and Jordan that it was for us in Europe.

Every single person we met spoke English and all the signs were in both Arabic and English. This made it smoother for us to get around than even in places like Paris or Rome — not only concerning transportation, but ordering food. I was a bit surprised about this, but we were told the primary schools all teach English there and it’s something they grow up with.

I figured surely the cab drivers or waiters at some places might only speak Arabic, but that wasn’t the case. It was easy to communicate.

2) People were super friendly

You would expect people at hotels or working in the tourism industry to be friendly — that’s their job — and they certainly were. Dubai especially is a magnet for tourists. But the locals we encountered were also very warm toward us (and quite frankly, given all the headlines lately, I wasn’t sure how Americans would be received).

A couple quick examples of this:

— In Oman, we were seated near a table of four Omani men who were probably in their 60s or 70s. One of them approached us and asked if we were Americans.

I was thinking, “Uh, this might not be good.” My guard was up a little bit. But I said we were (it was obvious anyway, as it’s hard to blend in there and not be noticed).

The man smiled and said, “Welcome to Oman, we are happy to have you here.”

Huh. Can you imagine that happening in our country? Two foreigners sitting in a restaurant and an American approaches them and says, “Welcome to America” with a smile?

— On New Year’s Eve when we were trying to get out of the area following The Address hotel fire, the roads were closed and we followed some people who hopped over a barricade and started walking through a construction site (road work next to a highway). I realize that probably wasn’t a smart idea, but we didn’t have many options at the time and were trying to reach a Metro station.

As it turned out, it was still an active site despite it being 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve! Construction workers were in there working, which we didn’t realize until we got pretty deep into the road work.

Suddenly, a man in a hard hat flagged us down and motioned for us to stop. I thought, “Uh oh, we just got ourselves in trouble.”

But instead of yelling at us, he extended his hand to shake mine and calmly said, “Where are you trying to go?” I explained there was a big fire, the roads were closed en route to the Metro and we were trying to get out of the area. He gently patted me on the back and guided us toward a side exit from the site, which let us out exactly on the road we needed!

Again, can you imagine that happening if someone walked into a construction site in the U.S.? Things like that, along with people stopping to ask if we needed help when we looked lost, left us very impressed by the people we encountered during our visit. We were never made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome by anyone.

3) Everywhere we went in the UAE was clean

 

There seemed to be a big emphasis on keeping things clean there — and not just at the hotels and airports.

For example, the vast majority of public restrooms had people in them who were cleaning up after every person. They’d go in the stall after someone came out or clean the sink after someone used it. It wasn’t like the people in airport bathrooms who are trying to get tips for handing you a towel; they were janitor types who hustled to clean up after everyone. That was the case even when we went to a public park — there were people in the restrooms cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

Also, when we ate at the mall food court or a place like that, people would come get your trays and clean your table as soon as you stood up. On our trip there was always someone mopping a floor, cleaning windows, sweeping, etc.

4) Prayers, religion and Christmas

As you might know, Muslims are called to pray five times a day. And being in a Muslim country, these prayers were broadcasted in the malls and on the streets or any other public place (they’d pause the Nicki Minaj or Drake song for a few minutes to play the prayers).

I’m sure there’s an explanation for this and you’ll have to excuse my ignorance on the topic, but we were surprised that we never saw anyone stop and pray. I thought when the prayers rang out on the loudspeakers, we would see people drop to their knees and start praying. But in malls or restaurants or walking around, people just kept going about their business or eating or talking (even those who were wearing religious dress). There were prayer rooms in the malls and hotels which we’d see people go into at times, but it wasn’t like everything suddenly stopped.

Also, Christmas was everywhere there. Christmas trees, Christmas music, Christmas decorations. This was true for all three countries we visited. People would wish us “Merry Christmas” (again, it was sort of obvious we weren’t from around there). I didn’t expect that, and I didn’t expect they’d still be playing Christmas music (in hotels and malls) when we left on Jan. 4 — longer than they do in the U.S.!

One thing, though: None of the signs said “Christmas.” It said “Festive season” or “Festive period.” Like there wouldn’t be a “Christmas sale” in a store window but a “Festive season sale.”

5) Dress and customs

Some of the areas we visted were so upscale and modern, with so many Western businesses (they had seemingly every chain store and restaurant we have here), we agreed it could be just another fancy area in the United States if we didn’t know any better.

But then you’d see how people were dressed, and that was all out the window. The clothes were the one big difference and a constant reminder of where we were. Women were dressed mostly in abayas (the black cloaks), and about half of them wore veils so you could only see their eyes. The men mostly wore white robes (thobes) with the traditional headscarves.

Tourists could wear normal clothes, but women were supposed to cover up from their shoulders to their knees in public (not counting places like the beach or the hotel pool). This didn’t seem like the kind of thing the police would stop you for, but it was more just offensive to them. My guess is it would be like if someone were at a football game in the U.S. and didn’t take their hat off for the national anthem — that level of offensive. You wouldn’t get arrested for it, but people would think, “How rude.”

It was different for the two mosques we visted (Sarah and other tourist women had to borrow abayas to wear inside), but in public places it was OK as long as the clothes were somewhat conservative.

Anyway, I’m certainly not claiming these things are the same in places like Saudi Arabia. Every country is different and we spent our time in very Western-friendly areas. But at least for the places we visited, it was eye-opening in ways I didn’t expect.

Vacation photo-sharing etiquette: What’s acceptable?

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Our honeymoon starts this week, and I can’t wait to go. We’re headed to a part of the world neither of us have been before, which will make it feel like an adventure.

Naturally, we’re going to take a lot of pictures. But when it comes to sharing those pictures on social media, I feel hesitant for a few reasons.

Mainly, how much is too much?

These days, it feels normal to want to share something cool you’re seeing with other people. It’s almost harder to keep it to yourself.

But we all follow people who overshare their trips on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. And it can be annoying, because it sometimes feels more like they’re bragging than sharing. You’re like, “OK, I get it, geez. Good for you. Ugh.”

Plus, you start to wonder how much those people are actually taking the time to enjoy their trip versus just posting about it.

I don’t want to be “that guy” and I also don’t want people to think I’m ignoring my wife on our honeymoon by sharing on social media! Maybe I care too much about other people’s perceptions, but knowing my own views on vacation over-sharers, I’m quite conscious of it.

Still, I don’t know where the line is. Is it the sheer volume that makes vacation pictures cross from enjoyable to irritating, or is it the way they’re presented (the “look at me, look how great this is!” mentality)? I’m not sure.

I tend to err more on the conservative side of sharing trip photos, especially since many people following me are a lot of hard-working, blue-collar NASCAR fans who might not have the opportunity to rack up the frequent flyer miles and hotel points that result in free vacations (that’s how we travel).

The goal of sharing trip photos should be to bring your friends and followers along with you and give them a peek at what you’re seeing and experiencing so they can feel like they’re there, too. But if you go too far, you’re just rubbing it in and making people resent you.

So where’s the line? I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts.

Survivor analysis: The final seven and what Tasha should do

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The Dec. 9 episode of Survivor figures to be crucial in determining who makes it to the end — and perhaps who wins it all in Cambodia.

And after last week, we can see what’s coming: Tasha’s decision will make or break several games.

If you recall, Kimmi proposed an all-women alliance in the previous episode before Joe was booted. With four women remaining and three men, this could potentially make for the final four if Tasha chooses to go that direction.

Tasha told her current alliance (voting bloc?) — Spencer and Jeremy — about the possibility, which was surprisingly straightforward and perhaps a miscalculation when it comes to strategy. She took away her own element of surprise should she choose to go that direction.

And let’s be honest: She should go with the women if she wants to win. Tasha isn’t going to beat Jeremy at final tribal council (no one is if he makes it) and probably wouldn’t beat Spencer, either.

But she would beat Kimmi, Wentworth and Abi — as well as Keith, if he somehow wasn’t picked off with the other guys.

So no matter who wins immunity in Wednesday’s episode — whatever Tasha decides will change the game. The smartest play would be to cut ties with Jeremy and Spencer before it’s too late.

Which direction will she go? The fact she came straight to that pair to tell them about Kimmi’s plan indicates she has a high degree of loyalty to them, and maybe she won’t betray them. If that’s the case, she’d just need Keith to get on board with voting out someone like Wentworth or Abi and it’d be done. Then that gives a high likelihood of either Spencer, Jeremy or both in the finals (assuming it’s a final three).

Of course, no one knows Wentworth has another hidden immunity idol — which could shake things up — and the same goes for Jeremy. But if Jeremy survives this week, the time is approaching where he’ll have to play his idol anyway (you can only play it up until the final five tribal council because you can’t use an idol to make the final three).

Tasha could still have the numbers, though, if she does it the right way with the all-women alliance. I’m not saying that would be my preferred choice, by the way — I want to see Jeremy or Spencer win at this point — but it’s the smartest thing she could do.

——-

Thanks to Rob Has A Podcast for the inspiration on this post. I’ve discovered RHAP this season, and his Survivor Know It Alls (referenced by usual co-host Stephen Fishbach several times on the show) and exit interviews of players who were voted out are must-listens every week. I can’t believe it took me so long to start listening to it — highly recommend it if you love strategy talk and inside-the-game info.

Fantasy Chase: Jim McDevitt wins championship

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The ultra-competitive Fantasy Chase came down to a tiebreaker Sunday night, with Jim McDevitt (@macd6) edging out @AndrewWaldrop by a SINGLE LAP. @MaureenHolt finished third.

Here’s how it all shook out.

— Five of the 28 finalists picked Busch to win the title. They were @AndrewWaldrop, @maureenholt, @macd6, @jojoluvs18 and @chekrs_or_wrekrs.

— Three of those five picked Kevin Harvick to finish second (which he did): @AndrewWaldrop, @maureenholt and @macd6.

— Since none of those three had Martin Truex Jr. or Jeff Gordon still in the Chase, the championship came down to a tiebreaker: Laps led by the champion.

This is what they submitted:

@maureenholt: 110 laps

@AndrewWaldrop: 45 laps

@macd6: 38 laps

Actual laps led by the champion: 41 laps

Wow! @macd6 was three laps off and @AndrewWaldrop missed it by four laps, giving the title to @macd6 by one lap! But don’t feel too sorry for Andrew — he’s a Kyle Busch fan, so he was happy anyway.

So congratulations to Jim McDevitt, who beat out 760 other players this season to claim the 2015 Fantasy Chase title. I will be in contact with Jim to select a small prize of his choice from several items.

Thank you to everyone who played this year, and way to go, Jim!

Guest column: Lauren Downey’s hero Jeff Gordon led her to a career in NASCAR

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Editor’s note: Lauren Downey of NASCAR Productions grew up idolizing Jeff Gordon. In this special guest column, she reveals how her favorite driver was so much more than just that.

——-

This week has been hard. Really hard. I’m having a difficult time accepting that Jeff Gordon – my guy growing up – will be done after Sunday’s race.

I’m not an overly emotional person, though, so that made me think: Why is this affecting me so much? I wasn’t this down about any other favorite athlete retiring. Hell, I wasn’t even this down when my beloved Cubbies got swept by the Mets this postseason.

To be sure, part of it is knowing that one of the greatest eras of NASCAR is coming to an end. In my opinion, the late 90’s and 2000’s were some of NASCAR’s finest years. Now those guys like Jarrett, Labonte, Wallace and Martin are all done. Maybe it’s taking this first big retirement of my era to face the fact that the NASCAR I grew up with is soon to be no more.

Still, most of the emotion has to do with Jeff Gordon and what he meant to my life.

I know I’m one of millions who can say they’ll lose a little piece of themselves when the roar of the engines dies down and the corks come flying off the oversized champagne bottles on Sunday night.

But not as many will be saying goodbye to a guy who changed the course of their lives. I’m one of those people, too.

——

I was 5 when I saw my first stock car. I had no clue what I was looking at, but I knew it was bright orange, flashy and did not look like my Mom’s Honda CR-V. It was Ricky Rudd’s No. 10 Tide Ford Thunderbird in the parking lot of Food Town (RIP) in Toledo, Ohio.

That happened to be on the morning of the 1997 Daytona 500. It was a show car there to promote Tide, but as it turned out, it did far more than promote a product. It launched my fandom and mapped out my Sundays for the next 18 years.

I tuned in for my first Daytona 500 later that day because of that show car and was mesmerized. I quickly became attracted to the other flashy car in the race – the rainbow-colored one that happened to win.

Since I was 5 at the time, I had no clue who Jeff Gordon was, who Ray Evernham was or what impact the Rainbow Warriors already had on the sport. But the next weekend, I watched again, and then again and again.

Years went by and I never stopped watching. Jeff kept winning, and the next thing I knew, I was in all 24 gear practically every day of the week. I remember going to school wearing the brightest 24 shirt under my starch white Catholic school polo so everyone knew who I rooted for.

In math class, I would doodle racecars. Art class was centered whether I could draw the block “24” correctly and if I had the right shade of yellow to fill it in.

As I got older, the Gordon T-shirts, books, posters, bicycle helmets, Hot Wheels and math folders all filled my bedroom. I had found my niche.

——-

Jeff Gordon was the guy who sparked the interest in NASCAR for me. So many fans loved Earnhardt because he was the blue-collar guy you could relate to, and reliability seems to be the root of what makes someone become a fan.

Jeff was not only someone I idolized, and he’s more than just being a favorite athlete of mine. He is responsible for the career I have chosen.

I could have gone to work in TV anywhere, but I dreamed of being in NASCAR. In June 2014, I left a fantastic job in Indianapolis and moved to Charlotte for no other reason than to work for NASCAR Productions.

I’ve been at NASCAR Productions for the last year and a half now, and it’s been a true team. I’ve had more opportunities than I imagined. I’ve been able to work on documentaries like “I Am Dale,” “100,000 Cameras,” “Perfect Storm” and “The Kiss.” At times, I get to coordinate our shooters at the track (that’s my favorite part of the job). I love working with our outstanding crew to bring stories of the weekend into the living rooms of fans.

And my career path can all be traced back to Gordon. I had revolved my college education around my NASCAR talk radio show (which meant practically nothing to anyone but me). Think about that: I based my classes on the path that would get me working in NASCAR because some guy in a rainbow car caught my eye when I was so young enough that I barely had memory to sustain.

He was that transcendent in a sport that wasn’t any longer just the good ol’ boys from Hickory or North Wilkesboro. He looked like someone I would see in my hometown, he talked like my Dad did and he flat out whipped people on the racetrack (which didn’t hurt).

Jeff truly was the reason a 5-year-old girl from Northwest Ohio even cared about stock car racing. It might’ve been because he won that ’97 Daytona 500, it might’ve been that rainbow color paint scheme, but one thing is for sure – he’s responsible for much more than 97 wins and four (or maybe five) championships.

So as the day of his final career race arrives, it feels like a monumental portion of my life is ending.

As I think back about all he’s meant to me, this is what I want to say the most: Thank you, Jeff.

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Fantasy Chase Championship scenarios

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An unpredictable Chase has created sort of an insane situation for our picks.

As you know, each player was asked to select the champion, followed by who will finish second, third and fourth in the points.

But the Chase field turned out to be much harder to predict than anyone thought (no one had Gordon or Truex as champion, for example), which means it’s likely to come down to tiebreakers.

Remember, you have to have the right driver in the right slot. So if Truex wins and no one had him, for example, we start going down the line further.

Anyway, it’s complicated and it took me a long time to figure this out (hope it’s right), but here we go. Look for your name in bold to see your scenario:

SCENARIOS::

Champion: Kyle Busch

If Kyle Busch wins championship and Harvick finishes second in points: Tiebreaker between maureenholt, Macd_6 and AndrewWaldrop.

If Kyle Busch wins championship, Gordon finishes second in points and Harvick finishes third in points: chekrs_or_rekrs.

If Kyle Busch wins championship, Truex finishes second in points and Harvick finishes third in points: chekrs_or_rekrs.

If Kyle Busch wins championship, Truex finishes second in points and Gordon finishes third in points: jojoluvs18.

If Kyle Busch wins championship, Gordon finishes second in points and Truex finishes third in points: jojoluvs18.

Champion: Kevin Harvick

If Kevin Harvick wins championship and Gordon finishes second in points: 2xMrK.

If Kevin Harvick wins championship and Busch finishes second in points: Tiebreaker between MHouser88, Cracks1313 and marc_b.

If Kevin Harvick wins championship, Truex finishes second in points and Gordon finishes third in points: Briang3386. 

If Kevin Harvick wins championship, Truex finishes second in points and Busch finishes third in points: JohnsonErikM.

Champion: Martin Truex Jr.

If Martin Truex Jr. wins championship and Gordon finishes second in points: 2xMrK.

If Martin Truex Jr. wins championship, Harvick finishes second in points and Busch finishes third in points: Tiebreaker between benthurman, dickiep1018, bharden94, Jayua and GoodShula.

If Martin Truex Jr. wins championship, Harvick finishes second in points and Gordon finishes third in points: Tiebreaker between benthurman, dickiep1018, bharden94, Jayua, GoodShula, KJL1521, The_GreenFlag and kristibdm.

If Martin Truex Jr. wins championship, Busch finishes second in points and Gordon finishes third in points: Tiebreaker between dmcgrew and claytonroots.

If Martin Truex Jr. wins championship, Busch finishes second in points and Harvick finishes third in points: Tiebreaker between benthurman, dickiep1018, bharden94, Jayua, GoodShula, KJL1521, The_GreenFlag, kristibdm, dmgrew, claytonroots, jenbrott, Senna94 and jay_wilkins17.

Champion: Jeff Gordon

If Jeff Gordon wins and Kyle Busch is second: Tiebreaker between MHouser88, Cracks1313 and marc_b.

If Jeff Gordon wins, Kevin Harvick is second and Busch is third: Tiebreaker between benthurman, dickiep1018, bharden94, Jayua and GoodShula.

If Jeff Gordon wins, Kevin Harvick is second and Truex is third: Tiebreaker between benthurman, dickiep1018, bharden94, Jayua, GoodShula, KJL1521, The_GreenFlag and kristibdm.

If Jeff Gordon wins, Martin Truex Jr. is second and Busch is third: benthurman, dickiep1018, bharden94, Jayua, GoodShula, dmcgrew, jenbrott and Senna94.

If Jeff Gordon wins, Martin Truex Jr. is second and Harvick is third: chekrs_or_wrekrs.

CANNOT WIN:

Unfortunately, I can’t come up with any possible scenario for the following people to win: dgoodin24, kathywilliams, chrisonethree, hellrod4.

 

The worst 12 Questions question ever

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The sixth edition of the 12 Questions is now over, which means I’ve come up with 72 questions for these NASCAR interviews over the years.

Some of the questions have been better than others, and I’m never quite sure how they’ll go over at the start of the season. Some totally flop and don’t turn out has intended, but one question was a particularly embarrassing dud this year.

For those who read it weekly, you might already know which one. At the end of every 12 Questions this year, I asked: “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate this interview?”

So many people have asked me: “Why the hell did you ask that?”

Now that it’s over, I’ll tell you the background.

Before the season, I was Googling various types of questions to try and get inspiration (the questions are getting harder to come up with) and came across a list of “Questions for job interview candidates.” It suggested an employer ask the potential employee at the end of the job interview: “How did YOU think this interview went?” And it could reveal something about the candidate in the process.

I thought, “Oh man, wouldn’t that be funny if I asked the drivers that question?” Maybe they’d interpret it as a chance to evaluate their own performance, maybe the questions, maybe me. I thought it could be hilarious and they’d rip on me and we’d all laugh.

It wasn’t.

Most of them sort of awkwardly stared at me and politely said they’d give it a 9 or a 10. Some of them said such nice things about it, I ended up cutting that part out because it looked like I was being self-promoting by writing it.

Even Tony Stewart — the one guy I was sure would jab me or say something sarcastic — gave it a 10.

So it ended up seeming like it was a question designed for me to toot my own horn or boost my ego. That wasn’t the idea, but it sure looked bad.

As Landon Cassill noted when I explained this to him last week, “You should have asked, ‘How did you think you did in this interview?” instead of “How would you rate the interview?” Probably so.

By the way, the great @nascarcasm told me this would happen. I called him from the Daytona media center before the first 12 Questions to ask for suggestions on how to phrase it, because it seemed a little off.

He said my version would be lame and I should say something like, “On a scale of Paul Menard to Kenny Wallace, how interesting was this interview?” But I was worried that when I got to Menard or one of his friends, they’d say, “Oh WHAT THE HELL, man?? What’s that supposed to mean?”

Anyway, I probably should have done what @nascarcasm recommended. Regan Smith, a friend of Menard’s, told me Menard would have thought it was funny.

Oh well!

That’s more than you ever wanted to know about the 12 Questions, but since some of you read it weekly, I figured I’d share the backstory.

Fantasy Chase update: The final 28 for Homestead!

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We have our final 28 players all set! Congratulations to the following people who made it into the Fantasy Chase Championship Race!

Twitter ID Points
2xMrK 1083
dgoodin24 1074
GoodShula 1044
briang3386 1044
dmcgrew 1044
JohnsonErikM 1044
Kathy 1044
bharden94 125
Mhouser88 123
Cracks1313 122
KJL1521 122
jojoluvs18 112
jay_wilkins17 97
The_GreenFlag 95
chrisonethree 92
maureenholt 88
Macd_6 87
claytonroots 86
Jayua 86
AndrewWaldrop 85
hellrod4 85
jenbrott 85
marc_b 85
Senna94 85
benthurman 85
chekrs_or_rekrs 85
dickiep1018 85
kristidbm 85

Unfortunately, the following people just missed the cutoff (it was top 25 plus ties). Thanks for playing though. You made it farther than most.

PackerDuke 83
krsheart 81
cool1982 81
RMOOREJR99 79
Peidelaney 75
clarinetbiter13 71
Matthew_Ryan4 55
Gary88Marion 55
sewacter 48
mattyg00dtimes 48
JimHogle 48
jflittle 48
ahaywood7 44
bobdare18 44
BZieg66 44
jcnewton42 44
NSCRtruckFAN 44
b_Verba 44
bshell00 44
CJSully 44
jjrs18 44
ShowtimeChase 44
dabrowmatt 44
SubmarineMike88 44
ztew 42

A further update on the championship race picks will come later this week.