Fantasy Chase: Jim McDevitt wins championship


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

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.


Fantasy Chase Championship scenarios

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:


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.


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

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!

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
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.

Fantasy Chase update: Texas results, Phoenix picks and a problem

Jimmie Johnson’s victory at Texas clinched a Fantasy Chase Championship spot for no one — since it didn’t count — and now there’s much to be decided at Phoenix.

But we have a sliiiiight problem: Almost everyone (except for seven players) picked Kevin Harvick to win next week. So if Harvick wins and everyone gets an automatic bid, we’re going to have to figure out some sort of tiebreaker. I’m not opposed to letting everyone move through, but check your email in the event of a Harvick win because I may need you to submit a “laps led by the champion” tiebreaker or something.

As you may recall, you all submitted Homestead picks for first, second, third and fourth. We’ll review exactly how that will work next week.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Remember, barring Harvick victory at Phoenix, only 25 plus ties will advance to the finals (right now the cutoff line is everyone with 41 points or more).

Here are the Fantasy Chase standings with your picks for Phoenix:

Twitter ID Points Phoenix
dgoodin24 1042 Edwards
2xMrK 1039 Harvick
jordanthenascar 1000 Harvick
briang3386 1000 Harvick
dmcgrew 1000 Harvick
JohnsonErikM 1000 Harvick
Kathy 1000 Harvick
bharden94 81 Harvick
cool1982 81 Johnson
jojoluvs18 80 Edwards
Mhouser88 79 Harvick
Cracks1313 78 Harvick
KJL1521 78 Harvick
jay_wilkins17 53 Harvick
The_GreenFlag 51 Harvick
chrisonethree 48 Harvick
maureenholt 44 Harvick
Macd_6 43 Harvick
krsheart 42 Gordon
claytonroots 42 Harvick
Jayua 42 Harvick
ztew 42 Johnson
AndrewWaldrop 41 Harvick
hellrod4 41 Harvick
jenbrott 41 Harvick
marc_b 41 Harvick
Senna94 41 Harvick
benthurman 41 Harvick
chekrs_or_rekrs 41 Harvick
dickiep1018 41 Harvick
kristidbm 41 Harvick
clarinetbiter13 39 Edwards
PackerDuke 39 Harvick
Peidelaney 39 Keselowski
RMOOREJR99 35 Harvick
Matthew_Ryan4 11 Harvick
Gary88Marion 11 Harvick
sewacter 4 Harvick
mattyg00dtimes 4 Harvick
JimHogle 4 Harvick
jflittle 4 Harvick
ahaywood7 0 Harvick
bobdare18 0 Harvick
BZieg66 0 Harvick
jcnewton42 0 Harvick
NSCRtruckFAN 0 Harvick
b_Verba 0 Harvick
bshell00 0 Harvick
CJSully 0 Harvick
jjrs18 0 Harvick
ShowtimeChase 0 Harvick
dabrowmatt 0 Harvick
SubmarineMike88 0 Harvick


Fantasy Chase update: Martinsville results, Texas picks

Martinsville was not a good race for most of the remaining players in the Fantasy Chase.

Sure, there were the seven people who picked Jeff Gordon and advanced to the championship round (congrats!). And those who picked Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick left in pretty good shape.

Everyone else? Woof.

The battle for the top 25 spots is wide open right now, as everyone would currently make the final round based on a tie. 16th place only has 11 points. More than half the field scored no points based on the rule that prevents you from scoring points if you picked a driver who is no longer in the real Chase.

Anyway, here’s an update after Week 1 of Round 3:

Twitter ID Points Texas
2xMrK 1000 Edwards
briang3386 1000 Kenseth
dgoodin24 1000 Harvick
dmcgrew 1000 Kenseth
JohnsonErikM 1000 Kenseth
jordanthenascar 1000 Johnson
Kathy 1000 Kenseth
jojoluvs18 39 Busch (Kyle)
Macd_6 39 Logano
Peidelaney 39 Kenseth
bharden94 37 Keselowski
cool1982 37 Keselowski
Cracks1313 37 Busch (Kyle)
KJL1521 37 Busch (Kyle)
Mhouser88 37 Harvick
Gary88Marion 11 Kenseth
Matthew_Ryan4 11 Johnson
chrisonethree 9 Edwards
jay_wilkins17 9 Keselowski
The_GreenFlag 9 Harvick
sewacter 0 Logano
ahaywood7 0 Johnson
AndrewWaldrop 0 Busch (Kyle)
b_Verba 0 Kenseth
bobdare18 0 Johnson
bshell00 0 Kenseth
BZieg66 0 Johnson
CJSully 0 Kenseth
clarinetbiter13 0 Edwards
hellrod4 0 Busch (Kyle)
jenbrott 0 Busch (Kyle)
jjrs18 0 Kenseth
krsheart 0 Harvick
marc_b 0 Busch (Kyle)
mattyg00dtimes 0 Logano
maureenholt 0 Keselowski
Senna94 0 Busch (Kyle)
ShowtimeChase 0 Kenseth
benthurman 0 Busch (Kyle)
chekrs_or_rekrs 0 Busch (Kyle)
claytonroots 0 Harvick
dabrowmatt 0 Kenseth
dickiep1018 0 Busch (Kyle)
Jayua 0 Harvick
jcnewton42 0 Johnson
JimHogle 0 Logano
kristidbm 0 Busch (Kyle)
RMOOREJR99 0 Gordon
SubmarineMike88 0 Kenseth
ztew 0 Harvick
jflittle 0 Logano
NSCRtruckFAN 0 Johnson
PackerDuke 0 Edwards