Taking the NASCAR Challenge

NASCAR is back and WTAP starts its engines on a new season of the NASCAR challenge.

The Daytona 500 kicks off a new season of NASCAR

But more importantly, it begins a new season of the WTAP NASCAR challenge game here on wtap.com,

If you haven't played our game,  here's how it works.  You pick 10 drivers who you think have a good chance to win that week's NASCAR Sprint Cup series race,  Then you stack them in order of how you think they will finish one through ten.   Points are awarded to the drivers you picked based on their finish in the race.   If one you guys finishes dead  last you get 2 points.   If one of your guys finishes first, you got 150 points.   And if one of your guys finishes exactly how you predicted, you get bonus points.

Everybody has a bad week (or 2 or 3) so the contest takes your 15 best scoring weeks and applies them to your total.  There are weekly prizes awarded both nationally and locally.  And at the end of the season the top overall winner receives  a  trip for 2 to the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

You can sign up to play on the games section of wtap.com.

I have two goals:

1.  Beat fellow WTAP Sports staffer Anthony Lima (what does a kid from Cleveland who thinks Ricky Bobby is real, know about NASCAR anyway?)

2.  Finish in the top 5 percent of the of the WTAP contest group.

I accomplished both those goals last year, and now I want to win it all.

Each week I do painstaking research and analysis.      Looking at practice times,  tracking tendencies and agonizing over whether to put Clint Bowyer ninth, or take a flier on A.J. Allmendinger.

Then come race day,  a blown tire, or a loose lug nut can ruin your entire fantasy week.   But in the post race interview, I say stoically  "it was just one of them racing deals"....and I remember to thank my sponsors.

I hope to compete against you this season, and I'll see you in victory lane.

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