Over the past few years, NASCAR has become more and more like other sports. They have added a playoff system, and have been trying to even out the competition(so they say).
To help them out, I have developed a NASCAR mock draft, somewhat describing what the world of NASCAR would look like if the sport held an annual draft, like other sports do.
Here’s how it works. Only teams from the top 35 in points were included, with the 35th place car owner getting the first pick. Progressively, we will work our way up the list until we get to a team who has the maximum roster limit of cars(5), at which time, we will move back to the top of the list and let 35th pick again. When we get to another team whose roster is maxed out, 34th will pick again and so on, until all the rosters are maxed out.
Also, all development deals are off. Any team can pick whoever they want, as long as they do not race in the Sprint Cup Series. And since only top 35 teams are picking, teams who have drivers outside the top 35 in points won’t have those drivers count towards their roster. So Team Red Bull can pick 4 times, even though they have 2 drivers, because one of those drivers is outside the top 35 in owner points.
So with the first pick in the 2009 NASCAR draft…
1.Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing(owner, car #34): Brad Keselowski; It was one of those deals for EGR that, if you don’t pick ‘em, you’ll get that sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach. And nobody wants that on race day.
2. Robby Gordon Motorsports(owner, car #7): Justin Lofton; Gordon is known for taking chances, but nobody expected the ARCA star Lofton to go this quickly, especially with guys like Allgaier still on the board. Wait, never mind.
3. Yates Racing(owner, car #98): Justin Allgaier; A no-brainer here. Allgaier was arguably the #1 pick, but somehow fell to third. This is the promising driver Yates needed.
4. Penske Racing(owner, car #12): Erik Darnell; Again, the obvious choice. Darnell may very well be the steal of the draft at #4, but we’ll see how he does in a Dodge.
5.Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing(from Roush-Fenway): Brendan Gaughan; An interesting choice considering the young talent still on the board. But Gaughan should bring some veteran insight to a predominately young team.
6.Richard Petty Motorsports(owner, car #44): Scott Lagasse Jr.; Lagasse is one of those guys who is better than the results say he is. He should be much higher in the points, but tough luck(some of it his own) has him down a little farther than he should be. Sounds like his new teammate.
7.Michael Waltrip Racing(owner, car #55): Trevor Bayne; Okay, okay, Bayne drives for Waltrip now. But Waltrip is so high on this kid, he couldn’t help but take him at #7.
8. Yates Racing(owner, car #96): Kelly Bires; Again, maybe a little higher than expected. But you can’t help but like Bires’ potential. Plus, he and Justin Allgaier are now on the same team, being mentored by one of NASCAR’s best, Bobby Labonte.
9. Robby Gordon Motorsports(from Richard Petty Motorsports): Steve Wallace; Not crazy about Wallace going at #9, but Gordon likes taking risks, and Wallace is about as risky as they come.
10. Penske Racing(owner, car #77): Sean Caisse; Caisse was great at the ARCA level, and has shown he can compete with some of the best in Nationwide. At #10, why not?
11. Richard Childress Racing(owner, car #29): Michael McDowell; A tenure in Nationwide after a dreadful rookie season in Sprint Cup appears to be doing McDowell a lot of good. Good enough for #11? Absolutely.
12. Joe Gibbs Racing(owner, car #20): Colin Braun; How the heck did Gibbs get his hands on Braun? Easy; Nobody else even thought of looking at the Truck Series. Except Roush, but without any picks, his hands were tied.
13. Yates Racing(from Richard Petty Motorsports): James Buescher; A run of truck drivers has begun, and one of NASCAR’s most promising young stars is swooped up by a team that already has Justin Allgaier and Kelly Bires. So this is why NASCAR implamented the draft.
14.Michael Waltrip Racing(from Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing): Brian Scott; The halfway point has come and gone, and Waltrip snatches up another driver he’s quite fond of.
15. Hendrick Motorsports(owner, car #88): Marc Davis; Hendrick already has the champ, the best active driver, the most popular driver, and the sentimental favorite. Why not the African American?
16. Joe Gibbs Racing(from Roush-Fenway): Ricky Carmichael; Gibbs had nothing to lose with this pick. Carmichael is a proven star, and he’s popular. I didn’t think it was possible for Gibbs to improve on his team in the draft, but Braun and Carmichael, he did. Well done.
17. Team Red Bull(from Michael Waltrip Racing): Brian Ickler; Ickler shares a truck ride with Kyle Busch. And with a little luck, he may have more wins than Busch by the end of the season. Now that’s impressive.
18. Team Red Bull(owner, car #83): Gabi DiCarlo; She’s raced ARCA, but hasn’t fared well. Same with trucks. Maybe they’re looking for some company for Scott Speed?
19. Stewart-Haas Racing(from Richard Childress Racing): Tayler Malsam; How did this guy fall to #19? He’s 6th in truck points, and has been consistent. At #19, he’s a steal.
20. Stewart-Haas Racing(from Richard Childress Racing): Parker Kligerman; Another one from the Cunningham Motorsports ARCA stable. Only this one leads in the standings, and has three wins. This team is better already, and they still have another pick to make.
21.Robby Gordon Motorsports(from Michael Waltrip Racing): Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; Finally, a fairly logical pick by Mr. Gordon. Stenhouse has loads of talent, and now joins a Toyota team consisting of arguably the best driver in ARCA, and, um, Steve Wallace.
22.Team Red Bull(from Earnhardt Ganassi): Steven Leicht; Leicht finally goes at #22, and it’s about time. This guy is one of the most risk-free picks in the draft. And he goes to Team Red Bull?
23.Stewart-Haas Racing(from Hendrick Motorsports): Peyton Sellers; If there’s a guy in NASCAR who knows how to scout out talent, it’s probably, well, okay it’s Mark Martin. But Tony isn’t too shabby himself. And watching Sellers almost win the Toyota All Star Showdown in Irwindale in his own car, and seeing him hold his own against some of NASCAR’s best in underfunded equipment, you have to believe Stewart would want him on his team.
24. Robby Gordon Motorsports(from Roush-Fenway): Brad Coleman; with his final pick, Gordon takes the talented, underrated Coleman as his fourth driver in the draft. Coleman may not be the best pick of the day, but he certainly isn’t a bad one.
25. Team Red Bull(from Penske Racing): Jeffery Earnhardt; NASCAR’s version of Mr. Irrelevant is none other than an Earnhardt. But don’t think that Jeffery will live up to the nickname. He may be a risky pick, but with the final pick of the draft, who really cares?
Of course, this is just my opinion. What’s your’s?
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