Have You Ever Seen Bumper Cars at 100 MPH?

Some of the most exciting racing in NASCAR comes at short tracks. The on track action is up close and personal. Harry Hogge said in Days of Thunder that “rubbin is racing” and at a short track there is a lot of rubbing. For the DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR player understanding how to approach a short track is key to developing a successful line. Due to the style of racing at high speeds and in a tight space a short track can spell disaster real quick.

What sets a short track apart?

USATSI_8684268_168381090_lowres

The obvious answer here is that it is shorter, but not all short tracks are created equal. Some of the short tracks on circuit are flat banked and the others are steep banked. If a track is under a 14 degree banking it is considered a flat track. The steep banked tracks can be banked up to 36 degrees. The style of track allows for drivers to be more or less aggressive based on the amount of banking.

The Tracks

NASCAR lists 5 tracks as short tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Circuit. These tracks are Bristol, Martinsville, Dover, Phoenix, and Richmond. Some NASCAR purists will say that the only two short tracks on the list are Bristol and Martinsville, both coming in at approximately half a mile. The other three tracks are listed at approximately .75 to 1.00 miles. No matter the length, all 5 of the NASCAR short tracks provide excitement as cars rub together and jockey for position.

Lead Laps and Fast Laps

Because of the short length of these tracks if a driver can get out front they have the ability to lead a lot of laps. They also have the ability to produce a lot of fast laps due to the clean air they can find being out front. Both of these stats are extremely important to DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR players as lead laps provide .25 points and fastest laps provide .5 points. A great example of how this can play out is at Dover in 2015. Martin Truex Jr. qualified in the 2nd spot and finished in the 6th spot. However, due to leading a lot of laps (131) and being able to run fast laps (57) he was able to put up a huge fantasy point total. Truex had 94.75 DraftKings points without even winning the race.

Who has the advantage?

Unlike superspeedways the likelihood for the “Big One” is low, however the likelihood for wrecks is not. There will be a lot of wrecks during the race due to how close cars are on the track. Usually aggressive drivers have the advantage and don’t mind a little “rubbin” to get their spot on the track. This can be seen from the driver with the most career wins (in the 3 main series) at Bristol, Kyle Busch. Busch has an aggressive style of driving which fits short tracks and has proved very successful for him in the past. By understanding the style of a driver it also enhances the overall advantage while setting your lines.

Continue Reading NASCAR Training Camp

NASCAR All Star – Lesson 01 – Contrarian Picks
NASCAR All Star – Lesson 02 – Laps Led, Fast Laps, Clean Air
NASCAR All Star – Lesson 03 – Short Tracks
NEXT LESSON NASCAR All Star – Lesson 04 – Value Play: Place Differential

Advance to NASCAR Hall of Fame Lessons
Return to NASCAR Rookie Lessons
Return to NASCAR Training Camp Home