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Paulie Mississippi

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Well, well, well... look who has zoomed out in front of the pack in our Raspberries Racing Group: none other than the RickyBobBooyahs.

Yep, John — living in the NASCAR mecca of Florida — had a big weekend, leading all of us in points with 295. John's big score was Matt Kenseth in the 17 car: he finished 2nd in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. John avoided the temptation to use his other A List driver, Kyle Busch, even though Busch won at Bristol last year. Kenseth led the race for 45 laps, which figured into John's point total. John also had two Top 20s (Greg Biffle 13th. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15th). Booyah!

John finished just on top of Suzanne (December25 here). Suzanne's Go All the Way team had 267 points, following up her league-leading 327 last week. Suzanne's score was helped by her picks of the 13th, 14th, and 15th drivers (Biffle, Tony Stewart, and Earnhardt Jr.) for her starting lineup. So far, she's had two great weeks and is clearly in a position to win the Spring Segment of our league; note the weekly averages below.

Lew Bundles, resting in our hockey playoffs on the strength of his 2nd-seed bye, finally inked his NASCAR team and had the third-highest point total for the week (238). The Bundle-Maniac had two top-10 finishers on his team: Jimmie Johnson (9th) and Paul Menard (10th). (Wow! How did you nail that one?) He also had Brendan Gaughan 22nd and Regan Smith 24th. The thing that kept Lew in third was probably the "Laps Led" stat -- despite his strong finishers, none of them led the race at any point. Still, an impressive debew, er, debut for Lew.

Other point totals for the week: Blackhawk Pat's Drivin' Arounds at 236; Marlene's Desperate Fools at 229; my Long Hot Days at 220; Paulie's Great Expectations at 215; and Muzza's Fast Kiwis at 157. Hmm... our two most astute racing fans, Paulie and Muzza, had the lowest point totals for the week. Are you guys just toying with us? (Muzza, maybe you should give Sweet Kiwi a pick next week?)

Our good friend Blackhawk Pat had an interesting week again — he played Busch (32nd) over his A-List bench guy, Jimmie Johnson, who finished 9th, or he'd have been closer to the top. Pat did snag the third-place driver, Martin Truex Jr., and the 13th-place driver, Biffle, for his B List. But he had a Top 20 driver on the bench for his C List (Aric Almirola, 19th, sat in favor of Bobby Labonte, 28th). Hang in there, Pat! You're due for a HUGE week.

Now, with the new stats added in, the standings look like this (keep in mind that with the Lucky Dog feature, we can each drop our lowest point total for the segment, which will affect how the final segment standings play out):

1) RickyBobBooyahs 873 (weekly average: 291)

2) Marlene's Desperate Fools 813 (weekly average: 271)

3) LC's Long Hot Days 769 (weekly average: 256)

4) Muzza's Fast Kiwis 740 (weekly average: 247)

5) Paulie's Great Expectations 733 (weekly average: 244)

6) Pat's Drivin' Arounds 730 (weekly average: 243)

7) Suzanne's Go All the Ways 594* (weekly average: 297)

8) Lew's Bundle Against Current 238** (weekly average: 238)

* Didn't have picks in 1st week

** Didn't have picks in 1st and 2nd weeks

Interestingly, ALL teams are averaging exactly one Top 10 driver per week, and they weren't all A List drivers; some have come from the B Lists.

NASCAR's next big race is next Sunday in Fontana, CA — The Auto Club 400.

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This sport, like other fantasy sports, rely on a good measure of luck... maybe more, as often times a driver has a misfortune not at all of his making... a tire goes down... a wreck happens in front of you and you get caught up in it... an engine blows... Much has to be taken into consideration when you choose your drivers for the week...

Another aspect is the limitations Yahoo has on use of drivers... only 9X in a season can you use a driver, so... not only do you want to pick the good ones, but you need to consider if you're running out of times and his "good tracks" might still be ahead of him... I benched Tony Stewart simply because he is traditionally better as the season goes on; naturally he fared better than the guy I put in his stead this week... still, long range strategy is important too... Like the Daytona 500, our fantasy season is a long race... it won't be won or lost in one lap... laugh

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Ah, well said, Paulie. And thanks for the tip on Tony!

We fully expect that you're hanging back a bit, maybe "drafting" right now (did I use that term right?), before making your move on the front-runners. No doubt Muzza is doing the same. That said, I'm starting to really dig Suzanne and her fast start. Even with an early pit stop, she's clearly a contender. And our other Danica Patrick, Sweet Marlene, is flying high, too. Don't hang back too long.... The girls alone will have you tied up, blindfolded, hogtied, and stuffed in the trunk!

crylaugh

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How bad is this... I haven't even seen the race from last weekend let alone the results. Better do some catching up and pick my drivers for the next race.

Is'nt the "record" mode a wonderful thing. At least I can see what happened and it may help me for this week.

Muzz

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Suzanne, you did pretty well based on the team you already had in place. And Muzza, our New Zealand pal, you'll be right in the thick of things. As Paulie pointed out, this is a LONG season, and our fantasy season is split into three segments. That said, one race at a time, right?

I'm looking to try out Danica Patrick, I'll reveal here, but I don't see her name....

Paulie, Muzza, or anyone: How far back do "teammates" go in NASCAR? I was reading this story on tensions that arose between Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. (probably the two guys I root for the most) when Gordon got bumped by Jr. and sent into a wall:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/2012-03-21/tension-growing-between-nascar-teammates

The concept of having teammates on a race track while you're driving 200 miles an hour seems so... impossible. Of course, I do remember how Dale Sr. was looking out for his teammates right up until the end — the race where he lost his life. Anyway, good quote in the story I noted above, in a bit about teammates Gordon and Jimmie Johnson:

When they ran into each other at Talladega, Ala., Gordon offered a warning: “He’s on my last nerve.â€

Racing against a teammate is never easy, especially when both are the alpha dog within their own organization. Gordon has four championships; Johnson has five. Neither will back down to the other.

“You don’t have teammates and friends out there and (you) race hard,†Gordon said. “It’s definitely affected our friendship, there’s no doubt about it.â€

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I think a lot of the ":friends and team mates" falling out is media hype because it polarises people and creates atmosphere. Sure the drivers "use" the media to perpetuate the "feud", yet when they are looking for a Drafting partner, they will happily join up with their worst enemy... until the last lap of course... then it's every driver for themselves!!!

It can be said though, that there have been long term tensions especially between Families involved in racing; the Unser and Andretti families being in the thick of it at one stage. Dale Jr, Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon are able to create all sorts of stuff, Gordon having a love hate relationship with fans and drivers alike, Dale Jr always a fan favourite because of the exploits of his father and Jimmy Johnson just being there and messing with the other team mates heads by winning and not there to support them when they needed him. Then just throw in Carl Busch just for good measure.

Oh... isn't professional sport fun!! whistle

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Chaplin, my ass...Charlie Chaplin maybe...This guy is a cheater...He gets to watch the race a day before us...He pretends he doesent know anything,(which is usually true) and yet he has manipulated the whole fantasy thing...Like when he chooses the draft order for our fantasy baseball...I never get a good draft pick...I am always at the bottom of the...Excuse me a second..."What's that"...I picked SECOND in this year's draft?...O.K...Never mind...Muzza, you are a true honest man(Either that or my personal friend, Kiwi, took care of me...

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As always, this weeks race was a good/bad experience for me and my team... Having "benched" Tony Stewart to save him for later in the season, when he's usually better... and hearing him win the rain-shortened contest on Sunday... bitter-sweet, for sure... One thing is true, and that is when you have a rain shortened event, conventional wisdom out the window. Guys often who don't win otherwise will win a "messed up" ending race... sometimes a guy who wins on a regular basis will find a way to find victory lane, come rain or shine... as was the case yesterday...

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Suzanne, I have the same outlook on Tony.... He seemed kind of petulant in the past but is growing up. I just looked up his career stats --- he's got 46 career wins and is 9th on the all-time list. (Jeff Gordon is on top, followed by Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt.)

Anyway... good call on starting him. I haven't used Stewart left, but the most we can use a driver is nine times, so maybe I was subconsciously rationing my Stewart starts... or hoping Jeff Gordon would win. :-)

Now, having finally carved out a few minutes to update our league, I'll get to it right now....

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Well, well, well.... look who's still #1 in Total Points: the RickyBobbyBooyahs, with 1,155. His 282 points last week kept him atop the league, although #2 Marlene gained ground with 291 points (1,104 overall). Both Marlene and John outscored everyone in the league... except Suzanne, whose Go All the Way team had a huge week with 313 points. It was Suzanne's second win in three weeks of playing (she took a vacation in Week 1).

Suzanne, as she noted above, rode Tony Stewart to another win with 42 laps led and a victory lane appearance. Her "B" drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle, helped too, both finishing in the Top 10 (3rd and 6th). She continues to lead our league with the highest average per week. She has been riding the Stewart/Jr./Biffle train so far, so she has only six starts left for each driver.

The week's biggest loser? Me. My Long Hot Days team had its second straight 220-point week, dropping from 3rd all the way to 6th in Total Points. Sadly, I had Tony Stewart on the bench in favor of Jeff Gordon, who finished 26th. I did get Jr. and Biffle right, but I also discovered that it would help if I PICKED DRIVERS WHO ARE ACTUALLY IN THE [bLEEP] RACE! Neither of my "C" drivers ran last week. Note to self: Pay attention! BHPat passed me by, even though his hunch (that Brad Keselowski would win back-to-back races) didn't pan out. He had Kyle Busch (2nd) on the bench behind Keselowski (18th). But Biffle and Marty Truex Jr. (8th) helped.

I'll split out our standings to show Total Points ranks as well as Weekly Average ranks. They won't be vastly different, but they even the playing field for Suzanne and Lew, who haven't picked every week. (Sadly, it also pushed me to the bottom. But... my team has not yet begun to race!)

TOTAL POINTS:

1) RickeyBobBooyahs: 1,155 (last week: 282)

2) Marlene's Desperate Fools: 1,104 (last week: 291)

3) Paulie's Great Expectations: 1,009 (last week: 276)

4) Muzza's Fast Kiwi: 1,008 (last week: 268)

5) Pat's Drivin' Arounds: 990 (last week 260)

6) LC's Long Hot Days: 989 (last week: 220)

7) Suzanne's Go All the Ways: 907* (last week: 313)

8) Lew's BundlesAgainstCurrent: 510** (last week: 272)

* Didn't have picks in 1st week

** Didn't have picks in 1st and 2nd weeks

WEEKLY AVERAGE

1) Suzanne's Go All the Ways: 302.33

2) RickeyBobBooyahs: 288.75

3) Marlene's Desperate Fools: 276.00

4) Lew's BundlesAgainstCurrent 255.00

5) Paulie's Great Expectations: 252.25

6) Muzza's Fast Kiwi 252.00

7) Pat's Drivin' Arounds 247.50

8) LC's Long Hot Days 247.25

Now... any tips from our NASCAR experts on the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Va., would be greatly appreciated. All I can tell you is this: Goody's aspirin absolutely rocks. If you haven't used it, try it. I'm telling you, when I get a migraine-sized headache, I down one packet of Goody's, and the headache is gone within minutes. Goody's has caffeine in it, and I'm told that helps. Whatever it is, I dig it. I used it in college many years ago, forgot about it for years (you don't necessarily see it in every drugstore), and then rediscovered it a short while ago.

Interesting story, huh? (My disclaimer: I don't have any stake in Goody's; I just find it to be amazingly effective. In fact, I might take a packet now, just for fun. :-) Recreational aspirin abuse? BTW, it comes as a powder in small white packages. I mention Goody's because I'm surprised at how few people know about it, in my experience.

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Pat,

We have three drug stores in town here: CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreen's. The CVS here doesn't seem to stock it regularly, but I was in that store when Goodys popped into my head one day after many years of not thinking about it, so I asked, they ordered it for me, and it was in the store the next day. Rite Aid and Walgreen's, I later disovered, seem to keep Goody's in stock, though not a huge supply. (Like, with Bayer aspirin, you can count on lots of stock -- different sizes, different amounts, capsules vs. pills, etc., etc. But with Goody's, there are usually just a few boxes of it. Look for it — it comes in a blue box (a similar product is BC's, I think — also in a blue box.)

Not that I'm out buying a box of Goody's every day. But... I do keep a box in my home office and a box in my car, just in case. It's a powder, so you just sort of dump it into the back of your throat and then swig down a glass of water. And for me — presto! Headache relieved. It's worth a try....

(Hmmm... I bet the marketing whizzes at Goody's wouldn't have expected this kind of back for their buck after they decided to sponsor NASCAR races!)

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Anyone watching NASCSAR? Forty laps left, my A driver is in 1st (Jimmie Johnson), with my favorite driver (Jeff Gordon) right behind him. Of course, I cut Gordon from my team htis week after starting him most of the year so far. Also, one of my B drivers is in 5th place (Bowyer). Nice! The Long Hot Days could have a big week!

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Well, congrats to our two first ladies of racing: Marlene and Suzanne led all of us in points this week. Whew! You girls are really, er, having your way with the guys in the league....

Queen Marlene had a huge day, nailing two Top 10 drivers and two Top 15s. Her A driver was Carl Edwards, who finished 11th (good for 70 points). Her B drivers were Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle, who finished 3rd (96 points) and 13th (66 points). Best of all, she got a game-changing week out of her C driver. She rolled the dice on Aric Almirola in the 43 car and got an 8th-place finish (and three laps led) out of him for 86 points.

For the week, Marlene had 323 points, pushing her into 1st place in our league in Total Points, just ahead of Booyah John. (John was seen after the race looking frantically for the dart board that had him in first place for two weeks.)

Sweet Suzanne had just one point less that Marlene, and she did it even though her A driver disappointed. Kevin Harvick — who won the Goody's Fast Relief in Martinsville, VA, last year — dropped to 19th. He did, however, lead the race for 21 laps, netting Suzanne 69 points. The key to Suzanne's big week was that she picked Ryan Newman and Earnhardt Jr. as her B drivers, and Newman won the race while Jr. coming in 3rd. (Suzanne was the only owner to pick Newman.) She also got help from her C driver, Brian Vickers, who won her 56 points by finishing 18th. Suzanne's weekly point total was 322.

Paulie finished a point behind Suzanne at 321. Lew Bundles was the only other owner to surpass 300 for the week (303). Overall, the girls are schooling us...

It was a great race, but if you were rooting for Jeff Gordon and/or Jimmie Johnson, you got a major disappointment in the final two laps. It was kind of shocking, in fact. Gordon and Johnson (who are teammates) appeared to be headed for 1st- and 2nd-place finishes when a driver named David Reutimann — who was way back in the pack — had his engine die. The caution flag went up and wiped out the sizable lead Gordon and Johnson had on the rest of the field. When "play" resumed, a pack of cars turned into a minor wreck and another caution flag. Gordon and Johnson were light on fuel, and Gordon actually ran out... he ran out of gas! Rats. When the race resumed, Ryan Newman came out of nowhere to win.

Suzanne, how did you know that was going to happen?

confused

Standings to follow.

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CURRENT STANDINGS, Raspberries Racing Group

TOTAL POINTS:

1) Marlene's Desperate Fools: 1,427 (this week: 323)

2) RickeyBobBooyahs: 1,355 (this week: 200)

3) Paulie's Great Expectations: 1,330 (this week: 321)

4) Muzza's Fast Kiwi: 1,305 (this week: 297)

5) LC's Long Hot Days: 1,272 (this week: 283)

6) Pat's Drivin' Arounds: 1,270 (this week 280)

7) Suzanne's Go All the Ways: 1,229* (this week: 322)

8) Lew's BundlesAgainstCurrent: 813** (this week: 303)

* Didn't have picks in 1st week

** Didn't have picks in 1st and 2nd weeks

WEEKLY AVERAGE

1) Suzanne's Go All the Ways: 307.25

2) Marlene's Desperate Fools: 285.40

T-3) RickeyBobBooyahs: 271.00

T-3) Lew's BundlesAgainstCurrent 271.00

5) Paulie's Great Expectations: 266.00

6) Muzza's Fast Kiwi 261.00

7) Pat's Drivin' Arounds 254.00

8) LC's Long Hot Days 254.40

Actually, everyone raised his/her average this week, so the whole league showed some improvements. But no doubt: when you look at the averages, the girls are on top!

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