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Get Ready to Race
By Mark Garrow
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
Brad Keselowski has earned top salary honors, but Joey Logano could earn you a better return on investment if he performs well in 2013.
The Sprint Cup Series has a brand new car and a brand new outlook as the season is about to begin. It also means the 2013 ESPN Stock Car Challenge is revving up again to provide some high-octane entertainment and give you yet another reason to yell at the TV, radio or computer every time the green flag flutters in the wind. It, too, has something brand new: a "floating" salary cap.
The popular ESPN SCC game is a blast to play for every type of player, whether you're a casual fan or a hard-core fanatic who knows adjusting "wedge" during a pit stop doesn't mean someone is about to get underwear pulled over their head.
How does the game work? For each race you have $100 million to spend on five drivers. Each of the drivers we listed for the 2013 ESPN Stock Car Challenge has been assigned a value. On top, you have new champion Brad Keselowski valued at 22.4 to start Segment 1, followed closely by five-time champ Jimmie Johnson (22.3). Depending on past performance or whether they are only running part-time, other drivers have lesser values all the way down to a low of 14.0 million.
After each race, each driver's value will change, going up or down, depending on how well they did or didn't do in that event. A driver of Keselowski's caliber, for example, could see his value increase pretty quickly up to, say, 24 million. Then, if you decided to trade him, with the new "floating" salary cap you would get the difference added to the 100 million dollar cap you began with. In this hypothetical Keselowski case, that would mean an additional 1.6 million to work with. That means if you buy low and sell high long enough, you might be able to afford four to five front-line drivers toward the end of a segment. On the other hand, buy high and sell low and you'll lose money. Drivers are now like shares you would buy on the New York Stock Exchange.
You have to decide on the financial strategy that's best for you. Do you invest in blue chip stocks, the drivers who have put up some strong numbers in the past and will steadily inch their values upward? Or do you look for a mid-level or low-budget driver who might be ready for a breakout year and could see their value really skyrocket? ... MORE
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