Compiling a successful ESPN.com Stock Car Challenge lineup isn't as easy as it may seem at first. There's much more to winning your group than just being lucky enough to throw together a roster of five quality drivers. You must do your homework on drivers, tracks, and be aware of changing trends. From the very first race at Daytona, building a quality roster won't be an easy undertaking. Here are some key strategies and tips to help you become the class of your own field.
Choose the "anchors" for your lineup: There should be two top-notch drivers that anchor your squad, and you can usually rotate other drivers around them depending on the track in a given week. At the beginning of the year, you should pick two guys who will perform consistently all year long, and plan to keep them in your lineup as long as possible. The pair of drivers you begin the season with will stay locked in at the value you originally acquire them, allowing you more flexibility with the rest of your roster. You don't have to go for the highest-priced guys, either, although you should stick close to the top of the initial values. Matt Kenseth (Stock Car Challenge Value - 23.0) and Kevin Harvick (22.2) are a pair of really solid drivers who can provide your team with a solid foundation at the season's outset.
Take a chance or two: Usually with your third and fourth drivers, you are going to have to take some risks. So don't be afraid to go with your gut or bank on a rebound year from a driver. Greg Biffle (21.9) is a great choice to bounce back from a disappointing 2006, and Casey Mears (19.5) could finally shine with his move to Hendrick Motorsports. Both drivers could be nice fits in your lineup if they start well. If they perform slowly out of the gate, you can always replace them with better performers or even return them to your lineup at a later time.