Fantasy Indycar Participants Reflect

Many of you out there see me tweet all the time about Fantasy Indycar. For some of you, you probably have no idea what Fantasy Indycar is and what it is all about.

To put it simply, Fantasy Indycar has turned into one of if not my favorite parts of the Indycar season.

Getting to compete (I'm super competitive) in a league designed around my favorite sport is epic in itself, but the connections I've made with the numerous people in the league is easily my favorite part. If you would like more details about the league, click here to find the homepage to learn all of the rules. The waiting list will be open on October 1st later this year. There will be at least three open spots for next year and I will choose the new participants from that list.

Okay enough of my shameless plug. I emailed all the participants for a voluntary questionnaire that they could fill out. I am always looking for feedback about Fantasy Indycar and why people like it so much! Given that the 100th Indianapolis 500 is on the horizon, I decided to put this all together. Below are the questions I asked and some of the responses I received! Remember, if you want to play next year and possibly beyond, just ask to be on the waiting list in October!

Click each name to view their Twitter profile.

1) How did you first get involved in Fantasy Indycar? 

Michael Friedman: I got involved in this league from friends on Twitter who have been in the league awhile. Looked like a fun and competitive group!

James "Swinger" Alban: Well you, The Stig (Mathew Gruenholz), and I came up with the idea back in 2012 if I'm not mistaken. Here we are in the fifth season and things could not be better!

David Leiting Jr.: I followed Matt on twitter and always saw tweets about it, so I figured I'd put my bid in!

Sandy Lamparello: I followed along on the blog and after the 2013 season I submitted my name to become a competitor for the following season. I didn't get in that season, but I was thrilled to be accepted for the 2015 season. Sarah: I joined the Twitter world in ~2013, and when I heard about Fantasy Indycar, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I got to know some of the participants throughout the month of May in 2014, and wanted in.

Mathew "Stig" Gruenholz: I was present for it's inception, speaking via Xbox live with Matt (you) and James (@TheKing0fSwing) whilst probably racing online. (F1 2011?) I was also probably drinking about fifty Yoo-hoos at the time.

2) What is your favorite part about Fantasy Indycar? 

Chris Blackburn: My favorite part is the strategy. Figuring out how to use these guys over a season and try my to match them with their best tracks then watching them perform as I expect at that track.

Alan Stewart: Trying to win, obviously. Trying to balance out picking the obvious choices with saving picks for when you think a driver will do well. Just like racing, there's some luck involved.

Sophie Hanson: I like that I can "bet" on some drivers and gives me something to believe in. Also, it makes watching the race more enjoyable because you are rooting for the 5 drivers you picked!

Sarah Hall: Fantasy Indycar forces me to pay attention to drivers I wouldn’t normally pay attention to. I have a tendency to focus on/obsess over my 2-3 favorite drivers for the majority of the race, to the point where I don’t notice some of the bigger picture aspects of the race. When I have to pick 5 drivers unbiasedly, I learn more about who excels at various tracks and in certain situations.

DJ Jordan: My favorite part of Fantasy Indycar is the smack talk that goes on. So much fun having the interaction between participants. And it always gives me something else to focus on during the race.

3) What is the most frustrating part of Fantasy Indycar? 

Kieran Brughelli: Picking out 5 guys without using too many heavy hitters. Saving your "stars" like Scott Dixon or Will Power through the season is so tough because they're excellent choices just about anywhere.

Sam Klein: Being careful with your fantasy picks.

Michael Friedman: Most frustrating part is having no control over how the drivers I pick do for a race!

Alan Stewart: Not winning! Or going with someone like Will Power and he gets shunted, thus wasting a pick.

Sophie Hanson: When the drivers you pick don't do well. OR when you run out of picks for a specific driver.

David Leiting Jr.: When my picks wreck each other... Or when my favorite driver is leading but he isn't my pick.

4) What advice would you have for future rookies of Fantasy Indycar?

Kieran Brughelli: Don't second guess yourself, make a plan at the start of the season and stick to it (unless there are extenuating circumstances such as driver injury)

Paige Hill: Download the Indycar app and before each race check to see previous races and who won and pick them.

Sean Kennedy: Don't think, just pick.

James "Swinger" Alban: Don't panic if you start slow at the beginning of the season. As long as you're consistent and are in the top twenty by the Indianapolis 500, you will be fine!

David Leitng Jr.: Have fun, don't pick with your heart, and make sure you interact with your competitors.

DJ Jordan: The best advice for future rookies is to have fun with it. Interact with everyone playing & don't be afraid to talk some smack.

5) How pumped are you for the 100th Indianapolis 500? 

Chris Blackburn: Never in my life have I been more excited for an event! The 500 for me is the best day of the year each year. I spend the majority of the month trackside and to be able to be a part of history, the greatest race that historically has ever been run and to celebrate this event live is unreal. Good chance I cry but so honored to be a part!

Sam Klein: Most peoples' years revolve around the holiday season. My year revolves around the Month of May. The most wonderful time of the year.


Sophie Hanson: SOOO PUMPED! I'm so excited that I get to go to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. I've been to many consecutive years of the race but I can tell you that this one will be awesome!! Plus, I'm bringing my boyfriend and family friend along and they get to experience their first Indy 500 AND Indycar race!

DJ Jordan: I am so pumped for the 500. Every day before going into work I am lucky enough to drive by IMS. The work they have done to the track is amazing. I am so looking forward to seeing my race family all month at the track. Its my Christmas.

Mathew "Stig" Gruenholz: To quote a friend about how psyched I am for the 100th Indy 500, "I'm so pumped I could punch an elephant!"

Our brick in the Pagoda Plaza at IMS. A little tribute we organized in the offseason.
Photo courtesy of James Alban.

Once again, if you want to get the chance to play, talk to me in October! Thanks again to those who sent in their answers and to the entire field for playing all season.

-Matthew Hickey