NASCAR Draft?? No, not two cars rear-ending each other to go fast... I mean draft like "With the #1 overall pick...".
What if NASCAR had a draft? Now, before I go any further I will say there is no way this would work, there would simply be too many complications. There is not enough reasonable talent for there to be 43 picks, and besides not every car would be open for a new driver. But if there ever was one here is how it I believe it would/should work. Also, I want to state who I believe would be the top-3 picks in the draft for the 2016 season.
So looking at what a draft is, picking the best competition with the worst performing teams getting to pick before higher ranked teams. So how would this work in NASCAR? Well this is how I imagine it. You would take all driver displaying interest in going Cup racing, including Xfinity, Camping World Truck, Arca, and K&N Pro Series racers, and make them available to teams. Drivers that were currently in the Series would be treated as free agents just like any other major sport. Any team that was looking for a driver would be part of the draft. This would include teams of any caliber, whether it be a small team like Xtreme Motorsports or power house Hendrick Motorsports.
The draft would happen sometime in late November or early December so that teams would have ample time to work with the driver upon starting the season. Also, teams would be allowed to make trades just like in the NFL. Someone like Brian France would take the place of the commissioner and announce picks unless a special guest was chosen. Just like other drafts lower ranked teams would pick first to help even our the competition (trust me I know this would be a flaw in itself).
Brian France (CEO & Chairman of NASCAR)
Once a team choses a driver, the driver would walk across the stage, but instead of a jersey would have a helmet or fire suit with their pick number. So for instance say Chase Elliot was picked #1 by Xtreme Racing (#44) he would walk across and take a picture with Brian France with his new Xtreme Racing uniform/helmet. Teams would be on the clock, and picks would keep coming as the night carried on. Basically everything is the same except we are dealing with racecar drivers instead of division 1 college athletes.
Now that I have covered how, lets move on to who would go top-3 in the 2016 draft. I will provide a list of my choices, then explain afterwards.
1) Chase Elliot 2) Erik Jones 3) Cole Custer (if he was of age)
1. Chase Elliot: Elliot would be #1 in my book because he has all the intangibles. He is great behind the wheel and carries himself well in the garage. He can work well with sponsors, fans, and the media. Also, the knowledge from two years in the Xfinity Series, and the advice from his legendary father Bill, have Chase as ready as he can be. The 2014 Xfinity Champion is a future champion if you ask me.
Chase Elliott with his 2014 NASCAR Xfinity (Nationwide at the time) Series Championship trophy.
2. Erik Jones: Jones has the makings of the next Joey Logano. Someone you love and hate because he is so good. In 2013 Jones debuted and has shown he is very talented since. In just 20 truck series starts he already has 4 checkard flags, and took home his first Xfinity win at Texas Motorspeedway earlier this season. Jones is the 2015 version of the next best thing since sliced bread.
Erik Jones in victory lane at Texas Motorspeedway.
3. Cole Custer: Custer is very young but has shown great potential. At just 17 years of age, the young kid from Ladera Ranch, California is taking the racing world by storm. In just 10 starts in the Camping World Truck Series, Custer has scored 6 top-10's and win at Loudon in 2014. He has enough talent that Dale Jr. even built a truck program for him to run, and we all know Dale Jr. has picked some pretty good drivers in the past (Martin Truex Jr. & Brad Keselowski). Custer will be a force to deal with for years to come.
Cole Custer celebrating in victory lane in Loudon in 2014
So, there you have it, how I think a NASCAR draft would work and who should go in the top-3. Again, I know this could never happen, there would be too many hurdles to jump, but its a hell of an idea. Thanks for reading and comment on who would be your top-3!!!