NASCAR with Mark Garrow
Garrow began reporting on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1984 and has been doing a daily nationally-syndicated NASCAR news radio show currently called PRN's Garage Pass since 1987. Garrow is currently the co-anchor for the Performance Racing Network (PRN) national radio broadcasts of Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races. The Vermont native was voted the National Motorsports Press Association's Barney Hall award winner in 2002, the Radio Broadcaster of the Year in 2006 and has collected over 30 NMPA awards. While the bulk of his work has been on radio, Garrow has been on television for ESPN, TNT, TNN and Fox.
Send in your questions now and check back at 1 p.m. ET Monday to chat with Mark!
Mark Garrow (3:59 PM)
Good day everyone..just back from the garage where there are a lot of folks changing engines.
Mark (Portland, ME)
Who's a guy I can get in the later rounds of the draft to help fill my team out?
Mark Garrow (4:00 PM)
Mark, one guy I took as my late draft pick was Dave Blaney. He could be pretty helpful here at Daytona. Ran really well in the COT race at Talladega las t fall. David Reutimann might also be a look and usually goes later in the draft as does teammate and owner Michael Waltrip.
bryan (s. carolina)
so who's the No. 1 pick out there, if you're lucky enough to have it?
Mark Garrow (4:02 PM)
I'm concerned now about the Hendrick Motorsports engine issues..and Toyota has had some problems too. If you're twisting these motor around 9,000 rpms bad things are going to happen..Believing they'll get it figured out before Sunday. I think the winner of the race will come from these four..Johnson, Gordon, Earnhardt, Jr., and Stewart.
Who's telling the truth, McNam.......ooops, sorry, wrong chat! It's about time we get some Fantasy NASCAR! Do you play?
Mark Garrow (4:05 PM)
I'm absolutely going to play. In the draft last week I think I ended up with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, and Dave Blaney..oops forgot the fifth guy...We're going to have a lot of fun playing this year and as a heads up every Sunday morning..this week at 11:00 eastern, I'll have a live chat after I spend a couple of hours in the garage talking to the crew chiefs.
Should I be worried about taking a guy like Stewart, seeing as how he's on probation? Another outburst and I could lose him for a few weeks.
Mark Garrow (4:07 PM)
I don't think you need to be worried. This probation thing really isn't that big of a deal and Smoke is going to be smoking at the beginning of this year with all that Toyota horsepower under the hood. He's a notorious slow starter but I see him running well at the beginning of the season and should be the guy to get Toyota its first Cup win.
Who's the best driver out there? Who do I take with my first pick of the draft?
Mark Garrow (4:08 PM)
You can never go wrong with Jimmie Johnson and I rank just him just ahead Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr...with honorable mention to guys like Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards to name a couple.
What's the best draft strategy? Big drivers first and fill in with scrubs toward the back or try and get value throughout?
Mark Garrow (4:11 PM)
Vance, I think you go for the guy available in the draft who you believe will score the most points..hopefully you can land a Johnson or Gordon and that will make up for the riskier picks you'll have to make to fill out your team...I also like to look at guys who have a habit of finishing races in one piece and on the lead lap..
After junior's big start last weekend, is he a pretty safe bet to get early? How many wins for him?
Mark Garrow (4:12 PM)
I think Junior's going to have a big year with Rick Hendrick. I predicted from the get go three to five wins for Junior. His crew chief Tony Eury, Jr. has set a goal of four. He should get off to a pretty good start but engine woes for Hendrick have begun to make me worry in Daytona.
Hendrick wont have any problems
Mark Garrow (4:13 PM)
I think Hendrick will solve his problem..and he's got one to deal with right now at Daytona.
Who are some guys I should stay away from starting this weekend? guys who don't fare well in Daytona?
Mark Garrow (4:15 PM)
At this point it's hard to tell especially at a very unpredicatable restrictor plate race. We'll know more after tomorrow's qualifying races and after I talk to the crew chiefs Sunday morning..At this point, I'm a little concerned for the guys driving Dodges.
do you think nemecheck is a good late round pick-up this year, and does amirolla get martin's points when martin steps away
Mark Garrow (4:17 PM)
Joe Nemechek is a hard guy to figure..He'll be decent but does this team have the pit crew to keep him up front? And Joe's an inconsistent finisher sometimes because of the car..I'd like to see him run the first four or five races this year before I passed judgement on him or the team. Thevy've made some improvements but wll it be enough to make him a consistent top-15 finisher? Don't know the answer yet.
Mark Garrow (4:20 PM)
I hate to keep going back to these guys but Johnson and Gordon are like death and taxes when it comes to finishing races. Stewart pretty good in that regard too..Last year, Clint Bowyer seemed to tick off one solid performance after another..Until the Chase Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards fit that category too..Another guy I like when it comes to making laps and staying out of trouble Matt Kenseth.
Marty (Chesterfield, MI)
Are there certain teams I should stay away from with their drivers? Guys who might not fare well? DEI perhaps?
Mark Garrow (4:21 PM)
DEI's a mixed bag..I think you can do reasonably good with Mark Martin and Martin Truex, Jr...I'll say prove it to me to Paul Menard and Regan Smith.
is martin worth picking up, maybe as a late round steal? but he won't race full time.
Mark Garrow (4:23 PM)
I picked up Martin knowing from time to time he automatically go the bench..when he's racing he's finishing and will be somewhere in the top-10 to top-15 every time he takes the green.
Jeff Burton is as steady as it gets. Do you see Jeff making the chase and maybe winning a couple of races?
Mark Garrow (4:25 PM)
Personally, I'm a big fan of Jeff Burton, which sometimes colors my view of that team..They had a leg up on the majority of teams last year in the original COT races..but lost that edge. The have worked hard over the winter and I'm waiting to see at California and/or Vegas just how far they've come..Burton is , however one of the great finishers.
Jeff (Rochester NY)
Is the 5th spot (bench spot) better used on an inexperienced open wheeler who may have some success (e.g. JPM) or should it be used kind of week to week (e.g. Waltrip @ Daytona)
Mark Garrow (4:28 PM)
My opinion is, and I just started playing the game..don't waste that spot on someone who has limited experience..the open wheelers are going to really struggle at the beginning of this year..Like I said my bench pick was Dave Blaney..figuring on Toyota being stronger and Dave is underrated at times..Waltrip sort of figures in the same way.
Rich (LA, CA)
Jamie McMurray or Elliott Sadler??
Mark Garrow (4:29 PM)
At this point I'd lean towarsd Jamie McMurray..He won at Daytona last July and tested well at California and Vegas..Fords also more competitive to Chevy and Toyota than Dodge..Sadler however is a very good restrictor plate driver and does a lot with not a lot of cars.
Look out for Reed Sorenson this year. He could be a real sleeper. Do you see him getting any help from his team mates as the season progresses. Especially at the plate races does he get any help?
Mark Garrow (4:31 PM)
This is a make or break year for Sorenson. If the new Dodge engine closes the gap between them and Chevy-Toyota..he could be real sleeper. Kid can do the job but doesn't always bring his "A" game to the track. Did see some maturing last season..He get some thought from me if available late in the draft.
How bad does nascar suck... its not a sport
Mark Garrow (4:32 PM)
Petee, shame on you..but you're right it's not a sport..its an entertainment business..but it doesn't suck..sorry.
Brian (Detroit, Michigan)
Who should I take Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray or Kyle Busch?
Mark Garrow (4:34 PM)
I like the Toyota power so its between Hamlin and Busch ...I'd lean towards Busch..kids a major talent and with all the ponys under the hood watch out.
Justin (North Canton, OH)
What do you think about Denny Hamlin this year? A lot of "experts" are ranking him very low in there rankings. Do you think the end of last year was a fluke or is it a sign on things to come?
Mark Garrow (4:36 PM)
There were rumblings about Hamlin in the garage area late last year and more than a few people were not surprised he stumbled through the Chase..I'm going to take a wait and see attitude with Hamlin..watch him in the first four or five races from a distance before I think about trading for him or crossing him off my list..very talented guy..very talented team..no excuses for the way they ran at the end of last year..Denny just needs to cowboy up and they'll be just fine..
Mark Garrow (4:37 PM)
I think Kyle Busch is definitely one..a little bit of a toss up among the other three..but given how he ended last season I'd probably go with Bowyer. He just seems to get better and better every year. I live near him and have kept a close eye on his progress and the guy is the real deal.
Itamar Bensimhon (Long Island,NY)
Do you think the 76ers will beat the Nets in the Play-off race
Mark Garrow (4:38 PM)
absolutely...but I haven't got a clue why...lol
I have the #5 pick in a live draft. I am struggling with taking Edwards or Dale Jr. if they are both available,(I think they will be). Which one of these fantasy studs do your prefer?
Mark Garrow (4:39 PM)
Personally, I think both are going to have big years. I was impressed with Edwards in the Vegas and California tests..Dale Jr. is hungrier however and he's got the Hendrick Horsepower..I don't think you'll go wrong with either..but I'd lean towards Junior.
what about any of the open wheel guys think any of them will have a good year?
Mark Garrow (4:41 PM)
I think Juan Pablo Montoya will just continue to get better..Sam Hornish is going to struggle a lot and it appears so will Carpentier and Villeneuve..Franchitti won't set the world on fire early but I think he's eventually going to get it.
Mark Garrow (4:43 PM)
I like Busch to make a lot of noise this year...Hamlin a little too inconsistent for my tastes at the end of last year.
Mark Garrow (4:44 PM)
Still have a few minutes left..so keep the questions coming...
Does jamie McMurray keep his job with Roush having to downsize? If so, who gets left out?
Mark Garrow (4:48 PM)
That's going to be an interesting call. Jack Roush felt up until he won here at Daytona last year he was vastly over paying McMurray and his head was on the chopping block..Here's the wildcard in this deal. I talked to Greg Biffle and he says one of the big three himself, Kenseth or Edwards could be offered a big deal to become the number one driver at Yates Racing, which Jack Roush is trying to ressurect. I don't see that happening for Kenseth or Edwards but maybe Biffle which opens up a spot and prevents Roush from making a "cut"..If it comes to that it will probably be between McMurray and Ragan. If Ragan can win a race this year things could get really interesting for Mr. McMurray.
how much fun will it be to see Ashley Judd in the pitts, can't be a bad thing, huh
Mark Garrow (4:49 PM)
Heath...you are a mind reader!!!
Top Five for the Daytona 500 coming up.
Mark Garrow (4:50 PM)
I'd say Johnson, Gordon, Earnhardt, Jr., Stewart and Kevin Harvick.
Great insight Mark. Late in the second round of a live draft if Truex, Harvick, and Newman were all available who do you take?
Mark Garrow (4:52 PM)
I'd probably go with Harvick..forget about the way he qualified here..he'll race strong and remember a year ago should have won California too..Newman was strong at the end of last year but don't know how well that translates to COT full-time and I think Dodge at a little horsepower deficit...DEI's got some question marks too which makes me a little leery of Truex..Harvick also has this look in his eye..he's fired up and ready to go..oops stole Obama's line like McCain did..lol..
i would recomend watching Double Jeopardy before you see her again
Mark Garrow (4:53 PM)
Heath..you're a regular comedian...of course with my wife I sleep with one eye open but that's another story...
Mark Garrow (4:55 PM)
Reutimann might be down in that territory...I think this kid's a good little shoe..Dave Blaney..Reed Sorenson is worth some thought..if they can qualify for the races Brian Vickers has a lot of talent and Red Bull team is improved..those are the ones that jump off the top of my head..
In a league where you have to pick 2 Type Drivers, 4 B-level and 2 C-level (which are mostly rookies and drivers not locked in the top 35). who do you think is a safe choice for those bottom two?
Mark Garrow (4:56 PM)
Quick one, Mears or Biffle.
Mark Garrow (4:58 PM)
I think Mears has the potential to be a real sleeper this year..He scored a nice chunk of points in the second half of last season..a lot of upside ..one thing to remember about him too..he moved over to Kyle Busch's old team with crew chief Alan Gustafson..very talented guy..Dale Jr. went to his old team..This is the most talented bunch Mears has ever been surrounded by and its time for him to step up.
Mark Garrow (4:59 PM)
Got to run everbody..remember again I'll have a raceday chat at 11:00 eastern this Sunday and will be doing that for every race and at some point we'll also be adding a race day podcast where you will hear directly from the crew chiefs about their cars, their teammates and who they think we'll be tough for that particular race.