Chat 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.
Along with being a Jayski.com correspondent, Mark Garrow will also serve this year as one of ESPN's Fantasy Racing experts and write for ESPN.com. In addition, he'll be producing seven podcasts each week throughout the season.
Send in your questions now and check back at 1 p.m. ET Monday to chat with Mark!
Buzzmaster (12:55 PM)
Mark will be here at the top of the hour to chat some NASCAR!
Mark Garrow (12:59 PM)
Good afternoon everybody...and as I like to say, lets get the par-tee started!
are drivers required to wear booties, if so why did hamlin need a new one
Mark Garrow (12:59 PM)
I'm assuming you're talking about the heat shields for the drivers feet. To my knowledge they are not a mandatory requirement. However, as hot as the floor boards get with this new car of tomorrow...you'd have to be either crazy or have a high pain threshold not to wear them. The floor board heat from these cars is one of their major drawbacks and the teams have had to spend extra time and care to make the cockpit as insulated as possible to help keep the driver comfortable.
is kyle bush the best in racing today?
Mark Garrow (1:02 PM)
He's certainly on top of his game and has to be considered one of the top five drivers right now. But, is he the best? In order to make that claim he would have to finished off 2008 with a title...then he can prove he can withstand the pressure of a title run. Right now...he's closing in on being able to make the claim of being the best if not THE best but he need s a championship to finish off his resume.
what does reed sorenson need to do to get better this year
Mark Garrow (1:04 PM)
The one thing Reed Sorenson needs is a better car and a better team...and perhaps a better attitude. Chip Ganassi right now is being ther eight ball. None of the their stuff...Sprint Cup or Nationwide is running very well. I can't tell you how good Reed is because you can't win the Kentucky Derby with a quarter horse.
Is there a problem with the 88 team specifically or HMS in general? The 88 team seems to be out of snyc. What are your thoughts?
Mark Garrow (1:07 PM)
Hendrick Motorsports still gives me a feel that they haven't quite caught up to the 18 or the 99 teams...they are not at that level...Jimmie Johnson may be closing in on it the quickest..Dale Jr. has been good to decent all year but can't quite get over the hump..That team just doens't seem to be making the right adjustments at the end of the race and it sounds like things are getting a little tense over the radio..they have to fix that..they have to get better or stay up with the track better as each race unfolds or they can't make a run at the championship.
This feels like a replay of last year. Whoever wins on Sunday becomes the favorite to win the chase on Monday. It feels like all bets are off until Loudon. Am I missing something?
Mark Garrow (1:09 PM)
I think clearly now the two favorites to win the Chase ran one-two at Michigan..Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch..Jimmie Johnson is getting primed to perhaps join the party...but there's no one else that I see at this point with the speed and consistency to match Edwards and Busch..somebody may come out of the woodwork but if they do they are really going to have to step up their game a lot from what I'm seeing now.
Ken (Richmond, VA)
How refreshing is it to see a Michigan race NOT come down to fuel mileage?
Mark Garrow (1:10 PM)
Ken...amen to that...there's been enough strategy lately to give me a headache..
napcar...zzzzz. are race car drivers athletes....really???
Mark Garrow (1:13 PM)
Easy John...some of the races can be a bit of a snoozer..but unless you've gone to a race live you really can't make an informed judgement in my opinion..if you've been to a race and it's not your cup of tea so be it..but the drivers are definitely athletes..the focus, mental and physical stamina it takes to drive four hours at top-speed is pretty amazing. I asked Earl Campbell one time if he thought drivers were athletes...he said no doubt...He said they get almost no break during a race where he got thirty seconds between plays and spent half of the day on the sidelines..If he thinks so..than I good with that...Besides these guys train harder than you think.
will dale junior ever live up to his dads legacy?
Mark Garrow (1:13 PM)
No..but who can..but when his career is over it will have Hall of Fame credentials and he'll have a legacy of his own.
josh (Houston, Tx)
Why do you think jeff gordon isnt winning races these days?
Mark Garrow (1:15 PM)
He's not fast enough plain and simple. He's uncomfortable in the Car of Tomorrow and there's nothing you can do about that but keep trying different chassis set-ups and hope for the best..He just doesn't have the speed to run with Busch, Edwards and Johnson right now.
ray gordon reid huntsville ALABAMA
QUESTION TO MARK GARROW AT 1.10 PM HI MARK GARROW COULD CARL EDWARDS BE IN THE CHASE
Mark Garrow (1:16 PM)
Ray...not only will Edwards be in the Chase..but he'll make a big run at the Championship and could take the whole deal..He's fast and consistent ..certainly title material.
what will happen first reed sorenson does unthinkable or will gordon rebound
Mark Garrow (1:17 PM)
Easy Gordon will rebound...Sorenson is so far, unfortunately, from the "unthinkable"..that he can't even see it with a telescope.
who is the best nascar driver of all time
Mark Garrow (1:20 PM)
Some people are probably going to hate me for this answer..but to date..the best NASCAR driver in history is Jeff Gordon..He's been a great qualifier..better than Earnhardt...Has won on the road courses way more than Earnhardt..has won more plate races and short track races than Earnhardt..There will never be another Intimidator..but Gordon has him beat in just about every category...It used to be Richard Petty was the greatest stock car driver of all-time with a close second to David Pearson..then Earnhardt took over that mantle..now it's Gordon...On the horizon Jimmie Johnson has a chance to better Gordon's stats and so too might Kyle Busch but we need a few more seasons down the road to tell.
Guru, Any early thoughts on Bristol?
Mark Garrow (1:21 PM)
I wouldn't be surprised to see Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards locking horns again..Dale Jr. should be really good there too..those are my first thoughts..
Mark, have to ask for your thoughts on the JGR Toyotas? First, why punish a team or teams for having more horsepower? Second, why in the world would anyone put spacers (magnets) under the gas pedal? I would think "if you got it flaunt it!" would make more sense for NASCAR. Short of nitrous why punish for horse power?
Mark Garrow (1:24 PM)
It's not punishment..just NASCAR seeking a level playing field..some times you're on the losing end and feel like you're being punished for hard work..and sometimes you're allowed to catch up by taking something away from the other guys..As for the spacers..that is just so stupid..and that certainly didn't come from J.D. or Joe Gibbs..It will be interesting to see who falls on the sword for this one..but it was just so dumb!
Mike (St. Louis, MO)
Is this Cousin Carl's year? He seems to have a great car every race.
Mark Garrow (1:25 PM)
Mike, I think it could be his year..As I said just a few minutes ago..he has the speed and consistency to be a serious threat..Right now to me it's a battle between Edwards and Kyle Busch with maybe Jimmie Johnson trying to crash the party..Anything can happen in the Chase, but Edwards is in the best shape ever to take a shot at the title.
Billy B (Niketown)
Mark, dont you think Eliot Sadler is one of the top underrated talents in Nascar?
Mark Garrow (1:26 PM)
Billy..the way he's been running lately you could certainly make that arguement..If he's got the car Elliott has enough talent to win a race every now and then and certainly show up consistently in the top-10, top-15.
Why arent we talking about Gibbs Racing and the deliberate act of cheating they just got caught at... I say suspend them for the rest of the season.. Who is to say that they arent doing this on the Sprint cup level as well...
Mark Garrow (1:29 PM)
Tim, I wouldn't go that far..It was certainly a deliberate act of cheating but, seriously, knowng J.D. and Joe Gibbs that is not what they are about and I feel pretty comfortable telling you they had no idea what was going on..As for the Sprint Cup side, there's no need for such shenanigans..They're winning because they have a little horspower advantage and their teams and drivers are working really hard.
do you think if reed sorenson leaves chip at the end it will make him race better
Mark Garrow (1:30 PM)
Sorenson doesn't really have anywhere else to go..If Ganassi doesn't re-up him he may be on the outside looking in..that should be lighting a fire under him now and making him race better...He stil needs, though, better cars.
Curtis Pride (New York)
Markus, Why on earth did Truex Jr. stay with DEI? He could be the next big thing if he was with one of the major teams...
Mark Garrow (1:31 PM)
He's trying to stay loyal..but his deal with DEI is for 2009 only...if they keep running the way they are..he's outta there and on to something else in 2010..Sometimes as a driver you can be too loyal..a driver needs to always remember the team talks about loyalty but if Jimmie Johnson called up and wanted Truex's seat..he'd be outta there..
I drafted Smoke #1 in my fantasy dragt, why is he letting me down so bad? Is it the off track distractions?
Mark Garrow (1:32 PM)
Team is trying hard..but out of sync and at least part of it has to be laid at Stewart's feet and the confusion his deal has caused.
Dave Perdios (Throne of the E)
Speaking of John's question....what is NASCAR going to do -- if anything -- to the new car to make the races more exciting? I know they are committed to creating the best product possible, and this year has shown that isn't what they have today.
Mark Garrow (1:34 PM)
Dave, I think NASCAR is committed to not changing anything this year..but I'm hearin during the off-season they are going to make some rule changes to help the car's handling..They can't do anything now because it could alter the Chase for the Championship and that wouldn't be fair to the drivers involved.
ed baker (with the athletes)
what are the chances gordon falls to 13th place before loudon, does he usually run well at bristol?
Mark Garrow (1:35 PM)
Gordon's got a pretty good record at Bristol and he's 82 points up on 13th place right now..It seems to be both Kahne and Hamlin are in more dire straits right now..If they have a disaster this Saturday night like they did at Michigan they won't have enough time to make it back up.
Mark Garrow (1:36 PM)
Got to run..thanks so much for "tuning" in this afternoon..Don't forget my Fantasy Chat this Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 eastern...until then..may the force be with you..