Fantasy NASCAR w/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 3 p.m. ET Wednesday to chat with Mark!
Mark Garrow (2:47 PM)
Good afternoon everyone...let's get the partaaayyyyyy started!
Hook (Southern Maryland)
Should I choose Kurt Busch and/or Kevin Harvick for this week?
Mark Garrow (2:50 PM)
Hey Hook...I definitely stay away from Kevin Harvick until RCR shows proof last week was just a bump in the road or they have some major catch up work to do..Kurt Busch might not be a bad pick this week, but need to see how practice and qualifying plays out..I think a guy like Brian Vickers has a chance to out run him in Vegas at a cheaper price that will open up some cap space..On my prelim team for Vegas..I have Montoya and Vickers to open up some space at the top to go with Biffle, Kenesth, and Denny Hamlin.
prerace lineup 99, 16, 31, 01, and almindinger as my budget pick hows this?
Mark Garrow (2:53 PM)
I really don't like it JBT...sorry to say..99 and 16 should be good..31 was terrible at California last week and they have virtually no time to get big things fixed..Allminder didn't look like much last week..David Reutimann and believe it or not Michael only a little bit more expensive might be the way to go there or set your floor like I did with Vickers and Montoya..As for the "01"..I'm assuming you mean the 1 of Truex..He didn't impress me a California either and I'd stay away...I think you need to rethink your team top to bottom.
Mark has the poor economy kept the fans out of the seats. It looked like the first 2 races were sold out. Has the ticket prices at the gates come down. I was just concerned about the low budget teams surviving. I am sure the gas price will rise this summer. Thanks darlin.
Mark Garrow (2:55 PM)
Beth, what I think the down economy is doing is keep fans away the first two days..at both Daytona and California you didn't have much of a crowd for Truck and Nationwide races...but they showed up for Cup race in much bigger numbers...I think we're seeing a lot of people drive in on race day, saving the hotel expense..That's my guess.
Mark pre race how does this sound 24-31-17-83-5 or 99-17-5-31-39 Thanks Guru
Mark Garrow (2:57 PM)
Jeff..31 makes me itchy on the first team..I also had Mark Martin last week and dropped him for this week until they can prove to me that new combo has jelled...On the second team 31 and 39 give me reason to pause. Newman's new deal not as strong as Tony's , at least not yet..Need to rethink this one top to bottom too in my humble "Guru" opinion.
Kevin, St. Clair Shores,MI
Makr had an average week, who do you like out of the 16,18,99,24,48: out of the 2,6,07,9,14,83,88,: out of the 43,36,44,15. Is there anyone I should be going with that was not listed? Give me your top ten as you see it running this week, thanks talk to ya on sunday.
Mark Garrow (3:00 PM)
I like the 16 a lot going into this race. He was the fastest car at the end in California but shot himself in the foot on pit road...In that first group no bow-wows..I'd probably rank them just how you've got them listed..In the second group..14 and 83 jump out..6 should also be pretty good and the 2 if Kurt can match last week's performance..Blue deuce was maddeningly inconsistent last year..In the last group probably would come down to 44 or 15 and Waltrip out ran Allmendinger last week..Here's my pre-race top-20...1. Greg Biffle 2. Matt Kenseth 3. Kyle Busch 4. Denny Hamlin 5. Carl Edwards 6. Jeff Gordon 7. Jimmie Johnson 8. Tony Stewart 9.Brian Vickers 10.Jamie McMurray 11.David Ragan 12.Kurt Busch 13.Kevin Harvick 14.Mark Martin 15.Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 16.Kasey Kahne 17.Juan Pablo Montoya 18.Clint Bowyer 19.David Reutimann 20.Jeff Burton
Ken (Hendersonville, NC)
Mark: Don?t you think its time for a little love for the guy from down under? Everyone is always looking for a super budget driver and at 15.2 the only driver that looks somewhat better in that price range is Dinger. I do not trust Logano yet. I have watched him since his 1st race at Sonoma last year when he was in the top 3 until he lost a transmission. He followed that up with a respectable 22nd at Indy. This year he is in better equipment and has registered a 17th at Daytona and a 22nd at Fontana. From what I can see, he tries to stay out of trouble, keep his nose clean and finish the race. There is a lot to be said of that approach. Your opinion please.
Mark Garrow (3:02 PM)
I think Ambrose could turn into a decent value pick, but I need to see another race or two..You're right he works at staying out of trouble and that's a good think...but look at what Michael Waltrip has done the first two races with finishes of 7th and 15th. Is he for real? Can't answer that yet.
Ken (Hendersonville, NC)
Mark: To me the biggest disappointment of this short NASCAR season is Mark Martin. Last week your wrote about dropping him but by Sunday he was in your Top 6. Do you think the 1st two races were just a race think or do you think there is an underlying problem? The 5 car has always been at the bottom of the Hendrick list. Your opinion please.
Mark Garrow (3:05 PM)
Ken...Mark ran some great times in practice last Saturday and impressed a number of crew chiefs and that altered my opinion which was correct to begin with. I dropped him this week until that team shows me they can put consistently good pieces of equipment under him...You're right 5 team has always been behind the curve with the other Hendrick teams and it really doesn't make much sense...Could be someone hit them with a voodoo hex or something..lol..
Would you say Matt Kenseth is Mr. February?
Mark Garrow (3:05 PM)
Yes, I would and if he wins at Vegas, which I think is a very strong track for him then he'll have a start on Mr. March.
Do you think Blickensderfer is the reason Kenseth is racing so well?
Mark Garrow (3:07 PM)
I think he's part of the reason..but the main thing most of that team stayed intact and his crew chief last season Chip Bolin just moved over to be lead engineer/car chief...so now you have two heads on top of the pit box instead of one..but Blick cheerleads Matt like Robbie Reiser, the guy he won 16 races with, and it helps build Matt's confidence and he's needed that.
Is Blickensderfer is NASCAR's hottest crew chief?
Mark Garrow (3:08 PM)
Ya think? Three Nationwide wins in a row to end 2008 and two Cup victories to open up 2009...I went to rub his head so I could buy a lottery ticket and got scalded....
Matt Kenseth has a chance to become the first driver ever to open a season with three consecutive wins. Will he make history?
Mark Garrow (3:09 PM)
There's a chance and it's appropriate we're in Vegas because the odds are against him.
What are your thoughts on Fox earning a 6.0 rating for California race?
Mark Garrow (3:10 PM)
It's down a little but easily most watched sporting event..tops among prime time shows but the Oscars so most of news good.
What are your thoughts on the fact that Rheem is going to sponsor Kevin Harvick Inc. for four more Nationwide Series races?
Mark Garrow (3:11 PM)
Just think it's great....Whe he finally wins we can say "He Rheemed out the competition!"
Jason (Bellefonte, PA)
Guru: I have a question and I need a little advice for Vegas. My question- at the end of the season, who finishes higher in the points, the #14 or the #88? Which 2 from this group do you like the best at Vegas this week- 17,18,48 or 99? Choose 4 from 6,7,9,11,14 or 88 and 2 from 34,43,44,47 or 96. Thanks for all the great advice!
Mark Garrow (3:13 PM)
The way things are looking now the 14 might beat the 18 on the season ending deal..First group 17 and 99...Second group...second group...11,4,6 and 88...Third group...96 and probably 47
Rich (Saint peters, mo.)
Hello once again "The Great Guru" This is what i need this week....1 driver from the top ten, 1 driver 11-20, and 1 driver outside the top 20.... You are "All knowing" and keep up the great work every week.
Mark Garrow (3:15 PM)
From the top-10..17 or 16...11-20 18 or 11...outside top-20..probably Vickers or Martin...AND...thanks for the props...need to get a bigger turbin now!..lol..
All Knowing-All Seeing Guru, Please rank these 14,11,42,2,83,9,6 and this second set 96,43,47,77,44 thanks and may the Force be with you.
Mark Garrow (3:17 PM)
11,14,83,6,42,2,9...............96..47..44..43..77..AND may the force be with you too!
Hey Mark. What do you think about these two teams for this week and going forward, might just lock one of these in A)11,14,17,5,42 B)99/48,17,31,5,42. Also, do you like JPM or Newman for the floor?
Mark Garrow (3:18 PM)
I like JPM for the floor..First team has some potential..by 5 car worries me..I feel better about Vickers than 5 right now..
Mark - first week I was on roll with Vickers and Kyle to score big until the crash. Second week, Martin blows an engine. Who will step up to the plate this week to ruin the week?
Mark Garrow (3:19 PM)
If I knew that Mike, I would be making some serious money...You need to take a look at my race preview because I do give you a few cars to say away from and the reasons why.
Guru - who are your top 10 for the Nationwide series?
Mark Garrow (3:23 PM)
In the Nationwide pick-em game..I've Edwards over Hamlin..Busch over Burton..Harvick beats Biffle...Keselowsi beats the boss Dale Jr..Vickers over Ragan..Jason Leffler leaves Gaughan...Bliss over Steve Wallace...Keller over Annettt...Allgaier over Lagasse and Bires beats McDowell....those are my picks this week..
Curt (Oxford, MS)
I need some help! Need 2 out of this group :16, 17, 18, 24, 48, 99,5. Need 4 out of this group: 07,1,2,6,9,11,14,26,42,83,88. Need 2 out of this group: dinger, labonte, sorenson, ambrose, hornish jr., regan smith. Thanks "The Great One"
Mark Garrow (3:26 PM)
16-17..second group 11,26,83,14...third group...Labonte and probably Ambrose
Mark - for the Nationwide series, since there is no Pre race chat, what is the best strategy to use to determine which cars and drivers will perform at the race? Qual time, practice 1 or 2 time, etc. need advice
Mark Garrow (3:28 PM)
That's a hard one Mike...because I'm the guy who actually sets the matchups each week and I've had six right answers out of 20 the first two weeks. My match-ups are meants to be as razor thin as possible..I think you look at qualifying..past record..last race..last practice and then kneel down and repeat after me "Hail Mary full of grave the Lord is with thee..."
I've been riding Kurt Busch the last two weeks, time to get off? I see you really like that Vickers.
Mark Garrow (3:29 PM)
I think Vickers can finish up where Busch can and at a lower value..The only reason I dropped VIckers last Sunday was that his crew chief said they were concerned back-up engine might not be able to make it all the way. Otherwise, I would have stayed with Vickers and would not have had to drop Kenseth.
Ken (Hendersonville, NC)
Mark: I am seriously considering using Kyle Bush this weekend and at Atlanta next week. Last year Kyle ran away with the race since he was the only driver that could handle the tire problems. Have they solved the Atlanta tire problems?
Mark Garrow (3:31 PM)
I think the tire deal at Atlanta has been take care of..Kyle is going to be steady and one of the few guys to press the Roushketeers..At this point, think Roush guys 16 and 17 a little better than 18 and 99 equal..
Yeah, what was with those Toyota engines and how did the 83,00,55 all make it to the end?
Mark Garrow (3:33 PM)
Don't know how they did it because the teams were scared they had a bad bunch of parts that wouldn't last...Again, if I hadn't been scared off 83..I wouldn't have taken 5, which blew up ironically and would have had the 17 on my team..
Amber (Memphis, TN)
Oh Great and Knowledgeable One, how do you rank who will do better this week? 83, 14, 11, 26, 2, 6, 88?
Mark Garrow (3:36 PM)
Amber, you're the Great and Knowledgeable One to call me the Great and Knowledgeable One...lol...11,14,83,26,6,88....Junior's got to show me something before I give him any more love that's for sure...All of these guys, on paper, are pretty strong.
Mark Garrow (3:39 PM)
Well folks that's going to do until our Sunday chat from Vegas...so glad you could come join the ride today and invite you to come back...The Guru has left the building.....
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