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October 28, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy NASCAR with Mark Garrow

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:35 PM)

Sorry for being late folks...no excuse just "brain gas"...so without further delay...let's get his partaaaayyyyy started!

Richard (California)

GURU, Since 'Dega is an "anything can happen" track, and JR. has a good history there, should I ignore the hurt he put on me last week and carry him over? Thanks as always.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:36 PM)

Richard...Junior has killed me more than one this year..but 'Dega is his kind of place..I had him on my team last week and going to keep him..As a matter of fact, I decided to not over think it and I'm keeping my entire team the same at this point...Read my preview I think you'll find it interesting (and crazy) they way I fixed my rankings this week.

Rachael (Florida)

Do you think driving a Dodge held Kahne back from more success and if so, is Ford the right remedy?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:38 PM)

Rachael, that's possible. Ford certainly puts more resources behind their race teams. I think Kasey will end up helping to pull the Ford bandwagon along with the "Roushketeers".

Jim (Louisville, KY)

Mark, I always look at your SCC preview when finalizing my drivers for the week. But obviously we never get to see your final picks once you've change them from your prelim team to your final team for a given week... Is there a place to go and see what your final picks are before the race?Thanks!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:39 PM)

Jim,Each and every week on our race day chat I let everyone know what my final team is..if you miss the chat or come late just look at the transcript and if it's not already in there then I'll be getting to it shortly. Hope that helps.

Roger (Claremont)

Guru -- I know with 'Dega there is so much that is out of one's control, but any advice as to who might run well? Your thoughts on the 42, 14, 83, & 1? Could you see any out of the 20, 00, 6, 9 being servicable? Sorry to throw so many at you, but I'm scratching my head about this one.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:41 PM)

42,14,83, and 1 have a chance to be up in there but then again so does everybody else but the start and parks. The 6 with Ragan has been pretty steady over the last two or three races..20,00, and 9 might end up being of some help too. As far as scrathing your head..I tear my hair out over this race..read the preview..lol..

Martha (Mount Vernon)

Hi Mark. Is Daytona as much of a wild card as Talladega when thinking of the "Big One"? Just thinking of how a driver's track history compares. And, all unpredictability aside, how good will Tony be on Sunday? Thank you.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:43 PM)

Martha, Daytona is much more predictable..even though they are running fast and it's a restrictor plate race it is also a "handling" race and it's usually easier to figure out than Talladega where it is a total wild-card kind of afternoon. Tony is a great plate racer and I think he's top-5 Sunday.

Roy (Chapel Hill)

What do you think of the 5 & 24 this weekend? Have two allocations left for JJ and was thinking about using him at Texas

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:45 PM)

Jeff Gordon should be very competitive this weekend and Mark Martin is trying to make sure he's got a positive attitude going in. Both should be in very good shape, but want to remind this is, again, Talladega. JJ hasn't done much at Talladega so saving him not a bad idea. You'll need to use those last two picks at Texas and Phoenix...He'll be in cruise control at Homestead.

Mike (Durham, NC)

I have two Montoya allocations left. I want to have him on my prelim team this week in case he wins the pole, but what two tracks would you suggest I run him at over the next four weeks? Can Casey Mears have a respectable showing this week? Thanks Mark.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:47 PM)

Not sure about Talladega..no one can be..but the last three tracks should all be strong for Montoya. I suggest saving Montoya.

JJ GLOOR (Hicksville)

Well Guru have not got one answered for a an awhile! You been busy with all the others, but if your name is Helga, Alan or a ole friend you answer at least once if not multiple times. Well i guess you cant really give much help this week, Since everyone should know its who gets the push at the end! My Avg. with out help this chase is over 700 but thanks any how!One more thing before i go Hey Alan get off Denny and open your eyes!!I am not a hamlin fan by any means but i know a good racer when you see one. And by the way how did he do last week???

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:51 PM)

It's okay for you to pick at me JJ about Helga, Alan, etc..but if you're going to do that figure out how much time I really spend on that. Last week I was online with the chat almost 2 hours and 40 minutes...less than five minutes was actually dedicated to the saga of Helga and Alan..How do I know? Because I kept track of it to see if I was out of bounds...I'm not and wasn't..Since I'm not really doing anything to help I"m signing out now.

mike p (danbury ct)

hi mark,i hope to make it less complicated. in my fantasy league,you are only allowed to pick a driver twice.for example i picked 48 last week,that was the second time.so if i pick him again i get no points. so dega is double points race,texas reg,phonixreg,as for homestead itis triple points.we all get qualifying ,laps led and who leads the most laps points. so i am leading second place by 81 points. this is were i need you expert help. the drivers that i have left that only used once are the 88,14,29,33,who i havenot used are 00,31. can you help rank them by starting with dega.heres mine .i want 88 but scared to death,unless you say its good.my other option would be 29 or 14. heres what im thinking by track.88,00,29,14.or 14,00,33,29 last race.please i hope you understand if you have a better way let me know.thanks again big help.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:55 PM)

At Talladega..here's how I'd rank them 14,88,31,33,00,29..Junior scares me to, but where in the next three races would you take him..I'd say no where. So I might go 88 at 'Dega..if not the 14..If I've understood you right you do not want to save the 29 for the last rae. RCR's program on track's that side this has been kind of spotty.

Paul (West Orange, NJ)

I know Dega is a crap shoot, but pick one from this group please.88, 17, 00, 33, 29. As much as I want to use Junior this week, he just really scares me.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:56 PM)

88..I know all about Junior killing a team...but the boy is really at home at Talladega.

Chad ` (Florida)

Yea! Oh! Great Guru.....Things are getting tight, what shall I do, I have Jimmy 2 more times, but I'm thinking He will set it on cruise and just do enough too get by. I'm thinking Martin(5), or Gordon(24) in the first group, then in group two Montoya(42), Newman(3), Kurt (2), ouch and JR(88), and finally Ambrose(47) or Allmendinger (44) Of all three groups Please pick 1 from group one, pick 2 from group two, and 1 from group 3???

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:58 PM)

Jimmie will push the issue a little at Texas and Phoenix...If he's win the clear coming out of Phoenix then you'll see him cruise at Homstead. I like Ambrose better than Dinger too...my picks..24....42,39...47

Dave (Portland, ME)

Junior's been killing me. I keep thinking he's due for a decent finish at some of these tracks that he's done well at historically. Should I give him another shot to turn it around this weekend, or cut my loses? I'm by no means a Junior fan, but I'm trying to ration my allocations.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:58 PM)

I think this weekend will be the last time this season, Junior is a serious play. After Sunday I'm not sure I can recommend again.

Kevin (Class)

Alright mighty mr garrow, time for you to earn your keep (like you haven't already). I'm playing heads up and am down a bunch with four to go and need some serious help. First, I'm in yahoo so qualifying counts, so who would be good picks to contend for pole? Second, I need some way off the radar picks that I can use to make up ground assuming my buddy takes the usual heavy hitters. We've got a full season bet going and I hate losing more than shrub, any help would be awesome.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:02 PM)

As for qualifying anyone running a Hendrick motor will likely do well in qualifying. They are making the most power these days..A Jeff Burton might be off the beaten path or how about a Paul Menard who's had strong finishes in last three Talladega starts..Elliott Sadler..maybe..little bit of stretch there. Newman will be off the radar a little but his record on plate races pretty good.

Doug (Wis)

I am guessing Elliot Sadler may not be a very good pick @ Talladega because of him testing a new Ford engine. What are your feelings on him? And can Keselowski have another good run?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:03 PM)

Sadler will be in a Ford, but it will be Kenseth and Ragan with the FR9..from what I understand Sadler is driving a car supplied by Yates racing and will not have new engine.

Paul (West Orange, NJ)

How about Mears? Is he worth a shot this Sunday? I need a good finish with a non-chase driver. Who do you thing gives me the best chance? Love the chats. I read them every week.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:05 PM)

I think he is...he was in good position to maybe win in the spring..most people don't know Keselowski was pushing Mears and hit him too hard in turn 2 I believe..Mears had to get out of the gas or he would have been right there with Edwards and BradK at the end...so yeah..combine that with the way he's been running lately. He could be a very nice pick.

Vince (LA)

Hey Guru. Who do we like for the floor, Sadler, Ragan, Menard, Sorenson, Stremme? I'm leaning towards Ragan.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:06 PM)

I'd go Ragan and then Menard.

Mark (Edmonton, Canada)

Good Wednesday afternoon Guru! Looking for 5 drivers from this list. 7 9 13 34 36 37 55 66 77 78 82 87 96. Any insight on Start and Parkers? Thanks again for all you do.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:08 PM)

27..66..87..36 will be start and parks...best five left..9,82,78,77,55

RAY GORDON REID ( TUSCALOOSA Ala 35487)

QUESTION TO MARK GARROW AT 3.20 PM WELL GOOD WEDNESDAY GURU WHO DOES THE TALLADEGA GURU SUNDAY YOUR DA MAN

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:09 PM)

No Ray Gordon..you are Da Man..I'm thinking Gordon and Stewart down to the line.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Mark, what about the line-up of 24-42-2-43? Or should I trade the 39 for the 42 or 2?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:10 PM)

I trade the 39 for the 2..not to sure about 43..

tyler (tn)

i like kyle, gordon, smoke. vickers, and speed

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:11 PM)

That could be a decent line-up Tyler.

EDDIE (GA)

should i start the 6 this week?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:13 PM)

Ragan has been what 4th,3rd and 12th in last three Talladega starts..He should ben pretty strong..

Mike (Los Angeles)

Let's be honest Guru, is there really any way to predict success at a plate track? I don't think I've gotten more than 600 in my SCC career on one.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:14 PM)

You're absolutely right..again read my preview this week..I'm done tearing out my hair and then scoring 400 points..I can't remember the last time I scored over 600 at Talladega..maybe never...lol..

Matt (IN)

As long as we are gamblin' at this track anyway, who are the best budget boys this time around?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:14 PM)

I think Ragan and Paul Menard. Junior has a low price too and he should man up and do well.

David B. (Sumwhere)

start n park 09 week this

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:15 PM)

No..Keselowski is back in the seat and they'll try to get lightning to strike twice.

Matt (IN)

Mark, who are your top 5 favorite drivers of all-time?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:16 PM)

Jeff Gordon...Bobby Allison...David Pearson...Ned Jarrett....Richard Petty..as far as dealing with them and their feedback.

Brian Detter (Maiden NC)

Hey Mark, whos you top 2 drivers in the C-group on Yahoo this week? Thank for all your help. You and you alone have had me locked in the top spot in my league this year!!! Show me the money!!!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:17 PM)

Brian..I don't know who the "C" drivers are in Yahoo game...let me know and I'll give you an answer.

Matt (IN)

Bill Elliott was a bit of a disappointment last race he was in but I still like him. Do you know which races he will race in to finish off the year?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:17 PM)

I believe he'll race at Texas and Homestead..

Matt (IN)

I've had the 48,5,42,29 combo since the start of the segment. Any reason to change now?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:18 PM)

Not for this race..hang tight and hope it works out alright at 'Dega.

Mike (Evans. Ga)

Hey Mark, will McGrew be Dale Jr's crew chief in 2010 or will Mr. H put Ron Malec in his place like he should have this past summer?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:18 PM)

Don't know Mike..I think they are leaning toward keep McGrew in place.

Jeremy (Medford Oregon)

Hi Mark, what should I do for sunday, start the 16 or the 33 or trade for the 88? Also, on the projections page, it has kyle Petty instead of Kyle Busch tarting the race and finishing 6th. It was a typo right? thanks Jeremy

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:20 PM)

I'd go 33..RCR plate cars pretty decent..and if you don't go with 33..then pencil in the 88...and yes that's a typo.

Joey (Tampa)

Mark, Who do you have in your Top 25?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:21 PM)

Joey,You've got read my preview to see how I came up with this...not very scientific this week...to say the least...but here's my field of 43.................. 1. Jeff Gordon (35)2. Tony Stewart (30)3. Ryan Newman (15)4. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (15)5. Denny Hamlin (15)6. Kyle Busch (10)7. Juan Pablo Montoya (10)8. Clint Bowyer (5)9. Brian Vickers (15)10.Jeff Burton (5)11.David Ragan12.Mark Martin (5)13.Jamie McMurray14.Jimmie Johnson (2)15.Joey Logano (2)16.Brad Keselowski (5)17.Greg Biffle (2)18.Paul Menard19.Bobby Labonte20.Martin Truex, Jr. (2)21.Matt Kenseth (2)22.David Reutimann (2)23.Carl Edwards (1)24.Kevin Harvick (2)25.Kurt Busch (2)26.Reed Sorenson27.Marcos Ambrose28.Elliott Sadler29.David Stremme30.Regan Smith31.Scott Speed32.Sam Hornish, Jr.33.Casey Mears (5)34.AJ Allmendinger35.Michael Waltrip (1)36.Kasey Kahne37.Robby Gordon38.John Andretti39.Max Papis40.Erik Darnell41.Tony Raines42.Joe Nemechek43.Dave Blaney

Erik (MI)

So would you stay away from the 6 because of the new engine?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:22 PM)

Good question...RPM range down with plate..won't strain motor..doesn't, at this time, worry me about Ragan.

norm (palm springs ca)

Will anyone be out eating taco's this weeken?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:23 PM)

Maybe..but I bet there won't be anyone suggesting who's going out to eat them this week I'll bet..lol...

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:23 PM)

Maybe..but I bet there won't be anyone suggesting who's going out to eat them this week I'll bet..lol...

big mama (yazoo)

ryan newman wins it this week. mark it down

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:24 PM)

You know what Big Mama that's a real possibility and you know how much a I love to give you grief..lol..

Tyler (Tennessee)

Dale Earnhardt Sr. has to be in your top 5 drivers or your crazy.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:25 PM)

He asked for my favorite driverds...he didn't ask me who are the best five drivers...then I'd probably go..Gordon, Earnhardt, Pearson, Allison and Petty.

Cole (PCity, MD)

48,42,07,19,88- thoughts?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:26 PM)

It's a little different than most people would go, but Cole 19-Sadler is a nice plate racer and could score big for you.

Richard (California)

GURU, If JJ from Hicksville takes the time to read the entire chat,I am sure he will find answers to his questions. With the amount of questions asked and answered, it seems to me there can't be many stones unturned. I for one enjoy the sidebar action with Alan, Joe and his wife,Malibu Barbie et.al. Thanks for all you do!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:26 PM)

Thanks for the props Richard..

andy (Cincy)

Mark is Kesolowski in this weeks race? Does he have too many enemies to put him on my SCC team?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:28 PM)

He is in it and back in the 09 he drove to victory last April..As far as the enemy list it's large and growing but no one is going to try to get even at Talladega..too dangerous and too many innocent victims could get dragged into the deal.

frank (stevens high school)

Guru - How would you rank Mears, Ragan, and Little E this weekend? Would you consider any of these to be a better bet than a Vickers or Truex? Also, would you use your last Ambrose allocation here in 'Dega or save it for Phoenix. Many thanks big man.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:31 PM)

I'd put 88 ahead of 83, but that's about it..first three I'd rank 88,6,07..adding Vickers I'd put him right beside or behind Junior. and Truex behind Mears.

Cole (PCity)

link to your preview?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:32 PM)

It should be posted somewhere on this later today..http://games.espn.go.com/stockcar/frontpage

norm (palm springs ca)

Mark, Why is Kurt Busch ranked 25th in the projections. He may not have won a plate race, but is argueable the best plate racer to not have won?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:34 PM)

Norm you have to ready the preview..otherwise my rankings make no sense.....

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:38 PM)

Copy and past of first paragraphs of my preview..Trying to get a handle on the restrictor plate races, especially Talladega has been maddening for The Guru. As a matter of fact, I said back before the April race in Alabama that I felt more like a goober than a guru. My Talladega teams have scored so badly even a member of Congress could not make the numbers add up or look good.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:38 PM)

part 2...I should not feel that bad about it, but I do. Then again, if there is one track where the only thing certain is the uncertainty it is Talladega. How do explain, Paul Menard has scored the most points in the last two races and was the runner-up in this race a year ago? Or Brad Keselowski wins back in April for not only his first Sprint Cup win, but the first for team owner James Finch since he began running Cup in 1990? Or in the very same race Scott Speed finishes fifth for the only top-5 he has ever had? Or how Ryan Newman was third this spring, but dead last, last fall?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:39 PM)

part 3I am going to use a different strategy this time. No more pouring over the stats. No more tearing my hair out trying to stay one step ahead of the racing gods. No, this time I am going to follow the drivers take on Talladega.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:40 PM)

Every time you ask them about who is going to finish where in Alabama, they tell you it is so hard to predict that the best thing you can do is put the numbers in a hat and pull them out one a time. So, you know what, that is exactly what I did.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:41 PM)

I picked out what I thought was the best seven possibilities and the worst seven. Then, I put slips of paper with the number of each of the remaining 29 cars in my ESPN cap and pulled them out one by one.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:41 PM)

Now, some would argue that is no way for The Guru to act, that even a monkey could set the rankings that way. I agree and if my results are lame again, one of my banana buddies will handle the picks the next time. Below is what the new cap strategy picked out.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:42 PM)

So now you have the jest of my "science" this week...yes I'm crazy..but wasn't my preview dead on last week when I said Hamlin was the only guy to beat Johnson?

Mike (NYC)

Pick one 31 or 29? Any special reason on why?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:42 PM)

31..uses his head more..and need that at Talladega.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:42 PM)

31..uses his head more..and need that at Talladega.

norm (palm springs ca)

Mark, I read they have reduced the plate again, doen't that just make it even tighter packs?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:43 PM)

yes it will. no doubt.

bob (iowa)

Compared to other tracks, how much will you factor in practice and qualifying when making your final selections? Will this trump driver's history/track record at plate races? Thanks G-man.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:44 PM)

practice and qualifying don't mean a thing at Talladega...past stats don't hardly either..a lot of it is gut feel and I keep giving myself indigestion...Talladega betting the ole spinning wheel in Las Vegas..

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:45 PM)

Folks got to run..sorry for being late today..thanks for your patiene and your continued support. I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to our Sunday morning chat at 10:OO eastern..till then had a great week..sad to say but "The Guru has left the building!"