Good afternoon everyone...it's a rainy day in North Carolina but nevertheless it is always a great day to wake up in God's country....so let's get this partaaayyyy started!
Which Roush Fenway driver will win the race today?
I think Greg Biffle has the most speed among the Roush drivers but he hasn't been very consistent. On the last two 1.5-mile tracks, Atlanta and Kansas look-a-like Chicagoland, Carl Edwards has come home in second place. So, I'm going to rate him going in as the number one of the Roush guys going into Sunday's race. Edwards, though, has got to figure out a way to win a race. He hasn't done that since the season-finale in 2008 which is really hard to believe.
Mark, pre-lim is 11-29-31-43, only thing I was thinking about switching was possibly the 00 for either the 29 or 31 since I have 3 and 2 starts for those guys respectively and maybe even the 98 for 43 with 2 starts left for Menard and 3 for Dinger. Back-up to Hamlin is Gordon and I have 5 left with Hamlin and 6 with Gordon. Thanks Mark!
Historically Nick Kansas has not been a great track for RCR so I might think about trading the 00 for the 29..the 31 looked good at Chicagoland...and given that race Menard over Allmendinger might not be a bad deal either. Not to mention, Menard had a great run last Sunday at Dover.
Mr Guru - If you had to pick one track that are remaining, which track do you think that Stewart and Burton will win?
Well Stewart has won two of the last four at Kansas so that might not be a bad place to put him. As for Burton...that's pretty tough..He was the fastest car on the planet in practice at Chicagoland but wasn't as strong in the race and finished 7th..He's been strong on 1.5-milers this year by and large so maybe Charlotte or Texas.
Do you think Elliot, Stremme, or Sorenson have a chance at Kansas to post Top 20?Or do you see a another good dark horse that may get in the Top 15 - 20?
I think Sorenson has the best chance out of that group. And is Stremme in the race? I might have missed that..I don't know if you would call him a dark-horse but Paul Menard comes to mind..Martin Truex, Jr...maybe David Ragan..Allmendinger certainly.
Who do you think will win the Kanas Lottery 300 & the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas?
I think Kyle Busch will crush them in the Nationwide race and Jimmie Johnson wins for the second week in a row over on the Cup side.
What is your top 20 looking like?
Funny you should ask Ken because you're about to receive this week's pre-race top-30 which again is subject to change after our race day chat with the crew chiefs............1.Jimmie Johnson2.Carl Edwards3.Greg Biffle4.Tony Stewart5.Denny Hamlin6.Jeff Gordon7.Jeff Burton8.David Reutimann9.Clint Bowyer10.Kurt Busch11.Jamie McMurray12.Kyle Busch13.Kasey Kahne14.Ryan Newman15.Kevin Harvick16.A.J. Allmendinger17.Juan Pablo Montoya18.Matt Kenseth19.Joey Logano20.Martin Truex, Jr.21.Mark Martin22.Marcos Ambrose23.Paul Menard24.Brad Keselowski25.David Ragan26.Dale Earnhardt, Jr.27.Regan Smith28.Elliott Sadler29.Sam Hornish, Jr.30.Reed Sorenson
Thoughts between the 48 and 18 this weekend?
I think Johnson is going to be one of the guys to beat. As for Kyle not quite sure what to think about him so I ranked him 12th going in figuring I might move him up a little after seeing practice and qualifying..
Dark horse picks to have top 10 finishes? Thoughts on Hornish and Menard?
Menard yes as a potential top-10 dark horse but not Hornish...He's top-20 to top-25.
Guru 24 or 18 you choose. Thanks
Keith going in I'd say go with Gordon who won the first two races at Kansas..but more importantly has finished top-five there the last three years...Busch, again, is a hard guy to figure and we'll just have to take a wait and see attitude towards him this weekend, keeping a close eye on him during practice and qualifying.
You there, Guru? You're chat's usual link isn't listed today....
Sorry about that...I love the folks at ESPN I really do..sincerely...but sometimes it just so hard to navigate around and find stuff.
Okay - found the chat - now - Hullo, One & Only True Guru! I've got to throw a roster together today that will stick - for first tier drivers, if statistics told the whole story, Jeff Gordon would be a no-brainer. BUT, he hasn't been a shining light lately, I'm thinking JJ and Cousin Carl for the Top Two?Also, I just want to give a shout-out to Dave Blaney, driving the 38 this week - not to dis-respect Travis Kvapil
I think Biffle or Stewart are the picks over Gordon this week. Yes, I know he's had some great stats at Kansas but he looked terrible at Atlanta....on the other hand he did finish fourth at Chicagoland so he's possible top-5 and definite top-10 at Kansas in my opinion.
Trying to salvage this week as our season went up in smoke last week (the 17 tire along with the 39 taking out the 00). How do you see Casey Mears doing this week? Can he continue his streak of top 16 finishes like the last 5 races? Also, do you see the 00 doing well?
I got torched by the 17 too..it drives me crazy when you pick someone like him to have a great day when he hasn't had many lately...he's bad fast and then boom a tire problem...I see the 00 doing well again...I think what he did at Chicagoland will translate pretty well..as for Mears he had those finishes driving for Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress..he's got equipment now just not as good as that so him finishing top-16 again just don't see it.
Haven't seen a new post in several minutes, Guru - maybe others can't find the chat today because of the "missing link. If it's jest bland air-time now, I'd like to ask your opinion of something off-topic. Do you see any real comparison between Carl Long's Penalty Incident and Clint Bowyer's - (Long penalized when his engine was 0.17 cubic inch too large, perhaps because of heat expansion from extended use?)
Joanie...I know NASCAR has a tough job and I really do believe they do a good job policing the sport..but I don't believe Carl Long deserved that penalty and there's no reason they couldn't have kept it quiet and fixed it...but Bowyer's deal is different...a championship is in the mix...race wins...so I think NASCAR needs to call it as close as they possibly can..again within reason..if it really is only 60 thousandths of an inch it didn't help him win the race and that's what matters to me when it comes to rules violations.
I was horrified by what I call the Carl Long FUBAR, and have been wondering, if people got up-in-arms then over "The little guy", would there be a different precedent now - thanks for the perspective!
You're welcome...I hated that deal for Carl too...just thought there might have been another way to handle it where it was no harm, no foul to anyone including NASCAR.
GURU, Pre-race lineup,48-14-24-00-43. I'll be keeping an eye on practice and qualifying as well, but this seems safer than the RFR guys lately(I just have a thing about Edwards so have never had him on my team). Thanks as always
Richard, I really think Edwards needs to be in there for either 14 or 24...I'd lean towards the 24....00 and 43 should be good but I like McMurray a bunch in this race, a little more than 43.
el Guru, as you know I've burnt up 43 and close with 98. For c drivers should I go with Sorenson, Hornish or Speed or other, and try to save Menard as I only have 2 more starts with him
It's a tough call Benny because Menard is top-10 to top-15 potential this weekend. I think Sorenson is your safest fallback. Or what would you think about Keselowski?
Well, I guess that's going to do it for today..I hope everyone has a great week and I hope you get a chance to "chat" with us this Sunday beginning at 9:30 eastern time...so until then...sad to say..."The Guru has left the building"!