Good afternoon everyone..let's get this partaayyy started!
To start, let's just say I've had about as much luck as Jimmie Johnson in the three restrictor plate races this year so with the run I'm on I wasn't exactly looking forward to this week.That being said, guys like Jeff Burton and Paul Menard have finished in the Top 20 seven of the last eleven Talladega races. Only Bowyer, Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. have as many or more Top 20s in that span.Am I better off going with a couple guys (like Burton and Menard) who run a "safe" racing strategy as opposed to say a Biffle who will most likely run to win?
I say go with Biffle Zach..it's clear the Fords have an advantage in cooling their engines so they can tandem draft for more than one lap if they have to. Kenseth and Biffle have clearly showed the most speed on the plate tracks this y year with Kenseth having two third place finishes and the Daytona 500 win..As for Johnson you have to figure the odds will eventually catch up with him going the right direction. I find it hard to believe he will get wrecked out of all four plate races this year...you talk about a guy who's going to play it careful...If you get rid of Johnson now there's a strong likelihood you won't be able to get him back without really weakening your team. That's my debate this week when it comes to him and Hamlin this week because they are going to bad to the bone next week at Kansas..So I might just stick with them and hope for the best.
Do you see a team like RCR that isn't running very well this year pouring all their resources into the new car for 2013?
They are certainly working hard to get ready for next season, but they are working on engine combinations to experirement with when it comes to Burton and Menard and trying some out of the box chassis stuff too..If they hit on something that will help them next season, but it could also make Kevin Harvick more competitive in the final seven Chase races and he is still not out of contention. So they are working both sides of the street George..on one side 2012 and on the other 2013...both are getting a lot time, resources, and money poured into it. I live just down the street from their shop and know what's going on over there. They are not giving up on this season.
Is Urt going to finish out his "Phoenix Fun Tour" with a checker or on the wrecker???
I'm leaning towards wrecker...he'll be pushing hard to go out in a blaze of glory for James Finch and most of the time that doesn't work out too well. Wish it would for Finch's sake given how many cars Kurt has tore up.
How about your top four qualifiers
That's a tough one for a plate race Tom..I'm thinking Keselowski...Kahne...Gordon...Biffle..think it will be a good day for the Fords again and depending where they end of as far as their qualifying position is concerned will be part of the tale..if the weather changes and it gets hotter as qualifying goes on..early qualifiers will be in good shape like they have been in the past with qualifying start at 11:00 central.
I have 1 more time to take Carl Edwards, name a few tracks that are left to take him at?
What comes to mind Mike is that Carl has finished first and second in the last two fall races at Phoenix...it used to be just pick out a mile and a half, but that's no longer the case.
Who do you think will win the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talledega?
I think Matt Kenseth is going to be right up front and in the mix along with Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer..
This would be a good time put in my pre-race top-30 so here....we....go......1.Matt Kenseth2.Clint Bowyer3.Brad Keselowski4.Greg Biffle5.Kasey Kahne6.Kyle Busch7.Jimmie Johnson8.Dale Earnhardt, Jr.9.Jeff Burton10.Jeff Gordon11.Carl Edwards12.Kevin Harvick13.Tony Stewart14.Denny Hamlin15.Joey Logano16.Martin Truex, Jr.17.Trevor Bayne18.Jamie McMurray19.Aric Almirola20.Michael Waltrip21.Casey Mears22.Paul Menard23.Bobby Labonte24.Ryan Newman25.Kurt Busch26.Juan Pablo Montoya27.Sam Hornish, Jr.28.Regan Smith29.David Ragan30.David Gilliland
What Cars will be Pink in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 in honor of Breast Cancer Awarness Month?
I've Kenseth's and don't know of any of the rest that I'm sure will do it.
hey okay i starting watching nascar in 2010 with my boyfriend who is a huge Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin fan, i also love them now. With Denny Hamlin, during 2010 he had a fantastic season and almost won the championship, 2011 he had a horrible chase and almost didnt make the chase, and now this year he is once again a top contender for the championship where do you think his momentum is coming from and does he have a shot at the championship?
He certainly has a shot at the championship and I think his momentum is coming from two places. One, he's simply a more positive and confident driver and is making fewer mistakes behind the wheel and has good communication with crew chief Darian Grubb. That brings me to number two...Grub has been in the heat of the tighest title fight in NASCAR history and came out on top. He's now battle hardened. I still think, however, he made a huge mistake last week not topping off for fuel on the final caution at Dover.
hey, okay so Jeff Gordon hasnt ran the best in the last few chase races. What does he have to do if he wants to be a contender in the championship.
Kendra he needs to keep knocking down top-5 finishes and win another race or two would also help tremendously..On top of that, though, he's ranked tenth so he's going to need to have some of the drivers in front of him, especially the ones way up ahead near the top, to have problems. Unfortunately, when Gordon hit the fence at Chicagoland a lot of his title aspirations were taken out of his hand.
Could Roush Fenway's problem be the side skirt change at Chicagoland?
Not sure Jeremy...they've been off on speed for a good deal of the season..not way off, but then again you don't need to be.
I think my top 10 is a lot different than yours this week. What do you think of it? 15-17-88-2-14-16-99-31-27-5
We are a little off each other...but not as far as usual..lol
Hell-o Mark, Which part will fall off the 17 this week? I'm a Kenseth fan but play Fantasy Racing with my head and not my heart. Will the 99 be the best Ford? Do the Fords have ANY edge at the plate tracks? Will the Childress car still be the ones to watch or is it just all"Even Steven"? I think I'll mainly look ahead to Charlotte. Thanks, Bill
In the cooling department the Fords can simply keep their engines cooler longer and can tandem in a way the other manufacturers can't..I think Kenseth has enough speed to hang around the front which will cut down on his risk. The RCR cars should be good, but they are alreay gearing up for 2013 a little bit and don't know how that plays into everything. They'll be competitive but I don't think winning competitive.
Mark, busy slate ahead so getting this question in early. Taking the approach that 'Dega is a place where I can use guys I have starts left with. So my prelim is 17-9-39-43. Only one I was thinking of flipping potentially was 39 for 88 who I have 4 starts with. Also, I have 4 starts with 22, 2 with 21 so using 43 instead.Let me know what you think, thanks Mark!
I would definitely burn a Junior for Newman at 'Dega. I would also seriously think, because he was eighth in May, using one of the two you have left with a Ford driver like Trevor Bayne..you can also say where else could the 43 get luck and run top-15, top-10? The answer is Talladga..
I've got Hamlin, Johnson, Keselowski, and Kyle Busch locked in at good values in Stock Car Challenge. Who do you suggest as a fifth driver at 16.4 or less? Thanks for all the help this year.
Eight place in May Trevor Bayne is 14.5...Hornish will be helped tremendously by the fact his teammate Keselowski is a great little plate racer and his value is 16.2...Michael Waltrip is 13.0 and was 19th in May. I think Bobby Labonte at 15.5 would also like Waltrip not be a spectacular pick, but a pretty safe one.
Whats up mark. Do u see zipadelli going over there with Ryan Newman now that tony Gibson is with danica
I guess it could happen Alex, but I think they need Zippy overlooking the entire operation..that is his greatest value.
Who is your top choice among Montoya, McMurray, Hornish, Bayne, or Almirola?
I rate them Bayne because of the Ford cooling deal as number one among this group followed by McMurray, Almirola, Montoya, and Hornish.
Since there aren't a lot of distinctive adavtages for any teams at plate races. Can you give us the attitudes of race teams going in. For instance, aggressive, cautious, and the such and are there any advantages with any particular attitude going in? Please shed some hope on the ambiguity that comes with these plate races. Thank you.
I can tell you there is no right answer..Some hang out in the back all day only to get wrecked when they head to the front...others believe if you race up front and race hard you're less apt to get involved in a crash..You'll see a lot of Chevy teams hanging out in the back of this race because it will be the only way they can manage the cooling of their engines.
Hi Mark. What lineup is better A: 2,11,15,88&55 or B: 2,5,15,31,
I think "A" is the right answer Jill.
Afternoon, Great Guru! Who are some of the not-so-usual suspects (think Bayne, Waltrip) that have a chance of a decent finish this week? Thanks. I'll hang up and listen.
Jason other guys in Fords come to mind like Almirola and Ambrose...David Ragan was even top-10 in May..Bobby Labonte might also fit into that category.
Hanging in the back to"play it safe" hasn't really worked out to well for anyone. Do you see Johnson and Hamlin still trying it? I'm thinking Keso only knows one way to plate race so he'll be at the front as much as possible but I could be wrong. Your thoughts?
I think especially given what's happened to Johnson this year on plate races he'll probably hang in the back with some help...say Tony Stewart...Ryan Newman...maybe Blaney because Tommy Baldwin gets a Hendrick engine for this race just in case he's needed in a case of emergency..Hamlin could go either way, but I lean towards him chilling out for some of this race.
Guru, something happened in qualifying last week that has some of stumped - and we can't come up with an answer. Dave Blaney qualified the #37 (a go-or-go-home car) so that after the go-or-go-home cars were dropped, he was 39th, ahead of 4 others who made the show. Yet, without an engine change or any such thing we know of, when the qualifying order was set right after Q, he was 43rd - any ideas why? I know this is kinda out there and off topic, but we'd like to stop scratching our heads, LOL Thanks, as always!
Here's the deal Joanie..and I'll have to look up the rule specifically..and I can do that for next Wednesday..but the last position in the field will always go to the slowest qualifier who doesn't have a guaranteed spot...so for instance if there were four guys behind him who were top-35 in points...they move ahead of Blaney and he falls into the last spot...
Thanks for your time as always, Mark. Curious about two things in your rankings - 1) No Ambrose? 2) Is Bayne so high because of his Daytona win or the fact that he drives a Ford or some other issue? It seems to me he doesn't have a lot of experience at Talladega to rate so high, especially right above McMurray who has won here before.
How in the world did I miss Ambrose...I will have to redo that...I put him 19th just in front of his teammate Almirola...Bayne is high because he finished eighth in May and is driving a Ford and has a number of potential pushers in the Roush and Petty camps to help if needed...McMurray is a very underrated plate racer, but for whatever reason doesn't appear to have the equipment to really compete.
Mark do you think NASCAR is locked into the moniker "chase" or "race for chase" that just seems weak to me...do you like it?
Personally Thomas I think we should always say "Chase for the Championship"..So yeah like you a like just going "Chase" is weak and kind of turns it into a slang term..Golf now has a "Chase" too.
Any news on Hornish in possible 3rd cup car for penske with alliance?
No Mel and you really need to listen to my Jayski.com podcast today at the ESPN Podcast Center or ESPN Radio. Hornish really laid out the good and the bad with his deal with Penske..very enlightening. When I listened to it the first time I went "wow" he's really speaking from the heart and is genuinely conflicted about a conflicted situation.
have you heard anything on travis kvapil,is he staying with bk racing or is he going to another race team for next year?
Nothing yet...but BK Racing owner said this week he's interested in bringing in A.J. Allmendinger so that means Cassill or Kvapil could get a pink slip.
Whatdya think about 17-48-2-11-21
I can live with that. Good-luck.
Did you Know Anybody who had Breast Cancer?
Several people and have the mom of my daughter's best friend battling cancer right now and refusing to give in to long odds.
Hi Mark, does Jimmie keep a picture of Mike Ford next to his 5th Championship Trophy? Any chance the 20 car can steal a win or 2 in the next 7 races.
No I don't think Jimmie keeps a picture of Ford man..remember they were the only ones in my opinion to really push him to the wall..like last season I thought in 2010 we had one crowned champion and one without the hardware...And yes I think Logano can challenge for one more win before the years out...Could be a factor in the plate race Sunday.
How do you think that Danica Patrick will do in 2013 in the Sprint Cup Series with the 39 Pit Crew & Crew Chief?
I think she'll be somewhere top-35 in points.
Do you think the odds are good that Mikey can finish the race? He hasn't raced for awhile, and has always had that love-affair with the wall. I could use a start-save, and while his pay-off might be good, it might be a better to stick with someone "safer"...
Waltrip did finish 19th in May at Talladega Joanie...Bobby Labonte..always a think did even a little better...Bayne will be feast or famine...DNF or top-15,top-10.
RE - "The Rule" answer: Thanks! That explains it! None of us knew that, or had ever noticed it happening before - now we know something new!
Can I tell you now I was just kidding and don't have a clue?..
The Guru making a mistake . . . . Noooooo. What's next Danica winning a race or the world ending lol
Easy Zippy it's not that big of a deal..but there was a brief moment where the world stopped spinning..lol
Well, that's going to do it for today...remember our Sunday race dat chat from Talladega will get underway at 11:00 eastern...8:00 pacific..and 5:00 am Honolulu time...just saying...Hope you have a good week and the force is with you...Sad to say but must "The Guru has left the building!"
And we'll also leave you with this..
Ha..haha...hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa - thanks for a most excellent chat today, Guru!