Sorry folks...we have a pesky sign in problem for yours truly and still have a bug or two to work out...but without further delay let's get this partaaaayyyy started!
Who do you think will win the Royal Purple 300 & the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana,California?
Kyle Busch is on a roll over on the Nationwide Series..I like him a lot or maybe teammate Brian Vickers...As for Sunday..tough to bet against Jimmie Johnson, but I think Matt Kenseth and Kyle will give him a run for the money.
guru-any word frm the 51-camp on a set scdule on who rides the 51?do you think the 51 has the horses & will nt blow any of the horses at fontana 4 200-laps?horses=engine-power
The 51 car will have A.J. Allmendinger this week and Regan Smith next week at Martinsville..There's no doubt the 51 has the horses for Fontana...would you believe with the 'Dinger, Smith and Austin Dillon..after four races James Finch's car is eighth in the owner points? It's crazy but true.
hi-guru-my team is 48-18-88-56-55[truex] any ?S 4 fontana i am looking 2 drop truex-vickers pickup 51[aj=great at martinsville] & hve 18.6 leftover maybe 43 he is also great at martinsville yes i know we are at fontana 1st this weekend do u think the 43 can race arnd 18-22
Tom, Almirola just hasn't done much at Fontana a bit of a question mark for me. Believe it or not I think McMurray will be a better pick at Fontana..I think the 18 is top-5 and potential winner...22 potential top-10 but feels like top-15 at best because he hasn't run a trouble free race yet with Penske.
Mark, sending this in early again. Headed back to Orlando to go to some of the Bay Hill event to watch it. Anyways if not for Hamlin dumping Logano I would have had a superb week last weekend. Perlim for this weeknd is on Y!: 20-55-18-51 and on ESPN: 20-22-55-99-18. Thoughts?
I like the Y! team Nick and the ESPN team isn't so bad but if you have .1 more then I'd trade Logano for Kevin Harvick...and just below him Ryan Newman might also end up being a better pick than the 22.
Howdy Mark, I hope you're strapping on your "Thinking Cap" and "Rubbin' your Rabbit's Foot" ! I am scared to death about the T (u) RD engines @ California! A 2 mile track w/sustained RPM! I want to have all the Gibbs guys on my team! WHAT IN THE WORLD SHOULD I DO ? I haven't had the 88 on my team in next to forever. Should I load up with the" Hendrick Bunch"? Should I go with the Fords? I am sooo confused! Mark, Thanks for doing what you do! Looking forward to your top 30. I've been doing this Fantasy stuff for a long time and I love it! My wife thinks I'm nuts and she may be on to something. I look forward to Sunday's chat, Later, Bill
Bill, I think Toyota will de-tune their engines a little so I don't see that as a major problem, but we won't know for sure until they get through final practice Saturday...I like the Hendrick bunch led by 48,5,88 and then the 24 more than I like the some of the Toyotas when you look at this week and next week. There aren't many strong Fords looking ahead to Martinsville so I wouldn't go there..and what wife doesn't think her husband's nuts? lol
Speaking of my pre-race top-30...here it is..1.Matt Kenseth2.Kyle Busch3.Jimmie Johnson4.Dale Earnhardt, Jr.5.Kasey Kahne6.Tony Stewart7.Brad Keselowski8.Carl Edwards9.Kevin Harvick10.Martin Truex, Jr.11.Clint Bowyer12.Greg Biffle13.Mark Martin14.Jeff Gordon15.Denny Hamlin16.Ryan Newman17.Paul Menard18.Kurt Busch19.Joey Logano20.A.J. Allmendinger21.Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.22.Jamie McMurray23.Jeff Burton24.Marcos Ambrose25.Aric Almirola26.Juan Pablo Montoya27.Casey Mears28.Danica Patrick29.Bobby Labonte30.Dave Blaney
What are your thoughts on the success of the 51 car so far?Is the situation helped by AJ Allmendinger potentially driving for a FT job next season?
The 51 car has performed extraordinarily well this season..but remember these are Hendrick cars and engines so that's a pretty good starting point..Plus, Allmendinger is a perfect fit..low key not easy to flustered and the team likes him a lot..A.J. is driving the wheels off it and the team has been good on pit road too.
I want to put Urt on my fantasy team, but see he is running a 2012 car. Is this due to him wrecking out so many cars this year?
I was looking around to confirm it's a 2012 car...not a 2012 chassis with 2013 sheet metal..haven't heard back yet...sorry KB
I have been impressed with how the 51 has been running so far this year. Do you think this is because they have level headed drivers this year as compared to last year? Would they be a good gamble this weekend?
I think there's no doubt a different driving attitude this year for the 51 with Smith, Allmendinger and Dillon. They are less volatile and I think the team has better cars and because they are not wrecking the cars they can stay ahead which is the big problem for the smaller teams.
Hey Guru! Jamie McMurray is looking like he's found something this year, to me. Think he might be a good floor for future races? Also, can you post the address to send donations to your church youth group? Thanks!
Joanie, I think Jamie needs to have an eye kept on him..I'm not a believer yet, but that team is running better. If they are ready to move back to the front that would be great for fantasy racing players and Jamie.
Do you think that Steinhouse will be a good floor pick for the rest of this segment?
Jason, I think he could be. He's now a guy you can count on for at least a top-20 finish and they are only going to get better. He doesn't have much experience at Martinsville so that might be a bump in the road..but Texas, Kansas, Talladega and Darlington should be picking up some steam.
Any word on our stats man, Ken?
Joanie, our buddy Ken passed away in December and it took for me into February to find out for sure. I was sent his obituary and it really bothers me I didn't know when it happened. Ken picked at for years and I finally got to buy him lunch when he wandered over to Lexington, NC early last year.
Mark, It looks to me like the 5 car of Kasey Kahne is far better than anyone else through the turns these past 2 weeks. He has to be the favorite for this week again......Who else might be a threat?
Craig, Kasey still has some proving to do in Fontana, which hasn't been a great track for him but I do expect him to run up front. I also like the 20,18,48 and 88 too.
What about this team for the rest of the segment; 48,88,99,29,17
That's not a bad line-up Jason..I can see the 48,88, and 99 potential top-5 each week..29 top-10 and the 17 top-15.
For the rest of the segment pick one 88 or 18; and then 99 or 29.
Jason...88 is safer but 18 will score huge chunks of points..Harvick and Edwards are basically a toss up.
Hi Mark - McMurray has two strong runs in a row now and is moving up the points standings. Does EGR have it in them to get things together and put one of their drivers into the Chase this year?
Jim, it seems to me if one of the EGR drivers makes the Chase it's going to be McMurray with Juan Pablo mired way down the standings already. I think they are running better, but I'm still not sure it's enough to take one of the big boys out of the playoff.
What is the status of the have nots, are they going to catch up? Hendricks, Gibbs, Roush all have the wins and Penske looks stout . RCR , MWR, Gannassi ,SHR - are they all way behind or does it just look that way?
Robert, I don't think MWR is that far off, but Hendrick, Gibbs, and Roush won't be giving them or anyone much breathing space to move up the standings...they have the most money..the most engineers..and the best drivers...that's the bottom line.
Good to see both AJ and Phoenix doing well. AJ is a good little driver who just made a tiny mistake and you have to love the underfunded underdogs.
Agree with you about the team and AJ...but remember this team is a little bit of a wolf in sheep clothing with Hendrick chassis and engines...but they lack the big engineering and definitely have a small crew, which is why there success hinges on their cars not getting wrecked.
Hi Mark. The 24 really killed my 20 pick last week, but I'm liking him alot this week. The top 3 I'm going with so far (before practice runs take place) are the 48, 20 & 18. Since I just saw your top 30 while I was typing this, it looks like you agree with those picks. Chat with ya on Sunday...
At this point Joe all I will say is that "great minds think alike"...:)
My team this week is 48,2,20,51 and 55. Should I consider dropping the 2 for either the 18 or 88 or should I keep the 2 car. Thanks a lot.
Todd, I think you're team might be improved a little bit trading the 2 for the 18..but 2 has been too consistent and I would hang on to him. He's been money in the bank.
Class delayed again, looking forward to Bay Hill back home this weekend. When do you think I can start using starts on Stenhouse for Y!? Maybe Charlotte or sooner in Texas in April?
I'm thinking Texas Nick with Kansas another mile and a half coming up behind that.
Did you see Bowyer's overnight tweets. He is a true character and true to himself. Wonder how many followwers he gained lol
Haven't seen them, but have hung around enough up here in Davidson county to know he's funny and he's real...I hated to see RCR lose him and what a plus for MWR to get him...and I need to check out those tweets!
What Actors will be at the Auto Club 400 & the Royal Purple 300 this weekend?
Not a clue yet...but some will have to show up.
Thanks for passing that along about Ken, Very Sad! He will be sorely missed out here. I think we all really enjoyed and respected and liked him.
He was a character and a half...and boy did we have fun picking on each other...and boy is he going to be mad because I told him I was going to play the last segment of the ESPN SCC last year like I was playing to win(which I really don't do in real life because I want to shake my team up all the time to get people thinking harder about there's and not just standing pat) and I whipped Ken and that really bugged him to have to admit I had whipped the "Old Man"...lol...RIP Ken
Do you know how many races is Allmendinger scheduled to run this year? How is the 51 being divided up between him, Smith, and Dillon?
Bill, the 51 team is still working on the overall schedule...You also have to add in Ryan Truex because he's driving the car I was told at Richmond. Again, it's Allmendinger this week, Smith at Martinsville.
I see people "locking in" teams.. I think it is better to adjust as the season progresses. There are a number of options each week to upgrade if you put the time in.. Your thoughts?
That's what I do Karl just to keep the wheels rolling...I think you can be successful both ways, but I like to made trades "daring to be great"..lol
What Sprint Cup Series Rookies do you think will win Races This Season & What Race will they get their very first Victory at?
I can't say where..but the only shot Danica will have is probably the next three plate tracks and maybe the road courses...Stenhouse's best chance will come at one of the 1.5-mile tracks where Roush Fenway seems the stronges..
You have opinion on the Logano Hamlin deal?
I think Logano should have been a little more aggressive with Jeff Gordon, who was definitely holding him up..He put himself in a bad spot having to play offense and hard defense trying to hold Hamlin at bay. Seeing how careful Logano had been with Gordon, Hamlin should have been a little more respectful of Logano right then because there was so much of the race still left to be run. It doesn't appear that Hamlin likes Logano and that might have colored his judgement. It was good hard racing that went a little too far, but that's Bristol right?
I see that Mears signed another sponsor recently so does that mean he is closer to having enough $ to not start & park this year. What tracks would you think will be his best?
They told me at this point they are trying not to start and park a single race.
Who do you think will win qualifying? Thanks!
I think it's a Gibbs or Hendrick car.
Alright last one Mark, I was wondering about Best Buy's deal w/RFR. They have been mentioned as a company that could go under after this year. Do you know if RFR is already looking for a new primary for Ricky? Or they have a muli-year deal?
I'm sure Best Buy will remain afloat somehow and I have no idea how long their contract with Roush is..but I'm sure they are always searching for new sponsors to join their organization.
Menard taking over as top driver at RCR?
Robert, I think Menard is improving, but I can't seem him overtaking Harvick, but he seems more consistent at this point than Burton.
A little off point but you are the all knowing Guru so do you have your brackets done and if so who wins it all?
Would you believe I don't pay any attention to that at all...seriously I don't because I'm up to my arm pits in NASCAR...lol
I'm all for momentum and Dale Jr. certainly has it getting 4 top tens in 4 races this year. Looking at the stats though he only has 1 top 10 in 8 races in California. I'm considering switching him with Martin, Edwards or Biffle? By your rankings I guess you'd say stick with him while things are going well? Thanks Guru!
Dan..I think momentum counts for a lot..Dale Jr. has some..and feel about him like I do Keselowski, who's never had a good finish at Fontana in Cup..forget recent stats and concentrate on here and now for those two drivers.
How do you think that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. & Danica Patrick will do when the Sprint Cup Series Races at Pocono?
Not sure Chris...neither has experience there so no way to tell at this point.
Well, that's going to do it for another Wednesday edition...Have a great week and remember our Fontana race day chat will begin Sunday at noon eastern...Until then sad to say but must (The Guru has left the building"!