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October 16, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy NASCAR with Mark Garrow

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (2:58 PM)

Good afternoon everyone....it's a beautiful day here in North Carolina and I hope you're getting some great weather too! Now let's get this NASCAR fantasy racing partaaaayyy started!

Rosie Jayne (LHC Meeting)

Two weeks ago Shrub was saying, "Brad is going to get me", and Shrub proceeded to spin himself out on his own, blocking JPM, it was the tires, it was the track, everyone wants to run over me. Last week Shrub says, "Brad is going to get me," and Brad wins the race. Is Brad in Shrub's head to the point Shrub is spending more time focusing on Brad than on winning a Cup championship? Thanks, Guru. Oh, thanks for the chat, you seem to be the only one at ESPN interested in doing one.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:02 PM)

Thanks Rosie...only four more Wednesday chats for me, but I'm really glad to do them for you and all the race fans out there. I do think Brad is inside Kyle's head a little bit. That's what this is all really about..Keselowski is not about to retaliate in a Sprint Cup race now he just wants Kyle to know that's a possibility...The first few races of next season, though, is a different story. The only way it gets physical this year is if Kyle falls way out of contention or, perhaps, if it looks like Kyle might be the guy to take away his title.

Mike P (Lenexa, Ks)

Guru... two questions. A) Other than the Kansas/Darlington Switch for next year... any surprises to the schedule for 2014? B) The seats in NASCAR'S backyard on saturday night were nearly empty; from my guess everytime ESPN panned over the track it looked half full... The Grandstand coming out of 2 was not even used and the sections coming out of 4 were just bare... My point is if NASCAR cant even get Charlotte to sell out and its in their backyard what hope do we have for seats to fill back up and attendance to increase? I know that this is a track by track dilemia but its pretty damning when Charlotte doesnt sell out.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:06 PM)

Mike, here's the problem with Charlotte they can have 80-100,000 people there and the place looks empty. Darlington, on the flip side, can look nearly full, but they don't even have 50,000 seats...So, the visual at Charlotte is a problem...but this sport is a victim of the economy because it costs so much money to go to a race for the weekend with hotel, food and tickets. When people had to tighten their belts we were going to take a hit. I think the product on the track is pretty good, but it could be better which is why NASCAR held the open test at Charlotte Monday working on some new body configurations...We also need something to grab people's attention such as Dale Jr. winning more or Danica jumping up and winning one..like say a plate race at Talladega...a good championship battle right down to the final lap a la Stewart-Edwards would be nice too.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will win the Good Sam 500 at Talladega?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:09 PM)

Man that's like asking someone the theory of life..almost no way to get it right. I do have, though, Matt Kenseth ranked number one...but wouldn't it be nice if David Ragan or someone like him..maybe teammate David Gilliland or Michael Waltrip, or Austin Dillon win the thing..That's the deal at Talladega you just never know until to the last turn on the last lap who's got a shot.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:09 PM)

By the way daring to be great, DTBG, my pre-race top-30 looks a little weird this week...check it out..it's next.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:09 PM)

1.Matt Kenseth2.Brad Keselowski3.Jimmie Johnson4.Jeff Gordon5.David Ragan6.Kyle Busch7.Dale Earnhardt, Jr.8.Clint Bowyer9.Kasey Kahne10.Kevin Harvick11.Michael Waltrip12.Ryan Newman13.Martin Truex, Jr.14.Jeff Burton15.Carl Edwards16.David Gilliland17.Kurt Busch18.Denny Hamlin19.Jamie McMurray20.Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.21.Aric Almirola22.Austin Dillon23.Joey Logano24.Marcos Ambrose25.Danica Patrick26.Paul Menard27.Juan Pablo Montoya28.Greg Biffle29.Bobby Labonte30.Casey Mears

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:10 PM)

By the way that leaves Trevor Bayne and Justin Allgaier off for the time being..they are likely to make it back in on raceday in Talladega Sunday morning.

Bill Scott (Lake Summerset, Illinois)

Hell-o Mark, O.K. I've lost ground again in Fantasy Cup. Vickers was my weak link. Here are choices to replace Vickers: Hamlin, Waltrip, Ragan, (gulp) Danica, Dillon, Allgaier, Bayne, T. Labonte and Hornish. I think I may need to give up a stud along with Vickers and take two better cars. Since it is a crapshhot I think I'll try to prepare my roster with Martinsville in mind. Are you doing a top 30? Thanks for all you do. Later, Bill

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:12 PM)

Bill, Ragan or Waltrip would be pretty safe picks to go with to fill in for Vickers. Danica won't be "chopped liver" either. Hamlin should have a shot to run top-10...Dillon may be the dark-horse in this bunch driving Tony Stewart's bad fast #14.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will drive the #55 in the Sprint Cup Series & the #20 in the Nationwide Series for the Rest of 2013 Since Brian Vickers is Out for the Season?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:13 PM)

No clue at this point..sorry.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Mark, finally on Fall Break. Although it's been a lot of school work and applying for jobs. Sending this in early as my brother took the week off from work so we might see Rush. Charlotte was a decent night for both fantasy teams. Logano was just a disappointment for my teams. Anyways for this week at 'Dega aka the Russian Roulette table I have prelim, Y!: 29-88-22-55 and on ESPN: 48-29-2-9-55. Thoughts? And on the Hornish/Penske deal, is the reason he won't be back because his NNS sponsors are leaving the sport? As always thanks for the chats.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:17 PM)

First, I thought you were always on break...lol...and I can't wait to see the movie "Rush" myself. It looks bad to the bone. As for the ESPN team you had me all the way up to the 9...that team just seems to be missing something...I'd feel safer with the 31,17, or 11...Hornish's ride may be disappearing because of a lack of sponsorship or it may be a way to clear the decks to run Ryan Blaney full time on the Nationwide Series in 2015...Of course Penske could decide to put just Blaney in the 22 next season or use multiple drivers again.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Pink Cars are in the Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega to support Breast Cancer?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:18 PM)

I figure Danica again, but after that I'm sorry I don't know.

Brian (Cleveland, OH)

Hi Mark. Thanks for taking the time to help us fantasy players out. I'm in a league where you can use a driver one time all year. The only big name I have left is Edwards. He's typically pretty good at Homestead, do you think I should just wait to use him there? And have you heard of any more of the Nationwide guys coming up to Sprint after this week i.e. Bayne, Dillon, Smith? Thanks.

Paul (Jersey)

I am in a league where you pick one driver every week and you can only use each driver twice throughout the year. I have the 18 penciled in at Martinsville, the 20 at Texas, the 99 at Phoenix and the 2 at Homestead. (These are the best drivers I have left) At Dega I'm considering Regan, Hamlin or McMurray. What is the best play there? Or if I take the 2 at Dega, what low ranked driver should I use at one of the other tracks? (anyone ranked below the 2) Thanks for your help.

john (alsip-ill)

hi-guru in your opinion regardless of equipment who do you think are the best plate[smart] drivers

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:20 PM)

Sorry there was a technical glitch...

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:23 PM)

First, Brian in Cleveland thanks for the props...I would save Edwards this week...If you haven't used Ragan this would be the week to do it. Dillon in the #14 might not be a bad bet either. Dillon will run another race or two for RCR before the years over I've been told. Just checked team's web page Bayne will also run Texas and Homestead...Smith I don't think will run any of the remaining Cup races..

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:26 PM)

Now, Paul in New Jersy....I would not run Keselowski at Talladega and instead why not try David Ragan..He's been seventh, fourth, and a winner in last three races..that's pretty sporty...I would rank them Ragan, Hamlin, McMurray...JMac is a really good plate racer, but car needs speed and I'll be interested to see how much his has in practice.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:27 PM)

Finally in my catch up mode John in Illinois...Off the top of my head 20,48,24,88, M.Waltrip 55, 34, 2..those are the guys who are top of mind when you ask me who are the best plate racers...Like Bowyer too.

john (alsip-ill)

my team was similar 2 yours at charlotte 20-29-48-39-38 / my 4th driver at dega is 17 5th driver waltrip if i drop 1 of my big-3 4 88 or 15 which 1 do you think i should drop or any suggestions by you thnx

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:29 PM)

I'd go with the 88 John...I'm also thinking of trading the 29 for the 2...and you're welcome.

john (alsip-ill)

hi-guru again is 98 mcdowell a park & start at dega or you will nt know untill sunday morning thnx also who is in 51 this week?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:29 PM)

Won't know start and park status until we get to the track..Justin Allgaier is in the 51.

john (alsip-ill)

hi-mark again is the the 33 in rcr equipment at dega cause you can take abt any 4 drivers you want with the 33 [ finished on lead lap at daytona-2 & dega-1 i beilve he finished lead lap at the 500 2]worst finish of 26 or am i better going with ant 3 drivers

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:30 PM)

Dillon is not driving the 33 this weekend, but is in the 14 for Tony Stewart...very fast car and a driver who's comfortable with these kind of speeds.

Joanie (Michigan)

Hullo, Guru! Say, until this past May, Jeff Burton had three straight top 10's and 4 straight top 20's (one was a top 5) at Dega. He is running pretty well right now - think he might be a sneaky good pick? There are a few sneaky-good plate racers out there that everyone thinks of, but I've never counted Jeff Burton among them - maybe I just haven't been paying attention, LOL.......Thanks, as always!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:32 PM)

I agree with you Joanie that Burton could be a sneaky good pick..very smart and strategic in the draft. Stenhouse and Hamlin down around the same territory could end up top-10, top-15 Sunday too....And you not paying attention Joanie?..I never would have believed...:)

Mike H (NJ)

Mark, who do you as a better chance for a top 10, the 56 orr 22? Thanks, Mike

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:32 PM)

56

Zach (Fennimore, WI)

Sounds like it's the 78 or possibly a FT Nationwide ride for Martin Truex, Jr. Sad to see if he has to drop down a series.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:33 PM)

Truex will be in the Cup Series...if NAPA isn't looking to carrying him to another team...Truex will be in the 78. I know they made him an offer on the opening day at Charlotte last week.

Joanie (Michigan)

Hmmmmmm - Sam Hornish in the 12, Austin Dillon in the 14, Trevor Bayne in the 21, Michael Waltrip in the 55 - how would you rank these part-timers for Dega, and how do you think they compare to David Regan, who can clean up a plate track no matter what his equipment? Thanks, Again!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:34 PM)

I would rate these guys like this...Ragan, Waltrip, Dillon, Gilliland, then Bayne...and you're welcome!

Paul (Jersey)

Is the 11 worth rolling the dice this week as a start saver? He could be running with his Chase teammates Kyle and Matt.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:35 PM)

You're right that he'll have the speed Paul..now, we just need Hamlin to have a little good luck for a change.

raygordon reid ( BIRMINGHAM AL 35294)

QUESTION TO MARK GURU garrow at 3.25 pm WHO WINS TALLADEGA SUNDAY

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:36 PM)

There's about 25 guys who could Ray Gordon..Could be a favorite like Kenseth or an upset winner like Ragan...

LalaQueesha Jackson (Mississippi)

Mark...i know its not exactly a NASCAR question, but what are your thoughts about the college football game being played at Bristol? It should be quite the spectacle!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:37 PM)

No doubt about it...the place will be sold out to the max...and from the upper deck in turn two the players will look like tiny little ants..lol

Joanie (Michigan)

Well, Guru - I just got back from North Carolina, where I meet up with friends & hardcore fantasy players from five different states for a long weekend of fun, including the Charlotte race. One of The BIG topics of discussion was, "Where will Guru Garrow be next year?" - we are getting nervous about that.....none of us set our rosters until we've read your pre-race chat - it seems it is part of all our pre-race routine.....

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:39 PM)

Joanie, I have no idea what's next for me at this point. I'm taking a deep breath and we'll start next week actively trying to figure things out. I'd like to start my own play for pay game since I won't have a website or sponsor to pay the expenses of being at the track etc..but not sure how people would support that. Would probably need 3-5,0000 to do it right...but I appreciate everyone's concern for my career and my pocket book...lol

Jim Bob (Bama)

How about Truex to the 93 (BK Racing) and they align with MWR - that will give both BK drivers a familiar group (Reutimann).

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:40 PM)

I guess that's possible Jim Bob, but 78 is best ride available and if they can agree on the money, and I think they will, that's where he's going.

Chris (Rutgers Grease Trucks- New Brunswick, NJ)

Hi Mark! Great insight as always!! Jimmie had the race won, but a late caution cost him the sure victory. Will those few points cost him a title after Miami? or is his best yet to come and will the breaks finally fall his way? Thanks!!!!

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:42 PM)

If he gets by Talladega unwrecked Chris, he'll be very tough to deal with down the stretch..I can see a real war between him and Kenseth breaking out at Texas. I think Johnson's on one of those rolls that makes him nearly bullet proof..but I also think Kenseth is so mentally strong he'll be able to stay with him stride for stride..If Gordon gets a little closer as well, this deal could get a lot of fun.

B [via mobile]

why does a driver that finishes 30th make more money then a driver that finishes 25th ?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:45 PM)

That wasn't the case at Charlotte...but when that happens it's because that guy in 30th is likely on NASCAR's winner's circle program that pays last year's winners so much per race on top of the purse..sometimes as well some teams turned down certain contingency money and that could make a difference too.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

You Probably do not Remember this, But Who won the Nationwide Series Race that was Delayed by Snow at Bristol Motor Speedway?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:46 PM)

I do know this answer because I was there spotting for Chuck Bown...On a day with no television and no radio, Rick Wilson ran the race of his life to win..did a great job and only about 100 people saw it.

Zipnada (St Paul MN)

Is ESPN cutting all ties with Jayski and you for next year?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:47 PM)

ESPN owns Jayski so they will not be cutting ties with the website. I'm probably going to set up a mailbag on Martinsville weekend for people to write in and talk about what I bring to the table for "future" reference...:)

Joanie (Michigan)

Awesome idea, Guru - and one we hopefully discussed at Charlotte - gotta run, thanks for a great chat, as always!

Barry (Windell, NC)

What's the #12 Penske looking like for Charlotte with Hornish at the wheel?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:49 PM)

Barry if you mean at Talladega then I think Hornish will have car enough and engine enough to be more than competitive...there is only molecules of differences between cars at Talladega.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Lets Go Back 20 Years ago Who won the Winston Cup Series Race at Atlanta that was Postponed Due to Snow?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:50 PM)

Won't forget that one either because I was supposed to get a big break on ABC TV the day before doing race with the late Neil Bonnett when the storm of the century dropped in...The Cup winner was my buddy Morgan Shepherd.

Zipnada (St Paul MN)

Can we at least look forward to you doing a fantasy blog or something on your own?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:51 PM)

I don't know Zippy...hope to have more details in coming weeks...I certainly appreciate the chance to work for ESPN that's for sure and didn't have "plan b".

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:55 PM)

Time for still a few more questions...so hit me with your best shot.

Zipnada (St Paul MN)

Ant idea what Jeff Burton will be doing next year?

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (3:59 PM)

At this point...not exactly...still think it's going to have some connection, large or small, to Richard Childress...with RCR helping out with engines and cars..I heard Tommy Baldwin for awhile..could be second team with Germain Racing now they have signed alliance with RCR.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:00 PM)

I don't think Hornish will get a Cup ride unless it's with a third tier team..BK Racing may want to do something different and Kvapil is on the hot seat for reasons we all know about...Could hook a Nationwide Series ride easier...especially if he wins the championship.

Walt (FL)

Is there friction between Michael Waltrip and Rob Kaufman. What is MWR's Future?Thanks for all you do.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:02 PM)

Walt they denied the rumors last week Kaufman was doing a deal with Jeff Burton and then announced a reorganization plan for MWR. Would I be surprised if Kaufman is unhappy MWR is in this kind of predicament? Absolutely not. Do I think he would cut and run? Again, absolutely not.

B. Landry-Instigator20 (Claremont, N.H.)

Mighty Guru,It has been awhile since we last chatted. Question? Would like to take Kez this week, but the "FEUD" with Little Shrub" scares me. What do you think?Instigator20

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:03 PM)

The feud doesn't scare me and I like Keselowski a lot this week. He's won twice at Talladega, is a very good plate racer, and has absolutely nothing to lose when the green comes out. At the the he'll either have the checkered flag in his hand or the steering wheel after being in a big pile-up.

Jim Bob (Bama)

Would older Cup guys on their way out, such as Labonte and Burton ever run the Truck series full time? Less time away from home but it would still get the juices flowing.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:04 PM)

I can picture maybe Bobby doing that because he really does love to race...Burton does as well, but I can't see that in his future.

Mark "Guru" Garrow
  (4:06 PM)

Folks...thanks so much for "tuning" in this afternoon and for all the questions. Our race day chat from Talladega will be coming up Sunday morning at 11:30 eastern time..Until then have a great week! Sad to say but must "The Guru has left the building"!