Fantasy NASCAR with Mark Garrow
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Mark Garrow will stop by to take your fantasy NASCAR questions.
Garrow began reporting on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1984 and has been doing a daily nationally-syndicated NASCAR news radio show currently called PRN's Garage Pass since 1987. Garrow is currently the co-anchor for the Performance Racing Network (PRN) national radio broadcasts of Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races.
The Vermont native was voted the National Motorsports Press Association's Barney Hall award winner in 2002, the Radio Broadcaster of the Year in 2006 and has collected over 30 NMPA awards. While the bulk of his work has been on radio, Garrow has been on television for ESPN, TNT, TNN and Fox.
Send your questions now and join Garrow Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Steve Richards (3:01 PM)
Hey guys. Hope everyone has had a good week so. Reid Spencer (from the NASCAR wire service) will be on hand with me Sunday at Pocono. We'll try and answer your questions today as best as I can. I'm hoping lots of folks took our advice and picked up Juan Pablo Montoya at Dover and we mentioned Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would be good and he was. On the downside, all of our top-ten picks were doing well until they either blew an engine or wrecked. That's where the crystal ball would have come in real handy! There were a few we didn't see before the race having good runs like the 55 and 29...and how about the 13? I'm happy for Casey Mears.
Steve Richards (3:03 PM)
I got off the phone with Mark about 15 minutes ago from Hawaii...he wishes everyone Aloha! I think he's ready to come home. Anyway - here is the Guru's pre-race Pocono rankings -----
Steve Richards (3:03 PM)
POCONO PRE-RACE TOP 30 RANKINGSNOTE: The rankings are updated during the race day chats. Jeff GordonKasey KahneJimmie JohnsonClint BowyerKurt BuschKyle BuschBrad KeselowskiMatt KensethCarl EdwardsTony StewartDenny HamlinJoey LoganoMartin Truex, Jr.Mark MartinRyan NewmanDale Earnhardt, Jr.Greg BiffleKevin HarvickPaul MenardJuan Pablo MontoyaMarcos AmbroseJeff BurtonJamie McMurrayA.J. AllmendingerAric AlmirolaRicky Stenhouse, Jr.Casey MearsBobby LabonteDavid GillilandDanica Patrick
nascar fan (fl)
Hi Mark, How are you doing? Would you have thought that this team-24 20 18 11 56 would have finished Dover with 106 points. Two weeks in a row I had 190 plus days going and then bang. And it all disappears.
Steve Richards (3:05 PM)
I feel your pain! I'm sure a lot of people do. But as Tony Stewart famously says - "If I had a crystal ball I'd be a bookie in Las Vegas"
Bill Scott (Lake Summerset, Illinois)
Hell-o Steve and Reid? Your top 30 for Dover really stunk up the joint, but I was on board from the beginning. Sounds like someone from T(u)RD will be canned. The 42 won a pole @ Pocono and the place drives somewhat like Indy. Are the 42, 9 and 22 in the upper half of your top 30? Will practice tell the tale? Lots of sustained RPM, the rice burners make me nervous. Thanks for your input. Bill
Steve Richards (3:09 PM)
Yeah Bill...I know...look at all the crap that happen to many of the top guys. It was painful to watch. Yesterday, the President of TRD, Lee White announced his retirement at the end of the year and is stepping down immediately due to a family health issue. Anybody can read between lines on that one. Stories today say TRD is de-tuning their engines for this weekend to help the reliability. We'll see. We'll be talking to many in the garage throughout the weekend and keeping an eye on their motors. As for your other questions...I do believe those three will rank up there. Mark's pre-race rankings will certainly change. Earnhardt-Ganassi tested at Pocono and all three of Juan's top-tens have come at tracks where he tested. Practice will surly tell us a lot!
Zach (Fennimore, WI)
Is Clint Bowyer undoubtedly the most underappreciated driver (in fantasy and the Series in general)? He may not compete for wins or lead laps in bunches but he's about as much a lock for a Top 10 each week as some of the elite guys.
Steve Richards (3:12 PM)
I think your spot on Zach. His issues seem to crop up on the mile-and-a-halfs and some of the bigger tracks if you look at the finishes. Here is Mark's take - Clint Bowyer (21.8) is one of two drivers who were top-10 in both Pocono events in 2012 and his style really fits this track where a driver has to really work to run quick through three distinctly different corners.
john (merrionette park ill)
hi-guru hope you are enjoying vaction-is the 14 back & at 100%
Steve Richards (3:15 PM)
Hi John...Mark is on the beach this afternoon! Stewart and company have the potential to be strong this weekend. They all tested at Pocono and learned a lot according to Danica's crew chief Tony Gibson...I talked with him at length at Dover. Tony was just as surprised as everyone they were able to break through at Dover, but you had to figure it was coming sooner or later...even they didn't know when. Pocono practice will be interesting.
What do you think about the 48,20,24,11, and 14 as a team for Pocono?
Steve Richards (3:19 PM)
It looks pretty good for now Jason. If you can I would wait for the practices and the crew chief notes for a final verdict. Checking Stewart's finishes at Pocono...he's pretty reliable. In the last 15 races, he has 9 top-fives and a win...all but two were top-ten finishes.
jack (Phx, az)
What are the chances that the 42 wins the pole @ pocono for the 2nd yr in the row again?
Steve Richards (3:22 PM)
I wish I could say Jack! Historically he hasn't been a stellar qualifier there but the Ganassi cars certainly have the speed now...and he tested there so I wouldn't count him out. But, if it were an all or nothing bet...I'd pass.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will win the Dupont Pioneer 250 at Iowa & the Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono?
Steve Richards (3:27 PM)
Mark has Jeff Gordon #1 in the pre-race rankings. I would put Kasey Kahne or Jimmie Johnson
Don (Kenosha Wi)
My top ten 48 11 20 5 29 18 2 15 24 99. How do we compare?
Steve Richards (3:33 PM)
Hey Don...here is Mark's top-10 as of today - Jeff GordonKasey KahneJimmie JohnsonClint BowyerKurt BuschKyle BuschBrad KeselowskiMatt KensethCarl EdwardsTony StewartRight now I would go - 5, 48, 15, 20, 2, 18, 24, 11, 99, and 14. Mark seems to like the 78. and 29.
Windy City Dan (IL)
Steve, Do you have a twitter account that we can follow? Thanks, Dan
Steve Richards (3:35 PM)
Hi Dan...I do...It's SteveRichards57....but I don't post a lot. I get so busy at the track and during the week Twitter just seems to get in my way!
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Hey Steve, thanks for taking time to talk Fantasy NASCAR and NASCAR in general. This week for Pocono I have on Y!: 11-55-42-51 and on ESPN: 48-20-18-22-42. However on Y!, was thinking of using one of my 7 starts left for the 88 instead of the 42 or 55, should I or save him for Michigan, Kentucky, etc? Thanks Steve!
Steve Richards (3:38 PM)
Hi Nick, I think I would start the 42 this weekend and save the 88 for Michigan. Don't know if you caught the stat earlier but Juan has top-ten finishes at all three tracks he tested this season and he did test at Pocono so I'd go with that trend. I'm not dropping him from my team this weekend.
Nice call on Montoya, Steve! Listening to that is that only thing that saved one of my teams from joining the others in a record-low-scoring week :( ......now, if I understand correctly, TRD KNOWS what the problem is, but can't fix it? Do we just avoid Toyota's for now?
Steve Richards (3:42 PM)
Thanks Joanie - I saved my team from a more embarrassing score. :) They say it's something in the value train...have seen quotes where it's a value spring issue. Apparently they are de-tuning the engines sacrificing some speed for reliability. Before deciding to ditch the Toyotas I'd wait and see how practice goes this weekend. If one or more blows up I would be hesitant. Too early to tell I believe.
Hey Guru...missed ya' last week on raceday...hope everything went well on your vaction in Hawaii...What chances do Logano, Juan & Menard have in getting a top this week at Pocono???...trying to save some allocation of drivers...thanks...
Steve Richards (3:46 PM)
Well Waco...the Guru is still in Hawaii and will be in the air flying back Sunday morning. I think the chances those three guys getting a top-ten at Pocono aren't bad. Menard has been on the verge of braking through there...his worst finish has been 14th in the last four races at Pocono. Juan is expected to do well based on his test. The new surface threw Joey for a little bit of a loop last year but he should still be good for a top-ten.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Speedway that you have Been to has absolutely Terrible Food at?
Steve Richards (3:48 PM)
Hey Chris - the most unappealing food on the circuit by far is at POCONO!!! At least in the media center. :)
Blake (Pensacola, FL)
Steve, do any cannonball run, gumball rally type races still exsist in North America?I've heard about one overseas. Do any NASCAR drivers participate in these kind of races?
Steve Richards (3:49 PM)
Don't know Blake. I would Google it. No NASCAR drivers take part...they don;t have the time.
SteveHow will the Dinger run this weekend?
Steve Richards (3:53 PM)
Hey Bubba! Unfortunately I don't think stellar. He doesn't have a great record there to begin with...10 starts and only one top-ten and that was a 10th back in 2010. Plus, with his not having the experience as most of the guys (and girl) in the field with the new Gen-6 car, AJ could struggle. I could be totally wrong but we'll see how practice goes. I like Casey Mears more than AJ...at this point.
Hi Mark & Steve. Finished the last 2 weeks with 85 and 102 points. Need major help. Whats your thought on this team: 48,88,14,11,
Steve Richards (3:54 PM)
I hear that Jill! Just 4 guys?
Who are you and what did you do with the Guru?!
Steve Richards (3:56 PM)
The Guru is dead to me!!!! :)
Windy City Dan (IL)
Who do you think will qualify in the first 4 spots? Thanks Steve!
Steve Richards (3:58 PM)
Okay...I'll give this one a shot --- 5, 24, 42, and 27!!!! Don't bet on it!
Nick Rolando (Orlando, FL)
Non Fantasy question Steve, where do you see Newman and Vickers next year?
Steve Richards (4:02 PM)
That's a good question Nick. Vickers will be a candidate for the 55 and may get it until Ryan Truex is ready. If sponsorship is found, Newman will stay put. Stewart, Newman, Danica and Harvick. If not Newman could wind up at RCR or perhaps Ganassi if Montoya wants out early. Another possible is Penske if they can find primary sponsorship...Roger wanted him back last year. Just my 2-cents.
Steve Richards (4:04 PM)
Okay...gotta run. It was good chit-chatting...I'll be back Sunday along with Reid. We'll be keeping our ears to the pavement throughout the weekend especially the Toyota teams because we know everyone is going to want to know what is or could be going on there. Have a good rest of the week...Mark is back next Wednesday and for the rest of the season. See you at Pocamoke!