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!
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Mark "Guru" Garrow (2:59 PM)
Good afternoon everyone...without further delay, let's get his Wednesday fantasy racing partaaayyyy started!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will win the Dollar General 300 & the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:01 PM)
I'm thinking about a Denny Hamlin sweep...what do you think about that Chris?
Talladega was devastating to my fantasy title chances. I currently have 11,88,14,29, and 78. Any roster suggestions for the Charlotte race?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:05 PM)
Well for one Frank, the 78 is no longer Regan Smith, it's Kurt Busch. Smith will be driving Busch's old car the #51...so get away from him...The three best "floor" picks this week are Sam Hornish, Jr., Trevor Bayne, and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr...I would try to get Hornish in their now..he's been a guaranteed top-20 kind of guy and finished the last two 1.5-mile races in 11th place...and he's running all the races so you can stick with him the rest of the year if you want...and he's only .2 more than Smith so you have cap room to work with. I think you need to take the 11,2,and 5 after that and see what else fits in..If not Johnson, then give serious consideration to Kyle Busch. You'd definitely be able to fit him in and he'll be top-5 material this Saturday night.
I did poorly at Talladega and I am now over 100 points behind the leader in my group. My roster is 48, 14, 2, 5, and 21. What changes should I make?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:07 PM)
I'd dump the 21 for Sam Hornish, Jr...get the former Indy car champion plugged in while his price is still very cap friendly. I'd keep the 48,2, and 5...and see if the 24 or 18 can fit in there. That's my opinion Andrew.
Jerod (Harpersville, AL)
Pending NASCAR's decision, is Kurt Busch the top floor pick now that he's at Furniture Row?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:09 PM)
No I don't think so Jerod. That is a total unknown right now..and Busch's record the last couple of months is terrible. Now, if they get a race or two under their belt and look halfway competitive that might change my mind. His value now is 15.3, and that's really all he's worth because of all the wrecks lately. But he could wind up being a late season pick-up and we need to keep a close eye on how he operates with that new team this weekend.
Don (Kenosha, wi)
How does my top ten compare to yours? 11-5-18-17-2-48-24-16-14-88
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:11 PM)
Looks like we are on the same page thiss weekend Don..he're my pre-race top-30......1.Denny Hamlin2.Kasey Kahne3.Brad Keselowski4.Kyle Busch5.Jimmie Johnson6.Greg Biffle7.Jeff Gordon8.Dale Earnhardt, Jr.9.Kevin Harvick10.Matt Kenseth11.Tony Stewart12.Martin Truex, Jr.13.Clint Bowyer14.Carl Edwards15.Ryan Newman16.Sam Hornish, Jr.17.Joey Logano18.Paul Menard19.Mark Martin20.Marcos Ambrose21.Jamie McMurray22.Trevor Bayne23.Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.24.Jeff Burton25.Kurt Busch26.Juan Pablo Montoya27.Aric Almirola28.Casey Mears29.Bobby Labonte30.Landon Cassill
Steven (Cortland, NY)
Since the announcement at Penske that Joey Logano would drive the 22 in 2013, Sam Hornish has struggled. I am considering replacing him but I don't know who should replace him. Ideas?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:14 PM)
If you want to replace Hornish, which I think could be a mistake for Saturday night's race at Charlotte because he was 11th at both Atlanta and Chicagoland, which was after Logano announcement. However, if you're dead set in trading him I'd look at Trevor Bayne or Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. this week..and if he does well at Charlotte then you can think about picking up Kurt Busch for down the road or switch back to Hornish since they'll be running all of the remaining races.
MIKE P (DANBURY CT)
Hi Mark.This week at charlotte is a double points fantasyRace.I really need a win or at least a very strong performance sat night.Four guys that i have come to mind.Harvick,truex jr,edwards,Or my gut is really telling me kenseth..Which one do u see giving me max points..Also can u just figure in the last race at homested is triple points..I have trux Jr hoprfully a win or top five for that race ..Can u handicap that to for me..
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:16 PM)
I see Hamlin, Keselowski, Kahne, or Johnson giving you max points Mike..Of that group it's comes down to Harvick or Kenseth. Martin Truex, Jr. is solid on the 1.5-mile tracks and I would have had him ranked in my top-10 going into this race if not for some inconsistency lately. So, Truex should be decent at Miami.
Bill Scott (Lake ummerset, Illinois)
Hell-o Mark, Do you trust the "Lame Ducks"? I'm refering to the 17 and 20. Are the 18 and 99 test cars? If I'm looking low buck, which one, 21, 22, 78 or the 1? Thanks, Bill
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:18 PM)
I trust the lame-ducks Bill, I just don't think they'll be the best picks at the price...The 99 is definitely a test car...the 18 is doing a little experimenting, but they are really trying hard to win another race or two before the year ends..As I've stated already, going in I like 22 better than the 21,6, or the 78. McMurray is not really on my radar.
Ryan: Lincoln, NE [via mobile]
Will Kurt Busch be a difference maker for Furniture Row Racing?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:22 PM)
Yes Ryan I think he will..it might take a little while, but love him or hate him, Kurt is more of a wheel man than Regan Smith and I like Smith a lot.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When was the Last time that we saw the Dollar General 300 & the Bank of America 500 on the same day?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:22 PM)
Not a clue...remember it vaguely, but I have a hard time recollecting what day it is..lol
who do you think has the best chance to win the championship. Also what drivers do you think we should watch out for in the next races
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:26 PM)
At this point, I really like Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski and think Denny Hamlin is now mentally tough enough to hang in until the bitter end. I think Hamlin, as a matter of fact, we'll be very strong on the remaining 1.5-mile races at Charlotte, Kansas, Texas, and Homestead...We already know he's bad to the bone at Martinsville..and who won at Phoenix earlier this year...would you believe Mr. Hamlin?
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Mark, hope you're good buddy. Finally cooling off a bit here in Orlando. Scored decently last week at 'Dega w/the 17 and 39. This week for my prelim I have: 11-16-88-6. Saving my last 2 starts with the 5 for PHX and TX. Or should I start the 56 w/4 starts left in place of the 16 (3) and 88 (4)? Thanks Mark!
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:28 PM)
Depending how things start off tomorrow, Truex for Dale Jr. might be a reasonable trade to think about...11 and 16 should be very, very good Nick.
The Old Man (Hendersonville)
Mark: As a NASCAR fan of over 40 years I have been totally disgusted with the situation at the plate tracks. Am I in the minority of fans that are sick and tired of seeing a wreck fest towards the end of virtually every plate race? Do a majority of NASCAR fans want to see this carnage? I generally watch every race in its entirety but several years ago I quit watching plate races knowing full well that by the end of the race I will want to throw something through the TV screen.I was buoyed when Jr. finally spoke out against this type of situation. With his clout as NASCARs favorite driver as well as other drivers finally speaking out, do you think that NASCAR will finally take steps to break up these 43 car 3 and 4 car wide gaggles which 9 times out of 10 lead to the Big One?Bill Elliott ran a lap of 212.809 mph in 1987 and the cars and the engines have come a long way since then. Eliminating the plates on current cars will lead to much higher dangerous speeds of 230 or 240 on the straight-aways so I realize the need for the plates. However, wouldn?t be easier to go to a smaller engine such as a V-6 without plates and let the engine makers go at it at Daytona or Talladega? Every manufacturer already has a V-6 engine and given 12 months or so it would seem they could come up with a reliable V-6 race engine. Sure there still would be drafting just as you see at CA or Michigan with no restrictor plates but not on the scale as Daytona or Dega. You generally never see huge wrecks at those tracks which are as fast or, nearly as fast, as the cars with restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega.I am not alone in my shear disgust with the situation. As you know, I send out weekly race stats updates to a couple of hundred people. Since the end of Sunday?s race I have already received 20 or 30 email expressing the same revulsion with situation. Very frankly, NASCAR is pissing off a lot of their most dedicated fans.
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:33 PM)
A V-6 engine is simply not an option. No one smarter than me on the subject has suggested that. You can run fewer cubic inch motors with a V-8 and that's a possiblity. NASCAR is working on a new rules package for next season and is already making some changes to the new 2013 model Cup cars to help out the deal at Daytona and Talladega. Kasey Kahne messed with the new car at Talladega last week and said it had good closing speed on the car in front of it so it could pass without need a bump draft and that will be helpful...This is why the two car tandem drafting, while looking weird, was really a better deal becauses more cars made it to the finish and there were more lead changes. So fans be careful what you ask for. Is what happened on the last lap Sunday acceptable? Of course not, but people had better not hold their breath waiting for a major breakthrough.
Zach (Fennimore, WI)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been lights out on the 1.5-mile ovals in the Nationwide Series. He finished 11th at Charlotte Cup race last season in the #21.What do you see happening Saturday night? Also, what are the odds they keep adding to his Sprint Cup schedule as the season winds down? I know they added Homestead as well.
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:39 PM)
Zach, I think Stenhouse will have to be seriously considered for Charlotte for that finish and what's done recently. Roush has already indicated they'll also run him at Homestead..no others scheduled at this point.
Tom mi [via mobile]
How about your top four qualifiers
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:41 PM)
Tom, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson immediately come to mind...then maybe Kahne and Hamlin.
Guru, do you think Dega should be removed from - or even just not scored in - the chase, due to the whole crap-shoot nature of the race....thanks, as always.
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:43 PM)
I guess at this point NASCAR likes to have one race in the Chase where no one really has a clue to how they're going to finish either good or bad. I do think, though, too many guys are now just riding in the back for 90 percent of the race and that will eventually turn into a fan turn off.
How is it that Tony Stewart can confess that he screwed up at Talladega and almost took out the entire field with a smile on his face, but if anybody else would have done that Tony would have called them out and called them every name in the book?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:44 PM)
You know what Matt I was thinking the same thing when I was standing there with him Sunday after the crash.
What stats do you think are important and what order to you put them in for Sat's race?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:45 PM)
Tammy, I look for their overall record on the 1.5-mile tracks this year with emphasis on the tracks that have older pavement like the first race at Kansas (the track has now been repaved), the first Charlotte, Kentucky, Atlanta, and Chicagoland. I think that's where the bulk of the time has to be spent going into the race and then see how that jives with what you see in practice and qualifying.
Mark, who do you like to the win the Championship? I think J.J is going to win his 6th title.
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:46 PM)
Jimmie's in good shape Matt, but I think Keselowski and Hamlin are both mentally tough enough and have good enough teams to prevent Johnson from becoming six-time.
Zipnada (St Paul MN)
Looking at Yahoo C picks and poosibly saving Hornish for another time. Stenhouse in RFR equipment over Bayne and Almirola in RFR second cousins equipment makes sense to me. What about you?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:47 PM)
Charlotte hasn't been one of Stenhouse's best tracks..and Wood Brothers get their stuff from Roush Fenway too. So, I give Trevor slight edge and Almirola is too much like a roller-coaster ride.
Jon (New Hampshire)
Right now I have 2, 11, 18, 5, 6. Should I swap out the 5 for 24?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:48 PM)
No, I would keep the 5. I like Kahne a little better than Gordon who's been what third, second, and second last three races..Charlotte, though, is a Kahne playground.
Hi Mark! Do you think Kenseth will win one more for Roush this year, and if so where?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:49 PM)
It's possible, but if it doesn't happen at Charlotte I'm not sure it would happen after that.
BAYNE OR STENHOUSE FROM A LOWEST RISK STANDPOINT. WANTING A TOP 20.. ????
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:51 PM)
I have them ranked one spot apart so it's nearly a coin flip. Bayne has run more Cup races this year and that kind of tipped things for me. You might argue you, though, Stenhouse is less likely to wreck or get into some kind of troubel.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that Danica Patrick will drive a pink car in the Hollywood Casinos 400 at Kansas?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:51 PM)
No, I don't think so. She's driving a pink car this weekend.
Guru - want to thank "The Old Man" (is it Bill? got a mind like steel sieve these days) for his thoughtful post, and you for your excellent answer - I sent in a question earlier asking if you thought Dega should be removed or not be scored in the chase - so Y'All can tell I'm not happy either. But Dega is an incredible race and the one race I made it a point to attend for a couple years because the track it is a really great experience for fans, just to be there - I hate the safety issues and The Big One - but what an awesome track!
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:55 PM)
First, the man's name is "Ken" and he's easily forgetable so don't worry about that..NASCAR is just going to keep searching for the right answer..personally, I like the idea of having a bigger plate which gives more accelerator response and increases the closing rate..this way a guy can hang back and a little and still be able to get back to the pack if he backs out of gas because he smells trouble. When we tried this a few years back the drivers complained about the quick closing rate ...but isn't that what they have to deal with every week on a track like Charlotte or Kansas etc..? And aren't these the best drivers in the world and can handle it?
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Hey Mark, know you're computer was bad last week so you didn't see my question, but was wondering your thoughts on Hornish? He seemed a bit disappointed at 'Dega. Was wondering if Penske still had a shot at a 3rd FT for him in '13?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:57 PM)
Nick, Hornish was in the mix much more than you think at 'Dega and yes he's disappointed he didn't get the 22 ride..but I think he'll stick with Penske. They have been trying to put together a third Cup team for him, but even Hornish thinks its doubtful now for 2013.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do the Drivers who drive Pink Cars for Breast Cancer Donate their Cars to the Susan G. Komen Foundation?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:58 PM)
I think it's to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Zipnada (St Paul MN)
I have been a NASCAR fan since Mark Martin moved from ASA to Cup the first time on his own. I did like Daytona and Talladega until the cars got to fast for the tracks and needed plates. Judging by attendance figures at those two tracks the last few years I'd say I'm not the only one losing interest. To be honest I watched the Green Bay game and when it was done I switched over to the race and was not that impressed with what little I saw. I agree nore long time fans then NASCAR thinks are doing the same thing. The new short attention span "fans" don't fill the seats like serious fans and NASCAR should consider that. Now I'll step down from your soap box.
Mark "Guru" Garrow (3:59 PM)
I hear you Zippy and you're obviously not the only one that feels that way. NASCAR has an opening to make things right with the new car and let's hope they can find the right ingredients to make it happen. This would be a great opportunity to do something dramatic.
Afternoon Guru, thinking of sticking with my team from last week 48,17,2,5,31. Any thoughts on how I might improve that team?
Mark "Guru" Garrow (4:01 PM)
Terry, I think that would be a mistake. The 31 has done nothing on the mile and a halfs this year..I also think the 11 is better pick than the 17. Keeping Kenseth, however, would not be a huge step down and he should be no worse than top-10. Hamlin's record on the intermediate speedways this year can not and should not be overlooked.
Mark "Guru" Garrow (4:04 PM)
Well that's going to do it for today. Thanks for the spirited conversation and the long Talladega tirade from....I forget his name but it was sure good..lol...Our Saturday afternoon chat from Charlotte will take place at 4:30 eastern time so mark it down and join us again. As always I hope everyone has a great week and the force is with you. Sad to say but must "The Guru has left the building!"