Chat with Ryan McGee
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Ryan McGee will stop by to chat about the 2010 NASCAR season.
McGee, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, is the author of "ESPN Ultimate NASCAR: 100 Defining Moments in Stock Car Racing History." For the '10 season, he will be putting together the NASCAR Power Rankings for ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join McGee Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ryan McGee (2:02 PM)
What's up folks? Welcome back to the Internet's biggest and baddest (maybe only) Monday afternoon motorsports block party. How about another round of applause for Easy Eddie Hinton...and let's go on with the show. Wondwer what people are going to want to talk about? Hmmmm.
Ed (Fort Worth)
I guess Gordon has the rivalry he said Nascar needed now. I didn't take issue to Carl spinning Brad, but I really didn't care for him going down pit road the wrong way, especially given how the 12 went on its roof. Can't blame that one on needing sleep, McGee!
Ryan McGee (2:05 PM)
Yo Ed...yeah, I think that he might have had a better argument with NASCAR against severe penalties had he not done the backwards down pit road thing. Yes, we have the rivalry that we wanted. Yes, we have "have at it boys" like NASCAR wanted. And yes, I joke about Carl not getting any sleep with the new baby at home, but the week my daughter came home I did go to work with my shirt inside-out, so I wouldn't rule exhaustion out when it comes to impairing judgement!
Jonathan (Bristol, TN)
Carl Edwards posted on his facebook page that he took out Keselowski yesterday rather than waiting to do it at Bristol or Martinsville because spinning him at the short tracks could collect other innocent cars. What are your feelings about Carl's comment?
Ryan McGee (2:08 PM)
I think he had the entire flight home from Atlanta to Charlotte to think about what he would type on Facebook. Just like he had 150 laps back in the garage to think about what he was going to do to Brad Keselowski when he got back out on the the track. That's a valid point about the short tracks...sort of.
Ryan McGee (2:10 PM)
Look, I was talking to Elliott Sadler's spotter about this on Twitter last night, if BK hadn't gotten airborne today we wouldn't be saying a thing about this. We'd be talking about how cool it was like we did after the Hamlin/BK stuff at Homestead last November. But he did. So we are. The good news is that we're never running a speedway again with those dadgum wings on the backs of the cars. NASCAR says their testing proved that the wing didn't cause the cars to go airborne, but if you believe that I have an awesome plot of oceanfront property in Montana you might want to take a look at.
AJ (Indy )
There is no way they do anything to Carl Edwards....they can't !!! Brad has wrecked Denny several times and vice versa. Sure, the outcome was way worse, but in the past, when Brad hit Denny.....Denny hit Brad...Stewart hit JPM....JPM hit Stewart, and currently, when Carl hit Brad, they all had the same intentions...TAKE THEM OUT OF THE RACE CAUSE THEY HIT ME. Those cars can flip at any time on any track. The drivers don't know when they will decide to flip. The all took the chance of hurting the other person when they hit them....and NASCAR has never punished the other guys, so they can't panish Carl. It would be hypocritical...oh wait...It's NASCAR we are talking about...sorry. Yes they can.
Ryan McGee (2:12 PM)
Yep AJ, but to my point just a second ago, he did go airborne and he did nearly go into the grandstands. It's one thing for racers to assume a risk of injury. It's another altogether for the fans to be put in harm's way. That and the driving down pit road backwards deal are what Carl will be penalized for.
How can the 5 and 88 be so fast all weekend until the actual start of the race and then have all the problems they had? Jr was very lucky to get out of ATL with a 15th place finish.
Ryan McGee (2:14 PM)
It wasn't just the 5 and the 88. Every Hendrick car and most of the Hendrick sattelite teams had the same tire problems, which tells me that they went way too aggressive on the tires, well past what Goodyear recommended. The vibration on the 88 was so bad Junior said he couldn't read his instrument panel. In the middle of his Goodyear rant after the race even Jeff Gordon admitted that maybe they'd been too aggressive with air pressures, camber, etc...
Ryan McGee (2:16 PM)
Mark was one of the guys who tested those tires in January. He'd been bragging about them for a month and a half. Seems like maybe they had too much confidence in what they'd seen and pushed it too far. Flipside of that is the 9 car. They also participated in that test and ran what Goodyear told them to and the RPM cars were stout.
Alright, I know people say Brad is an agressive driver and he does not give an inch, but guys like Kyle and Montoya don't either and people say they are great drivers for it. What gives??????
Ryan McGee (2:19 PM)
Kyle and Montoya are established now. If you go back and look at it, JPM really reeled in his legendary temper until he'd been out there a while and earned everyone's respect. Kyle didn't really do that and everyone hated him. Now that's he's won so much for so long a lot of that anger has faded. The perception in the garage is that BK walked into the garage as a cocky rookie who didn't respect his elders. That goes against longstanding NASCAR protocol...or any sport for that matter. Like Kyle (or DW, Earnhardt, Ruest, etc. before him) if he takes care of business and wins races all of that other mess will go away.
AJ (Indy )
Why's my boy getting no respect ? Stewart went from the back to the top 5 in under 75 laps...come on man !!. Had JR done that, everyone would be dropping a deuce and declaring Jr the 2010 Sprint Cup Champion.
Ryan McGee (2:20 PM)
Dude, I moved him up two spots in the Power Rankings and have him two spots higher than where he is in the actual points standings...so cut me some slack.
Mike (West Chester, PA)
You can make an argument about Brad K. having it coming -- although Carl Edwards is pretty far from being a saint on the track himself -- but the timing and placement of the move there seemed a little less innocent than Cousin Carl would have everyone believe. Do you think Edwards did himself any favors with his petulant behavior after the crash, the wrong-way drive and his flippant TV interviews? If it was me, I'd sit him a week. There's a right way to do what needed to be done to Brand K. and a wrong way. Edwards really seemed to act out of anger, rather than "the good of the sport."
Ryan McGee (2:23 PM)
Well, this is where NASCAR is in a bit of a pickle. If they stick to what they promised during the preseason media tour, which is to let the drivers police themselves and put the sport back into their hands, then will they be undercutting that promise if they park Carl? Do they hit him with a suspension or do they let the drivers handle it like they did with, say Ernie Irvan, back in '91? I honestly don't know. But I can't wait to see what happens. If there's a penalty we'll likely know by 5 pm ET on Tuesday.
Mr. McGee, the one good thing about yesterdays race was that Johnson didn't win it for a change!!! I don't know about you, but seeing Johnson win week in and week out is getting boring fast!!! How do you feel about that?
Ryan McGee (2:25 PM)
Well, I can tell you that as a writer it's becoming harder to find new ways to cover him! It's amazing to me that more people aren't talking about Jimmie's struggles today. But you know what? They aren't talking about Kurt Busch's win either! I will say this, there was was a thunderous roar from the Atlanta grandstands when that 48 car sat there in the pits for so long.
nascar drivers arent athletes
Ryan McGee (2:26 PM)
Really? Read and watch this piece from my fellow Duke Boy, Marty Smith: http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/columns/story?columnist=smith_marty&id=4907975If you still aren't convinced, go watch soccer or something and leave us alone.
Ed (Fort Worth)
Did you happen to see Eddie Gossage's blog on Carl and Brad? He makes some pretty good points, although I can see him putting up on billboards down here "Crashin' Carl vs Banzai Brad at TMS!!!" Just sayin.
Ryan McGee (2:27 PM)
I have not seen Eddie's blog, Ed, but will check it out after the chat. And yes, I have a feeling that Mr. Gossage was dancing in his office when all of that happened. But not as much as the folks at Bristol and Martinsville.
Is there a concern with how much the roof collapsed on BK's car yesterday?... or it that what is expected in an impact like that? Seems he's very lucky to be alive after that one based on how the car looked after the crash.
Ryan McGee (2:31 PM)
It actually held up pretty well considering the way it landed. People like to bang on the CoT, but wrecks like BK's are exactly why it was invented. The bigger, boxier greenhouse area around the driver allows more room around his head, body, and allows for an easier exit. Compare yesterday to say, Earnhardt's big crash at Talladega in '96. The roof caved in and he had to be cut out of the car. If he didn't naturally run his seat mounted so low he might've been killed.
Justin (Boone, NC)
If there was no caution at the end of the race, who ya got? JPM or Busch?
Ryan McGee (2:31 PM)
Busch. But Montoya was coming wasn't he?
Craig (Cedar Rapids)
whats up with JPM crying about Busch getting off the restart! does cheese come with that wine?
Ryan McGee (2:32 PM)
Yeah, I had a hard time following his explanation about the lines and when to get in the gas, etc. They state in every prerace driver's meeting - the leader takes the green and when he goes everyone else goes.
Sammi (San Antonio)
Is all the feel good from Dale's 2nd at Daytona long gone from the #88 team?
Ryan McGee (2:34 PM)
No, not entirely. They're certainly bummed about the last couple of weeks, but look at where they are now vs. one year ago. He's just a handful of points outside the top 12 and one year ago he was way down in the low 20's and worried about the top 35 in owners points. Now he's headed to his best track (yes, his career numbers at Bristol are better than Daytona and Talladega). They are still missing it, but this year they are missing it by inches. Last year it was by miles.
Shawn (Gastonia, NC)
Carl Edwards is a sponsor's dream and suspending him would be a nightmare for NASCAR. Did you see how empty the stands were in Atlanta? You could see it on TV and then when they cut to commercial, Bristol peddled tickets every third break. Sitting Carl Edwards down would be a disaster.
Ryan McGee (2:36 PM)
It'll be interesting to see if this has any effect on that image. This whole thing reminds me of the '89 Winston All-Star race. People hated DW and loved Rusty...but when Rusty turned Darrell to win the race that changed overnight. Listening to fans to today it seems like Carl's image is in jeopardy. The timing of this off-week is very good for him.
Ryan McGee (2:37 PM)
As for the empty seats at Atlanta, I am really irritated with the people down there. The weather was perfect, Dale Junior was on the pole and they had a ton of great ticket deals and still people didn't come out. Totally baffling.
Did you really have to take a jab at soccer?
Ryan McGee (2:38 PM)
Always. But only because I am still bitter about how bad I was as it when I was a kid.
Do you think Denny will win at Bristol and/or Martinsville?
Ryan McGee (2:38 PM)
Bristol, no. But at Martinsville, he and Jimmie will be the favorites. Now if he can just not make the Toyota brass mad at him...
I'd also like to point out that a guy like Jimmie struggling right now means nothing, he'll have it cranked up by Indy and going into the Chase. Now for guys who are looking to regain their performances from a year like Stewart and Hamlin, they should be worried.
Ryan McGee (2:39 PM)
Stewart's fine. He's 8th in points and always does his best work in the summertime. Hamlin, however, needs to get on with it.
Joel Gutzmer (Whitewater, WI)
Not to be a racist, but how come there aren't more African American NASCAR drivers Ryan??
Ryan McGee (2:42 PM)
No racist at all Joel. In fact we had a press conference at Atlanta on Saturday about that very topic. I chatted for a while with Sybill Scott, daughter of Wendell Scott, the only African-American to win a Cup race, and asked her that same question. She talked a lot about culture. How her Dad and brothers became racers because of where they grew up and the people they grew up with. She also talked about how that's really changed over the last decade in particular, but we're just now seeing signs of a turning tide because this is really the first generation of young drivers coming up who actually grew up wanting to be racers.
Ryan McGee (2:43 PM)
It has nothing to with race, it's about opportunity. And there are opportunities now that just didn't exist even as recent as five years ago.
Can we expect more good showings from the Petty gang,was nice seeing them up front yesternday
Ryan McGee (2:44 PM)
Yes. And not just from Kahne. All of the RPM cars had their moments yesterday and they had three cars in the top six! Have you noticed that Kasey Kahne's talk about leaving the team has gotten awfully quiet? Funny what running up front can do.
How come Sprint Cup is taking next week off? Aren't we supposed to have races every weekend?
Ryan McGee (2:46 PM)
Because we're all trying to save our marriages! Seriously though, these off weekends are gold for the teams. Everyone is exhausted and patience is becoming a bit frayed in the paddock. From this weekend on there is at least one of the three national NASCAR series, usually all three, racing from now until Thanksgiving.
Jake Erdahl (Des Moines, Iowa)
You probably just cover NASCAR so you have an excuse to watch Danica Patrick race and go watch all those GoDaddy commecials...haha
Ryan McGee (2:47 PM)
Not true Jake! I go way back with the Indy Racing League, all the way to their second-ever race back in '96. In fact, I will be out your way for the IndyCar race at the Iowa Speedway in June. And my wife won't let me watch those GoDaddy ads mroe than once.
Is Scotty Speed the real deal and do you think he will win a race this season and stay in the chase?
Ryan McGee (2:49 PM)
I think he can certainly win a race. Making the Chase might be a tall order for a guy in his second year, though. I like Scott a lot. And I think more fans will like him as they get to know him. His sense of humor takes some getting used to, but dude is hysterical.
Tanner (South Dakota)
In your opinion, do you think Jamie McMurray's Daytona 500 victory will be his only victory this year?
Ryan McGee (2:50 PM)
Too early to say that, but I think it'll have to come on a plate track. Kudos to the #1 team for getting back to the front on Sunday. Not his fault he got caught up in that green-white-wreckers mess.
why the big deal about going down pit road backwards when no one else was on pit road?
Ryan McGee (2:52 PM)
Safety. Think about it. All of these pit crew guys and NASCAR officials are on pit road, many of them over the wall doing clean-up stuff and all of them are looking down toward turn four because that's where the cars are coming from. Then someone comes the wrong way? No one was looking that way and it put them in harm's way. Plus it came off as a thumbing-his-nose act of defiance after being parked.
Jake Erdahl (Des Moines, Iowa)
Ryan, you forgot to post my question!! So no one knows what you are talking about!! lol!!
Ryan McGee (2:53 PM)
Nah, it's in there. Dude, I'm so doped up on cold medicine you can't be messing with my head.
Juan (Raleigh, NC)
Do you think the change to the spoiler could benefit guys like Dale Jr.?
Ryan McGee (2:55 PM)
He's hoping that it will, as are a lot of veterans who never took the wing. But talking to crew chiefs and engineers, they don't expect a huge change. Then again, they like to lie to me so that they don't show their hand!
Hi Ryan... has anyone looked at whether the average number of DNFs per race has increased with the advent of the green-white-checkered? Seems to me that the rules change (especially now that we have 3 tries) results in more wrecked cars and a higher cost for the teams. [I'm also bitter that Martin got wrecked in a green-white-checkered... I'm an old-school purist]
Ryan McGee (2:56 PM)
Sam, I will look into that. Feels like a blog to me! I'm old school too. But I do hate seeing races end under yellow.
Do you foresee Matt Kenseth winning a race this year?
What do you think of Kenseth's performance this season? How long is it before he wins a race?
Ryan McGee (2:57 PM)
The Kenseth Fan Club checking in! He'll win soon. Perhaps as early as the next race two weekends from now.
Ryan McGee (2:58 PM)
He has two wins at Bristol and 12 top tens in 20 starts. The big news for the 17 is the car they finished 2nd in at Atlanta was really the first car that Todd Parrott was in charge of. The others still had Drew Blickensderfer's setups in them.
wing vs spoiler , one thing i havent heard about going back to the spoiler is visabilty, it was a problem when the cot came out , drivers complained about it , to be able to see throu the car infrt of them and out the back , will the spoiler be the same because of the deck lid height ,if so do you think nascar might change again to help with this issue ?
Ryan McGee (3:00 PM)
No, the spoiler is considerably shorter than the wing. In fact, when NASCAR made the spoiler announcement the first thing that all of the drivers commented on was getting their visibility back.
Jake Erdahl (Des Moines, Iowa)
It goes from Laurie (NYC) to you answering my question...My post isn't in there!!!
Ryan McGee (3:00 PM)
Well, it is now. Sorry bud.
No one would ever lie to you, Ryan. It's just your imagination.
Ryan McGee (3:00 PM)
Good point. My DayQuil/Sudafed/Mucinex/Afrin-powered imagination.
Ryan McGee (3:02 PM)
Alright folks, the bell has gone off, so I gotta go. See you on ESPN2's NASCAR Now on Wednesday. If I'm still as congested as I am today I'll sound like the movie trailer voice over guy, or Lou Rawls. Either way, I'll be there! See you next week and until then, tip the wait staff and enjoy the music of Men Without Hats.