Chat with Marty Smith
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN NASCAR reporter Marty Smith stops by to chat.
Smith reports for ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now, as well as SportsCenter, ESPN First Take, ESPNEWS and ESPN.com. Smith joined ESPN's team of NASCAR reporters in late 2006.
Send your questions now and join Smith Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Marty Smith (2:07 PM)
Hey y'all! Sorry I'm a tick or two late! Let's roll!
Cori (Moses Lake,WA)
If Kahne is going to Red Bull for 2011, who will be out?
K. Lee Davis (2:08 PM)
Marty is experiencing trchnical difficulties, so for now, you get me, ESPN.com's senior motorsports editor.
Is Smoke pretty much past his prime?
Marty Smith (2:09 PM)
Sure will, Cori. Whether it's a two-car team or a three-car team is still TBD. They don't know yet whether Brian Vickers will return, though Red Bull GM Jay Frye said today that things are progressing well for The Sherriff BLV. As for Scott Speed, Frye basically said it's put-up or shut-up time for him. Frye said the next two months will determine whether Speed has made enough progress to retain his seat. A lot left undetermined with Red Bull at this time.
K. Lee Davis (2:09 PM)
That's crazy talk, Tony Stewart will be fine. But you did have to expect some growing pains as a new team owner and last season was remarkable.
Seeing that Jeff Gordon was running so well at the beginning of the season, is it possible that he has been trying new things and will run well again once the chase starts?
Carl Edwards has scored more points than anyone since daytona and has three of his better tracks (michigan, bristol, and atlanta) in the next three race. Could he sweep these three races and make himself a favorite to win the championship?
K. Lee Davis (2:09 PM)
I don't see him sweeping, but if he gets two wins in the straetch before the Chase I will be a believer.
Marty Smith (2:10 PM)
Sure it's possible, but he's nearly won six races. Gordon's faster than he's been since 2007. He's fine. Once he gets one win, look out...
Why didn't Rick kick Mark to the curb like he did Kyle to make room for Junior? Big mistake! Kasey is wasting a year at Red Bull. What say you Marty?
K. Lee Davis (2:10 PM)
Well, I ain't Marty, but I say you're right.
Jenny (Elizabeth Town LA)
Hey Marty, Will Leo Benjamin Gordon go by Ben, Benjamin, or is the kid just going to live with a name like Leo? (Leo is a name for a loin) as all way thank for the time?
K. Lee Davis (2:11 PM)
Is that a pork loin, a lamb loin or a beef tenderloin? Hey, kudos to the Gordons for not bringing another "Chance" into the world or some other newer trendy name.
Marty Smith (2:11 PM)
Mark has a contract. It's that simple. Let me ask you this, Ed... Let's say your boss asked you to come to work for a year, then asked you to extend it a couple. You've made plans based on that that decision. And suddenly bossman wants you to bail out. Would you dig it? Nope. And I'm not just talking about dollars, either. I'm sure Mark got offered plenty of money.
Do you think Hendrick is getting frustrated with Junior and Lance. Do you think there would be a better choice to help Junior than Lance?
Who thought Menard would score a sweet ride in his career before me? Wish I signed with Gibbs. Dammit. ....Sigh...
Marty Smith (2:12 PM)
Can't lie. Made me laugh.
K. Lee Davis (2:13 PM)
I don't think Hendrick is frustrated, but he has to be concerned. I'm not sure there's anybody better than Lance to help him, but it seems to me Junior has to decide to be the kind of driver that can help his crew chief
Clay Adams (Michigan)
Since it is finailized that he will be racing one of the Red Bull cars do you feel the consensus is that Francis will go with him or do you feel Lee that Francis will stay with the #9 team.
K. Lee Davis (2:13 PM)
I don't know Kenny Fracis' contract status, but I would imagine he may look for greener pastures.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
How about Hendrick switching the shops around 48 and 5, 88 and 24I think that would be the Kitchen sink
Jesus Rodriguez (Fresno, CA)
As a major Scott Speed fan, the news that Kasey Kahne will be driving for Red Bull is devastating. I highly doubt Vickers will miss out on another season, so Scott should get the axe. Do you think he still has a future in NASCAR and do you see any possible landing spots for him next season?
K. Lee Davis (2:14 PM)
That would be the kitchen sink, but if I were Rick, I wouldn't do anything to mess with the 24/48 shop.
What is up with the 48 team? They have been the best at adjusting their car during the race and now they seem to go backward as the race goes on. Is it testing or something more?
K. Lee Davis (2:15 PM)
Seems like it's the spoiler to me and maybe the rest of the garage is finally catching up.
did Sadler guarantee that he's out of Gillette when he threatened legal action to force them to honor his contract?
Marty Smith (2:15 PM)
Don't get too carried away yet, Jesus. I'll be honest, Jay Frye seemed to throw the gauntlet today about Speed's progress. But it's NASCAR, man. Nothing is ever surprising anymore. And we also don't know if The Sherriff Brian Lee Vickers will return. (I pray so. Great to hear things are going well for him.)
K. Lee Davis (2:15 PM)
Sadler has said they will part ways, but there's been nothing official. And if they come up with a sponsor he can use, he should stay
you know how everyone expects #99, #48, #18, #2, #11 to run good every race? How did it get to the point that we expect Dale jr to run lousy and it's a supprise if #88 runs good?
Chris (Watkins Glen)
How is this casino going to make racing better at Kansas?
K. Lee Davis (2:16 PM)
Just look at the results. In Junior's defense, he was running well headed to Indy. It's been bad the last two weeks though
Marty Smith (2:17 PM)
We can go play slots between practices?
What's up Marty!!!! How do you feel about a road course race being in the Chase????? Do you ever see NASCAR having more than 2 road course races in a season???????
Hey, Marty! With the way his team has finally turned it around during the past month, do you see Carl legitimately contending for the title this year?
K. Lee Davis (2:17 PM)
I don't see them having more than two in a season and I don't think they'll put one in the Chase. Too bad, I think a Chase road race would be awesome
I'm sick of everyone asking ?'s about JR's problems. Of all the situations, the constant has been JR. He needs to decide if he wants to be a driver, an owner or a TV star. You can't have it all and be successful.
K. Lee Davis (2:18 PM)
Jeff (CHarleston SC)
Double Barrel chat today with Marty and K Lee.....Sweet!!!I think Jamie Mac makes the chase. Yall's thoughts?
K. Lee Davis (2:19 PM)
He's my darkhorse. Jamie Mac that is. Gotta lot of ground to cover though.
Marty Smith (2:19 PM)
I'll say this, Emily... For the first time all year, he's legitimately in the discussion. Relevance comes in waves, and moves to whomever is fast. At this point, he and Biffle are fast. But they still have to beat the 48, 29, 11, 18, 24, etc. etc. There are oodles of good teams. And once you make the Chase, consistency pays. Harvick's got a good shot, too.
K. Lee Davis (2:19 PM)
Hahaha. I see Marty's here. I'm out.
James (Winston-Salem, NC)
Hi Marty, during pre-season Dale jr said he would be disappointed if he didn't win 3 races and that he was gonna run every lap "ruthless". What the heck happened?
Marty Smith (2:20 PM)
If I knew the answer to that, I'd be a lot richer, James.
Seems the 48 has been fighting a curse or something since JJ's baby was born. Are they overly concerned behind the scenes?Also, what does the team really think about Kurt Busch's recent comments (especially the pretty boys stuff)?
Marty Smith (2:24 PM)
I don't think spinning out at Watkins Glen has anything to do with his daughter, Kevin. As for Kurt's comments, I'd say the Hendrick guys are laughing all the way to the bank. However, here's what Johnson said Saturday: "I hate that he didn't feel like my two attempts to call him and the third call when he called me back and the conversation we had wasn't sincere, because when we talked on the phone I felt like it was quite the opposite. I was in a position where I could have put both of those cars 3 wide down the back but I thought you know what, Kurt passed me the lap before, I'm gonna help him get by the 33 and life will be good...unfortunately it didn't work out that way and it was a terrible deal and I'm so glad that Kurt didn't get hurt and also Elliott. But, man, I was just trying to help the guy. I had the best intentions so I hate that he hasn't felt that it was a sincere conversation. "And some of the other childish comments that he made, I cant help it if he's jealous or envious about what's gone on for myself and the Hendrick guys but we've taken advantage of opportunities just doing what we can and I think he's just trying to stir things up a little bit"I think there are two parts to the comments he's said, one, the childish comments I don't get I think he's just trying to make some fans, the other side of it, yes he has had a lot of wrecked race cars and I've been responsible for that and I feel bad for it because none of them have been intentional when I had a chance to dump him at New Hampshire I didn't."
Marty, Great article on Adam and the corn maze. It is so cool to see all the support for VJC! Noticed the ESPN.com/NACAR list a race during the chase as ".....at Sonoma" (then says at ACS).....just wishful thinking by someone.....and me!
Marty Smith (2:27 PM)
Thanks for the note, Ron. I appreciate it. Those folks are doing a wonderful thing with the corn maze. If any of you guys are coming to Charlotte for the race, you should stop by there. As for Sonoma in the Chase -- I've said since 2004 a road course should be in the CHase. I love road course racing.
Marty, what are your thoughts on Kasey Kahne driving for Red Bull Racing in 2011? How long will it be until we find out which car # it'll be? One would definitely think that RBR is a step up from the once speculated Phoenix Racing. Also, I hear you went to Radford...having attended several races at the Motor Mile, when's the last time you sat in those grand stands?
Marty Smith (2:29 PM)
I love Motor Mile, Taylor. "Cut my teeth" there. I covered it for the Roanoke Times back in college, when it was New River Valley Speedway. I haven't been there in a few years. Need to get back. As for Red Bull vs. Phoenix, yes, Red Bull is a better option.
Hey Marty, Seen some of the schedule for next season why would Atlanta lose a race? What are your thoughts on what you have seen so far?
Marty Smith (2:30 PM)
Lack of ticket sales, Doug. It's that simple.
Petty. Earnhardt. Hendrick. Allison. I'm sure I'm missing a few. Not only are they some of the "first families" of Nascar, they all have lost loved ones to the sport in one way or another. Truely, these families have given everything and more to racing. Thanks for the article Marty, and tell guys like Kyle Petty, Rick Hendrick. Dale Jr., and Bobby Allison and all others affected by tragedies related to the sport, that we as fans appreciate their continued support of Nascar. Its great to see them keep going to the racetrack each week despite losing loved ones and perhaps having to revisit some tough memories at the tracks where those tragedies occurred. With today's article and your ESPN the Magazine article on Dale Jr's move to Hendrick which I recently read, I appreciate you keeping us fans informed as to what racing can cost to those who are part of the sport. Thanks.
Marty Smith (2:31 PM)
Wow. Now that's humbling. Thank you for taking the time to write that, Dee. Very much.
RAY GORDON REID ( TAYLOR MI 48180)
QUESTION TO MARTY SMITH AT 2.25 PM HI MARTY WHO DO YOU HAVE FOR MICHIGAN SUNDAY
Marty Smith (2:32 PM)
Ask me Saturday evening, Ray! Right now, I'll say Biffle. (This is a big weekend for Hamlin, too)
The Sheriff and Kahne could be an awesome pairing in 2011. What do you think about a UPS 5 car in 2012? That's my prediction. Is Easy coming with Kahne?
Marty Smith (2:38 PM)
I like your UPS 5 car call. Easy is TBD.
Hey Marty, just wondering if you think the trucks will ever go road course racing again? Used to love seeing the trucks out there, and while the race was ok at Nashville this weekend, would've preferred to see them at Watkins Glen.
Marty Smith (2:40 PM)
Man, that's a tough call. They're doing everything they can to cut costs in that series, and I have to figure that would require a "special" truck. I remember when I first started in NASCAR, the Truck Series went to Portland. That place was awesome!
Jimmie johnson hasn't won a single poll all season. Does that mean they arent uloading the same quality cars that they have in the past?
Marty Smith (2:40 PM)
He has five wins, Ray. I doubt he cares too much about those poles, brother.
One other question that I constantly bark about with little to no success; Why not award 10 points for a pole instead of 0? Also, why not award 25-50 points for a win instead of 10? Make qualifying really mean something and be exciting for fans as well as make wins a premium. Thanks for chatting. Really enjoy your work.
Marty Smith (2:41 PM)
Couldn't agree more, Tayo. I'm with you 100 percent on both counts.
Pete (Akron, Ohio)
Boris said on ESPN Nascar Now that #14 wrecked him out cause he wasn't fast enough to pass on the track and Massaro said they invited Stewert on the show to explain and he declined. Is Stewert getting frustrated sort of like Junior?
Marty Smith (2:43 PM)
Naw. I'm sure Smoke just felt like he spoke his peace after the race and would take it up man-to-man, face-to-face with Boris later. In fact, I'd bet the farm on that.
What year does Leo Gordon win his first cup title?
Marty Smith (2:46 PM)
2034. He'll be 24 years old -- one year younger than daddy won his first Cup. (I think JG was 25 in '95, anyway?)
Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)
Sweet, another chat were Montoya's win isn't mentioned. Imagine if Little Dale won a race this place would be over run by his admiration society. Anyway, do you see the 42's win as a turning point that might lead to the illusive oval win before season's end?
Marty Smith (2:47 PM)
You mentioned it, Eric. I'm pumped for Brian Pattie. That guy's the most sought-after crew chief in the garage, by the way...
Beth (Bradford, IL)
Does Stewert really wake up at noon like he said on pre-race at the Glen?
Marty Smith (2:49 PM)
Unless his Burger King shift starts earlier, yes.
Jack Trae (KCMO)
Hey Marty, can you confirm that you truly havnt lived until youve seen a Eric Church fist pump live in concert?
Marty Smith (2:50 PM)
I can. Proud he's my buddy. It's been fun to watch his climb to the top. Wait til his next record hits, hoss. You won't believe it...
Hank (Herman, Me)
Marty - JJ seems to be making some uncharacteristic driving mistakes lately. Is the baby keeping him up at night?
Marty Smith (2:52 PM)
Mine kept me up. Most kids keep their parents up for a while. Jeff Gordon is quite honest in discussing how difficult his transition to fatherhood was as a driver. It's life's biggest transition, most abrupt. It takes a while. But again, I'm not sure it's affecting Johnson, because I haven't asked. And even if I did, I doubt he'd say so until much later, a la Gordon.
Marty Smith (2:53 PM)
Okay, y'all... last one. I gotta get ready for NASCAR Now...
derek (charleston, sc)
call me crazy but am i the only person alive that still respects mark martin? seems like everyone forgets what an intense competitor he has been for over 20 years. I find it extremely rude the way he has been badmouthed by pretty much every media outlet including ESPN
Marty Smith (2:54 PM)
Actually, two more... You've never heard me bad mouth. I'll guaran-dang-tee you that.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
has anyone ever told you you look like one of those beach drawings with the big heads? You should superimpose your head onto a skateboard or something.
Marty Smith (2:55 PM)
Check that... thre more. This made me belly-laugh. Good one, hollywood...
Marty Smith (2:56 PM)
Side note: My wife, Lainie, agrees that my head looks abnormaly large in the espn.com photo. Boss, when I'm up there again I should take a new one.
Marty, you hearing anything on additional sponsorship for Tony Stewart? Thanks
Marty Smith (2:57 PM)
Yes... hearing Mobil 1 is the leader in the clubhouse. Nothing done yet, though, to my knowledge.
Jeff (Chucktown SC)
Marty .....Why are you not sponsored by a hair gel company? You work in Nascar. Sponsorship is ALL that matters.
Marty Smith (2:58 PM)
If you know people, Jeff, hook me up. I'm tired of buying that mess. And it's hair wax, dude, not gel. That's my time, y'all. I gotta go prepare for some television. Be good. Thanks so much for hanging out... -m.