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March 6, 1:04 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:00 PM)

What's up folks? How about another round of applause for that Ray Evernham. Call me crazy, but I think he's got a future in racing.

Ryan McGee
  (2:00 PM)

Now let's get on with the chat magic, shall we?

JERRY MASSILLON OHIO [via mobile]

With all of the financial problems that GM and Chrysler have, how can they possibly stay in Racing ???

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

You have hit on a very sensitive and soon to be very explosive topic, Jerry. GM has just acknowledged to its shareholders that it could very well end up out of business soon. Chrysler hasn't admitted as much publicly, but they appear to be in even worse shape.

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

Darren Rovell, a former co-worker at ESPN The Mag and now with CNBC is reporting that government officials are already telling GM execs that they need to ditch their racing efforts to send the right message to the public that they are putting all their resources toward surviving.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

We'll see...but it doesn't look good for GM and Chrysler, racing or otherwise.

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

I believe that they are, always have. It is a different kind of athleticism than playing in the NBA or NFL, but there's no doubt that racers have physical and mental gifts that most of us do not.

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

I think that racers suffer from the perception that driving their cars is like us driving on the Interstate. I dare anyone to go do an afternoon of the Richard Petty Driving Experience and then tell me that they aren't athletes. Two summers ago ABC put John Elway, Laird Hamilton, John Salley, Serena Williams and John Cena in Jeff Gordon Racing School cars and they came away proclaiming that racers are athletes. That's good enough for me.

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

Oops...I clicked the wrong button there. The last question was if I thought racers were athletes...

Joseph (Lexington, KY)

Ryan, I've gotta ask...What's goin on with Jimmie Johnson this year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

Some people say its because of his new beard...but the truth is the team has made at least one major mistake every weekend to put themselves in a hole. At least that's what Jimmie and Chad Knaus have both told me.

Mickey Walters, Wilmington, NC

I live in Eastern NC and I really miss NASCAR stops in Rockingham. Is there anything entertaining going on at the old North Carolina Motor Speedway these days?

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Yo Mickey, I was born in Rockingham and still have family there, so I miss it too...but I have good news. There is a TON of stuff going on over at The Rock.

Ryan McGee
  (2:17 PM)

There's a big ARCA test on March 14 that's open to the public and a USAR-ARCA doubleheader the weekend of April 19. I went to the ARCA race last year and it was a blast. Joey Logano passed Ken Schrader with one lap to go to win.

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Ryan, Im back...... I am going fishing on my break!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

I honestly have no idea if this is really your or not, Champ...but if it is, catch a big one for us. And nice job yesterday turning a bad day into a decent one. See? I told you last week you'd run well.

1tlieeg22

Has Penske closed the gap with the new Dodge engines?

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

It certainly appears so. Considering that they have basically done all the testing on that new engine in live race conditions, it is pretty amazing that they are doing so well. Whatever Kurt had under his hood yesterday must have had rocket fuel in it. No wait, that's what Michael Waltrip uses, isn't it?

Dixie in Little Rock, ARK (Sooey Hog!)

Does Toyota build and supply all the engines for all its teams?

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

Dixie, TRD does not build engines for all of its teams. They do supply ready-made motors to Michael Waltrip Racing, Red Bull, and any smaller team that can afford it, but Joe Gibbs Racing builds their own.

Steiny (NYC)

Should Jimmie Johnson keep his beard?

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

Yes. Because Chandra likes it. Whatever Mama says, Mama gets.

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

BTW, Steiny I like how you apologized for sending in too many questions and then proceeded to send nine questions since then. But I do appreciate the enthusiasm...

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Ryan we did do good, like I stressed yesterday that lap down I think it helped us.. we had a crummy car!

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

I thought it helped you too. Though you were about the only one it helped. You going fishing in Wisconsin or at an undisclosed location?

Tony (Phoenix)

There seems to be a lot of loose lugnuts and loose tires this year. That couldn't be another result of no testing could it?

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

Tony, NASCAR made a very subtle rule cahnge this year that requires tire changers to tighten the five lugnuts a little further down the lug stud than in the past. That's forcing them to change the rhythm that they've employed for years and years...and the crew chiefs tell me that's why we're seeing so many mistakes. As the season goes on those issues will go away.

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

I bet there's a lot of crews that will be working on that here in NC over the next two weeks.

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Lake Norman here in the beautiful city of Charlotte

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

Sweet. Make sure you read Tom Higgins's fishing report. Good luck. See you at Bristol.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

Following up on the GM/Chrysler situation, what would specifically suffer most, engine development, operating budgets of supported teams, would there be an imediate disadvantage, or a slow slide down of say Chevy performance?

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

Jeffy, I think the suffering would come in development. The teams spend a lot of time with engineers from the manufacturers to bounce ideas off one another and turn those ideas into performance. As far as budgets go, the big teams don't really rely on Detroit financially anymore.

Marc (Malden, MA)

If GM does go out of business, what manufacturer will Hendrick/DEIGanassi/Stewart-Hass/Childress go to next year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

Marc, I have no idea. To even consider this possibility bends my old school racing mind. I'll call some of my owner buddies and see what they say and get back to you.

Jeff Gordon (New York)

Ryan what did you think of my black car?

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

It's awesome. And bad fast, too. If this is really you, give me a call. I hear you're building a house around the corner from me. Our kids can hang out.

Nathan (Charlotte) [via mobile]

Matt is awesome that is so cool you had him on here! He has won at Bristol I think twice. Is he a threat?

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

There is no doubt. He does have two wins and has finished outside of the top eleven only twice since 2001! Not too shabby.

glenn (Netcong, NJ)

Given that they may lose two constructors, have you heard anything about NASCAR starting to talk to other car makers about getting a template and going racing say a honda?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Glenn, I don't know if NASCAR was looking into its Wall Street crystal ball when it created the CoT, but the new car would allow any manufacturer to walk right into Sprint Cup with ease.

Nathan (Charlotte) [via mobile]

You know that Jeff Gordon was a fake right?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Pretty sure, yes.

Patrick (Agawam, MA)

If drivers are athletes which ones would you want in a pick-up Basketball game?

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

Elliott Salder, without a doubt. He was a stud power forward in high school and was headed to James Madison on a hoops scholarship before he hurt his knee. I'd say everything worked out for him, wouldn't you?

Laney (Jackson, Miss)

Settle a bet for me. Are Cup engines 358 cubic inches or 355 ci?

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

355

Matt (Oxford, MS)

Ryan, Great article a few weeks back comparing Junior and Harvick. What are you expectations for Harvick as the season continues and when do you see him finally getting some wins?

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

Thanks Matt...and I could very easily write the same article about Kenseth vs. Earnhardt now that Matt has won the Daytona 500 as well.

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

My expectations have been very high for Harvick all year. I think he's one of top five most naturally talented drivers, he cares about nothing else but racing, and he is good across the board - plate tracks, short tracks, road courses, everywhere. That and he's only had one DNF in his entire career. The one thing he has to avoid is what always seems to be a slow fade away in the middle of the Chase.

Glenn, Fla

Ryan. love your comments about people should go to a Petty driving experance before running off at the mouth. have you done any yet? if so which track?

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

Yep, I've done Charlotte and the Walt Disney World Speedway. I've also driven around Rockingham in a Buck Baker Driving School car, which is how Jeff Gordon decided to leave open wheels for stock cars. It turned out a little more lucrative for him than it did for me.

Chad (Las Vegas)

You just want to hang out with Mrs Jeff Gordon! Anyway Jeff G looks very consistant this early in the season, can he keep it up?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

Who wouldn't, right? Jets and racecars and movie stars and supermodel wife...why not? And yes, I absolutely think he can keep it up.

Barbara Philadelphia, PA

Big Jeff Gordon fan here! What accounts for Jeff's great driving this year - team, personal life? He's acting like a gung ho rookie in his interviews. And who else can come up with such great results after a blown tire last week and clutch problem this week. That just shows what a great driver he is!

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

Yeah, and don't underestimate the power of sleep. Jeff and his wife vowed to raise their own daughter and not let a nanny do it for them, and that's exactly what they've done. As a result, he sleep-walked his way through most of the last two years. Now his daughter is sleeping and so is he...and TA DA! He can concentrate for the full 500 miles. You parents out there know that I am speaking the truth.

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Last thing, Do u like Charlotte? Do you visit often?

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

I love it. I live in South Charlotte. Okay, wait...now I'm beginning to think this isn't you...

Jack Lingerfeld (Toronto)

When did Atlanta turn into Darlington?

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

Good question, Jack. Maybe when the racing gods found out that AMS is now taking over Darlington's old slot on Labor Day weekend they decided to make it race like The Lady In Black.

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

It seems like it wasn't that long ago that everyone was complaining about the Atlanta surface being too smooth and too fast...but that was more than ten years ago. If they could go back and freeze the surface the way it was five years ago when every race had 30+ lead changes and all those split-second finishes, they would. But it's gotten to Darlington-rough now they're going to have to look at repaving again.

John (King Of Prussia, PA)

Ryan, if Mark Martin continues to have the kind of season he's having do you see him retiring for good at this season's end.

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

Yeah John, I do. He came back to run for championships and now he's just hoping to stay above the top 35 points cutoff. It looks like the "Curse of the 25 Car" may have moved over to the 5.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

I hate it. It's starting to look like Willie Mays falling down in the outfield for the Mets or Johnny Unitas sitting on the bench behind Dan Fouts in San Diego.

Mr. dean [via mobile]

Why does nascar feel there should be only one attempt at green/White checker flag?

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

Dean...they learned their lesson years ago when they G-W-C rule was first tried out in the Truck Series. More restarts = more crashes = more yellows = more restarts. If you start adding more and more laps now you have to send everyone down pit road for fuel and that's a can of snakes no one wants to open again. Those Truck deals were embarassing. If they can get the G-W-C right the first time then they don't deserve another shot.

TG(PA)

Maybe Junior needs Eury Sr back as his crew chief. I think he would show more respect to him than his cousin and besides, Sr wouldn't put up with nonsense

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

TG, I think Tony Senior would help, but he wouldn't take the job even if it was offered to him. If anything, the Juniors probably both need a fresh start. Keep an eye on ESPN.com later this week. My man Terry Blount is going to address this very issue, well, blountly,

devin howell michigan

do you think kurt busch goes for two in a row thunder valley

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Yes I do. He's always the favorite when we go up there, despite some recent struggles. Plus, that Rusty Wallace Blue Deuce Bristol Mojo has to still be worth something.

Ryan McGee
  (3:03 PM)

Time's up my grease-covered brothers and sisters. We'll do it again next Monday, same bat time same bat channel. Don't forget to tip your waiters and waitresses and enjoy Level 42.