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March 26, 11:35 AM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:01 PM)

What's up folks?! Welcome to the Internet's biggest one-hour Monday morning motorsports block party.

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

How about that Ray Evernham, huh? Call me crazy, but I think he's got a future in the racing business.

Glen, Fla

Ryan, did you go to Martinsville? if so how many hotdogs did you consume? plain,covered with coleslaw or chilli ?

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

Glen, I was supposed to be there Friday and Saturday, but got rained out. I will be there this fall. I haven't missed a fall Martinsville race since in a loooong time.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

My personal Martinsville hot dog record is 10. I used to do three on Friday, three on Saturday, and four on Sunday. Compared to most media members, that might as well be zero. And The King puts us all to shame. Like all racers, he's not much on getting up early in the morning, but Richard Petty is usually first in line when the hot dog stand opens.

Ellis, NC

Who do you think will get their first win of the season JR or Gordon?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

Yo, Ellis...any other week and I would have answered Gordon. But Texas is easily his worst track - he's 0-for-16 for his career. And TMS has been great to Junior. His first Busch (Nationwide) and Cup Series wins came in the Lone Star State.

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

I think Jeff's next best shot will probably be at Phoenix in April or Darlington in mid-May. And if JR doesn't win at Texas keep your eye on Richmond.

Cory, Geneva, IL

Cars will hit 200+ this weekend at Texas. Why isn't the restrictor plate changed to allow that same speed at Daytona and Talledega? Why is it restricted to 185-190?

Ryan McGee
  (2:12 PM)

Yo Cory, I think it has more to do with the proximity of the cars to one another and the capability for disaster. You can get away with higher speeds at Texas because they come in short bursts. The nature of Daytona and Talladega would have them running 200+ for extended periods of time. Then again, as Dale Senior once told me, "If you had any balls at all that wouldn't bother you."

dustin (halifax va)

hey ryan you watching the truck race...you can't get much better than this!

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

Yessir Dustin...I am. Chatting with my people and watching live racing. The only thing that would make this better is if someone were to bring me a bucket of KFC.

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

Hermie!

Rick kent oh [via mobile]

Is aj allmindinger doing great or what

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

Rick, he's the man. I am so happy for A.J. and Marcos Ambrose both. Too many times a guy tries to cross over into NASCAR from an "outside" series and never gets a chance to really show their ability and build a fan base. But A.J. in particular is exeriencing a groundswell of popularity and it's great. I just hope the folks at Richard Petty Motorsports can find the $$ to let him keep racing after May.

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

I bet the folks at Red Bull Racing aren't enjoying it so much...they had him under contract and let him go.

Rich, Clearwater, FL

After "the big meeting" last week, Jr. said he'd like to get 15 minutes with "them guys" (the engineers at HMS) every week. What's the HMS and 88 plan to win and contend for a championship?

Ryan McGee
  (2:17 PM)

Rich, their plan is better communication. Junior has promised to talk more about the car. The engineers have promised to explain more about what they are seeing.

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

More importantly, Junior appears to really be cutting back on all the off-track stuff that has taken his mind off the racecar. I think that will pay huge dividends. If you look at his stats over the last four races, it already has. And now we are entering the stretch of the year where he is usually really, really fast - Texas, Talladega, Richmond, Charlotte, Dover, etc...

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

Run to your TV's now! Harvick and Shrub are slugging it out with less than 10 laps to go!

casper

great racing on sunday didnt you think? my ears havent stopped ringing, how long before i start worrying that i did some damage

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

I thought the race was awesome. If you didn't like all that beating and banging and the pass for the lead, then you just don't like racing. Even Denny Hamlin admitted that the finish was awesome and he was the guy who ended up losing!

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

As for your ears, you'll get them back by Wednesday. You gotta wear earplugs, though. I always tell people to take out the earplugs for the first two laps and then put them in. All those years I went to 25 races per year I didn't wear 'em because I wanted to be cool...and now I can't hear people in crowded restaurants.

Nick (SLC)

After watching yesterday's race, it reminded me of a few years back at Bristol when Gordon put that same exact move on Rusty and moved him up the track for the win. I think that move is dirty, and something should be done about it. If the driver can't pass the one in front of him without almost wrecking him, then wait for another chance to pass. That almost costed Hamlin a top position. Its a dirty move, and Johnson probably learned it from Gordon. Please explain how you feel about yesterday and that particular move.

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

Nick, it didn't bother me. If he'd put a quarter panel to quarter panel and flat spun him out I would have had a problem with it. But on a short track when we're inside 15 to go and the $$ is on the line, the bump-and-run is totally legal. Not spinning someone out, mind you, but the chrome horn is NASCAR tradition. It started long before Gordon did it to Rusty at Bristol and it'll go on long after we've forgotten about Jimmie and Denny.

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

I did a story years ago for ESPN The Magazine about the fine line between being a jerk and just emplying a "racing deal". It really is a fine line, but I don't think Jimmie crossed that line on Sunday. If it had been Dale Earnhardt Senior they'd already be printing t-shirts with a photo of the move on it.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

Kevin Harvick wins the Truck Series race at Martinsville. Kyle Busch got burned on a tire rub and a penalty. I bet his head is about to explode.

Terry (Galax, VA)

Ryan, I had a great time at Martinsville yesterday. I thought you people were joking about being able to see the brakes glowing through the wheel wells, but I totally could. How hot do you think those brakes actually get?

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

Yo Terry...I talked with some crew chiefs about this very subject last week and these are the numbers they gave me.

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

The brake calipes can reach 400-500 degrees, but that's nothing compared to the rotors, which can hit 1400 and the pads, which run upwards of 1800 degrees! And rear end gears reach 300-350.

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

That's hot enough to melt metal, so imagine if you are a tire changer reaching in there with your fingers during a pit stop!

Ryan (WV)

Kyle busch left the truck race, are you suppose to do that?

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

He doesn't have to stick around unless he finishes in the top five.

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

He finished 17th, climbed out of the truck, and literally ran out of the track.

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

He had a tire rub on the left rear and it loooked like he was trying to drag that fender agains the backstretch pit wall to pull the metal off that tire before the last restart, but he accidentally crossed over the pit road commitment line, which means he has to come to the pits.

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

He went from going to win the race to finishing 17th...and I'm sure he felt stupid about what happened, so he got the hell out of there.

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

He'll be back in Charlotte by 4:00 pm.

Frank (FL)

Should Martinsville have light?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Frank, that's not a bad idea. It would be awesome to see all those brakes lighting up orange during a night race. But I think they like their longtime spring date and the cool weather that comes with it.

Jenny (Richmond, VA)

Is Martinsville really going to lose one of its Cup races? If so, that's a bunch of crap.

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

Hi Jenny, I'm with you. It looks like the future hinges on a proposal that the owners of the Kansas Speedway have in front of lawmakers out there. They want to build a big casino/hotel complex on the track grounds out there. If that happens, then most expect ISC (the France family's track ownership arm that owns both Kansas and Martinsville) to move one of The Ville's two dates out to Kansas.

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

To quote you, Jenny, that would be a bunch of crap.

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

Ed Hinton told some great stories during his in-race chat on Sunday about the late great Clay Earles, who owned Martinsville, and the great lengths he went to with the France family to preserve his two race dates...most of the time it involved him wielding a firearm!

flynn sardis alabama

Do you think biffle will miss the chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

Hi Flynn...it doesn't look good for The Biff. He and Brian Vickers both are in the middle of freefalls that look like something out of the X Games.

Carlos, Orlando

Why should Kyle stick around and talk to the media? If Kyle splits the haters call him a bad sport and if talks they call him a crybaby. When are Nascar fans going to learn to appreciate Kyle for his greatness?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

Carlos, I have no doubts about Kyle's greatness. But he is still just a kid. And moments like that - running out of the track on live television - isn't how he's going to convince fans of his greatness. Then again, if I'd had the kind of weekend he just had, Cup and Truck, I would have gotten the hell out of there too.

Aron (Las Colinas, Tx)

God Bless Texas! Ryan, who are your favorites for this weekend?

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

1. Carl Edwards - he swept both TMS races in '08 2. Jeff Burton - he's due and a two-time TMS winner 3. Someone other than Edwards from Roush Fenway. Biffle and Kenseth are both money, though they own no wins there. 4. Jimmie Johnson - finished 2nd there a year ago and he has his mojo back 5. Dale Junior - why not?

Willie (MS)

Hey Ry Man! It seems that earlier in the season Bowyer was counting top 5's based on pit strategy and end of the race heroics. More recently, it seems his success has stemmed from his overall satisfaction with the car as he runs up front most races. Has his season turned, and is he likely to be considered a contender for the Sprint Cup Championship in 2009?

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

Willie, no doubt he's a contender. If you walk the Cup garage and ask around about who is the most impressive pure driver right now you hear Clint's name more than most. All you need to know about his talent is to look at what he's doing with an all-new team at Richard Childress Racing this year and how his old team - which changed only the driver - is doing without him.

Bobby Simmons (Orlando)

What are yiu thoughts on a future track coming to Denver?

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Hy Bobby...talk about Denver has died down as the economy has slowed, but ISC (NASCAR's track ownership arm) had executives camped out in Denver and Seattle as recently as one year ago. The biggest roadblock they have faced in both of those very outdoor-sy cities is the environmental lobby. I think if the sport is going to expand any time soon, it'll happen in Colorado before it happens in the Pacific Northwest...but don't hold your breath on either one.

Mike(Atlanta) [via mobile]

Hate to beat a dead horse here but it's something I've been really confused about. Why has Goodyear dropped the ball so bad on developing a tire for the new car? There were 3 years of testing before they started running the car so I don't see why they couldn't have a bigger tire for at least the second full season.

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

Mike, they are definitely working on a new tire, but I think the economic slowdown has really hampered their R&D efforts. I am with you. With all the top shelf engineers involved in the CoT project from its first moment of conception it is amazing to me that no one realized that we would need a bigger tire until we were already racing.

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

That being said, when teams do what Goodyear recommends (tire pressures, camber, etc...) there usually aren't a lot of problems. It's when they are riding way the hell out there on the edge of the tire with so much camber in them the car looks wrecked that we always seem to be having trouble.

Jonathan (Birmingham, AL)

No one's talking about Montoya. he's 14th in the points (about where he was last year at this time) and went from 32nd at one point yesterday up to a 12th place finish. Can he put together a complete season and wind up in the chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

I think he can definitely make the Chase. And if you go back and look at all the ESPN.com writers only one of us said that he could during the preseason...No, not Marty Smith! ME!

Keigan (wisconsin)

Do you think they would get any more road courses any time soon

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

No Keigan, but I would love to see someone replace Watkins Glen. I love it up there. I respect the history of the place, but the facilities are not up to the level that our sport is.

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Hey ryan, we did terrible again.... glad texas is right around the corner... we have had success there!! hows it going?

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

And there you have it folks...I thought he wouldn't make it in under the wire, but our ol buddy "Matt Kenseth" is here.

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

Sorry I had to drop you so far down in the Power Rankings this week "Matt"...but you said it, you were terrible.

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

But you are right, you are money at Texas. I just said that a few minutes ago!

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Ryan am i your favorite this week to rebound?

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

You know it. Among all the guys who have started the last 10 races at Texas, you have posted the best average finish - 7.9 with seven top tens. Go get 'em champ.

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

I just want to thank all of my fans for pulling for us in this downward turn of events....

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

You just have.

Matt Kenseth (Concord) [via mobile]

Sorry i didnt know u said that... i just now started to chat. did u eat a hotdog at martinsville? good huh?

Ryan McGee
  (3:04 PM)

They are always good at the time...that night, not so much...thanks for checking in again Matt...if that is really you.

Ryan McGee
  (3:04 PM)

Alright folks, that will do it for this week. We'll be back next Monday, but I can't promise we'll have live racing again like today. In the meantime, be sure to tip your wait staff and enjoy Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers.