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April 20, 12:26 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

What up people?

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

Welcome to the Internet's greatest Monday afternoon motorsports block party...and how about another round of applause for that Marty Smith. He makes the people of western Virginia - NOT West Virginia - proud.

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

To the questions!

Scott Lugoff,SC

What do you think of R.G. comments on the 55 pretty funny huh?

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

Scott...love Lugoff. If these teams keep missing all these lugnuts on pit stops they should move to Lug-off.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

Robby Gordon's comments on Mikey were so funny they made me spit my Sun Drop out of my nose. Say what you want about RG, but he is a writer's dream. And he's also a pure blooded racer from his heel protector to his helmet.

Jake (Las Vegas, NV)

Who is more bitter these days, Joe Frazier towards Muhammed Ali or Janet Guthrie towards Danica?

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

Frazier toward Ali, but Janet is close. She likes Danica as a racer, but has long had problems with the way that Patrick has portrayed herself...GoDaddy.com, SI swimsuit issue, etc...

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

But I give her credit. When Danica won her first race one year ago I called Janet at home and she was very gracious and clearly excited about what the win meant for female racers...

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

But that doesn't mean that she likes her!

Tom (MA)

One pit road mistake and you drop the 24 to number 2? I know Johnson finished 2nd, but I don't think Gordon's finish outside the top-13 all year merits a drop from number 1.

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

I hear you, Tom, but my feeling about the Power Rankings is that they are all about momentum. And nobody has more 'Mo right now than JJ. Don't worry, JG will be back on top after he wins at Talladega this weekend, which brings us to...

Race fan

Hey Ryan, want some early predictions, Dega this weekend and the Indy 500 (yeah I know its a ways down the road). Great article on Helio.

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

I say Gordon at Talladega (sorry Dale Junior) and right now I say Helio at Indy. And thanks for the props on the Castroneves coverage. I think justice prevailed. The guy who messed up was his old man, Helio Senior. He didn't mean to, he just got in over his head and created a paperwork nightmare, even for a guy as sharp as Alan Miller.

Ole Big Red, USA

McGee, I posed this question to Marty. how does it feel playing second fiddle to him or is he just your opening act? He said this is your world we just live in it. Thoughts?

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

I look at the Marty Smith-Ryan McGee Monday chat double whammy as an online NASCAR version of the Elton John-Billy Joel Face2Face Tour. No one opens for anyone else, we're a team.

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

But if he says its my world, far be it from me to argue!

Bret (Manchester, NH)

If this is really your world, why won't NASCAR let you make necessary changes to the sport, that I know you must want?

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

Good question Bret. I'll have Marty tell the France family to give me a ring. They don't usually answer my phone calls.

Matt (Oxford, MS)

Ryan, Will you be at Dega this week and join us on the Boulevard saturday night?

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Matt, I will not be on the BLVD, but I plan on being there this fall. I promised my wife that once I got on the other side of Helio I'd take her on a short child-free vacation. That and I have to finish up a story for ESPN The Magazine about the rebirth of Rockingham!

Chad (Las Vegas)

It's a long season and most of the Hendrick team seems to have it going right now, but who could we be talking about come Chase time that we aren't right now?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

Yo Chad...great question. I think that we haven't heard the last from the Richard Childress Racing cars. They are lost in the woods right now, especially Kevin Harvick. He was so cranky on the radio at Phoenix I could hardly stand it. But when I saw him at the Rockingham ARCA race Sunday morning he admitted he'd been doing some overnight soul searching.

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

They put all three of the RCR cars in the Chase one year ago. Hard to think that a workaholic like Richard Childress won't have it all turned around by the Chase.

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

I don't think a Elton John and Billy Joel concert reference is going to earn you any bonus points with this crowd. But do you see JPM bouncing back next week after the rough performance this week?

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Good point Rick. How about the Monsters of Rock Tour from back in the day?

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

And yes I think he'll get it turned around. He's slowly become a pretty solid plate racer. I still point to the second half of summer and say that if he's in striking distance he will blast into the Chase. Indy, Pocono, Watkins Glen, Atlanta...custom made for JPM surge.

Cr8on--Lugoff

Isn't it good for the sport to see Martin at 50 win.

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

Awesome, no doubt. Now on to the championship, right? If he wins the Cup I wonder if he will go to my main man Terry Blount and make him take out the part of "The Blount Report" that says Mark is NASCAR's most overrated driver?

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

Awesome book, by the way.

Scott (Indy)

How many drivers and professional athletes let out BIG exhales when the Helio verdict came down?

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

A LOT. In fact, I have a "This Just In" column coming in ESPN The Mag later this week about that very topic. Throughout the case there were racers and ballplayers everywhere scrambling to read through their contracts and make sure they wouldn't fall into the same trap.

Jordan (Candor, NC)

Thanks for covering the ROCK. Hopefully there'll be a Nationwide or Truck race event there in the near future. What are your thoughts towards the chances of that happening?

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

Jordan, no sweat. I was born in Rockingham and still have family there. Andy Hillenburg has really woken the old place up and has pretty big plans for the future. I don't want to give up the goods from my ESPN The Mag story before it comes out, but let's just say that if the people come buy tickets for these ARCA races (and I was a little mad that more people didn't come out on Sunday) so that it allows Andy to spend a little money on upfitting the big track then NASCAR returning is not out of the question. Stay tuned...

Stewy

Hey Ryan, are you a bigger NASCAR or IRL fan? Do you see an more open wheel drivers making the stock car plunge?

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

Stewy, I love them both. Back in the old RPM2Night days I covered a lot of the IRL's first races. It is the nicest bunch of people and the racing is nothing short of crazy-good.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

That being said, I don't think we'll see a lot of those guys making the NASCAR plunge anytime soon. Certainly not in a large flock like we had last year. All of those guys are long gone.

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

But the money is so good, it will always lure them over. It'll just happen one at a time now.

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

Speaking of which, why won't someone give Patrick Carpentier a ride? Dude was driving his tail off the second half of last season. And talk about good guys...they don't get any more down to earth than that dude.

Jill (FL)

Where do you see the Sadler ending up next year? It's prettty obvious he's not receiving any support from RPM right now..

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

Jill, I don't know where he'll end up, but it won't be there. He is mis-er-a-ble.

Aaron (Bangor, ME)

Hey Ryan, it's me, your favorite Mainer. I might make it a weekly thing to show up here, since you don't get to chat with many of us. What words of wisdom can you impress upon me, to make it easier for me to swallow Jeff Gordon's pit crew's first mistake on pit road? It cost him a solid top-10 finish.

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

Yo Aaron. Always good to see you here. Next time bring some lobster with you.

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

Your only consolation can be this - every single team has had pit problems this year.

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

The biggest issue seems to be these new lug studs that NASCAR has mandated. They have taken the tire changers out of their rhythm.

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

And at night races the problem is compounded by vision issues by dark shadows on pit road. If you look closely you will see that a lot of tire changers are now wearing tiny flashlights on their helmets.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Lug Studs? Sounds like a new Vegas show.

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Maybe that's what Marty Smith and I can call our show when we go on the road.

Jake (Las Vegas, NV)

Especially Danica, she made 7 million last year.........SEVEN MILLION! She ain't poor, so stop the Nascar talk, DP!

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

Yeah, and that would have put her about 20th on the Cup money list. Trust me when I say she made about the same as Casey Mears last year. She ain't poor...but she's not as rich as she could be either.

Colin H.,MN. [via mobile]

Many people have givin up on matt kenseth do you think he can make a comeback

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

Without a doubt. We've got a looooong way until the Chase. Speaking of Kenseth, wonder if he is going to check in today. Yeah, yeah, I know it's probably not him, but we can dream right?

Brad, Detroit

Isn't it an almost 99% certainity, statically speaking, that Earnahrdt will not make the 2009 chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

Pretty close. I've been saying all along that if you aren't at least in the top 15 when we hit May then you are likely toast. And the stats back me up on that.

Doug in Dallas

Ryan, good to see you on NASCAR Now every now and then. Didn't you used to be a TV producer? Is it weird for you being on the other side of the camera?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

Thanks Doug and wow, where did you dig that info up? I was a producer for RPM2Night and then left to produce a show for, as they say, "a competing network". (Hint: Steve Byrnes was the host and the title rhymed with Boatily Cascar.) Then I came back to the Worldwide Leader as a writer.

Ryan McGee
  (2:45 PM)

But I love coming on NASCAR Now and talking racing. It's nice not having to worry about the control room for a change and because I used to work with all the folks that run the show I know I am in the best Emmy-nominated hands in the business!

Colin H.(Minnesota) [via mobile]

Do you think the busch brothers will be able to hold on down the stretch.

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

No doubt Colin. And the same goes for guys like Reutimann and Montoya. If they haven't faded by now then chances are they aren't going to.

David Washington DC

Truex had a very strong run on Saturday night...give me a good Truex comment/outlook for me Ryan!

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

David, unfortuantely his career stats at Talladega are brutal - 6 DNF's in 8 starts - but now he has a Childress engine under the hood, so chances are he'll be up front and can avoid the Big One.

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

If not, hey...Dover will be here soon, right?

Chad (Las Vegas)

Everybody says the Petty skipped a generation and went from Richard to Adam. Has the same thing happened with the Earnhardt gene? Will we ever see another great E?

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

I never thought that was fair to be honest. People forget how great Kyle was in the late '80's and early '90's. He just made a bad career move sticking with Sabates for so long and he'd be the first to tell you that he partied away his prime years.

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

I think Little E is going through some of the same stuff. He doesn't party as hard as he used to, but he admits that he's gotten distracted by all the off-track stuff.

Aaron (Bangor, ME)

Did you pay Chad to ask you so many questions today?

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

You know, I didn't even realize I'd answered so many from him. Between the two of you and Steiny from NYC...hey, where the hell has Steiny been?

Jake

How many questions don't get answered on a chat?

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

At least 100. My fingers aren't fast enought to keep up.

PJ (Cary, NC)

Ryan, I have a Chase format question for you. I think it's ridiculous that the standings are reset after 26 races strictly by wins. Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch had considerable leads wiped out the last two seasons. What do you think and is NASCAR looking at tweaking the Chase format in the near future?

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

PJ, love Cary by the way. I grew up in Raleigh when it was little podunk town. Now it's like the richest village in the world.

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

I have no problem resetting the standings for the Chase, but I have always argued that the bonus for winning races should be bigger. Both during the regular season and the bonus headed into the Chase. It's better than it was, but we're still rewarding consistency twice as much as winning. That doesn't seem right.

Chad (Las Vegas)

I just ask good, thoughtful, intelligent questions.

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

Yes, that's it.

DUSTIN (south boston va)

theres something about this allgaier kid that impresses me. How far do you see him going? Also I always have thought that hornish would be a top ten driver consistently and I think saturday night was a start do you see him being a top ten driver week in and week out?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

Dustin, I talked to Justin for a few minutes at The Rock on Sunday. He was there to watch the ARCA team that he still owns.

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

He is extremely sharp and I like him too. In fact, I can't find anyone who doesn't like him, which is rare in the racing world. I think he'll be in Cup sooner than later.

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

Which brings us to Hornish. He's miserable too. I think had Castroneves been convicted then Sam was headed back to the IRL. I hope that his Phoenix top 10 was a sign of things to come. If not, he's in trouble, because Justin is waiting in the wings.

Aaron (Bangor, ME)

Sometimes I ask good, thoughtful, intelligent questions too, but I think it's mostly because I have no classes Monday and I have the privilege of sitting in on Ryan McGee's chats.

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

And that ladies and gentlemen brings us to a golden rule of chatting....always end on a compliment!

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

Thanks as always for stopping by and I'll see you for next week's edition of the Internet's best Monday afternoon motorsports block party. Please tip your wait staff and enjoy the Rossington-Collins Band.

Matt Keneth (Concord) [via mobile]

What happened to me last week? can i rebound for talladega?

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

Oh! Too slow Matt!