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June 1, 12:01 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

What up my transmission fluid covered brothers and sisters?! Welcome to the Monday afternoon motorsports block party. I've got the grill going and the tunes cranking, so let's talk racing!

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

And how about another round of applause for Tim Brewer. One of the greatest and most bizarre moments of my career came when he gave his mid-race "I'm the man" speech in the middle of the Bristol night race...I want to say 1996. It was too cool.

Jeremy (GA)

Hey Ryan, What is up with Smoke? How many times over the last 10 yrs have we heard him say that was fun after coming in second? Seems like this Owner stuff really suits him. I have to say I am as suprised as a person could be.

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

Jeremy, you are spot on. I talked with him for a long time on Friday night and he's simply not the same human being he was five years ago or even two years ago...and yes, I think it suits him.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

I'm working on a big feature about him for ESPN The Magazine we talked at length about his new life and new job and he really, really loves it. And why not? He's leading the point standings for the first time in something like five years.

Larry (Pensacola FL)

Hey Ryan, could the media come together this one time and all refuse to interview Kyle Busch after he wins seeing as how he runs away every time he has bad luck?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

Ha! I wish. Seaking of Stewart, we all talked about doing a similar freeze out years ago, but it never came together. In a perfect world we could put it off, but if we didn't try to talk to him fans would howl that we weren't treating him right.

kevin (new jersey)

There is rumor that there will be double file restarts starting at pococno. The rule also says that lap down cars that choose not to pit will get their lap back and to me that sounds stupid. My idea is that they do double file restarts with 20 laps to go or less since the lap down cars are in the back already.

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

I'd be suprised if double file restarts came as early as this weekend...but there's no doubt they are coming. It's about time. I spent half the ESPN.com in-race chat trying to explain where everyone was during all those goofy double file what-are-all-these-lapped-cars-doing-in-there restarts.

Rich, Clearwater, FL

What's up there, sir? Isn't it time to start asking what's wrong with Harvick, Bowyer, Vickers, and Kahne?

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

Yo Rich! I think Kahne is okay now. That new Dodge engine had him on rails all weekend at Dover and he's money at Pocono. Vickers is still experiencing Red Bull growing pains. But RCR? They are just lost. My inside people there tell me that the team's Monday morning competition meetings are total confusion. It's weird, they seem to go through this every three years or so. This time I think it's going to cost them Harvick...he'll be doing his own Cup deal by 2011, trust me.

Jeremy (GA)

Shouldn't NASCAR do something about this start and park deal. I think Riggs was a Hero for doing that. NASCAR ought to withhold winnings and points for teams that pull this junk. Let someone race that wants to be there!!!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

10-4 on all of the above. But as long as there has been NASCAR there have been start and parks. Back in the '70's all but four guys knew they weren't going to win, they just wanted to run long enough to pocket enough winnings to get to the next race. It's no different for Tommy Baldwin's outfit.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

Hey Ryan, didn't Dale Sr. storm off to his helicopter avoiding media along the way after a bad finish or two? Doesn't Jr. Nation realize that Kyle is acting more like Sr. than Jr. does?

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

He did a lot back in the 1980's. Then when he realized that it was easier to recruit sponsors if you were on TV all the time he came around. People don't want to admit it, but there are a lot of similarities between Shrub and guys like Dale, DW, and Rusty. They were all bad guys at the start of their careers then the fans came around. I think that will happend with Kyle too...but it'll be a while yet.

Scott (NOLA)

Ryan, any chance we see racing back to the line re-instated? I think it, along wih the double-file restarts, would definitely spice things back up. It would also get people over the whole "lapped cars starting at the back" issue. Your thoughts?

Ryan McGee
  (2:17 PM)

It'll never happen Scott. It just got too dangerous. We had a deal at New Hampshire when Dale Jarrett almost died because everyone was racing back to the line. Shortly thereafter the new rule was implemented.

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

Ryan...is it just me or does Newman's pit crew seem to have some issues every week? It seems every time he comes in for a regular four tire stop he loses spots? Are you seeing this too?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

I am. And so is Tony. They seem to fall off a bit late in races. But they are certainly better than they were at the start of the year. Can you believe he's up to 5th in points? And Ryan is such a cool name...

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

Been getting this question a lot today, so I will let Mad Max from Ocala speak for the group...

Max ocala, fl

How would u rate Dale jr's 1st performance with Lance McGrew?

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

I thought it went pretty darn well. It always takes a while for a new crew chief/driver combo to feel each other out for language, tone, terms, etc... But anyone that listened to the 88 scanner yesterday could hear a totally different tone in Junior's voice.

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

He started the race kind of tenative, not asking for specific changes, but by race's end he was really asking for particulars. That's a good sign. And 12th ain't bad.

Patrick (Agawam MA)

I read an interesting article abou teh George family and control of Indy- how would a shakeup there affect NASCAR going forward?

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

What a disaster that deal seems to be! I was on the grid at Indy on the morning of the 500 and the body language was pretty obvious. While his mother and family were up in Victory Lane particiapting in the pre-race ceremonies, Tony was lobbing around on the grid checking in on the cars he owned. The gap between him and his family was pretty obvious.

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

I don't think Tony leaving his CEO post at the Speedway will have a huge impact on NASCAR and the Brickyard 400, IMS prexzJoie Chitwood is already running things. But Tony should always be remembered at the guy who had the vision to invite NASCAR there in the first place. His predecessors would have none of it.

Demetric (Orlando)

I have a lot of respect for Jimmie Johnson, but do you think his reason for burnning Danica from coming to Nascar; is that she would rival the spotlight

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

No, I thought his comments were fair and I think what Danica said in response backed him up. She can't just drop into a Cup car and expect to be competitive. She has zero stock car experience and is used to running a maximum of 20-24 races a year. If she did the A-B-C (ARCA-Busch-Cup) plan, like Jimmie and everyone else in Cup had to do I have no doubts that she could be competitive.

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

But would she steal some sponsor $$ and attention from the established stars? Without a doubt.

Clay (Charlotte)

What's up Ryan. I don't really have a question, just wanted to say hi and see how everything was going. Keep up the good work!

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

See, the Monday motorsports block party is all about the love...

Patrick (Agawam MA)

BTW if the IRL goes bankrupt and folds- I am advocating the NASCAR Modified series to go national like the Truck series- the perfect combo of openwheel and stock cars!

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

Amen! And we should run at least one Cup race per year on dirt!

devin (johnson city tn)

read in multiple articles that in the drivers meeting, junior left his seat next to lance and went and talked to kyle for about 3 minutes...any word on what about? im guessing they weren't just exchanging friendly hello's...

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

My people tell me that yes, it did happen. I think it was a cool move on Dale's part and there's a reason that no one jumped up and tried to seperate them - the overwhelming majority of people who work in the Cup garage believe that Kyle was kicking a man when he's down. And no one thinks that's cool.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Ryan, how big of an impact will the new Dodge engine have on Kahne's performance? Do you think he could have a Kurt Busch-like resurgence this year and make the Chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

I do. It was so visibly obvious that his car was so much quicker and handling so much better. It's amazing what more horsepower can do for a man. And I think there's still time for anyone in the top 20 to still make the Chase. But we're halfway there now and each week that passes slices those odds by the chunk. Pocono couldn't be coming at a better time for KK.

Jeremy (GA)

But didn't Kyle just say what everyone else is thinking. I mean I really dont like or hate jr. I just don't care that much about him. But everything Kyle said was true. And DW said it best on Fox. Driver's rarely have an original thought so it must be going around!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

He said what a lot of people were thinking, but I think those people took issue with how he said it. Jeff Burton said essentially the same thing, but handled it much better.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Ryan, where is Jamie McMurray going to be driving for in 2010?

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

I think he'll still be affiliated with Roush, which is why no one is really talking much about it. One of the current Roush Fenway drivers will likely be moving to Yates Racing, which is essentially a Roush spinoff now, like Stewart-Haas is to Hendrick. If I'm Jamie, I take that deal with no pause.

oscar Waterloo Iowa

along with the possible restart changes, will there be any changes to the COT?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

Perhaps. One of the big topics in the meeting last Tuesday was how the CoT is hell on the current tire. I think we'll see Goodyear start working toward a taller, wider tire to better handle the taller, wider CoT.

Michael (TN)

Any thoughts on TNT taking the summer races starting this week?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

I love Kyle and Wally. And I was on the road for years as a producer with Bill Weber and Marty Snider back in old RPM2Night days, so I say bring it on!

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

And leave Digger at the house.

Stan (KY)

What do you expect to come from the Mayfield v. Nascar hearing on Wed?

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

More of the same Stan. Jeremy's laywers are seeking another injunction of his suspension so that Jeremy can go racing at Pocono while the details of this mess are figured out. I expect the judge to deny this request just like he did last week.

Robert (Iowa)

oh come on Ryan cant Digger get a little love?

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

He is cute isn't he? But wouldn't you like to see what Carl from Caddyshack could do with him? Just once?

1 Daddy (Arkansas)

my kids love Digger... better than the race, it's the only way they watch and maybe someday become a fan of Nascar.

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

Okay, okay, I relent. My daghter loves Digger too.

Chad (Las Vegas)

They should send Digger to Kentucy! Only because I bet they would eat him there.

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

So when you say Dale "talked to" Kyle...was it an amicable, "Hey, that's not cool man" or was it a little more heated? Also, no love for digger.

Digger (turn 4)

What.... No love for Digger????

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

From what I hear, amicable. And enough with the Digger talk! This chat is slowly drifting toward the wall!

Stan (KY)

And what about his lawyer's hair..YIKES! Someone should file suit against that mess!

Tim (Fresno)

Hey Ryan. I love your blog. I have one question regarding Jeff Gordon. He has been having some serious back pain and its been effecting his focus behind the wheel. He just had a procedure done on his back to help eleviate some of the discomfort. How do you see this effecting him in the next couple of races and the remainder of the year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

Thanks Tim, I think we're about to ramp it up, so keep an eye out...and how about those Fresno State Bulldogs?! Did you know I have a book out about last year's College World Series? Ok, I digress...

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

I think Jeff's back is a bigger problem than he'd anticipated...

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

He was clearly frustrated on race morning and he should have been. He'd just had that procedure done and was feeling great and then that hard crash on Friday put it right back where it was. And Dover is one constant g-force push into your seat, so it was hurting him pretty bad.

Ryan McGee
  (2:49 PM)

All that being said, throw out getting caught on pit road when the caution came out and he would have been a contender for the win. He was wicked fast at the end of the race, but two laps down. I think he'll be fine this year, but I'd expect some surgery come Thansgiving.

TG (PA)

So with regard to other drivers thinking what Kyle said, do the other drivers think its all Junior's fault too. I think it was both JR's and they needed to work with someone else to be successful.

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

They don't blame Junior. They all know what its like to be in a situation where the chemistry just doesn't work. They just didn't like what they perceived as cheap shots from Kyle.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Speaking of Jeff Gordon and his back how is he going to handle the twists and turns of a road circuit? He use to be the man on them now what is going to happen.

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

He'll be fine. He could run Sonoma in a strait jacket.

Travis Orlando

So if... I mean when Martin Truex leaves DEI or whats left of it what are they going to do with a team of just one driver Montoya?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

Been getting a lot of these questions, so I'll let Travis speak for the group....

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

I think Truex will go to MWR to replace retiring Mikey and Elliott Sadler will end up at Earnhardt Ganassi, or whatever it is called by then. Hearing the former DEI folks aren't happy with the deal and may be looking to go it on their own again...but I don't know if they have the $$ to make that happen.

Tom (Danbury,CT)

How about your contenders and a darkhorse for Pocono?

Ryan McGee
  (2:54 PM)

The contenders are Kahne, Edwards, Gordon, Newman, Smoke, and Hamlin.

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

For darkhorses let's go with Vickers, Montoya, and Jeff Burton.

Shairstin (Bloomington, IN)

The chat is almost over, and we've had NO LOVE for Jimmie's win yesterday. If Jr., Kyle or Carl did what JJ did yesterday...that's all this chat would be!

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

Fair enough. I can't remember the last time I saw a car that much better than everyone else. Thank the racing gods that the 48 crew botched that final stop, because it set up one of the greatest last run dashes in a long while. Otherwise Jimmie would have stunk up the show!

John (Arizona)

do you see Johnson shaving that beard.. Who knows what kinds of gizmo's Knaus has stuffed in there.

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

I just laughed so hard I spit Pepsi out of nose and onto my computer. Maybe he has a traction control device hidden in the stubble.

brett (houston)

jimmie was the class of the field yesterday. plain and simple.

Chad (Las Vegas)

JJ was DYNOMITE!

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

Always nice to get a "Good Times" reference into the chat.

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Speaking of good times, I am afraid it's time for this one to come to an end. But have no fear, I'll be back next Monday, same bat time, same bat channel. As always, please tip your wait staff and enjoy the music of Men Without Hats.

John (arizona)

your welcom.. keep up the great work Ryan!

JJ

JJ was dyno....wait...too late.

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

Say hello to Willona for me.