Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 4, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:00 PM)

What's up my Pocono rain covered brothers and sisters? Welcome to a special Tuesday edition of the Internet's only one-hour motorsports block party. I've got Van Halen's "1984" on the iPod and I'm ready to rock it.

Ryan McGee
  (2:01 PM)

By the way, Happy Birthday to Jeff Gordon, who turns 38 today. Wonder Boy ain't such a boy anymore is he?

savannah (Raleigh)

I know you have said Gordon is your pick this year but if anything he looks to be slipping from his early season success (frequently running in top 2 or 3 and win in Texas) to now running in the 5-10 range. At the same time, Mark Martin has improved his performance and now seems like a top challenger for the 48. What is the 24 missing and any hope they can become a top 3 team for an extended stretch (and get more wins).

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

I think there's two things going on with the 24. First, I think Jeff's back is still hurting him. Second, I think they are tinkering right now in preperation for the Chase. I was up there a few weeks ago and they were building new cars hand over fist...and none of them have been to the track yet. Hmmm.

Brandon (Ohio)

If you were Mark Martin, should you be worried about not making the top 12 this season?

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

Yes. But after what he's done the last two weeks he looks a lot safer than he did. The Martin vs. Kyle Busch case study is interesting to me. Why is Mark climbing and Kyle struggling? Because Mark has figured out how to minimalize his bad days. The 18 isn't quite there yet, though they did a good job of saving a potentially devestating day at Pocono.

Mike (Fort Lauderdale)

It looked to me that Hamlin completely dumped Reutimann, who just happened to be one of the main competitors with Shrub to make the chase... Do you thing there is some shady stuff is going on over at JGR?

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

I don't think that in the madness that was those restarts anyone was thinking about anyone's points position but their own. I would be more suspicious if it had happened way out in the open away from everyone else or if Hamlin hadn't been in contention for the win. But there's no way that Hamlin was thinking about anyone but his own day at that particular time.

Pete (Carolina)

What's your opinion on the 3 wrecks Ragan/Labonte, Stremme/Gordon and Hamlin/Reutimann-Ambrose?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

I just addressed Hamlin's mess. As for Ragan-Labonte, I thought that Labonte did the smart thing by getting out the throttle when he saw everyone fan out 4-wide ahead of him, and as we see all the time, Ragan didn't have the chance to react...Bobby clearly thought that he should have.

Ryan McGee
  (2:08 PM)

As for Stremme-Gordon, I expect that kind of emotional stuff out of Robby and since he owns his own car if he wants to bend it up, fine. But Stremme should have never let himself get caught up in that mess. He's fighting for his job at Penske with Justin Algaier breathing down his neck. Allowing himself to get dragged down into that mess may very well cost him his job.

Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)

Ryan, 1 "What do you think the teacher's gonna look like this year?"2. What does Montoya need to do to move up your power rankings?

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

1. You saying that makes me want to go on VH1Classic.com and find the "Hot For Teacher" video. Uh huh huh huh. 2. JPM in 9th right now, which is just one spot behind his points ranking. I wanted to move him up move, but it's getting pretty crowded at the top. Hey, I have him ranked ahead of Edwards now, so that's pretty freaking good. Plus, I promise if he wins at The Glen I will give him a bigget boost.

JD (Boston)

Are you a Roth, Hagar, or it doesn't matter who is singing as long as its Van Halen playing guitar fan....

Ryan McGee
  (2:12 PM)

As long as it isn't Gary Cherone I'm in. I still have nightmares about Eddie trying to sing lead on that one song on Van Halen III. I got so disgusted with that album that I actually flung it out the window of my truck on the way down to Darlington one day.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey R-MAC! How great was Denny Hamlin's emotional post-race "interview"? How can you not feel for the guy! Brought back shades of Favre killing the Raiders after his father had passed.

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

I totally agree Craig. I think that Denny has had a harder time during his career than he's ever admitted, never being able to recreate the success of his rookie year...and he's gotten beaten up in the media over that. His win on Monday not only brought out the emotion of losing his grandmother but also the stress of the pressure he's been putting on himself to perform. It was touch to watch, but great to see. He literally matured right in front of us.

Tom (Boston)

Hey Ryan, any chance NASCAR will make small changes to the COT to improve the racing before the end of the year such as eliminating the bump stops or going back to a spoiler? Double file restarts is a good beginning

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Not this year, but I think we're definitely going to see some changes for 2010. Nothing super major, but maybe something to the roof rails, spiltter, or wing. It's tough because for all those years we screamed that we needed more dirty air behind the cars...now we have too much. Argh.

Greg Norman (Golf Course)

I've tossed a few putters in my day, but never a cd.

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Nice, thanks for checking in Shark. I wish you had talked that much when I've tried to interview you.

Mike (New Hamshire)

it must be hard to race knowing your grandmother passed away; he was detirmined to win. Congrats Denny Hamlin!!!

Charles (L.A.)

Do you think that Denny Hamlin's win is a sign that Hendrick can be beat?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

It's a start. Certainly between the recent success of guys like Hamlin, Vickers, and Montoya we've seen chinks in the Hendrick armor. But as we learned at the Brickyard, the window for opportunity is small. As soon as Montoya was gone there were three Hendrick cars ready to take his place.

JD (Boston)

Are any actual template changes scheduled for COT- or is it use this until we tell you different...."I can barely see the road fron the heat comin' off us"

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

No major template changes for now. They are looking at some stuff, but again, it'll be small moves, nothing too giant. The teams can't take on the cost of big changes right now. "I reached down between my legs and eased the seat back..."

Gene (Jackson,Ky)

Why was Pocono so exciting yesterday.

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Three words - Double File Restarts. It is amazing how much they changed the race.

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Alright, get ready for the Iowa deluge...

Tom (South Carolina)

Who do you think will get a cup date first Iowa or Kentucky

Richard Lacy (Kokomo, Indiana)

The inaugural race at Iowa in the Nationwide Series featured some outstanding racing. What did you think of the race? Any chance a Cup race will ever come to Iowa?

Richard Lacy (Kokomo, Indiana)

The inaugural race at Iowa in the Nationwide series featured some outstanding racing. #1. What did you think of the race? 2. Any chance a Cup race will ever be run there?

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

Okay, I gave Richard two pops there...

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

I have been to the Iowa Speedway once, for an Indy Car race in 2008, and I was totally blown away. The layout is perfect, the garage is immaculate, and every time they open the gates the place sells out. That being said, I don't think the market is big enough for NASCAR to send a Cup date out there. Not that I think that's fair, I just think that's what NASCAR is thinking. My advice to Rusty and the people of the Midwest is to keep packing that place and prove them wrong. The racing was awesome. Always is. And there are some seriously hardcore fans out there.

Dean (Michigan)

Don't you feel it's time to spread the wealth and give each venue one date and let some of these other tracks like Iowa and kentucky in on a date?

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

Yep. I think the days of going to the same tracks twice in a year are becoming outdated. I would have no problem moving a Pocono or a California to one of those places. NASCAR has been holding out on that waiting on one of their New York, Seatlle, or Denver projects to take hold. None of those are happening now, so why not go to a great place that already exists? Though Kentucky shouldn't hold its breath...the whole antitrust lawsuit deal hasn't helped them.

Philip Schaaf (Louisville, Kentucky)

Do you think Jeff gordon should do a retro paint style to get his mind back to the winning way

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

That would be cool. Could't hurt.

victor (monroe,la)

Do you think danicka will be in nascar next year?or will she stayin indy racing?

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

I think she'll sign with Chip Ganassi and concentrate on IRL. If he wants to put her in some stock car events and ease her into he certainly can, but with each day that goes by I think the chances of her being in NASCAR next year fade just a little bit more.

Bobby (Chapel Hill)

I know Chad Knaus and crew did an excellent job working on the 48 through out that portion of the race and used everything to get back on to the lead lap but I hate that Lucky Dog pass. I understand its because they don't race back if a caution comes out but 3 laps for Jimmie just is a little much ... what your take?

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

I hated it too in the beginning. But my suggestion is to go back and look at the races a few years ago when we were still racing back to the yellow flag, guys desperately trying to get their laps back. We are SO lucky no one got killed. I'll take the Lucky Dog over that any day.

Julie (San Diego)

oh ryan you are soooo HOT!!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

Wow...meet Julie, my new best friend!

YAR8pack (McGee's Place)

Yo. Thanks for having us. All's quiet on the Mayfield front; thank goodness. Do you think Silly Season is about to FIRE up? Just wondering where my man Brad K.'s heading. What about Brad replacing Vickers? Me thinks something is amiss with that contract negotiations.

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

What up YAR? Are you in my house? It is about to fire up. The GM of Red Bull has been in Europe twice lately trying to convince the bosses to do a Stewart-Haas kind of deal with Hendrick and I think once that happens it will kick everything into high gear. BV is waiting to see what happens with that before he re-ups and Keselowski would likely go to a 3rd RB car if it does (or he could replace struggling rookie Scott Speed). Even if it doesn't, BK will end up in the 3rd Stewart-Haas ride. Harvick wants it, but I don't think he's getting out of RCR a year early.

Ed (Hartford)

Why was RCR's Clint Boyer up front at the end of Pocono?

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

He started stretching his fuel runs early and had himself in a position to make one less stop than everyone else. He stayed out when the leaders pitted and inherited the lead. I thought he was going fade fast on those old tires but he ran away from the field on the restarts and held on to third. Hey, sometimes you are fast and sometimes you are smart. Either one can get you up front...ask Montoya.

NCFUBAR (Huntersville)

Everyone is all about Johnson getting 3 laps back and Hamlin's up on the wheel passing ... what about Stewart and crew?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

No doubt. The unhooked the freaking sway bar and still got back into the top ten. If you want to know the difference between a title contender and pretender, that's it right there. In the words of Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest - never give up, never surrender!

Dan (NY)

whos getting released at RPM Sadler or Sorenson?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Looks like Sorenson. Expecting Allmendinger to slide over into the 43.

Tim (AZ)

Two questions Ryan, 1. How ridiculously far off is Roush? EGR and Childress are both showing signs of improvement but Roush is still hurting. 2. What do you think goes through Brian France's mind when he see's the 48 go from 3 laps down to 13th and pass cars as easily as he did? So much for evening the playing field Brian. Thanks.

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

1. He's not as far off as he was, but he's still not close, neither is RCR. The testing ban has really hurt them. In years past they could test their butts off to make up the gap. Not this year. 2. I think he loves it. They love 'em some big names down in Daytona.

Hans Onmicoq (Denmark)

Who is the best free agent for next year - Regan Smith, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Brad K, or "the field?"

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

Denmark? Welcome aboard! I say BK. He's the real deal.

Jake (Las Vegas)

I've been meaning to ask this for awhile, but forgot about it. Why did Lyn St.James roll her eyes when you told her you were trying to interview Danica during the 24 Hours race this year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

Were you sitting there?! I think that Lyn and Janet Guthrie and some of the pioneering women of racing have an issue with some of Danica's decisions - SI Swimsuit issue, FHM, GoDaddy ads, etc.

TG (PA)

I know Junior signed a 5 year contract with hendrick. do you see Rick keeping him 3 more years?

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

Junior can stay as long as he likes. Even when he's terrible he sells more merchandise and brings in more sponsor $ than anyone else Rick could sign. Plus, I think that Rick thinks that the 88 is turning the corner. I agree with him...slowly but surely they are.

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

And yeah, I get it Hans. Nice one.

NCFUBAR (Huntersville)

Also your Penske/Stremme thing about the wreck ... word has it Penske was ticked off bigtime.

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

And no one should be surprised by that. It was bush.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Ryan, Your thoughts after Pocono on Kyle making the chase? With the series of tracks coming up its looking pretty good. Newman out Busch in?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

Newman. Until Kyle produces with the big $ or big game on the line it's hard for me to be a believer. I hope he reads this and proves me wrong.

Carrie (Bangor,Me)

Do you think that there could be anymore crew changes for Jr. at the end of this season? He looked like he might finish at least in top 20 if not a little better yesterday; what did you think. I for one really like the double file restarts makes the racing more exciting.

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

I think the team is all set. You can read a lot from Lance McGrew's body language and he is very happy with the way things are going right now. I don't know if people realize how outdated Junior's cars were. I know that Lance didn't. It's taking a while to get all those replaced with new ones and then getting JR comfortable in them.

Nate (CA)

Ryan, when you watch a race you hear announcers or the crew chief talk about getting the car to fit the drivers style, or the feel they want in the car. What are these styles? Can you compare the styles of a guy like Johnson, to say a Kenseth or Edwards?

Ryan McGee
  (2:49 PM)

It's all about handling Nate. To the untrained eye it might not be visible, but anyone can see it if you watch a guy like Tony Stewart. He slides the car through the turns like he's back on a dirt track. He likes the car to be loose, in other words he wants the back-end to skate out a bit. So does his teammate Newman. On the flipside is a guy like Kenseth who likes it tight, a little harder to turn. That's really the big difference. It may not look like much, but if you put Kenseth in Stewart's car he probably couldn't hardly drive it.

Jake (Las Vegas)

No, I just remember you mentioning it during a chat earlier this year. As for the old hags, I hope Danica wins Indy in 2010 and when those two try to latch onto her achievement, I hope she gives them the finger.

Ryan McGee
  (2:49 PM)

Nice memory.

Jack (Brooklyn, NY)

What does that say about Tony Eury Jr if all of Dale Jr's cars were "outdated"?

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

I think it says more about the junk they were racing with at DEI. Those old setups and chassis were what they were used to, so they thought it was the best. Then they went to the land of milk and honey and learned otherwise.

TG (PA)

Jimmy Spenser said that Nascar should have looked at how aggressively Hamlin was driving when he booted Reutiman during the race. he said it was similar to Robby and Stemme being aggressive. What do you think?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

Nope. That statement was as misguided as Jimmy's hairpiece.

Dave (Albany, NY)

Help me out here Ryan: Can you please convince fans that Dale Jr is not his dad, never has been, never will be. He is NOT going to win a championship as a driver, but he will win one as a car owner. GIVE JR A BREAK ALREADY!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

I think you just said it for me Dave.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Ryan, any news on where McMurray ends up? (Yates, EGR, Penske?) Also, do you think Roush brings up Darnell next year to replace Bobby Labonte possibly? (Heard a rumor about that)

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

I think than Jamie will end up back at EGR, which is where he started out in Cup nearly a decade ago. And I wouldn't be surprised to see Darnell in the 96. Bobby looks miserable, doesn't he? He is one of the guys who has struggled the most with the COT.

Jason (ETN)

Jimmy Spencer calling someone out for driving aggressively is like...Jimmy Spencer calling someone out for driving aggressively.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Senor Excitement? Surely you jest!

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey R-MAC, using any and all qualities, can you rank your top 5 crew chiefs?

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

1. Knaus2. Grubb3. Zipadelli3. Osborne4. Dale Inman (I always have to list Dale Inman)

NCFUBAR (Huntersville)

Before you get away ... who are the 5 you vote for for the Hall of Fame?

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

1. The King2. The Intimidator3. The Silver Fox4. Junior Johnson5. Bill France Sr.

Mike (CO)

Shouldn't Roush take the manager responsibilities away from Reiser for a month and just let him go to town on figuring out the COT?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

Yes! Robbie would've been on my crew chiefs list if he was still a crew chief. And don't let him tell you he doesn't miss it because he does.

Chip Dougless (buke, mo)

How'd you get this job?

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

It's either because I worked my butt off and have been around racing all my life OR because Julie in San Diego thinks I'm hot.

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Alright folks, the bosses tell me I gotta go. See you back here next week at our usual time of Monday, 2 PM ET. As always, tip your waiters and waitresses and enjoy the music of Tesla.