What's up my fuel (mileage) covered brothers and sisters? For the first time in three weeks we're not chatting during an actual race. I've got John Mellencamp's "Scarecrow" on the iPod so I'm feeling a little angry and ready to chat.
Heard some people complaining on another chat about how it is not fair for a race to be ended running out of fuel? If Jimmie Johnson had the fastest car most of the day, why would he not pit like junior did and work his way back through at michigan where you can get three wide?
Watching fuel mileage races has always been a little like watching people take their college entrance exams - three and a half hours of math followed by five minutes of heart attacks. But they have also been around as long as we've been racing cars. It is what it is. And on Sunday the 48 zigged when they should have zagged. Honestly, it's kind of nice to hear them admit they have a weakness.
Do you think Rusty would ever return to racing? I quit watching when he retired.
Nope. For the longest time I thought he would, but now he's seems pretty happy with TV and all his business interests.
McGee, you're an idiot!
There you go...I knew that wouldn't take long. And thanks for reading the Power Rankings.
How much did Gustafson shoot Mark Martin in the foot with them running out of gas? I can understand JJ going for it, but now Mark is really going to have to work hard to make the chase.
Yeah, that was brutal to watch. But it also underlines how gutsy it was for Vickers and Ryan Pemberton to roll the dice like they did. They could have very easily been in the same situation. After the race Gustafson came up to Mark with tears in his eyes and Martin was quick to tell him that he'd rather go down trying to win than playing it safe and racing for points.
Hey Ryan! I was already a Vickers fan to begin with, but his post-Nationwide race comments and Cup win made a fantastic birthday weekend for me. Do you think he was right in what he said?
I think BV picked up a lot of fans over the weekend, Craig. And I do think he was right. He was doing what he felt he had to do to win. It just wasn't what Busch needed him to do so that Kyle could win.
I heard Dale say that his team is starting to build cars just like the 5 and 48 do....doesnt that pretty much say that when it came to building cars with Tony Jr, he did what he wanted and didnt pay attnetion to the tremendous amount of information available to him at HMS? If you got different cars...your teammates adjustments and setup simply wont work on your cars. Seems pretty simple to me
Yeah, but keep in mind that you tend to want to work with what you're used to. And I think that is a real testament to how far behind the stuff was that Eury was used to working with at DEI. When Junior made the move a lot of people thought he would have been better off if he'd gone with an internal crew chief. But, like Eury with those old cars, Junior was most comfortable working with his longtime crew chief. BTW...Junior's last win came via that crew chief's strategy.
As fans, we can't complain when a driver settles for points and, at the same time, criticize Martin for going for it.
Big 10-4 on that.
do you think Bowyer can sneak into the top 12?
Yes. A few weeks ago I looked at the tracks coming up and I thought the two guys the schedule benefitted most would be Bowyer and Montoya. I still feel that way. And talking to my people at RCR they say that everyone there - including Harvick and Burton - are committed to helping Bowyer get in.
So why didn't the spotter, crew chief (someone on the radio) tell Vickers/Busch that Brad was coming? It's like neither one of them knew. I couldn't believe it when I was watching. ......
They did. But there wasn't much they could do about it. That was Kyle's argument, that where Vickers was behind Busch was creating an aerodynamic stalemate that basically froze them and allowed BK to get by. It was awesome to watch though, wasn't it?
Do you think Vickers makes the chase? Seems like that team is definitely on a roll.
They are. They just need to keep their momentum up. They have a couple of stretches like this during the season and then followed them up with some abysmal runs. We know he's good at Atlanta, so it looks like it'll come down to Richmond, where his average finish in ten starts is - GULP - 28th!!
Mr. Ryan, just wanted to let you know I did not run out into traffic after JPM in Indy but came close to. It is nice to see that when JPM has a bad day now, he comes in 19th. Do you think when he turns it up in the chase, he could win a race or two and be the darkhorse threat??
Good to know, Felipe. We hadn't heard from you, so I was worried. And yes, I think there is no doubt he can make some noise in the Chase.
BK has had a great year to date, and is looking to move up full time, but will all the people jumping on his band wagon be disappointed?
Nope. All I can really base it on is the excitement level he is generating in the Cup garage, which is a lot. Those guys don't usually get very fired up unless they really see talent. They can spot a poser from a hundred miles away. Plus, they all love his Dad.
I was glad to see Vickers get his first Cup win without wrecking the 1st and 2nd place second place cars in the process.
I knew that was coming.
Is there any truth to the Elliott Sadler, RCR rumor?
Well, considering you are from Emporia and thus probably know the Sadlers personally you tell me! Just kidding. There seems to be, but a lot of things have to fall into an dout of place to make that work. It starts with Harvick. (Man, if you Happy and Richard on the radio yesterday it was not for the faint of heart. F-bombs galore.) I've thought all season that Sadler would be heading somewhere else in 2010 after that nasty winter he had with the RPM folks. We'll keep digging and see what we can come up with for you.
Do you think McGrew is getting closer and closer to locking himself in as CC in 2010 or do you the Rick might give a car chief a shot next year, like Malec if he wants it.
I think it is his job if he wants it. It takes a while to turnaround a battleship and that's what he's doing.
on TV yesterday they said that the 24 was building cars for the chase and focusing on those races. Given that, and their finish yesterday do you think they are coming on at the right time?
Yeah, I think we talked about that in our last chat too. I was up at the shop a couple of weeks back and they are building cars hand over fist and not racing a one of them until the Chase. I do think they are showing signs of peaking at the right time. If they could just have that qualifying lap back from The Glen...
Kyle Busch will win Bristol.
A Busch will win Bristol...but it'll be Kurt.
What's up with John Force switching rides with Robert Height. Inquiring minds want to know.
Wow, a drag racing question! Hey, why not? I thought Tony Pedregon was a dummy for ditching his crew chief over the weekend...and he won.
No one is talking about Hamlin.
Nope. Or Edwards. And I think right now they like that. They'd rather be talked about in November.
If Vickers makes the chase who falls out? My thoughts are Newman what are yours?
Yeah, Newman looks generic doesn't he? And I still don't have a lot of confidence in Biffle when it comes to consistency. I'd throw them out and put Vickers and Bowyer in.
We\ll my family does know the Sadlers, to an extent. With Hermie living literally three doors down, I tried to get some info from him when Elliott was headed for Evernham (now RPM), but he wouldn't budge. I suppose I won't be getting any info this time either...
I hear you. Getting info from drivers is like trying to steal gold from Fort Knox. It used to be a lot easier...then the worldwide interweb came along and made everyone paranoid!
Isn't their a big risk in bringing out cars that have never raced when the chase starts? Is that what the 48 has done over the last few years?
It is what the 48 has done. And I think it's worked out pretty well, don't you?
How good and what do you think JPM's legacy would be if he would of stayed in CART/INDY this whole time?? Maybe 4 or 5 championships and 4 or 5 Indy 500's?
Probably, but then he'd just be like Gil de Ferran, Sam Hornish, and Scott Dixon. A great racer that no one outside of the Indy Car paddock knows anything about.
I know you're sick of this by now Ryan, but I just saw Newt's report on Mayfield's step-mother showing up at his house intoxicated. Bizarre isn't going to be the right word to describe this.
I was talking to Marty Smith about that this morning. Between the Mayfields and Rick Pitino it's a hard time to be from Kentucky isn't it?
I think it sucks that none of the NASCAR rides turn into robots. Your thoughts?
Optimus, I'm with you. It would solve a lot of fuel mileage boredom problems if halfway through the race all the cars turned into robots and started beating the hell out of each other in the infield. That being said, what was up with your last movie. That thing was terrible.
Gustafson was crying??? THERE'S NO CRYING IN NASCAR (unless JR says it's ok, then all bets are off)
Actually, I think they threw that rule out of the book when Jeff Gordon started weeping after winning his first Cup race in '94.
Do you think its right someone who has no wins can compete for the championship?
I have no problem with it. First, no one has ever won the championship without winning a race. The closest anyone came was Benny Parsons in '73 when he won only one. But I think that a guy like Carl Edwards, who has been consistently good throughout the season deserves to be there at the end more than a guy like Kyle Busch, who was great for six weeks and has been terrible the rest of the time.
right time, wrong place but are the Nats gonna sign Strasburg?
How's the back feeling today?......Oh, sorry I thought I was chatting with Jeff Gordon.
Man, did he get bowed up at the media when they kept asking him about his back at Michigan. I think it really lit a fire under his butt. The good news, it seems to be much better. But I still say she should sit out Bristol. That would give him nearly three weeks off to rest his back and get ready for the Chase. Even if he sat out a race he'd still be in the top five in points.
Read the the article today where 11 engines were impounded for examination. I find it kind of curious the 48 was not one of the Hendricks'engines. What do you think?
I wouldn't read too much into that Greg. They kept the impound list pretty evenly spread out. If they'd taken engines from all three Hendrick cars people would be howling that Hendrick got picked on.
Didn't old DW cry when he won the Daytona 500 in 89?Don't give that one to Gordon.
He did. Good call. And by the way, that race is considered one of the greatest in NASCAR history...and it was a fuel mileage race.
So what's the rule change gonna be when neither Kyle or Mark make the chase?
I think that the new rule will be a 1,000-point bonus for finishing 3rd at Michigan. Then Junior could get in.
During a shot of the backstreach on one of the cautions yesterday, i say tons of water bottles on the inside of the track. Is that from drivers throwing them out the window.
Yep. No dobut mixed in with some from the infield too.
Ha, I was thinking they would just see where Ol' 88 was in the final standings and make that the new cut off...
I know you like taking shots at Jr, but you have to admit he has been running much better of late. Finishes haven't been there, but he is at least running in the top 10 most weeks now.
He has. Thus his reappearance in the Power Rankings.
Ryan, once again I feel you're gonna jinx Dale Jr with that 20th spot in the power rankings. But that 1000 point bonus line was great. I've also heard that NASCAR is looking to add a wild card spot to the chase next year for the driver with the most 8s on his car.
Don't be like Newton, always picking on Junior.
david stremme just wrecked in front of my house ha ha how does this joker still have a ride
Man, you guys are frisky today!
The truck series is going to be looking into fuel injection real soon based on some parts shipments ... you got any inside info on this?
I think that some pretty significant changes are coming to that series in an effort to save it. Maybe not next year, but certainly over the next couple. We had this discussion on NASCAR Now a few weeks ago. If it were up to me to save the Trucks, I would: 1. Shorten the schedule. 2. Get them back on the short tracks like they ran in the early days of the series. 3. Bring back the halftime break pit stops. 4. Use it as a testing ground like they used it to bring inn Toyta. If you want to look at hybrid engines in the future (and they will have to) then use them in Trucks first.
Do you think if the 48 wins this year there is a chance that Chad pull an "Everham" and bolts to start his own team. If not now, maybe when the economy is better?
Great question and I think we'll start hearing that a lot soon, especially if they win the Cup again. I think he will. I just think it won't happen for a few more years. Chad is very conscious of that team's place in the history books and he wants to make sure they've done all they can do before he does something else.
Maybe Rick counters by offering him a stake in the 48 like he offered to Ray back in the day?
Ryan, it has happened 4 times that the series champ only had one win, 2 before the modern era, (1950,1961) and Kennseth in 2003 and Benny in 1973 as you stated.
I was talking Modern Era only...but I totally forgot about Kenseth. Hell, that's the year that made them want to start the Chase in the first place! Thanks for the research Bill.
Is it true? That the winner of the most popular driver gets in the chase, just like in the all star race?
No...but I know of about 10 million fans dressed in AMP gear that would be all for that.
So if that does happen (Chad bolts) does JJ struggle as much post Chad as Gordon has post Ray?
If he left today? Probably not. The 24 was much more dependent on Ray than the 48 is on Chad. Most of the guys working under Chad could go be crew chiefs right now.
What about my Logano or Junior question??? Which one has a better chance of making the chase next year?
If Ray could go back in time, think he would still decide to start up his own team or stick around as Jeff's CC?
He would stay put.
Dude, will you please gimme some info on Brad K.'s future? You're right. These 88 haters/jokesters are funny today. Also, I would say Vickers should be given bonus points for what he said in the post-race interview for the Nationwide race, but, c'mon, Brian got out of the car with his helmet on. Kryle wasn't gonna do a thing but throw a used tissue at him.
BK has, by my count, about eight viable options for 2010. He could've already taken one of the lower level deals and been done with it, but I think he's doing the right thing and waiting to see how he could stay affiliated with Hendrick. My money now is on a deal where James Finch owns the team, but in reality it would be a fifth Hendrick car...the arrangement he won Talladega with back in the spring. And he'll also keep running Junior's car to make a run at the Nationwide title.
Hi! Just joined, was stuck in a meeting, catching up now. Did someone call you an idiot? Sheesh :P RYAN ROCKS!!!!
Yeah, but I kind of gave them permission to in the Power Rankings. Thanks for having my back, though. As always, I appreciate it.
In Jeff Gordon's final few seasons do you see Ray coming back as his crew chief just to give it one more shot?
That would rock...but no. I think Ray has had offers to come run Cup teams, but his current contract with the Gillett folks won't let him.
Hey Ryan, tell us more about the F-Bombs with RCR....
Long story short...Harvick was complaining about the car on the radio and the boss man jumped on and told him to "drive the f------- car like you're being paid to do!" That deal is getting a little tense...but have you noticed that since the contract feud started Harvick has been running better?
Hey Ryan, loved the PR this week. Who wins down in Thunder Valley?
Thanks RF...my top five picks are Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, and Denny Hamlin. Darkhorses are Harvick and, yes, JUNIOR!
Ryan...my current top 5 crew chiefs: Knaus, Osborne, Zippy, Grubb, and Ford. What say you?
I agree with this list. I like Gustafson too, yesterday's fuel mileage mistake not withstanding. And I always include Dale Inman on my list so as not to anger the racing gods.
Alright folks, sorry I wasn't able to get to all the queries this week. But we'll be back at it next Monday, same bat time, same bat channel. I'm headed to Thunder Valley! In the meantime, enjoy Siouxsie and the Banshies.