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September 21, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:00 PM)

What up my fellow coolant-drenched brothers and sisters? Welcome to the Worldwide Interweb's biggest and baddest Monday afternoon motorsports block party. I've got Chickenfoot on the iPod and chicken wings on the grill, so let's talk racing. And how about one more round of applause for Boris Said. I'm thinking before he grills anything he has to bust out the hair net...

Ryan McGee
  (2:00 PM)

Already hearing from concerned fans of Ol' Blue Eyes, so let's get to them:

Zane (NC)

Do you think MacArdle's firing at RPM and the likely lay-offs in the engine shop had anything to do with the Kahne's blown engine?

Nate (NC)

Do you think the 9 was sabotaged, to a degree?

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

I don't think he the 9 was sabatoged on purpose, but talking to some of the old school crew chiefs, both in the garage and in the broadcast booth, they all predicted something like that would happen. The Petty engine shop was pretty much handed their collective pink slips last week, so...wait...maybe it was sabatoged.

Jason AKA Sadlercountry (VA)

Ok i predict Childress having 3 cars next year and mears out of a ride your thoughts??

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

Yo SadlerCountry...I'm with you. RC has been thrashing all summer to come up with the $ to keep that car online and the people up in Welcome, NC tell me that he hasn't given up yet, but it looks bleak. I hate it. I'm not a JD drinker (I like pirate juice) but you have to love what they've done in the sport. At Bristol I watched them stuff thousands of care packages for soldiers overseas.

Spencer (Indy)

Ryan, with Mark Martin signed through 2011 with go daddy, could Danica possibly replace him full time in 2012?

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

I don't think there's much "possibly" to it. I think that's how it is going down. Mark has done this before. Remember when he was supposedly prepping a ride for Carl Edwards at Roush? BTW, how weird would it have been to see a bunch of GoDaddy girls in Victory Lane with Mark last night?

Fred(al) [via mobile]

SO with pat Tryson leaving penske who do you think will be his next crew chief, and why do you think RPM is letin Reed sorenson go and where do you think he will end up

Ryan McGee
  (2:08 PM)

1. I don't know, but Kurt definitely has someone in mind. We chatted prior to taping our segment last Wednesday on "NASCAR Now" and he said he "definitely has someone in mind" but that Penske was first going to interview some people internally.

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

2. Reed is simply the odd man out of some very tough numbers. Can you believe the news that my man Marty Smith broke last week that Reed is racing for free right now? That whole situation over there is a mess. If there was awnywhere to go, I'm convinced that Kasey would be bolting. There'd been rumors that he would replace Martin at Hendrick, but now that Mark is on board until '11 that's not happening.

rick (ma)

jpm is getting alot of hype but he still can't close the deal will next year actually be his coming out party

Ryan McGee
  (2:12 PM)

I think his coming party has already started. He led every practice session, won the pole, and should have won the race at New Hampshire. The good news for the 42 is that the pit crew was spot on yesterday. That was really the only piece missing to their puzzle once they got those Childress engines under the hood. He won't win the Cup, but I still say he'll win at least one race before the year is out.

James (Houston)

Last week you were pretty hard on Steve Addington. I don't think that was fair. Of the active crew chiefs in Cup only Knaus and Osborne have more wins and he's won more races than EVERYBODY since the start of 08.

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

I like Addington a lot. We're from the same area back in SC. But you know just like I do that if a guy like Kyle doesn't make the Chase, the blame isn't going to fall on the driver...just like it doesn't fall on the star QB. The guy that gets axed is the head coach. And there is no doubt after the tongue-lashing he got from his bosses at Richmond that Steve is on the hot seat.

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Ask Tony Eury Jr. about that.

Robert (Royal Oak,MI)

Hey Ryan, If Dale Jr Continues to at least run this well the last 10 races, do you think he will be a strong contender again in 2010 with a Hendrick groomed Crew Chief? He's shown glimpses of this being possible.

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

Speaking of not closing deals...that wreck at the end of the New Hampshire race certainly wasn't Junior's fault, but it was yet another week when they showed signs of life but don't have a finish to show for it. If you really get the in-race loop data numbers out he has run better, but his average finish with Lance McGrew is essentially the same that it was with Eury Jr. I'm expecting another shakeup over at the 88. I didn't feel that was a few weeks ago, but now I do.

Clay (Charlotte)

Ryan, what's your opinion of Bruton's latest temper tantrum? Sueing the city that threw everything they could at him so he would leave the speedway there. Now he wants the $18 million worth of highway construction done. Don't you think it's the wrong economic times to be handcuffing the city like that?

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Yes. I was at the NHRA Carolinas Nationals Friday and Saturday and I hated that he let that story overshadow some of the great racing that was going on. But it seems to be business as usual up there at LMS. I wrote a column about Bruton last year that you might enjoy: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3424174

Clay (Charlotte)

Now the we have the obligatory Jr. question out of the way...let's talk about that chicken you're grilling.

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

Wings. I have no idea where my wife got them, but they are freakishly large. My brother makes a ridonkulous sauce, but he's out of town so I'm going with KC Masterpiece. I would eat my shoes if they were covered in KC Masterpiece.

Rob (Atlanta)

As great as that race was yesterday, it opened with a 2.5 overnight TV rating. Any chance Nascar shortens the schedule by 10 races and ends the season on Labor Day to not conflict with the NFL?

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

That's a fair question Rob. I have long been a proponent of shortening the season, but I don't think we could wrap it up by Labor Day. But I do think that more Saturday, specicially Saturday night races would help. People like to complain about the Saturday night races, but the Richmond race got a great # vs. college football. Plus, I HATE that weird starting time of 2:15. Start 'em earlier and get that audience involved before teh NFL games kickoff!

debra (pa)

why do you think dale jr is having such a terrible year and mark martin is doing so good?

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

Confidence.

David (Washington DC)

In all of the chats you guys do (I'm lumping Hinton and Newton in) I hear that JPM is a nice story but he doesn't really have a shot at the Cup. It doesn't look like you're willing to but I'll give you the first shot to say JPM has a real chance. Want to take the dive or hold out for next week's Top 5 or 10 finish?

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

Well, first, don't lump me in with Hinton and Newton. They're old. Second, I have been singing the praises of JPM all year. I was the only one of us to have him in my preseason "going to make the Chase" picks. I still think he can finish top five in points, but at the end of the day I don't think EGR's relatively meager resources can keep up with the arms machine at Hendrick (and I'll lump Stewart-Haas into that).

Tim (AZ)

Ryan, Kenseth had been rumored in the past to look outside Roush for a ride. Do you think the recent team struggles, along with the musical chairs of crew chiefs and wasting his prime years in bad cars will have him looking again?

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

I don't think he's leaving anytime soon, but he has really been calling out the organization for being so far behind this year. And Jack is listening. I think when a quiet guy like Matt started complaining, it really got Roush's attention.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

I just looked it up, he's locked up contractually past 2010.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I don't think I've ever seen the outside lane be preferably to the inside at Loudon...what is going on?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

It's crazy isn't it? Further proof that the double file restart is the greatest rule change ever. Watching these guys try to figure out which lane is the one to go with is totally fascinating. Every week and every track has been different and it's changed during each race. I also think that's a testament to the COT. People love to complain about it, but I'm a fan.

Clay (Charlotte)

Chickenwings? Franks Redhot and clarified butter make the best hot wing sauce...trust me, I'm a professional.

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

And I will be trying that next week. You're the man.

EyrishEyes (NY)

Hi Ryan! Big reality premiere tonight. Helio was a huge success on Dancing with the Stars. Which Nascar driver would have the best chance of winning a mirror ball trophy?

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

Wow...I bet Edwards (once his Frisbee Foot heals) could do it. And so could Jimmie or Jeff. They are all very athletic and don't know how to do anything without working their butts off, which seems to be the key. Though it would probably end up being Mikey and he spin out his partner and then crash into the judges' table.

Rusty (Concord, NC)

Do you think Kurt Busch can win a championship with having his crew chief locked out of the shop?

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

No. Andy Petree was spot on when he said that in the short term they will be okay, but once we hit the final the five races we'll see the impact of Pat Tryson not being around. And Andy knows what it's like to be a lame duck. He was headed out the door at the 3 car in '95 and they faded late to finish second behind Gordon.

Scott (NC)

do you think that Ron Malec the car chief for the 48 will be Jr's crew chief next year

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

Pretty good guess.

Jason (Lynchburg, VA)

What does the future hold for Reed Sorensen? Is George Gillett hurting the legacy of The King?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Reed says he's willing to race Nationwide or even Trucks if it means getting his Cup career back on track, which is admirable. Gillett isn't hurting the King so far. This year is the first time we've seen His Royal Fastness in Victory Lane in nearly a decade. But man does that place seem like a disaster area right now.

Felipe (Dallas)

What up Ryan, Watching JPM this weekend was awesome!!!! Do you think he was holding back that much during the regular season and I can expect this kind of performance for the rest of the year??? Should JPM have booted Martin out of the way and how will he fair next week (I think Dover).

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

I knew we'd hear from Felipe! Yes, I think he was holding back. Prime example - I think he could have won at Atlanta, but once he was safely alone in third he flipped the cruise control switch. He was like a wild man yesterday. But I think that the spat with Burton, which nearly caused him to wreck, made him realize he didn't need to wreck himself or Martin there at the end. Not expecting much from Dover, but he's already got his eye on Charlotte and Kansas.

Kayne West (LA)

yo ryan, i know you are in the middle of a chat an ima let you finish, but Jimmie Johnson is the best driver of all time.... Seriously, he turned a 10-15th place finish into a top 5. He just does what it takes to win championships..

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

Thanks for checking in Kanye. But you better get out of here fast before they start booing...this feels like a Taylor Swift-friendly bunch.

Marc (Malden, MA)

When will Goodyear have the wider tire ready for competition?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

They say they are working on it, but no one seems to be in a hurry. I think if the economy was in better shape, they'd be pushing it harder. But with the exception of a few races in the spring the current model seems to be okay.

Jason (ETN)

That finish was a nice reminder of why they no longer race back to the yellow. I thought AJ was a goner.

Ryan McGee
  (2:45 PM)

I can't believe we're 42 minutes into the chat and just now talking about this. That whole deal looked so much like Dale Jarrett's situation at Loudon in '93 it was freaky. And that was the incident that convinced NASCAR to do away with racing back to the yellow. Yeah, I haven't seen the rundown for tonight's NASCAR Now, but I'm betting that the boys will be giving NASCAR hell about that. I was screaming at the TV "Throw the yellow!" and Mark Martin said he was doing the same from his cockpit...and not just because it would have meant he won.

Wade (Jax, FL)

Pat Tryson's departure at the end of the year doesn't seem to be bothering Kurt as his last 2 finishes were 2nd and 6th. What's your take?

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

Said it earlier, I think the effect will be long term. We'll see it by the middle of the Chase. No one can get ready for a race being at the shop one day a week.

T-berry (J-town)

We have a wing place in town that has over 800 flavors from chocolate to atmomic death.

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

Mmmmm...

Chuck (NY )

Can Gordon dig himself out of the hole, Letarte put him in?

Ryan McGee
  (2:49 PM)

Actually, there were two shovels on that deal. And the other was held by Gordon when he popped the wall with the right side. I think he'll be okay because history tells us that everyone will have at least one bad race during the Chase - a mulligan. Unless someone does what Jimmie did last year. His average finish in the '08 Chase was 5th and he never finished lower than 15th. Yikes.

Jason (ETN)

Flavio will be Kurt B's new crew chief. You heard it here first.

Bill S. (High Point, NC)

Ryan. your starting to sound like Jim Rome, hes talking about the Emmy's and your talking chicken.

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

Alright clones, on to the next question...

Nick Rolando (orlando)

Ryan, any news on the McMurray to RPM possibilty? Personally I think RPM will be alright if they let Max Jones run the show next year.

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

You and Kasey Kahne are on the same page. When asked who was in charge at RPM right now, KK hinted that he'd like to see Max in a big leadership role. Jamie Mac is likely headed to EGR. I originally thought maybe he'd replace Sadler at RPM, but everyone there is pretty adamant that Elliott is all set for '10. That nice run yesterday didn't hurt.

TKT (pittsburgh)

jpm qualified 3rd @ dover earlier this year and he did a tire test there a couple of weeks ago.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Good point. So perhaps he can keep it going.

Jason AKA Sadlercountry (VA)

Did they accidentally give Sadler Kahnes car this weekend j/k j/k anyway i was proud of his run i think we will see more of this in the next 9 races

Stephen (Indianapolis, IN)

Is there anyone in NASCAR Land that you would compare to Flavio?

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

For those of you who don't know who he's talking about, it's Flavio Briatore, who was just slapped with a lifetime ban from F1 for telling a driver to wreck on purpose and help his teammate win a race. He's world renown for his partying, supermodel-loving ways, depsite the fact that he looks like Rocky Balboa's Uncle Paulie.

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

I think that Ganassi probably thinks he's like Flavio, but in reality Childress fits the bill. Dude is a total jet-setter. One day he's working in the engine shop and the next he's drinking his own signature wine while hunting some animal you've never heard of in the mountains of Pakistan. And like Flavio, RC has been winning races for a looooong time.

TG (PA)

Oh I thought you meant Fabio the model...ha, ha

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

Flavio would take that as a compliment.

kev (St Pete)

Whats grillin and smackin'. With Jack Daniels leaving RCR, who's the odd man out-Mears or maybe Harvick?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

Nah, Harvick is staying through 2010. They've made that pretty clear. I think Mears is gone.

Jonathan (Birmingham)

How big of an upset would it be if JPM DID go on to win the cup? We talking Chaminade-Virginia or something a bit less?

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

Pretty big. Like UAB beating Bama in football.

Stephen (Indianapolis, IN)

Curtis Turner taught Flavio how to party!

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

Flavio couldn't carry Curtis Turner's shot glass across my garage...or, for that matter, Joe Weatherly, David Pearson, Buck Baker, Tim Richmond, or...hell, this list could go on for a week.

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

Alright folks, I'm seeing a lot of smoke coming off the grill, so I think it must be time to leave and go turn the wings. See you back here next Monday for the block party and I'll see you on NASCAR Now this Wednesday night. As always, tip your wait staff and enjoy the music of Ace Frehley.