Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 26, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Andy Petree

  (1:28 PM)

Andy's here!

Ray (CT)

What was wrong with Jimmie Johnsons spotter on Sunday? It seems like he made at least 2 seriously bad calls.

Andy Petree
  (1:29 PM)

Being a spotter at Talledega is really difficult. The track is so large and you have these really small holes. It's not like he has the same views you have at home. He just has the line of sight from the roof. When they make those really tight moves in traffic, a lot of times it's an instinctive move the driver makes.

Eugene (Urbana, Ohio)

It seems like Little Junior fades to 12th to 14th at the end of every race. Is that because of Little Juniors physical conditioning?

Andy Petree
  (1:31 PM)

I'd hate to put that off on absolute physical conditioning. Though that can make you stronger in anything you do. With that being said, I don't really know the details with things that happen with him late in the races. But it is a pattern that he has a good first half of the race and doesn't finish strong.

Julie (Elizabeth, NJ)

Do you buy Johnson's story saying he made a mistake or is Jimmie really telling Gordon that #48 is the big dog at Henricks?

Andy Petree
  (1:32 PM)

You know, it could be a little bit of both. I honestly think that it was a mistake. I know him well and he's not doing anything intentional to hurt Jeff. But Jimmie is saying that he has four championships and deserves as much respect as anyone. It's almost like brothers. They're really competitive. They want to win.

casper (williamsburg, va)

hey andy, who do you like at richmond this weekend?

Andy Petree
  (1:33 PM)

I like Denny Hamlin. He's especially good at short tracks. He has some momentum from a couple of wins. Those are similar race tracks.

Andy Petree
  (1:33 PM)

And he is a Virginian. A little extra motivation.

Jay (LA)

Now that Harvicks has finally won a race do you expect him to sign a new contract with Childress?

Andy Petree
  (1:34 PM)

Well, I don't think just winning that race will get it done. What's going to happen is they're going to have to find a sponsor that really works well within the Childress organization and Harvick. But at the same time, he's a free agent. I'm sure he's looking at everything.

Mark (Iowa)

Andy,What is to stop the teams that have to qualify on time at Talledega and put a true qualifying setup under their cars from undoing all of that and putting a race setup in after qualifying is over? It seems to me the penalty for an unapproved adjustment is a trip to the back of the pack, or would NASCAR send them home?

Andy Petree
  (1:35 PM)

These are impound races, being that once they qualify they're impounded. There are certain things NASCAR will allow you to do after qualifying. However, the short answer is that there's not much you can do. A lot of teams will say that I'd rather be in the race and have the problems then, than going home.

Matt (NC)

hey andy how would you say jrs perfomance has been so far this year and does he get a win this season

Andy Petree
  (1:36 PM)

I think he's been good. If you compare his performance to his teammates, it's not as good. BUt it's been better than last year. If they keep it up. I think they can make the Chase. But it's definitely better than last year.

casper (williamsburg, va)

for a graduation present my parents will get me tickets to a dega race or a daytona race... suggestions?

Andy Petree
  (1:36 PM)

That's a tough one. I love them both. I'm leaning towards Talladega. It's been my favorite track my whole career. I would choose that one, purely based on the excitement and racing.

Jamey C. (South Carolina)

How impressive is it to see that Kurt Busch in the 2 car is able to bring tore up race cars home for top 10 finishes at Dega and Daytona.

Andy Petree
  (1:38 PM)

I think it says more for the car. This car has been durable and resilient. The old car would never allow you to do that. I don't think Kurt Busch, as talented as he is, wouldn't be able to hit the other car as much without hurting it. It's a testament to the car.

Jamey C. (South Carolina)

Wow what a race... was great to see the cars hook up and slingshot! what did you take away from it?

Andy Petree
  (1:39 PM)

The thing we've seen with these two car hookups, it's really come around. The spoiler change, I was almost wondering how that would change things. It seems like it's made it better. What's made that exciting for the fans is that the car in the back has to back off after about a 1.5 laps because the car gets too hot.

Hank (Buffalo)

whos' running the besT?

Andy Petree
  (1:40 PM)

Well, it's hard to say that Jimmie Johnson's team's still not the best. But cycles go up and down. I expected Denny Hamlin to come out of the box and be the man to beat. He didn't show that right away, but now he is showing it. It looks like it might be swinging toward him.

David (Boston)

do you think Hamlin's leg will hurt him later in the season?

Andy Petree
  (1:41 PM)

No, I don't. I'm not a doctor, but I've seen over the years that it seems to me that drivers seem to race better when they're hurt. It seems like they can do more. I don't know if it's an adrenaline thing, but hurt drivers can perform at a really high level.

Brian (NJ)

The JJ Gordon feud is getting better each week, I believe it is not either drivers fault,it's that Gordon is running with JJ every week again, this not going to go away any time soon. This is awesome !!!!!!! your thoughts ?

Andy Petree
  (1:42 PM)

I think so too. From a fan's standpoint, and that's where I come from now, I think it's great entertainment. If I'm Hendricks, I'm a little concerned, because my two best drivers are going at it. But it's more fun to see them going at each other than to see them buddy-buddy.

Kevin (VA)

Where has this Gordon been the last few years? Is it becuase he hasn't been running at the top?

Andy Petree
  (1:43 PM)

I think he's had enough, like everyone else. Everyone's tired of JJ beating up on him. And he has a good car and a good team that can go toe to toe with him.

Andy (MD)

Will Kyle Busch make this year's chase? I am going to say that he will miss it because he has too many distractions by running a truck team and racing in the Nationwide.

Andy Petree
  (1:44 PM)

I personally think he'll make it. He's too good. I think he'll make it but my real question will be how will he perform when he does. Will he be able to step up? He has too much talent.

becka (flordia)

do you think jeff will get jimmie at richmond

Andy Petree
  (1:45 PM)

Let's just say that if they are racing each other for the win that Jeff will probably be using the new NASCAR philosophy of "have at it boys."

Colleen (Canada)

Hi Andy. I keep reading that some people don't agree that drivers are athletes. Well, after what Denny has been doing lately, wouldn't he have to be in great shape to do something like that. By the way, love you and DJ in the booth. And hurry up and get on twitter.

Andy Petree
  (1:46 PM)

I've never bought into it. I've driven race cars. I absolutely believe that drivers are athletes. Their conditioning is the best. I've never raced at the level of some of these guys, but the better I'm conditioned, the better I've raced. THey don't talk about it, because they don't want the other guys to focus on it either. Jimmie Johnson is into conditioning and his diet, but he doesn't talk about it.

Eric (Georgia)

Do you think that Little Dale's problem is that he needs a team that is 100% focused on him and not having high profile teammates like Gordon and Johnson?

Andy Petree
  (1:47 PM)

I'm not buying that. No. I'm not buying that. He's with a great race team. That's not the problem. If you ask Junior, he'll say he has the best situation out there. It's all about chemistry. I don't think he would race better in a single car operation. No.

ethan (tn)

Do you think the spoiler will make a difference at richmond?

Andy Petree
  (1:48 PM)

I think it will be very similar. One thing NASCAR did was to make this new package have a little more downforce than the wing. I think you'll see the cars handle better at Richmond than last time. That should make for better racing.



Andy Petree
  (1:49 PM)

I don't know. Stay tuned. I really don't know. THat's the big question on everybody's mind. I wish I had an answer. I'm watching just like you are.

Greg (Ny)

Any new sponsors coming in to NASCAR - Coors, Walmart etc.

Andy Petree
  (1:49 PM)

I have not heard of any recent announcements. But this is probably one of the best marketing opportunities in sports.

Kevin (Reno)

I see the 24 and 48 more as father and son than brothers. Gordon helped JJ get his start and now it seems he is mad that the kid is outperforming the dad lately. Will Hendrick put his foot down on making post race statements about each other? He won't allow retaliations on the track, I'm sure...

Andy Petree
  (1:50 PM)

I don't think he'll put his foot down, but I think he'll make these guys know and see what's made them successful in the past. What's made them successful has been that working relationship. I think he'll try to smooth things out.

Andy Petree
  (1:51 PM)

Great race last week. Another good one coming up. Thanks for the questions!