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May 10, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

What's up my Darlington tire rubber dust covered brothers and sisters and welcome to the interweb's biggest and baddest (we think only) one-hour Monday afternoon motorsports block party!

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

I'm coming to you from the Bristol, CT HQ of the Worldwide Leader in Sports (aka the Death Star) getting prepped for tonight's NASCAR Now (5 PM ET, ESPN2) with Randy Lajoie and Ricky Craven.

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

To the queries!

Jeremy (NC)

Don't you think the 24 team is going to have it fall into place soon and rip off a streak of wins reminiscent of the Evernham days?

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

Man, they sure seem close don't they? We were just talking about the 24 during lunch.

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

Yes, they could have easily won a bunch of races and yes, it has to be wearing them out mentally to be so close and keep finding ways not to win. But a "bad day" is relevant. Jeff messed up, but he still finished 4th and moved to 4th in points. There are plenty of teams that would to have that kind of bad day...like the 14.

Jessica (West Palm Beach)

What did you think of that awesome new Doublemint paint scheme that Kyle ran Sat. night?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

I think it looked a lot better on Saturday night than it did with the right side flattened like it was on Friday during practice! It was funny how so many people were complaining that you couldn't pass on Saturday night...yet the 18 and the 29 had no problem passing people from the back, did they?

Cale (Boston)

How awesome is it that Fox dumped the Sox-Yanks game to cable for the Cup race? When they first got the contract, us Bostonians had to watch the races on tape delay because the local affiliate had the Sox contract and those games took precedence. I call this progress.

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

And I would agree! Score one for the racing people.

Tracy (CT)

Better weekend mothers day moment. Bradens perfect game or Hamlins weekend sweep?

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

Tough call. I finally got to see the video of the Braden post-perfect game celebration with his grandmother sitting here in the newsroom at ESPN. That was great stuff. But I know the Hamlins, so I'll go with that. Either way, it was great. I love the Moms doing "Gentlemen start your engines" like they did Saturday night.

Jessica (West Palm Beach)

Are Kyle and Samantha getting married after the season ends or on 1 of the off weekends?

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

I asked him about that at Talladega during the interview for my ESPN The Magazine story on the Busch brothers (on newsstands now!) and he said after the season. Kurt got married during an off-weekend in-season because "I was given no choice and I'm smart enough to know she should have what she wants." Smart man.

Billy (Reno)

Do you see Denny as the leader of JGR? He sure did show Kyle how to race this weekend and told the media what he thought of Kyle.

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

Yes. I thought there was no doubt about that even before the race.

Jeremy (NC)

Which of your colleagues do you think Tony Stewart will bite the head off of first at Dover? I think we are days away from a class Tony meltdown.

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

Well, the good news is that since he is out of the top 12 in points he doesn't have to come to the media center for mandatory Q&A anymore!

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

In all seriousness though, I think the revelation that Old Spice is leaving the team at season's end might answer our "What's eating at Tony?" questions from earlier in the spring. You have to figure he's probably known that was coming for a while and sponsors are hard to come by these days.

Jeremy (NC)

Regarding the DarlingtonA) make it the Southern 350; B) Start it at 4pm eastern or C) Don't change anything

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

C! I am all for shortening most of the races on the schedule (and so are a lot of teams, drivers, and even TV execs), but I have said all along that three races should stay 500 or more - Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Southern 500. Eveyone else, 400 miles/laps tops...but I'd prefer 350.

Mike (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

I have two questions about the E15 fuel? On one hand fuel injection will make the sport greener, but it isn't cheap. Do we need it right now, in these difficult economic times? At the other hand fuel injection and more of those technical improvements make NASCAR sensitive for more manufactures. That's a good thing or maybe not. Because now NASCAR is the only racing serie in the world were a drivers needs to tell a crew chief what's wrong with the car and everything. Fuel injection is the first step of allowing the computer era to NASCAR. Beacuse of it NASCAR will lost a part of her attitude in my opinion. Or can't we stop technical investing (in this way) in NASCAR anyway?

Ryan McGee
  (2:17 PM)

Hi Mike...I hear you concern and I think this is the very reason the league has been so deliberate about fuel injection in particular. Introducing computers into the cars has a potential $ disaster written all over it, not to mention what you say about tech taking over. But at some point these cars become so ancient and so behind the times that they become almost laughable. It's a tough spot...but I can assure you we'll never reach Champ Car/F1 levels where the driver becomes almost secondary.

Ray (CT)

Dinger said in his post race interview that they were having brake problems all week. Why would RPM run the 43 without totally fixing the brake problems? Don't they have at least 10 of the best mechanics in the US working on their cars? It seems like you should be penalized for knowingly running faulty equipment.

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

I think if they knew what to replace they would've replaced it.

Troy (Carrolton, TX)

Since Kyle has 17 cup wins plus a Nascar Championship and Denny has 11 cup wins and no championships how can Denny be team leader at JGR?

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

Older, longer tenure with the team, and I see what I see. Denny has proven that he's a Cup Series title contender. Kyle hasn't done that yet. He's close. And I think he'll be the leader over there soon. But as of today, he's number 2.

caster and camber (bahama, nc)

whats up mr. McGee? i just read on jayski.com that with the repaving of daytona coming after their 2nd race this season that will leave goodyear and nascar less then a month to figure out what tire combo is gonna work on this new, "green", surface. with the daytona 500 such a huge race, i feel sure goodyear and nascar can get it done but goodyear has fumbled before with tire combos. i am a little worried. how about you?

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

Not too worried yet. I think the recent Talladega repave will give them a decent baseline to find the right combo. After they came up with a tire that allowed teams to do 2-tire stops at Darlington I believe they can probably do anything.

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

Not too worried yet. I think the recent Talladega repave will give them a decent baseline to find the right combo. After they came up with a tire that allowed teams to do 2-tire stops at Darlington I believe they can probably do anything.

Glenn (PA)

should fans care on how long a race goes?

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

Yes. Just like they care how long games in other sports last. I hear about it all the time.

matt (omaha)

NASCAR's popularity peaked a couple years ago, and has been declining some lately. What do you attribute that too? Also, has anyone ever told you that you could pass as the offspring of Paul Rudd and Jared from Subway?

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

This deserves a looong answer, but I don't have the space or the time. The main reasons: 1. Economic slump. 2. One guy dominating. 3. Older fan favorites retiring.

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

I'll take Paul Rudd, that seems like a compliment and my wife loves him. And I like Jared...but I don't want to look like him. Most people say I look like Johnny Benson.

Ryan (Ventura CA)

Hi Ryan, Is Smoke throwing races or is SHR getting 2nd Tier Hendrick stuff. I don't think I have ever seen him run so poorly

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

You haven't seen him run so poorly because he hasn't. This is the first time in his NASCAR career that he has finished outside the top 12 for three straight weeks. I think there are a lot of factors that are going into this slump, but equipment isn't the issue. It isn't bothering Ryan Newman.

casper (dc)

if i drove the 48 chevy home from work today, what would i notice about the way it drives compared to my street car, other than the obvious speed

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

Loud, super crazy loud. Hot, super crazy hot. Vibrates like crazy. Feels very sparse in the cockpit but at the same time clausterphobic. And it smells like burnt hair, especially at the end of a tire run. And don't let anyone tell you that "power steering is power steering". Driving a Cup car is a totally wrestling match.

Andy (Dayton,Ohio )

Do you think well have to see how Harvick does at Dover and CMS before he can come across as a legit contender for the title. It was sure promising to see him run so well at Darlington, another one of his worst tracks.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

We're going to talk about this on NASCAR Now tonight. I think Harvick is legit. We're 11 races in and I keep waiting on him to fade, but he hasn't. And on Saturday night when all of these other guys were sliding up and down the finishing order he just plugged along in the top ten.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

We're going to talk about this on NASCAR Now tonight. I think Harvick is legit. We're 11 races in and I keep waiting on him to fade, but he hasn't. And on Saturday night when all of these other guys were sliding up and down the finishing order he just plugged along in the top ten.

Rick (Yuba City)

GUESS WHO?? Biffle. What does Biffle have to do to get respect and become more relevant in NASCAR??

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

Rick, I love you. You ask this every week and every week The Biff becomes less and less relevant. So you might want to change your strategy.

Jim (Kingwood, TX)

What do you think is the biggest difference between last year and this one for Jamie McMurray? Had it not been for a last lap mishap at ATL he would probably be in the top 12 right now.

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

Rick, I love you. You ask this every week and every week The Biff becomes less and less relevant. So you might want to change your strategy.

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

Benny Parsons used to tell me that confidence is worth about 10-15 extra horsepower. This year, for the first time in a long time, Jamie has confidence. He's also clearly in a better race car than he was at Roush.

JPMAN ((Harrisonburg))

Do you like JPM's chances at making it to the Chase? It seems whenever he doesn't wreck, he finishes in the top 10.

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

I do. And that's an about-face for me. Four weeks ago I thought he was toast. His goal right now is be within striking distance by late summer when he hits The Glen, Indy, Altanta, etc. Then he's got them where he want them.

Suzie (Lexington, KY)

After seeing Little Dale put up a half hearted effort Sat night we are giving up on him. Any suggestions on who we should root for?

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

Was it a half-hearted effort or did he have a gigantic hole in his right rear tire? I can't speak to the effort, but I did see the hole.

Russell (Baton Rouge)

Do you think the big Dega wreck plus marriage and fatherhood has caused Carl Edwards to lose his edge? He just doesn't seem to go for it anymore?

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

I think he's definitely tired. Any parent can tell you that the first year is a sleepless funk. I have always said that most certainly affected Jeff Gordon after Ella was born. But I think his biggest problem is that his car doesn't have him in a position to "go for it". All four of the Roush Fenway cars are a mess right now. And it's not just one problem. It's a stack of them.

Jamerson (Georgia)

Another week and another mediocre run for Mark Martin. The #5 team has definitely fallen off in performance from last year. Do you think the restructuring of the 5/88 shop has hurt Mark's performance? Or is Mark's age finally catching up with him?

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

Last week Ed Hinton suggested that maybe the fact that Mark is now officially a short-timer (Kasey Kahne is on the way in '12) has gotten into his head. I don't know if that's the case, but honestly, over the last month the 5, 88, and 48 have been having a hard time. And hey, Mark's still 10th in points. The goal these days is make the Chase, then deal. The season is far from lost for the 5.

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

As for the "old man"...I have seen him with his shirt off. We all should be so "old".

Paul (Long Beach, CA)

It seems like Dale and #88 have stepped it up but he is still behind because Kyle, Denny, Harvick, Gordon have all stepped it up even more. You think Dale goes winless again and misses the chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

They have stepped it up if you compare where they are now to where they were a year ago. But the difference between the 88 and the teams ahead of them is that a bad day for the 88 is like Saturday - flat tire, finish 18th. A bad day for the others is still better than that.

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

I think he'll win this summer. And I think he makes the Chase.

Jeremy (NC)

Can you ask Queen Latifah what she thinks about the relationship dynamic between Lance and Jr?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

Jeremy must have seen my Tweet earlier. In the ESPN cafeteria I ended up standing next to Queen Latifah in the salad line. I didn't talk to her because I was too freaked out. Besides, if I had one question to ask her I would have asked how much she liked being at the track during the filming of "Taxi". She had a scene with Jeff Gordon.

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

Jeremy must have seen my Tweet earlier. In the ESPN cafeteria I ended up standing next to Queen Latifah in the salad line. I didn't talk to her because I was too freaked out. Besides, if I had one question to ask her I would have asked how much she liked being at the track during the filming of "Taxi". She had a scene with Jeff Gordon.

Ed (Fort Worth)

Ryan, the broadcast guys seemed to be speculating that the 48 team doesn't have its arms all the way around the spoiler yet, leading to all of JJ's troubles as of late. You buying, or do you think the horseshoe finally fell out?

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

That's a theory. And if it's true then it might also explain the issues with the 5. But honestly I think they're just in a funk. They were in it with the wing, too. It's easy to forget this because they've won three races, but the races the didn't win at the start of the season they were pretty generic.

Tom (Indy )

Tony Stewart will find a sponsor. He is a top 5 driver in the sport and I am getting tired of people saying he won't race next year or Newman will be the only driver...blah blah blah...I am tired of hearing about it on the radio. What are the changes Bud is coming to SHR and Tony asked Old Spice to take a step down and they just decided to call it a day? I just can't see Tony Stewart, 2 time NASCAR champ, IRL champ, IROC champ and USAC triple crown champion, IRL rookie of the year, Nascar rookie of the year and National Midget Hall of Fame member calling it quits anytime soon. If nothing else, he can run a Eldora, TSR, Tony Stewart foundation, Macon Speedway, Puducah Speedway or Hass Automation. Heck, they GAVE him half the company, so don't tell me he wouldn't invest in himself next season if he had to. Just sayin...

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

First, Tony didn't ask Old Spice to step down. No one, especially these days, waves off $. And I agree his resume' is second to none, but everyone - and I mean everyone - is having a hard time tracking down sponsorship. The 39 especially. I have no doubt that Tony can fix it, but it has to be a distraction, no?

Billy (Reno)

Was Denny correct in what he said about his teammate (that there was no new Kyle)? It sure seemed that way fri night.

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

Hahahaha. I think people have missed the point on this "new Kyle" thing, even Denny. What I hear is "A guy who no longer throws his hands up and whines every time the car runs bad." Now he works on it, makes it better, and turns bad days into good ones. In the past he kind of gave up when he knew he couldn't win.

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

I think he still had that cocky attitude that makes people either really love him or really hate him. I hope he never loses that.

Kurtis (Houston)

Ryan, I think Kurt Busch is being overlooked. He didn't get that much credit for finishing 3rd at a track where his stats are horrible. Other than Denny, do you see Kurt being the next guy in line to dethrone the 48 team?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

I don't know if he is next in line behind Denny, but he's in that group. You need to read my story in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine about the Busch brothers. They're getting along swimmingly these days. That's bad news for the competition.

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

I don't know if he is next in line behind Denny, but he's in that group. You need to read my story in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine about the Busch brothers. They're getting along swimmingly these days. That's bad news for the competition.

Scott (Indy)

Whoa! I just got here and read something about you checking out Mark Martin with his shirt off! Did I go into the wrong chat room here?!

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

Ha! No, I've done stories about his ridiculous workout regimens. Dude is ripped!

Matt (NC)

so are you sayin jimmie johnson is actually human and can go into funks

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Amazing, I know. It's like the first time Drago bled in Rocky IV.

Dallas B.'s Grandma (Oakland)

Stick it McGee!

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Thanks for checking in, ma'am.

Marybeth (Philly)

Who do u got for top5 at Dover? I have 5,24,31,48,18

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

I'll take 39-29-31-24-18 and if you bet against the 11 these days you're nuts.

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

If Roush Fenway is ever going to break out of this funk, this is the week. Carl, Biff, and Kenseth all are three near the top of the Dover career average finish chart.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

Hey Ryan! Who are your picks for the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltip, Cale Yarborough, Lee Petty. In the words of Dave Marcis, "You put that group up there on that stage and there's going to be a fight."

Billy (Reno)

I don't know Ryan, Kyle seemed to throw his hands up and give up when he decided not to pit Fri night when he was told to pit. He came over the radio and said it's over. That doesn't sound like a guy who was in it to win it.

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

Yeah, but that was a Nationwide race. On Saturday night he started 43rd and had a chance to win late. Then, when he had a setback, he still brought it home 7th. Last year or before he would've drifted back and out of contention.

Tony (SF)

Who's gonna to surprise us at Dover this weekend?

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Martin Truex Jr. It's his home track and he got his first win there a few years back. He's been quietly running very strong all season. His best kept secret is his pit crew. I was watching them on Saturday night and they are bad fast.

lucas (dover,delaware)

the 29 will dethrone the 48 and the rest will follow RCR this year you all just watch

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

I don't disagree with you Lucas.

Ryan McGee
  (3:03 PM)

Alright folks, that'll do it for this week's edition of the Monday motorsports block party. I have to go put on makeup (seriously) and talk racing with Randy Lajoie and Ricky Craven on NASCAR Now at 5 PM ET on ESPN2. Until next time, hit me up on Twitter (@RyanMcGeeESPN) or email (mcgeespn@yahoo.com), and enjoy the music of Queen Latifah (I had to say that, she's standing right over here near me).