What's up my NASCAR Hall of Fame glory-covered brothers and sisters and welcome to the worldwide interweb's biggest and baddest (pretty sure only) one-hour Monday afternoon motorsports block party. It was long weekend but a great one...so, to the queries!
Hi Ryan, Why was Dale Jr in the All Star race Sat. Night? Did he qualify because he won Most Popular Driver award?
Former winner of the event within the last ten years. He won it in 2000, so to be in next year he'll have to win a race.
QUESTION TO RYAN MCGEE AT 2.15 PM HI RYAN LIKE NASCAR HALL OF FAME
Oh man, you have no idea. People who haven't seen it yet don't know what they're in for. It was coolest thing yesterday watching the old school racers who hadn't seen it yet and the look on their faces when they walked in.
Hey Ryan! I think you may have hit on something on Twitter. I attended both the Hall of Fame grand opening and induction ceremonies and I was quite a bit disturbed by the lack of current drivers at both events. I am much more upset about the induction ceremony. The All Star Race ended before midnight and only 13 drivers actually finished, so why were there only a handful of current drivers there 12 hours later?
Thanks Shawn. And honestly, there was a better turnout than I expected. I understand that some guys were involved in some charity stuff that was scheduled even before the induction was on the calendar and I get that...but I really think that the guys who just simply didn't show up are doing to regret that. The guys that were there were the ones that you'd expect - Gordon, Jimmie, Smoke, Mark Martin, Biffle. And how about Max Papis coming?! Very cool. I asked Dale Junior if this is something he'd come to even if his Dad wasn't being inducted and he said absolutely.
McGee, what it is. Word on the street has it Rick Hendrick had to get on the radio during the All-Star (still hard not to call it The Winston) to offer "words of encouragement" to the 88 team. True? If so, that's non bueno.
I'm told that he did. But don't read too much into that. He does that more than people realize, and not just with the 88.
Any buzz about tinkering with the All-Star format for next year? Would be cool to see a major change to the first 3 segments. Mandatory pit stop before 4 was a nice touch too.
First, I would eliminate one of the earlier segments. Three is too many. The guys are just riding until they get to the time that they're racing for position in the last segment. That's a fact. And yes, I liked the mandatory pit stop too.
I went to NC this weekend for the AllStar. It was awsome. I got to wave the GWC during Hornidays qual run. I'll never forget that one. I also went to the HOF. I stayed as long as I could and still wanted to see more. Do you think they will let me move in there for a few weeks to take it all in? :-)
Hahahaha...so glad you had a good time. And assuming you stayed in a hotel in the Charlotte area you helped pay the taxes that are paying for the Hall of Fame! I feel the same way about the Hall. I could pitch a tent and live on the top floor, Heritage Speedway, for a month.
Which drivers do you think will do the Indianapolis 500 & the Coca-Cola 600 double in 2011?
First, Indy has to move its start time one hour earlier to make it work...that, or the Coca-Cola 600 needs to move to Saturday or Memorial Day.
I think that Montoya would do it right now. And I also think, despite what he says to the contrary, Stewart would too as would Robby Gordon, Hornish, Papis, and at least one wild card - like a Ryan Newman. Jeff Gordon says he won't, Jimmie isn't saying anything.
I think it would be the coolest thing ever. And I think we'd have guys from Indy lobbying for Cup rides.
I love your stuff Ryan, tune into the chat whenever i can. The question I have to ask, who do you think between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson will leave behind the greater legacy?
Thanks Ted! I appreciate it!
If NASCAR folded up today, I'd say Gordon. I think he is the person who opened the doors for the Midwest and California guys that are all over the sport today. He's about to move into the top five all-time wins. And don't forget, he is the guy who was smart enough to put Jimmie in a Cup car when no one else was even really thinking about it. Ask that same question five years from now and my answer might be different, but Gordon is latest in the line of NASCAR titans that started with Lee Petty then went to Richard, Earnhardt, and now Gordon.
Does the Supreme Court's ruling on the NFL case today have any effect on the major racing leagues, NASCAR and otherwise?
Yes. But not the huge, chaotic sweeping change that a lot of people feared. For folks that don't know, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an independent cap maker who sued the NFL in an anti-trust case...
Keep in mind, Cale, that the NFL players sided with the cap maker vs. the league. The NASCAR guys are independent contractors and they don't want NASCAR controlling all merchandise manufacturing and sales any more than the NFLPA wants the NFL to be able to do that.
What would have been dale earnhardt's reaction to being one of the 1st memebers in the nascar hall of fame
I think his reaction would have been much like what we saw from The King and Junior. The honor of getting in first is almost secondary to the joy of looking around at what they had a hand in building. When we asked Dale Junior that same question you just asked me, that's what he said. That Senior would have been humbled and just proud to be there.
Remember, Earnhardt's childhood idols were Richard Petty and Junior Johnson. So to stand up there with them would've been a very emotional moment for an uneducated linthead from Kannapolis, NC.
I certainly don't think he would've stood up there and read quotes from celebrities about how great he was.
After Danica got booed at IMS do you see Danica coming to nascar full time sonner than later?
Sooner. I think she's trying to get fired. I said that over the weekend and a lot of my fellow writers said I was nuts, but it feels like someone trying to get out of their current contract.
Hi Ryan, Was Smoke hanging put in the back the 1st few segments or was his car that bad. I really like the qualifying format for the all-star race and wish Nascar would use that more Thanks
He was bad. And so was Newman. I like the format too. It feels like a Saturday night dirt track event, which is why I am even more shocked that Smoke and Newman - both former USAC champs - were so invisible.
How about Taylor Gibbs during the invocation? That was so adorable and it's great to hear his cancer treatments are over!
Greatest prerace prayer since Bill France Senior ended one at Atlanta not with amen, but "Sincerely, Bill France".
The Taylor Gibbs story is an amazing one. If you get a chance watch my boy Marty Smith's story from NASCAR Now last week. It's online at ESPN.com/
Penske Racing had a good weekend. Helio win the Pole for the 500 & Kurt Busch wins the all star race.
That's a good day, huh? And Roger Penske saw both in person.
My wife is the BEST. She said for my first Father's Day this year, she will get me tickets to the Brickyard (she's an Indiana girl). Any advice on the best places to try to get tickets? Front stretch? Turns? Need a little help.
Wow! Lucky you. Go for the turns, one or four if you can. That way you can see the fronstretch and at least one short chute. I sat in three for the Indy 500 one year and it was awesome.
Who was the guy and girl sitting between Kelley and Junior at the HOF induction yesterday.
I couldn't see them where I was sitting, but it was likely their brother and sister, Taylor and Kerry. Or it may have been their in-laws. Both Kelley and Kerry are married.
i need a new book for this summer while i'm hanging out at the ole cement pond. i was thinking about something about the earliest roots of nascar, the france family, or jr johnson. any books you could suggest?
Great new book about Bill Senior just came out, written by Herb Branham. Also, "Racing With The Devil" (maybe it's "Running With The Devil"). Ed Hinton also has a great history read titled "Daytona" and Junior wrote a biography with Tom Higgins and Steve Waid titled "Junior Johnson: Brave In Life".
I always like the entrance of turn 1, Craig (and the higher the better). You get to see them coming down the main straight and all the way thru 2 and a little bit down the backstretch. Plus, all the pit road activity exit. And sorry about the Sharks.
There you go.
Hi Ryan, Do you expect RedBull to announce a loyal Toyota man like Aric Almirola to drive the #83 starting with the 600 or will Mears keep the seat warm until or if Vickers comes back?
I think Mears is the guy for now. He's safe, experienced, and was handpicked by Vickers. I wouldn't expect Red Bull to go for a younger guy unless it becomes apparent that Brian's going to be gone longer than expected.
I really hope the start times change for the 500 just to see the "best" IRL drivers return. It's sad isnt it ryan????
Yeah, moving the start time up an hour was not smart. I understand why, but big picture, right?
Do you think that Dale Jr will ever get into the HOF? I mean, it's pretty much a fact now that he'll never win a Cup. Are those 2 lesser Nationwide Championships enough?
Great question. I think he has to do more. To me, the next five years of classes are obvious, no matter what order the inductees go in. After that the job is going to super tough.
I don't have a vote, but I am constantly debating with my friends that do about criteria. It can't just be about winning championships. Look at Fireball Roberts. His impact on how racers do their jobs is still felt today. And NO ONE was a bigger star in the 1950's and early '60's. So you're going to make him wait behind other lesser guys because he never won a championship?
Like I said, tough job.
Hi Ryan. Do you have any insight into what the conversation was between Kyle and Denny in the 11's hauler? Who do you think was at fault for Kyle getting into the wall?
I thought it was just a racing deal. If we have to assign blame it was more on the 18 than the 11. From what I've been told the conversation started very heated but lasted long enough that everyone had a chance to calm down.
Here's our first test of "New Kyle". Not to mention "New Denny".
well...another weekend, another crappy car for Carl. Everyone in the media keeps saying that the problem isn't Osborne, but I beg to differ. Every time Carl comes in for adustments, the car gets worse. So, what gives Ryan?
I think it's hard to blame Osborne because it is so easy to find people from within the Roush Fenway camp who will admit they they are just "off" in general. Yes, they have three cars in the top ten in points, but it hasn't been a very loud year has it?
Plus, if you remember the last time they broke up Osborne and Carl it was a total disaster, so there has to be some reluctance over trying that again.
Is it just me or is Hendrick Motorsports struggling right now? Outside of Jimmie on Saturday, they looked rather mid-pack kind of cars.....
It's not just you. Rick Hendrick has said it too with all his "I think Gibbs has passed us" talk. That being said, the 48 and 24 have both been pretty up front about admitting that they are already looking toward the Chase, so don't be surprised if they heat up with the summer temps.
Ryan... Do you mean that after this indycar season we will see Danica full time in nascar in 2011?
That, or with a better IRL team.
who do you have for next years hall of fame class? I have DW, Raymond Parks, Pearson, Cale, and Ned Jarrett
I have Pearson, Cale, DW, Bobby Allison, and Lee Petty. But if Mr. Parks, Ned, or Fireball went in instead I would have absolutely no problem with that.
Hey Ryan, I noticed that Max Gresham won the big east west showdown at Iowa speedway yesterday. What got me was that he's a development driver for Gibbs. After researching this, I also found out that Gibbs is developing 3 other hot shoes. What do you make of this? Where is he gonna put them all?!!!
Yo Bryce...I'm getting ready to come say goodbye to Rosenblatt Stadium next month!
It's not uncommon for teams to have more than one good development driver in the pipeline. History says that only one out of ten development guys will end up being good enough to make it Cup anyway. Just two years ago we were wondering where JGR was going to put Logano and it all worked out.
Come on, it's not my fault!
Now, I thought Tony Kanaan told you to change that attitude!
I think for tracks with two dates, they should run the second race in the other direction. It would change up things for some pretty boring tracks.
I LIKE it! They run horse races clockwise in a lot of other countries right?
Would the weekly Nascar results bee any different if we had the Bush brothers, Hamlin, Kenseth, Johnson, and Harvick race in next weeks race ant told the other drivers to go home?
Hmmm. I think Mr. Gordon would have an issue with that question.
Was it as awkard in person as it was on TV, seeing all of the Earnhardt kids stand there with Theresa, as they barely even looked at her
It was a little stiff to start out with. But I thought that once the podium was handed over to the kids they were great, loosened things up. And I can tell you this - after the ceremony was over and the family was on stage posing for photos together they were much more relaxed. Same for the press conference afterwards. Teresa actually took questions and laughed a little.
With SHR's director of competition basically putting an early June deadline for getting a driver/sponsor package together for a third car, can we expect an announcement next week about Kasey Kahne's 2011 season?
Yes, I think we're getting pretty close. But I think it has more to do with Hendrick's people working it out than SHR actually expanding to three teams. If that's how it goes down, with Kahne at SHR for a year, then I think it will still be more of a Hendrick effort with an SHR facade than an actual expansion. It's pretty obvious that SHR isn't ready to expand yet.
Ryan, do you see NASCAR bringing back testing or is it safe to say testing at NASCAR sanctioned tracks is history? To back up what Emily stated...I would think Roush Fenway would love for the ban to be lifted.
I think it will return, but only in a very regulated form, like we used to see at Daytona or this year at Charlotte, everyone is there almost like a race weekend. The amount of $ that teams were spending on testing was totally out of control. The ban has certainly closed the gap, albeit only a little, between the big and small teams.
Yes, Roush wants it back. Honestly, every crew chief does. But I like the ban. I hope it stays.
OK everyone stop saying hendricks is struggling. I'm a david ragan fan and that is struggling
why do you reporters always bash Jr.? there are 42 other guys to rip apart- some who deserve it. You people are truly pathetic.
You clearly never read my stuff.
Ryan , musta missed the answer on your thoughts about the "loose " lug nuts on the 18
No...you're the first one that has asked. Looks like an internal "disgruntled employee" issue to me. KB says they are looking into it. If that's the case, dude isn't very smart. Did he/she really think no one was going to notice that?
Can you please explain the deal with Morgan Shepard on the roller skates?
He's from Virginia and part of the pre-race show at Martinsville used to be that he would do this whole 1970's roller skate dance routine to "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On". Kind of developed a cult following. When he did that on the red carpet yesterday at the Hall of Fame I thought the old school fans were going to lose their minds...particularly Dale Junior.
Alright folks. Gotta go. If I missed you, shoot your question to me via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@RyanMcGeeESPN). Keep an eye on ESPN.com today for my exclusive story on hanging behind the scenes with Richard Petty all day Sunday at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
In the meantime, tip you waiters and waitresses and enjoy the music of Creed (whom I will never make fun of on Twitter again after angering their rabid fan base).