Hi folks and welcome back to the Monday motosports block party.
I've been on Martinsville hot dog detox all day...but I think I'm ready to go. To the queries!
So will the RPM cars be on the grid this weekend at Talladega?
Yes. But barely. As late as Wednesday last week RPM hadn't gotten its Talladega cars from Roush Fenway. I was on NASCAR Now Thursday night and I had a guy on the inside that I kept chatting with. Finally he called that morning and said the cars were being "rolled down the hill".
The financial situation at RPM is horrible at best. I hate it for the folks over there, but this just seems to be a doomed team. It's been that way over there for a while now, just ask Elliott Sadler, who has had more crew chiefs over the last few years than most men have neck ties.
McGee, I was at Martinsville yesterday and didn't see Kurt Busch wreck Gordon. Was it intentional?
Yes. And it was a payback for Gordon moving Kurt out of the way earlier. By the way, Busch says that as far as he's concerned that scorecard is not yet even, so watch out.
By my count two guys have had feuds eliminate them from the Chase - Gordon and Kyle Busch.
Who do you think will Drive the #9 Budweiser Ford for RPM at Talledega on Halloween?
I think that we'll see Almirola in that car for the duration of the year. There had been some chatter that Ambrose might jump over in advance of next year but he has agreed to stay with JTG Daugherty for the remainder of the season.
Ryan, which event from yesterday was more surprising...that Dale Jr. led dozens of laps and was competitive, or the Oakland Raiders putting up 59 points?
Hahahaha! I'll go with the Raiders. Dale Jr has only been for a couple of seasons. The Raiders have been bad for most of my adult life.
With Gordon being sponsored by an antihunger campaign will he be the most hated man in nascar? The millions they are spending on this could feed alot of people. Also I think espn did a great job with race coverage. I dont think there was a commercial in the last 50 laps!
First, thanks for the props on the telecast. I thought they did a great job too. Second, I hadn't thought about that angle on the anti-hunger sponsorship. But: 1. I don't know the terms of the deal. 2. My understanding is that it is backed by the AARP, which has more than enough $ in its marketing budget to cover it. 3. Everyone has to advertise, even charities. Say they spend $15 million but end up raising $30 million worth of donations, then I think that's hard to argue with.
RPM and The Wood Brothers join up, Bill Elliott back to the 9, Marcos back to the 21 and AJ in the 43, 43 and 21 on the same team. Does that seem like something amazing that could happen, you have to admit, it is a possibility!
When will Edwards, Busch, Harvick and others realize that the guys who win Cups don't run in lower series! Jimmie, Tony and Kurt all rarely run NNS and CWT events and they are the only Chase winners ever! Carl and Kyle will never win a Cup running 70 races a year!
That's a valid point. In the past guys like Harvick and Edwards have finished top 3 in points, but you're right, no double-dipper has ever won the Cup title. That being said, Harvick tried running a Cup-only schedule years back and was miserable. He says he's happier racing all the time, so I guess that's that. Then you look at a guy like Stewart who races 4-5 days a week in different rides and he's done just fine. I dunno, but I tend to side with you on this.
Ryan, what is wrong with your face
Other than hacking myself up shaving from time to time, nothing. What's wrong with yours?
Ryan McGee must go down...and he must go down hard.
I had four Martinsville dogs yesterday. Be honest, did you beat me?
Back in the day, I would've smoked you. But now that I am flirting with 40 I can't suck them up like I used to. Not that I don't want to...I just can't. Though it doesn't hurt that Tums sponsors the race now.
Comment on Aric. That dude takes care of his equipment. Kind of reminds me of Kenseth.
Yep. I like Aric a lot and so do a lot of other people, that's why we've seen him become the super sub of the garage. I really believe if he hadn't arrived at DEI just in time for it to implode he'd be full-time in Cup right now.
Alright...here comes the Dale Junior flood...
Ryan, granted it's only 1 week but could we say if you give Dale JR an actual race car that he's happy with that he can be a contender to win races...Leading 90 laps isnt luck.
Ryan, do you think that Dale Jr's run in yesterday's race is possibly the spark he needed to get something going heading into next year?
Yesterday Jr ran well and was basically calling his own pit stops. One exchange between Jr and LM..LM told Jr to hit his marks and Jr told him I'm hitting mine you need to hit yours. What do you see happening over the off season with the 88 team.
Yes, I think that Junior's run yesterday could be a spark that gets him going...and I think we'll know pretty soon if it worked. The next three weeks bring tracks that he has won on in the past. As for Little E and Lance, I want to listen to them at Texas, where they really have to work together to run up front. How they interact over the final four races will likely determine their future, eihter together or apart. I still say they'll be together in 2011.
We will see that action packed race like April at Dega or laying back and waiting for the last 25 laps?
Both. I say that because we saw both in April. I was sitting in the press box watching this pack of superstars just riding together, staying on the lead lap. I stole a quote from "Return of the Jedi" and asked the guy next to me "I wonder what those star destroyers are waiting for?" With about 40 to go, they took off. So I say we'll see both.
Ryan, if you had to be trapped in a Chilian Mine for 3 months with a NASCAR driver - who would you most want and least want to be stuck with.
I would say Ward Burton, because he's a nature guy and would ensure our survival. But he's retired. So I'll say his little bro, Jeff. I'm a talker and so is he. By the time our conversation was done the three months would've flown by.
As for least...probably Stewart. He's hugely claustrophobic. I'm thinking that wouldn't improve the mood down in a hole.
Ryan,Big Jeff Gordon fan most of his career. Is it just me or has his whole team (including him) accepted mediocrity. My friends and I now call him Rusty because at the end of Rusty's career he would always say how he has a great car and was going to win each race but was only average for the last few years. Should we really be calling Jeff Rusty?
I don't think they've accepted mediocrity. And I don't think they've been mediocre. He's been top five in points all season long! But I do think that as he approaches 40 he's not going to hang the car out sideways every lap like he used to back in the day like, say, Kyle Busch does. Yes, he need to win a race. But the guy I saw punting people out of the way at Sonoma and again yesterday doesn't strike me as someone who is just riding around being comfortable.
Hey Ryan, the past few years that we've gone to Talladega in the Chase, Jimmie is always trying to protect his lead and doesn't race for the win. Do you think that this time around, with the margin so close, that his mentality will have to change?
Yes. And not so much at Talladega than at Homestead at the end of the season. Denny Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford stated that as one of his team's primary goals this year - to make Jimmie have to do something he hasn't had to do in years, which is actually have to race at Homestead instead of getting his 25th place finish and collecting a trophy. So far that plan is working.
Do you think the Burton vs. Harvick feud basically has finished Harvicks shot at the championship with all the distractions?
Nah. I think that was typical Martinsville hot-under-the-collar BS. It'll be gone by the time we get to Talladega.
Do you think that Ambrose is regretting moving to RPM in 2011?
No doubt about it. And if you go back and track his interviews over the last couple of months he's made no secret about it. A lot of people tried to talk him out of it before he made the decision and as the RPM mess worsens seemingly evry day I think he's wishing he's listen to them. And jumping out and leading all those laps yesterday couldn't have helped him feel any better...though Dinger and Menard ended up with nice finishes in RPM cars.
Which brings up a good point I need to make - I think RPM's car and certainly its engines are top shelf. They have run well all year, especially over the last two months. But they don't have the stability or infrastructure to back those cars up.
With AARP as the sponsor for next year, how bad is Jeff Gordon going to get heckled in the garage area?
More accurately, how messed up is it that Gordon will be carrying an AARP cause while Mark Martin is with notoriously giggly GoDaddy.com?
What is the best race you've ever watched?
Wow...there have been a lot. And most have happened either at Talladega, where we're headed next, or Martinsville, where we just were. I'll give you my top five of races I was at in person:
1. 2001 Atlanta, Harvick wins after Earnhardt's death.2. 2003 Darlington, Craven over Busch.3. 2000 Talladega, Earnhardt from 18th to 1st.4. 1999 Indy 500, Robby Gordon out of gas, Kenny Brack wins.5. 2007 Daytona 500, Harvick out of nowhere to win.
And good of you to check in Cornholio. Always worry about you around Halloween with all the free candy.
If NSCS drivers were driving in the Late Model race they have in early October at Martinsville, would there be as many cautions? Also, how great are four 25-lap heat races for qualifying and then 200 laps of feature event on the Paperclip?
As many cautions in the late model race? No. As many caution in the Cup race? Yes. They are who they are! And yes sir, I love the 25-lap/200-lap format. In fact, I'd even shorten the feature a little.
I think that every member of Jr. nation should petition that nascar run every race on a flat track, since that seems like the only type of track Jr. runs well on now.
Flat tracks and plate tracks, no doubt.
So Ryan, I've never been to Martinsville. Tell me about these hot dogs?
Oh dude. They cost $2, they are the reddest, pinkest things you've ever seen, and even if you don't normally take your hot dog all the way - slaw, chili, onions, mustard, ketchup - you're going to want to at Martinsville. They are literally made by an assembly line of people who have been making them for years and they sell about 50,000 per race weekend.
Greatest myth about them? That they are calorie bombs. Truth is, if you order one with just mustard and ketchup it's only about 110 cals.
They are so good...taste even a little sweet. You gotta come down and get one. Or ten.
is there anybody that isn't in this years chase that you think will make it next year?
Yes. I think Jamie McMurray and Montoya are threats. As are Martin, Logano, and David Reutimann. And yes, I do think that Junior can get in too. Problem is, who falls out?
So Ryan, did you stop in Lexington Sat on the way to Martinsville and get some Childress "Swine Wine" to wash down the Martinsville dogs?
It is a McGee family rule that one of our cars drives within 20 miles of Lexington, someone has to stop and get BBQ. And yes, I have had the Swine Wine. Crazy sweet. And cuts the 'cue very well.
I'll put you on the spot. Ryan McGee predicts the 2010 Cup Champion will be...
My pick in the preseason was Harvick. Until he falls out of contention I'm sticking with my guns. He's pretty dang good at Talladega and Phoenix...
Who orders a Mart-dog with just ketchup and mustard?
The same person that shows up wanting to watch their calories I guess...
If RPM does implode, who does Ambrose and Dinger race for next year?
I think worst case scenario there'd still be one RPM car and it would be the 43, so Dinger stays in it. Ambrose to the 21 maybe? Someone suggested that earlier and I like it. I think Bill Elliott has done about all he can do there. BUT all of this being said, I think Ford, Roush, and the Pettys figure out a way to make all of this work.
Is Daytona going to end up like Talladega next year (become more of a non-handling track) since they are repaving it?
I was chatting with some drivers about this during Charlotte weekend. The general consensus is that yes, it will be a little more like Talladega, but because it is so much more narrow than 'Dega it will still be more of a handling track than its bigger, crazier brother in Alabama.
Alright folks, the bell has gone off, which means I have to wrap it up. As always, if I didn't to you guestion (and they were coming in pretty quick at the end) then you can hit me up on Twitter (@ryanmcgeeespn) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Until next time, tip your wait staff and enjoy the music of Iggy Pop and the Stooges.