What's up, my red, white and blue covered brothers and sisters? Welcome back to the worldwide Interweb's biggest and baddest (only?) one-hour Monday morning motorsports block party. By the way, cut me some slack if I slur my words. I was up pretty late tuning in to patriotism. To the queries!
Ryan, I like the picture of you wearing your royal wedding hat. Maybe you could design some fancy Nascar hats.
Thanks. Yeah, that was my Twitter avatar (sent to me by Tweep B.J. Parsons) right up until the Osama bin Laden news. Might have to bring that back. What was that princess thinking? Was that a Nerf Hoop?
We you disappointed in Martin Truex'behavior throwing the NAPA team under the bus and do you think his future at MWR is in danger?
I wasn't. I totally get where he's coming from. I can think of at least four times, including Saturday night, where he had a car capable of making some noise but ended up burned by issues that started on pit road. If his future at MWR is in danger it'll be because he's thinking about leaving, not the other way around.
If Dale jr has to make the All-Star race on the fan vote-instead of performance-do you think out of self pride he will refuse and give the spot to a more deserving driver?
No. And he is 4th in points. You make it sound like he's still mired down in 20th.
What's the deal with Brad K? Are there any solutions to the bad start?
You know, I really don't know what's going on at Penske Racing. I wrote this in the Power Rankings for Kurt Busch and I mean it - I feel like every year about this time I have no idea if they any good or not. In Brad's case, I always felt like he was rushed into Cup. Not his fault. He got the job offer and took it. But more and more (I'm looking at you, Joey Logano) I think these guys have to be developed more before throwing them into the deep end of the pool. Clearly BK can wheel. He hasn't slowed down much in Nationwide. But he's still playing catch-up in Cup.
Where can I get a royal hat like you have in your twitter picture
Go to Toys R Us, buy a Nerf Hoop, spray paint it whatever color that is, tie a bow on it, and glue it to your head.
Do you think Denny is back?
I think we'll know after this weekend. I contend he could get around Richmond in a grocery cart. But he's been SO good at Darlington over the last three years. If he has another great finish there this weekend, then yes, I'm willing to say he's back.
What are the chances that JGR signs Carl?
Not good. They'll certainly talk, but I don't know where they'd put him and I don't know that leaving Roush Fenway right now would be a good move. One year ago leaving would've made sense. But the RFR Fords have it in gear now.
Quite the weekend. 42 vs 39 , 48 vs 43 and the 33 wrecking 1/4 of the field. Going to see some paybacks at the lady this weekend?
I think some guys will certainly have it on their minds. But Darlington is a tough place to get payback. On restarts you run the risk of wrecking half the field and then two laps later everyone is all strung out just hanging on for dear life. I have my eyes on the All-Star Race for payback time.
Now that Rowdy has 2 wins and we are only 25% into the season do you expect Rowdy to win 8-10 races this season?
8-10 might be a little steep. Keep in mind that double-digit win seasons happen about as often as Marty Smith consumes more than 2 grams of saturated fat in a day...which is to say hardly ever. But a half-dozen certainly isn't out of the question.
The key for Rowdy is to cash in some of those wins after the Chase starts. That's when has a tendency to vanish.
Friggin Newman. Gettin in my Friggin way
Wish you would've stuck around long enough to say that on camera, dude.
Who would win in a fist fight, Montoya or Newman?
Juan would win if it got strung out over a long time. But Newman has a neck like an oak tree and would use his engineering degree to find leverage. Decision: Newman.
Ryan, I wasn't able to catch the race Saturday night. Can you tell me what happened to the 24, what his chances are in making the Chase? I know he has the lone win for people outside the top 12, but you never know who might win another one in that group.
Gordon hit the wall. Hard. Got caught up in the big nine-car deal on lap 301. I still say he'll be okay for the Chase, but it's getting tight. There are some very big names there with him in that 11th-20th range in the standings.
In a related note, how in the hell in 2011 can these racetracks not have their walls completely covered with the SAFER soft wall barriers? That's the thiRd time this year that we've had a car hit hard against a stretch of the wall that didn't have the SAFER barrier. Don't give me talk about cost or altering the racing groove or any of that. It is TOTALLY inexcusable.
Is there any one thing why Jamie Mac has had such a bad start to the year?
The problem is that they don't know what the problem is. Poor guy had the season that made NASCAR decide to change the Chase rules to add the wild card slots and now he probably won't make the Chase by any rule.
Carl Edwards is off to a great start this year. But we know how Jimmy Johnson is at the end when it matters. D you see Carl holding off and Maybe winning this years Cup at the rate he is going?
That's the million dollar question Caleb. We've seen plenty of guys get off to great starts (Kyle) or hold down the points lead all season (Stewart) only to fade down the stretch. You are exactly right that the 48 will hit its usual hot streak. I have no doubts that the 99 is the kind of the team to hold them off. But until someone actually does it I won't believe it.
I've read and heard what Kurt Busch said on the radio at Richmond. After hearing that I am surprised that Steve Addington and the rest of the guys don't maul him or just give up. How is that supposed to make your team want to work harder for you?
That's the way he's always been with crew chiefs. Yes, he did win a title, but that was a while ago. I know for a fact that you can say too much. It make the team stop giving a hoot about you. That's the line that Denny was beginning to walk, but seems to be backing up a little now. I think there will be a special throne for Addington in NASCAR Heaven because of all the abuse he's taken from the Busch boys over the years.
I predict Denny will have 3 wins and finish 10th to make the chase. Am I crazy?
You are not crazy.
Hey R-Mac, can you assess where Tony Stewart is at mentally and performance wise right now?
Kind of blah. I thought he'd be upbeat after finally getting back into the top 10 and the top 10 in points on Saturday night, but he was really bummed out. Even used the word "embarrassed". The 39 is only two spots higher in points, but seems to be in a much better place mentally.
Do you think age has caught up with Gordon, Stewart, Burton, Labonte, Kenseth, Biffle and at 40+ they're just not good enough to keep up with a 26 year old like Rowdy?
I think age certainly creeps in for racers like any other athlete. But I think that age also allows them to be more patient over the long championship haul than a guy like Kyle. That being said, this is a different Kyle this year. You can hear it on the radio.
who's your top 5 for the weekend? and are we ever gonna see a nationwide driver win a race?? kinda getting old with Carl and kyle
How about 11,18,24,5,48. And for darkhorses the 31 and the 55.
As for Nationwide regulars cracking the Carl/Kyle code, they are getting closer. I think Stenhouse might be the guy. And yes, I'm with you. I love watching those two drive, but they are stinking up the show.
Any news on JPM's contract situation? Been hearing something about SHR but I kind of hope he stays with target and the 42 team. I just think there is great potential that team stays together.
I think he's staying. Right now he can't even talk to other teams while Chip has an exclusive negotiating period.
Why was Jimmie PO'd at the 43. It looked like the 48 was holding up the 43 if anything. I only saw a small tap. Was there more than that to make the 48 mad?
I think it had been going on for a while. Looked like nothing but a short track racing deal to me.
the 55 is racing? or did you mean the 56
I did mean the 56.
How come when discussing crew chiefs it's acceptable to bash Stevie, Letarte, Eury for letting down Dale or Gordon but when it comes to The Busch Brothers, it is poor Addington?
I don't ever bash any of these guys. But have you ever listened to the abuse Steve takes on the radio?
What do you think what Tony Stewart said to DW for the pre race show about Danica?
For those who didn't see it, Smoke was talking about running the Indy 500 again and said he didn't feel like someone could really win it without running with the team full-time, not in a one-off deal. Then he said that Danica was going to have to do the same, make a full-time commitment to NASCAR and that it appeared as though she is doing that.
That's what Tony has said all along about her situation, as have Montoya, Hornish, and others. And as always, I totally agree.
Did the cooler temps this past weekend contribute to less action on the track? 1 caution Friday and 6 (4 in 40 laps) on Saturday are low numbers for Richmond. Did the cars basically have too much grip to wreck for the most part?
It was some of that. But I also think these guys have figured out not to completely go nuts until late in the race.
My adult son (& friends) went go-kart racing last week in Sunnyvale, CA. He said they had to suit up, w/helmet and get buckled in. Had a great time, disagreed w/electronic results, felt he was put in wrong starting place. All in all, he said he now has a better appreciation for the mental and physical requirements to drive in professional racing.
I have said all along to all my sitck-and-ball counterparts that if I can get them into any racing machine - even a kart - to really experience it, then they will never question the difficulty of it again. I love putting people into the shotgun seat of a Richard Petty Driving Experience or Jeff Gordon Racing School car. It changes their world!
And by the way, I'm talking about a real kart, like Karen's talking about. Not the deals you pay five bucks to drive in Galinburg or Myrtle Beach.
If Danica runs full time cup in 2012 how will she fit the Indy 500 into the schedule? Will she run the double?
She wants to. But I think that's becoming more difficult to sort out contract-wise. I know that the IndyCar people don't want to lose her, so they'd be happy even if it was only for the month of May. And the new earlier Indy 500 start time makes that a real possibility.
Which of the next few races would you want to see. Darlington? Daytona in July? I got a choice or choices.
I always go to Darlington. My favorite track.
Stewart also said that at his age, Indy car racing is part of his past.
Yes he did. He keeps saying that, but no one wants to believe him!
Hey Ryan. My question is how do they figure out how much to pay a driver at the end of the race? Because it seems like Mark Martin gets ripped off every wk. This wk 12 drivers that finished behind him got more money than he did. And he ran in top 8 for 300 laps before being involved in the wreck
Marybeth, this is easily one of, if not THE, most asked questions. Pay is based not only on where a car finsihes, but also a series of incentive bonuses just for showing up, based on wins, points standings, and other factors. It dates back to when tracks tried to lure guys like David Pearson, who rarely ran the whole schedule, to come out and run their race.
Ryan, do you agree with Denny Hamlin's comments about Montoya and whomever wrecks Juan, needs to expect payback regardless of whether it was an accident or not.
The man does hold a grudge. And Denny is one who would be able to recognize that.
Chances that ragan resigns with RFR and keeps UPS? he's running well...
I think UPS is probably gone regardless, but I think Ragan might be safe. He's a loooooong way ahead of where he was last year.
You being aASCAR history buff what is it that attracts you to Darlington? Is it the history, the track. Just exactly what. The town?
All of the above. Darlington's one of those places where you can almost hear the ghosts of racers past, especially when it's empty. Daytona is like that too, but Darlington still looks a lot like it did in 1950, even the garage. I love that.
Do the bonus pts. determine where a driver is seeded in the chase like with Rowdy's having 16 and Dale jr only 4 would Rowdy be 1st and Dale 10th?
The ten Chase drivers will be manually seeded with three bonus points for every race that they won during the first 26 races of the season. The other two wild card slots are based on number of wins.
How hard would it be for a NASCAR driver to go to Indy Cars and do well?
IndyCar wants us to find out, throwing down that $5 million bonus for anyone who can win the mid-October Charlotte Cup race and the IndyCar season finale in Vegas the next day. But I'm with Tony, I think you'd have to run more races with the team and in those cars to become competitive. Guys like Tony and Foyt and Mario have done it, but they made it look easy because, let's face it, they're Tony, Foyt, and Mario.
Do you expect Mark Martin to pull a Morgan Sheppard and just run around at the back of the field until he's 70 years old?
I have no doubts he will race somwhere in something until he drops dead. And as good of shape has he's in, he might live to be 130 years old.
Do you think at the NASCAR manufactures meeting in Detroit this week that Dodge will get some help so they can compete against Ford and Chevy?
I hope so. They have to recruit more teams. They clearly are all-in. They've proven that with their work on the Challenger Cup car for 2013. But they need more than one team.
Did you catch the IRL debacle Sunday? Whos idea was it to try and race in those conditions? I am glad nobody got hurt
It was among the dumbest things I have ever watched. It finally ended this morning. During the "race" I Tweeted that perhaps the refs from the Tennessee-UNC Music City Bowl were in charge of IndyCar Race Control. The drivers are already down on their officials because of the double file restart stuff. This didn't help.
Do you think that Dale Jr fans can still be encouraged after Sat. nights race even tho he finished 19th? If things would have lined up a little better I think he was still looking at another top 10.
Yeah, he's fine. Always a bummer for him not to contend at Richmond, where's he's always been good. But it's amazing how fans are reacting to his "off night". One year ago this would've been an "on night".
Why all the Mark hate? He kicked the rears of Shrub and co just 2 seasons ago
Mark hate? From me? There's no hate here. I hope he races until after we're all dead. One of my all-time greatest guys.
And don't be surprised if he ends up in Victory Lane on Saturday night. If he does he might personally call out all the Lance McGrew haters. He's determined to make that guy look good.
Alright folks, gotta go. Be sure to catch NASCAR chairman Brian France on NASCAR Now tonight, 5 pm ET, ESPN2. I'll see you on the TV this weekend from The Track Too Tough To Tame. Until then, I'll be listening to Lee Greenwood and thanking the good Lord that Navy Seal Team 6 is on our side!