What's up my Pure Michigan sunshine-covered brothers and sisters and welcome back to worldwide interweb's biggest and baddest Monday motorsports block party. This week it's a special half-hour Banzai Lap Edition because I have to go get prepped for tonight's NASCAR Now roundtable show (ESPN2, 5 PM ET!), so let's get right to it. To the queries!
RBR leaving NASCAR is not good. Thoughts on this subject?
For those who don't know, the AP is reporting that Red Bull will be getting out of the NASCAR team ownership business, a decision made by the folks who run that massive global RB operation from Europe.
While it is certainly terrible news to see a two-car Cup team possibly shutting its doors, I would be shocked if Red Bull got out of the sport altogether. I would fully expect them to remain as a sponsor. Their team ownership model has worked very well in F1, but has never gotten much traction in NASCAR, though Brian Vickers did make the Chase two years ago. And his health problems really slowed that momentum.
Total educated guess on my part, but I would expect them to follow Brian somewhere, perhaps even within the same team, just with a different ownership group.
With today's news that Red Bull may be leaving NASCAR, what do you think the chances are that Mark Martin buys the team? It seems like the perfect opportunity for him to get into ownership.
Certainly couldn't rule it out. He is very good friends with Red Bull's GM, Jay Frye. And it's no secret that Mark doesn't want to completely retire.
I think "silly season" just got sillier. With Red Bull pulling out, not only will Vickers be a free agent, but Red Bull will be selling two sets of top 35 owner's points. If JGR is ever planning to add a fourth team, this seems like now is the time. Thoughts?
It's funny you ask, because in the middle of Sunday's race winner press conference JGR prez J.D. Gibbs was asked about the possibility of expanding to four teams and adding another driver, specifically Carl Edwards who has not yet re-signed with Roush Fenway. Gibbs just laughed and said what he's said all along, that JGR is happy with the drivers and teams they have.
Ryan, Can you please comment on the persistent rumors (that I just started) that Red Bull is being sold to Mark Martin, and he and Cole Whitt will be a two car team next year, with Tony Stewart running the day-to-day back office operations?
I like that one. And Ray Evernham will be crew chief, right?
Do you see Dave blaney winning a race anytime soon.
Nope. Love him, but nope.
How impressed have you been with Landon Cassill in that 51 car? Take away the Daytona 500 and Cassill's season has probably been more eye-opening than Trevor Bayne's.
Hugely impressed. Whenever he gets a chance he makes the most of it. Classic case of a young guy willing to swallow his pride and do the start-and-park deal until he could get in a better car. And how about Ricky Stenhouse Jr? I know he didn't win on Saturday, but he was blowing people's doors off during his charge to the front.
Do you think Danica will be making her sprint cup debut this year?
No. Next year.
Because of the tight racing in Infineon this weekend, do you expect any paybacks (29 vs 18) looming?
Wouldn't rule it out. I did multiple reports on those two for both SportsCenter and NASCAR Now over the weekend. It's so obvious that it is so no over between them. Personally, I think they might simmer until we get to Bristol in August.
what happened to the #4 car yesterday in the pits? and this happens way too often, is it just a cast off crew? I knew KK cussed out the crew during the 600 but man
They ran it out of gas. Not sputtering into the pits running out of gas, more like zero fumes anywhere even near the car out of gas. There was zero fuel in that carburetor, so they had to re-fire the car manually. Took forever. Pretty much sums up his year, doesn't it?
is Dale Jr going to win the Championship?
With the Chase I can't predict that, but I do think he'll hang in the top five.
Now that it is rumored that Red Bull is leaving, should NASCAR lift the 4 car limit for teams? IMO, if it was lifted, we may see more than 15 cars that seem to have a shot the way it is now.
I don't think they'd do that. Besides, the super teams are already extended as far as they can go, Hendrick supporting SHR, Roush supporting the Woods & RPM, etc.
I just noticed that if the Chase started today, the "most wins" wildcard category would have no effect. The current top 12 would be in the Chase, same as every year.
Yeah, but with 11 races to go before the Chase I still say there are plenty of guys who can win at least one race. I still think guys like Newman and Stewart could fall out of the top 10 and meanwhile Keselowski is hovering just below 20th and he has a win. Far from over.
Isn't the so-called feud between 18 and 29 one sided, like Kyle isn't feuding but Harvick is?
No, it is not one-sided. Kyle plays it a lot cooler than he used to, but it's definitely not one-sided.
Do you expect to see Dale paying back Mark Martin for wrecking him out at Mich?
No. And I'm going to talk about this on NASCAR Now tonight. Dale regretted saying what he said (which honestly wasn't as bad as it's being portrayed). He told us as much before he left the track on Sunday. He had a chance to talk to Mark shortly thereafter and immediately felt differently about the whole thing.
He's not on Twitter, so he hasn't issued any apologies, but his spotter TJ Majors has been doing it for him today.
Ryan, I say we raise a toast to Clarence Clemmons, the baddest sax player in rock and roll. Nascar can wait for a moment.
Absolutely. That hit me like a ton of bricks over the weekend. I sat by the lakeside at Michigan on Saturday night listening to "Jungleland" on "10th Ave Freeze-Out" over and over again on my iPod.
Will repaving the Michigan track make it for better racing in the future? It seemed like one of the more boring races yesterday.
I don't think the lack of passing away from restarts is a track problem, it's a car problem. Carl Edwards even addressed that after the race. But that being said, I thought we had a helluva dash to the checkered flag.
As for the repave, I know some drivers, particularly the veterans, weren't too happy about the news. But I walked way down into Turn One on Saturday and that surface, which is more than 15 years old, is cracked up pretty bad.
Is it crazy to expect a top 10 out of jr at a road course
Crazy? No. Likely? Probably not.
I am thrilled to see Matt Kenseth back in championship form (or nearly championship form). I'm afraid this coming weekend my knock him down a notch. What does he have to do to get better at the road courses?
I don't know and neither does he. He started laughing out loud when I asked him a pre-Infineon question on Friday. "Why in the world are you asking ME about a road course?" His admitted goal is to just finish top 25, don't wreck, and move on. Until they put a road course in the Chase, then guys can still get away with that.
But yes, he is looking pretty good, isn't he? Another half-lap and he might have won.
Will the 24 be in the top 10 come next Monday?
Did JPM have car issues that why he was running 30th all day?
Wrecking did not help.
Who is your "underdog" or "darkhorse" for Infineon this week?
Alright folks, gotta go. Watch NASCAR Now on ESPN2 tonight. And I'll chat with you from Omaha next Monday!