A busy day here at Pocono. Jack Roush and Carl Edwards are on stage right now making like happy newlyweds, Dr. Joseph Matiolli and wife, Dr. Rose Mattioli, just announced Joe is stepping away from supervision of the track, turning over those jobs to three of his grandchildren and everybody else is trying to figure out how to solve fuel-mileage races and the always tricky track position battle at this mammoth track. So, what have you got for me?
Eat Mor Chikin'
Dodd! I hat a chili dog, some barbecue and pierogies today. Love the Pocono food.
K, how is Ed Hinton doing and when is he returning to work?
Ed was back at the Brickyard and he's doing well. We're thinking about him every day.
Do you think we'd be seeing all this fuel mileage drama if the crews could get all the gas in the car every stop? Very few of the math guys seem to be right both at the end and DURING the races.
George, I think the fuel can has a LOT to do with what we're seeing on the track. There's a lot more guesstimating going on atop the pit box right now than we've seen in years. It adds excitement, but is it good racing?
For the sake of argument, let's say Kentucky isn't measurably better in all ways next year. Do you think they'd pull the date? It would be the perfect chance to add a 3rd road race, maybe even move Sonoma to the Chase...
I think Kentucky keeps that date for the foreseeable future as long as the crowds keep coming. That will be the determining factor.
K.Lee, do you think that Harvick knows he has 1 coming from Joey for Pocono last year?
We don't root for drivers, we root for stories. I would love to see Logano-Harvick, Round 2.
Does Front Row have a chance at moving up ever? I like what they have done but may need to make a run at a big driver, hmmm, wonder if a big name driver would buy into them like Tony did, have to admit, Haas was no better than Front Row before Tony. Maybe Mark Martin?
Not sure Martin is your answer. Brian Vickers maybe?
I have heard a theory that Bruton Smith has wanted to buy Nashville and its parent company, take a race from Dover and perhaps give it to Las Vegas for a 2nd race. Does that theory hold water? Is there a chance that either of the 3 northeastern tracks lose a Cup race? Also what would you say are the chances of NASCAR leaving Indianapolis Motor Speedway altogether in the next 5 years, if at all?
1) Bruton is always a buyer, so if Dover wants to sell, he'd be listening. 2) Las Vegas would be the most likely SMI track to get a second race, with Atlanta not far behind. 3) Pocono WILL NOT be for sale for years to come. Doc and Rose have to die and then their kids have to die before the grandkids have that legal option. So I think Pocono and New Hampshire are more than safe for the next decade or more. 4) Indianapolis is safe for as long as the speedway wants NASCAR.
Two part question:It always seem no matter what track (besides plate tracks) the car outfront is the fastest, because of clean air, not necessarily because its the best car. Don't you think the fastest car should be the one set up the best and driven the best. Just thinking of Kurt Busch's comments last week over the radio, where he complained about how bad the car was as soon as he got behind someone but it was great when no car was in front of him. What do you think NASCAR can do to change this or do they want to change this? And did the car driven before this one act like this? Sorry I'm a young NASCAR fan, didn't watch before this new car.
Clean air has always been king, Thomas. Always. It's a lot easier to test a car in the wind tunnel in clean air then it is to re-create the infinite permutations of dirty air. So I don't think NASCAR can really do anything to ease that issue.
If Gordon wins the championship this year, does that move him to the Petty/Pearson level?
I think given the era he's racing in, he's already there.
What driver do you think JGR will now recruit for the 4th team and how does Edwards decision impact the company?
I think a fourth JGR car is dead for the short term. They needed Carl's immense talent at drawing a sponsor to make that idea work.
Hi K. Lee, with all the investments that Joe has made at JGR do you think this Edwards deal is only a minor setback and do you see JGR getting back to the championship winning ways of this historic company?
I think Kyle Busch could win the title this year. Denny probably not this year, but he'll be in the mix for years to come. And I still hold out hope Joey will mature and be competitive as well. I'm not sure Carl was going to give JGR anything it lacks. Right now, car and engine reliability is JGR's Achilles' Heel.
When do you think that we will hear the official announcement that Danica Patrick will race in NASCAR full-time in 2012?
No pressure to announce any such thing until her IndyCar Series season is over. It's not like they need to line up sponsors for her, because she will bring her own. So, while it could happen earlier, I would guess sometime in October.
Hey K. Lee, thanks for the ESPN live race chats. Do you think we will see Joey Logano taking care of business Sunday, with payback for the chicken move Harvick pulled on the #20 last year at Pocono?
I think Joey needs a good race here to build his confidence.
K Lee, as a die hard Junior fan I'm just really annoyed that NASCAR has a gear rule for Pocono especially since they know Junior isn't a good shifter and isn't it just so unfair of NASCAR do this and race on road courses when they know Junior doesn't like road courses?
Junior's a big boy, he will figure it out.
Will you answer the same questions over and over or something different?I have heard Mark Martin in the rumors for a ride with RPM, I think he could do good there especially helping AJ out, thoughts?
I'll answer something different.
K.Lee, Thanks for the chat. Do you think Ragan will keep his ride next year?????
I believe UPS and Ragan have another year together, but anything can happen with the economy perhaps facing a double-dip.
Do you see Bowyer going back to Nationwide for a few years like Sadler did if cheerios doesn't come back to RCR?
Bowyer's proven he belongs in the big leagues. Someone else would love to have him if RCR bails on him.
why do some media say that Junior winning is good for the sport? He hasn't won in 4 years and might not ever win and NASCAR will go on so what difference does he really make?
Because Junior winning is great for the sport. NEXT!
If Kyle Busch wins the Sprint Cup this year do you think all the negative stuff and booing will finally end?
No, I think Kyle will be booed even more if he wins the title. He should embrace being the bad guy even more than he does. It would make him richer (and eventually more respected) than just being another good guy driver. This sport is loaded with those.
Should Lance McGrew fill out his unemployment papers now? After Junior's revival, Martin's dismal performance, and Francis coming with Kahne, there isn't any interest in his services for 2012 on the Cup level, is there?
That's a great question. There would appear to be no more room at the Hendrick Motorsports crew chief inn.
Hi K. Lee, doesn't Carl Edwards loyality to Roush-Fenway Racing only highlight Dale Jr's dishonor and terrible mistake when he quit DEI, the team his father started for his children to sign with HMS and with only 1 win hasn't Jr's decision proven to be a mistake?
There is no honor in this sport, gimme a break. Make all you can, while you can. As for Junior and his dad's team, it was his dad's team. Now it's his step-mother's team. Given the state of current NASCAR financial affairs, moving to HMS was the smartest thng Junior has ever done. Hey, are you Octo? Methinks Octo is all over this here chat.
Regardless if Stewart and Newman hang on and fill out the Chase, it seems clear that they've gone backwards since starting out gangbusters. Would they really add a 3rd team and further divert their attention and resources?
You add a team if you can the funding for it. And bringing in the right third driver may mean you can siphon off some of their sponsor money to help the other two teams. It's simple economics.
Hahahaha. Who loves ya baby!
the question of the day!!since everyone wants to bash jr...if all his critics seem to know everything then why arent they driving the damn car???
A M E N
You are right you have answered about 5 Octo questions.
Was this one six?
Any chance MWR goes after a Big Name like BV or JPM, or even Bowyer at the end of the year? I think NAPA and Aarons would love to have a Bigger star in there car. I love Truex and Reut. but i think MWR is a better Organization then what they are showing
I'm not sure why MWR can't break through to that top echelon, but if you look at it, it may be Toyota's fault. Only JGR shows signs of being championship ready, and that's only with two cars and frankly, even Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin shouldn't be considered favorites right now either.
K. Lee, are you surprised that of the 3 Ex-DEI drivers (Dale, Truex and Menard) that Paul has turned out to be the most successful since DEI folded?
I don't think I'd characterize Menard as the most successful. He won a nice race ... on fuel mileage.
George is right. Doesn't SHR need Mr. Hendricks approval to add a 3rd team for Danica?
That's all a little murky.
Huge Jr. Fan! say what you want to say about him as a driver but as a NW owner he's doing pretty darn good. Brad K almost won it a few years ago and Almirola isnt to bad either.. and he is at almost every race he isnt just in it for the money He's actively involved.
Junior is a good driver and a good figurehead team owner. Can we agree on all that? Oh yeah, and he's good for the sport and a win for him would be good for the sport. And ultimately, he seems like a genuinely good person. Say what you want about him, but he's been a class act under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Hi K. Lee, What did you think about the Brickyard 400? Personally I loved the race throughout and thought that the combo of fuel strategy and pedal to the metal added extra drama to the finish.
Scott! I thought the race was decent from an overall perspective and absolutle fabulous by Brickyard 400 standards. But while I don't mind the occasional fuel-mileage race, this is getting ridiculous.
The Pocono race stars at Noon Eastern Time, should I just turn on my TV at around 3:00 to watch the last 3 laps in order to find out which car has the best gas mileage?
Boss! It starts at 1 p.m. ET (on ESPN) and I think any race is worth watching from start to finish. I can always find something interesting.
its obvious the 88 has had its struggles of late but the 48 seems to be struggling to.whats up with there car seups or has the rest of the field just caught up?
This is the point of the season the 48 always looks a little out of sorts. I will count them out when their mathematically eliminated from title contention.
Huge Scotty Speed fan! Do you think we might see Scotty in the RCR #33 next year?
No way, no how do I see that, Erika.
You identified the Octo and yet you still answer his questions..
Why does it matter if somebody's the Octo? If they ask a question worth answering (no matter how slanted that question may be), then we'll answer it. Y'all sure get worked up about useless stuff.
Oh I love Jr, and I agree 100% on your response. You watch your dad the greatest Driver ever get killed right behind you and see if you could still even Race!
I'm still not over my dad's death from six years ago and he lived a long life and dies of natural causes. And I haven't been asked about, one way or another, every week since he passed away.
Umm Yea Vince (IL) Menard the most succesful hardly... jr did make the Chase his first year at HMS, and has one win too.
Im from CT by the way octotroll. Please stop posting the fake question K Lee. this is why people think this chats are dumb
Was that in English, 5fan?
the other day on NASCAR Now, Michelle Briscoe wanted to know fans ideas for Greatest NASCAR moment. Do you rate Kyle Busch winning all 3 races last year at Bristol at the top of the list?
NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.
So asking whether Jr can handle shifting or not is a good question?
Sure. Do you have one not related to your passion for expunging all Octo comments?
I have never used this name to ask a question here. I use my real human name. Please if you ever see it in here or on your raceday chats block the questions.
How am I supposed to know (or care)?
Can people just cool it about the fuel mileage racing? It's a part of the sport. Yeah NASCAR will decide to have them run on chicken crap that will solve the problem. Hello people, cars run on gas!
Yeah, but do you really wantt to see it almost every week?
with Rowdy scoring a 2nd and 3rd in his last 3 Pocono races do you have Rowdy down as the favorite to win Sunday?
I'll take Jeff Gordon
With all the noise about first time winners, is it possible that the biggest reason it's happened is the 48's pit road follies and some bonehead calls from the 24's cc during the race? Both those guys could've/should've had 3-5 wins each by now.
That could be part of it, but fuel mileage makes a bigger difference this year than before, and frankly when it comes to Daytona, you or I could win there with a little practice.
Now that the Edwards saga is over...What are the odds of Home Depot reuniting with Smoke?
I believe they are still contractually tied to Logano for next year. I could be wrong on that though
What has a better chance of happening.. You not answering an Octo question? or The Pocono races getting shorten from 500 miles?
Pocono races will remain 500 miles, so that makes that question pretty easy.
Now that the Edwards saga is over...what are the odds of Home Depot reuniting with Smoke in the next year or so?
I think I already answered this one, but out of order. See the response above.
I think it is great for the sport that we've had 4 young, first time winners this year but it seems like old fans don't like it. Why is that?
Old people are cranky. No, seriously, I think one of the great draws of the early Brickyard years. Could Earnhardt win? Rusty? Jarrett? Terry Labonte. You wanted to see the greats do great there. Now, the current greats have been racing there their whole careers, so the excitement of it is gone for older fans.
it seems like if people don't root for Jr or make jokes about him they get called octo, whatever that means.
No, Octo, always phrases his questions like he's working for the Ministry of Information in the old Soviet Union. They are laughably unbalanced.
NASCAR racing is what it is. I don't understand how the rules folks are supposed to "fix" the fuel mileage part of racing. It's part of the sport, it makes races just as interesting and actually puts some spotlight for once on the crew chiefs and pit crews. Everyone needs to chill out. There have been fuel mileage races before. Also these are fuel-mileage-testing tracks here in the last month or so.
I agree with that Jeremy, and as I said earlier, there's likely not a lot NASCAR can do to solve it.
Do you think that we are going the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series exatly like 2011 with out new drivers & new teams?
There will be some changes, but they may not be very big ones.
Menard's win got me thinking: who ran the most races without ever winning?
I'd have to look that one up.
JD McDuffie at 653 as per Jayski: http://www.jayski.com/stats/alltimewins.htm
JD McDuffie ran the most NASCAR (Cup) races without a win, at 653.
The races at Pocono aren't boring.....as long as the 24 is out front.
It's also worth pointing out that lots of tracks are being re-paved here in the recent past and near-future, I think this is a natural result that we might be seeing for a little while.
With RB closing do you think Toyota will add SHR next year?
Hell will freeze over before Tony Stewart signs with Toyota.
OK gang, it was fun. I have to go write a story now. Thanks for the good fodder and we'll see you Sunday for the in-race chat!