What's up my hype confetti covered brothers and sisters and welcome to a special Thursday party day edition of the one-hour Monday motorsports block party. Danica has just wrapped up her announcement, so we can get on with our lives. And we can also get on with the questions.
Ryan, do you think Danica will get a female crew chief and at least 4-5 over the wall pit crew members to show that women can do those jobs in NASCAR too?
Nice thought, but that might be too much too soon! Truth is, we're already seeing women in positions of power outside the driver's seat. We've had Cindy Woosley atop the pit box in the Nationwide Series and Alba Colon has been Chevy's NASCAR project manager for years now.
There was an attempt to have an all-female pit crew years ago, but that was much more stunt than substance.
Do you think that Denny Hamlin's problem is that he shaved his head and once his hair grows back more he will do better? Is he NASCAR's Samson?
Hmmm. Hadn't thought of that.
Going beyond the "new Kyle" reasoning, what will prevent him from falling short in the Chase like previous seasons? What will Dave Rogers do differently and what will Kyle do differently to ensure that they are there battling for the Cup come Homestead?
I have said a million times that "New Kyle" has never been about his cheery personality with the media and fans. It's been about maintaining an even strain behind the wheel when the day is going bad. Turning bad days into top 10's instead of throwing up his hands and quitting out of frustration. For whatever reason, Dave Rogers has been able to help Kyle keep that kind attitude and that focus. That's why I don't think we'll see the 18 fall off the planet when the Chase starts, as we have other years.
Ryan.. who are your top five this weekend at Bristol? Do you have a darkhorse?
Based on what we've seen over the last five Bristol races, night and day, I say: Kyle, Carl, Gordon, Dale Jr, and for your darkhorses take Kenseth and Harvick. How in the world Harvick only has one Cup win at Bristol is dumbfounding.
Is it safe to say that Kyle Busch is rather unpopular in the garage after seeing the responses on Twitter from wives like Krissie Newman to spotters such as TJ Majors?
He is not universally loved, no. But that can be said for pretty much any driver during the times in their career when they were winning the most.
do you think danica patrrick will sign a ten year contract withnascar?
Too early to tell.
Why Doesn't GoDaddy.com have the Official NASCAR Announcement for Danica Patrick the First Week of November when NASCAR races at Phoenix?
I think the news was becoming too big to keep under wraps. And there are also a lot of dominoes that were waiting to fall, on both the IndyCar and NASCAR side of the deal. Better to get it out of the way now so everyone can get going with planning next year.
Hey Ryan, I don't know if I am creating controversy by twisting comments, but is Stewart-Hass and HMS having a falling out over engines and chassis. He didn't sound like he could win with what he had, while the 5, 24, 48 seemed to do pretty well. Does Tony feel he is getting inferior equipment?
There is some of that whispering going on, yes. Particularly after the Chase started last year and the Hendrick cars took off while the Stewart-Haas cars stalled out. The relationship between Stewart and Mr. Hendrick is fine, but I think that Tony realizes what all dependent teams eventually do - that he can't take the step to the next level until he becomes more independent. Though I still think that's a long ways off.
I am a high ranking executive from a fortune 500 company but I can never seem to find the time to watch the races on Sundays! Will races always be run on Sundays?? If so I am going to run out of space on my DVR trying to tape all of the races my main Jr races in.
Good news! The next two races will be run at night! Bristol is on Saturday, Atlanta on Sunday. Richmond will be on a Saturday night too. So good for you (and your DVR).
Your take, is Elliot Sadler caught in the middle of this KB/KH thing?
He is. Funny thing is he wasn't even in a Harvick-owned truck last night.
My girlfriend and another friend of hers will be in Bristol this weekend for the races, any chance they see some of the driver introduction shenanigans this year like they saw last year?
Yes. There has been much debate about what song each driver will choose. I know that Jimmie put his up for vote on Twitter. I don't know if we'll get a "Kyle Busch is an ass" like last year, but keep in mind we wouldn't have gotten that if not for what happened during the Nationwide Series race the night before. So stay tuned...
How does GoDaddy have such a HUGE advertising budget? Do you know anyone that has ever used their product??
Their financials say that 45 million people have used their service to register domain names. And they were just bought by a private equity firm for $2.25 billion. I'd say that will allow you to buy some commercials and sponsor some race cars.
Do you believe GoDaddy has the $$$ and business model to last long term or is it another Bobby Ginn flash in the pan deal?
See that last Q&A. The only way Bobby Ginn would ever see a check for $2 billion would be if he crossed out an "m" and wrote in a "b".
Wasn't that a slap in the face to Jr Motorsports and SHR for Danica to make the announcement in AZ instead of at the race shops?
Nope. Happens all the time. Dale Jr used to make big Budweiser announcements in St. Louis and Tony Stewart made big Home Depot announcements in Atlanta.
Ryan, how many cars will be on lead lap at the end of the Race?
I'll say 16.
Can Brad Keselowski continue in his quest for a place in the chase with another top five? What will it take?
I think he's in, barring some crazy unforeseen disaster, and he's already overcome one of those. I'll do you one better. I think he can really make some noise once the Chase starts. I'm not saying he can win it, but who has more momentum right now?
Ryan, what are Kahne's chances of sneaking in the chase? Good tracks coming up for him.
He has to win races. At least two. So I say not good.
What are the chances of the 33 sneaking in the chase?
Better than I originally thought, that's for sure. At Watkins Glen he told me he thought he could still make it in on points and I thought he was nuts. But as all-over-the-place as Stewart is right now, it's definitely a possibility. Even with a top ten on Sunday, you got the feeling that Smoke was barely hanging on. At least that's what he said.
For Bowyer to make it in, he needs Smoke to have trouble. There's no doubt about that.
Do you agree with Tony that at this point he is "wasting" a chase spot?
Probably. History says that the guys who have to slug their way in usually drop off when the Chase starts. They've expended all their energy getting in. I call it the Brian Vickers Rule.
Hamlin has said the same thing.
Regarding your description of "new Kyle", did you see the truck race last night?
Yep. And that had nothing to do with what I'm talking about. I'm talking about when he gets behind the eight ball in a Cup race - not Nationwide or Trucks - and still keeps his head about him and gives the team the feedback they need to get the car right. He simply wasn't doing that two years ago.
Based on the last five years at Bristol, how come you left out JJ.
Based on the last 10 races at Bristol, he's in the second group. He has a win, but his average finish is 15th and he has just three top tens. As a JJ fan (I'm assuming you are) you know that he's run better than that and gotten caught up in some messes. But the finishes are what they are.
That being said, it's never a great idea to bet against him. I'd just go with him at some other places over Bristol.
Does Danica qualify for NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award in 2012 or is that only for full time cup drivers?
Only full-time. She'll be eligible for Nationwide MPD. The last three years it's been Keselowski.
Is Danica going to SHR good for Tony Stewart and his SHR team?
Yes. They need sponsor help bad.
Trucks, Cup or tiddly-winks: a melt down is a melt down.
Agreed. But I'm talking about New Kyle in Cup. And as Shrub meltdowns go, Wednesday night was mid-scale.
What do you believe Gordons chances are of winning the championship because in my opinion only KB is running better right now.
I would agree. That's why I have kept him the top five in my ESPN.com Power Rankings most of the summer. Right now I have him third, trailing only the 18 and the 48.
As a member of the media, do you look forward to having Danica to dominant the conversation instead of the tired old Jr. talk?
You act like she hasn't dominated it already! LOL
Since Stewart says he hopes to run Danica in cup full time in 2013, won't that be the ideal time for Tony to retire and manage Danica's career?
On paper, that would make sense. But he's not retiring anytime soon. Remember, his hero is A.J. Foyt. A.J. retired, unretired, retired again, raced into his 50's and if not for breaking his back for the umpteenth time he might still be racing.
I wanted to ask about Dale Jr.'s quest to win a race. I think it will be a long time before he wins another one. I just do not think he knows how to relate what changes he need to his race cars during a race. Do you agree?, or am I totally off-base.
I think he's getting closer. There was an obvious sense of relief with him afer Watkins Glen because he knew that all of the tracks leading into the Chase are good ones for him. He could easily win at any of the next three. As for the communication, it's way better than it was. In years past by the time we hit this point we were already talking about a divorce from his crew chief. Not this year.
Read Newton's article today on the popularity ratings...doesn't seem at all unlikely Danica could take over #1 in popularity from Jr, but I think he'd be perfectly okay with that, what do you think?
He takes his popularity and his fan base very seriously. But he's also realistic and knows that it won't last forever.
Do you expect Danica to be a first time winner in the Daytona 500 like Bayne especially with her 500 mile racing experience?
No. I think she has shown signs of becoming a good restrictor plate racer, but I maintain that putting in this year's Daytona 500 would be a mistake. Let her run the Trucks, ARCA, Nationwide this year. Then put her in the Cup race in July and get her ready for the '13 Daytona 500.
last lap on kyle's bumper do I turn him ?
If you do, you will instantly be vaulted back into the grandstand legend you once were.
So if the 33 and the 2 make it into the chase, who's out (other than potentially Stewart)?
The only car that can fall from the Chase at this point is Stewart. If he falls out, I think the 33 is the car that takes his spot. The 2 can't make it in except via the wild card. And don't sleep on David Ragan. He could win at Atlanta and pass Hamlin in the wild card fight.
Oreo wrote Danica won't be missed by IndyCar. I agree. What say you?
I agree. I quoted Oreo's story on NASCAR Now last week. I think there is very much a "if we're going this, let's get on with it" attitude on both sides of the racing fence, IndyCar and NASCAR. We've been circling around it for so long, two years now, that it's time to just get on with it.
Newton claims IndyCar will be affected by Danica's departure by a drop in interest. I say hogwash. With Franchitti, Will Power, Rahal, Andretti, and Simona who is actually a better driver, IndyCar is fine and poised to win back fans.
I love those guys (and gals). But all of them combined haven't sold half the merchandise she has over the last decade of IndyCar racing.
I'm glad to know the world can get back to rotating on its' axis now that Danica has made her announcement. Now if the sun rises in the west, we might have a bigger problem...
These days, with the earthquakes and hurricanes, I'm not surprised by anything anymore!
We've seen so many fights at Bristol in the past and in general the last two seasons, any guesses for a fight Saturday night?
How about a nice little pit road Harvick-Shrub dust-up? I'd take that. But what usually ends up happening is we have two totally unexpected guys end up pissed off. Who saw Matt Kenseth vs. Jeff Gordon coming?
Seems Jr struggles on most pit stops. Are there any hints in the air about replacing some pit crew members?
There's been a constant pit overhaul at Hendrick this year. And as we learned last year, they aren't afraid to yank guys off of a car even if its conteding for the Cup with just a couple of races to go!
To get even more NASCAR exposure wouldn't it be smart to assign the #3 to Danica for all NASCAR races?
If they would like to see all of the grandstands burned down at every racetrack, this would be a great idea. Otherwise, no.
you gotta tell me McGee? What can i expect out of the Sheriff Brian Lee Vickers next season?
Igloo, I really don't know. And neither does he. As soon as the Red Bull ownership announced they were getting out, I felt like BV could end up being the guy left without a chair when the Silly Season music stops and that, unfortunately, hasn't changed. If team GM Jay Frye can get the money together to save what's left of Team Red Bull, then Vickers will still have a Cup job. If not, I have no idea where he will go. Or where he can go.
Can some one explain to me what clear is again..
I disagree with Vinnie. I like all forms of racing. And I like to watch Indy car. But the races are much more interesting when Danica is doing well. And Dario usually Kills everyone. I think her leaving will hurt the casual fan. But for hardcore indy car fans I think it might be good. Also everyone talks about how good all the other female Indy car drivers are....If they are so much better then why does she usually beat them? They have done nothing.
I think you speak for a lot of the hardcore IndyCar fans. Though not all would admit to these feelings like you have.
Danica, Danica, Danica. This is allot like the Tebow/NFL drama. Can we talk about someone when they have actually accomplished something??? And no, winning at Florida doesnt factor in much like a fuel milage IRL win or getting pushed around Daytona by Smoke in the JV series as actual accomplishments when you get to the big leagues!
Tell us how you really feel Red.
Do you think Irene going to effect any of the racing this weekend?
We should be okay for racing. I just worry about my friends up and down the east coast. Any of you out there online right now, be smart as this thing hits. We don't need heroes. We need everyone to be safe.
Can We Talk About Football?
Oh man, now you show up at the end of the chat! If anyone has any questions we didn't get to - racing or football - hit me up via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@ryanmcgeeespn). In the meantime, I'll see you back here at my normal time, Monday at 2 pm ET. As always, tip your wait staff and enjoy the music of Tall Paul.