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August 29, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:01 PM)

What's up my brothers and sisters? Welcome to the worldwide interweb's biggest and baddest (perhaps only) one-hour Monday motorsports block party. A quick opening word to our friends who were and are stuck in the path that Irene cut through the east coast over the weekend. Everyone hang in there and know that we're thinking about you. To the queries!

Bill (NC)

Do you think Kasey and Francis running the #5 at HMS will only make life harder for Jr. next year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

It depends on who ends up being the dreaded 4th team. History says there is always one. This year it's been Mark Martin. To me, a couple of guys as smart as Kasey and Kenny are you would think that it would help both the 24 and the 5, but it never seems to work out that way, does it?

Bill Clinton (D.C)

Prediction: Jeff Gordon wins 5 races and the championship. I never Lie(except to Hillary)

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

Thanks for checking in "Mr President". I don't know if he'll make it to 5 wins, but contending the Cup seems to be a given right now. No one not named Brad Keselowski has been hotter of late.

Zach (Ohio)

Hey Ryan, I don't know that I can help much from the sponsorship standpoint, but can you let Smoke know next time you talk to him that I'd be more than happy to drive his 3rd car part-time next year if Mark is busy? Much appreciated!

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

My man Zach! Yeah, I'll pass that word along. But it does feel like Mark could be that guy, doesn't it? He's done the part time deal before, hasn't he?

Thomas (MN)

You're killing me, Smalls! How can you not have Keselowski at #1 in the Power Rankings after the August he had? Maybe the more important question, how good do you think his chances are at running down Stewart for 10th in points and really throwing a monkey wrench into the Chase field is? Like Keselowski said, Stewart is going to get it turned around sometime, but does it happen in time to keep him in the Chase? And if Keselowski does pass Stewart, who takes the 2nd wild card?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

Love me some Sandlot. Yeah, the BK fans can't figure out why I won't put him higher. Hey, he's hot, there's no doubt. But I had him complete out of the Power Rankings just a few weeks ago and now he's top five!

Ryan McGee
  (2:08 PM)

I do think he can pass Tony. And if that happens, Richmond is going to be a bunkhouse stampede. I still say the wildest wild card candidate is David Ragan. He could easily win at Atlanta or Richmond. Or both. But he's also just barely hanging onto his spot in the top 20.

Brent (The Sticks)

Where will you be this weekend. In Atlanta, or off covering football

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

How about C. All of the above.

jeff oklahoma [via mobile]

was the 88 a mediocre car or was he just points racing saturday. Seemed to me point racing, always pitting and taking 4 tires. Your thoughts?

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

I think they are definitely in defensive mode right now, but yeah, the car just didn't have it. We spent all week anticipating this great battle between Earnhardt, Smoke, and Bowyer and it just kind of fizzled. Man, Bowyer really blew a golden opportunity. He loves Bristol and Stewart ran terrible. But Bowyer was just as generic as Smoke. He could have slashed into that lead or ever passed him altogether. That night might come back to haunt him.

James (Henderson, NV)

GoDaddy obviously wants young drivers so do you think they might team up Scotty Speed with Danica so that Scotty can run 26 cup races and Danica 10?

Ryan McGee
  (2:12 PM)

I would love to see that. But I would be surprised. Tony's whole goal for that part-timer is to have someone in there that can keep the car in the top 35 in owner points to get in the best possible position for 2013. I love Scotty, but I don't know if Stewart would believe in him enough to complete that mission.

Jeff (San Antonio TX)

Doesn't the race at Bristol show they just need a speedometer and consistent pit road speed vice timing loops? It was ridiculous watching other cars zoom out of their pits and past Gordon. Of course curious why Gordon didn't take advantage of that too?

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

They'll never have speedometers. But taht pit road definitely needs more timing lines. I agree with Gordon that I wouldn't mind seeing a button that holds the cars at a certain speed on pit road. They do it in every other major racing series in the world but this one.

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

I think pit road speeding violations are always a bummer. I'm all for drama and strategy and unpredictable variables playing into the ultimate outcome, but not pit road speeding. It's just totlaly uninteresting.

Shelia (Kentucky)

what ever happened to Harvick running his mouth about #48 ring tones and Childress promising that a RCR car would win the 2011 Sprint Cup? do you think Harvick is spending too much time yapping about Kyle Busch as the reason for the downfall of RCR?

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Nah. They're just lost as an organization right now. It wouldn't matter who they were feuding with. Selfishly, I will say that as a writer (and a fan) the Kyle vs Kevin deal has been thoroughly entertaining.

Bret (Columbus, IN)

How big of a joke was pit road Saturday night? It seems clear to me that NASCAR needs to put about 3 times as many timing zones in the pits as they have right now at Bristol.

Ryan McGee
  (2:17 PM)

It's coming. I'm betting they'll be there when we go back in March.

Ricky (North Carolina)

Could Carl Edwards have hurt himself by testing R&D stuff over the last two months and possibly put himself in a funk that he may not be able to get out of before the chase starts?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

We asked him about that on Friday and of course he said no. It's a fine line to walk for those guys. You know you're in the Chase, so you need to work some things out. But when do you stop that and get it back in gear? I think some of that is what's going on with the 29 car too.

Logan (MA)

Who do u have as your top 5 in the Chase? I have 48, 24, 17, 18, 29, in that order.

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Right now I'd have the 2 car in there over the 29. And I'd have it like I have the Power Rankings right now - 18, 48, 24, 17, 2. Though I think that gap between the top 3 is the smallest it has been all season long.

Dom (Chicago)

Ryan, why wouldn't Childress get rid of Burton and put Clint in the #31 instead of letting Petty get him?

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

I think the relationship between Burton and RC is much better right now than the one between Bowyer and RC. And if Clint leaves for RPM, I think it's a horrible mistake. I would get a move to Gibbs, but keep in mind that RPM was barely making payroll a year ago, is being held together by outside investors who could walk at any moment, and they are also dependent on another team - Roush Fenway - for cars and engines. How is that better than a ride at RCR?

Kevin (Texas)

Hey Ryan, I know a lot of attention has been placed on Brad K., and rightfully so, but the 24 team looks locked in and ready to out 48 the 48 in the chase by top five-ing the field. You agree?

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

Totally. He didn't win on Saturday night but it was pretty obvious who had the best car. I also read a lot into body language and Jeff has a swagger right now we haven't seen in a while.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

How would you think that Danica Patrick would do if Stewart-Haas decides to make her Sprint Cup Debut at Talledega in October?

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

Too early to even try that. Although if they truly do want to put her in the Daytona 500, which I think is a mistake, then she definitely needs to run that Dega race to get in some Cup superpseedway laps. I stay stick with the plan.

KL (PA)

Nascarless?Come on RYan get a life you jerk!!!This isn't a sport;go away man!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

Why the hell do these people even show up in here?

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

I've asked too many Danica questions, when does the restraining order officially start?

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

Here come the cops! Run!

Matt (Charlotte)

Any chance of changes to the track at Bristol to induce more rubbin'? I was there fri/sat and, although "good" racing as far as cars together on the track, it was kinda boring for the majority of the race.

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

This Bristol thing really has me scratching my head. For years I have been one to call the drivers out for saying that Michigan and California had great racing when they weren't very much fun for us not racing to watch. Now I kind of feel their pain. I thoroughly enjoyed all three races over the weekend but I keep hearing from fans how boring they were.

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

Because of that, I guess some changes need to be made. The fans ultimately should dictate the show.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

But I will say this, I think Bristol is a victim of highlight films. Everyone says their favorite Bristol race is the '95 night race when Earnhardt wrecked Rusty early on and then wrecked Labonte crossing the finish line. But I was there that night and it was hours of boredom (including a long rain delay) punctuated by two great moments.

Bunny (Ft. Myers)

It seems like whenever Coach Gibbs offers the invocation Rowdy has a so-so race. Can we ask Coach to leave the invocation to the locals?

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

Now that's a new one.

Tracy (CT)

Do you think Jr is upset that his protege is better than him now?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

Hahaha. I think the Hendrick camp is certainly upset that they lost BK to Penske!

Mike (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

True, it would be better for Bowyer to stay at RCR. However, it probably is all about sponsorship. If RPM has the dollars and RCR not then Bowyer has no choice. And if RCR can't find a sponsor for Bowyer to keep him driving the #33, why would Gibbs be able to find a sponsor and hire Bowyer?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

It's not as much about sponsorship, but it is about money.

Diane (Los Angeles)

Did you get to watch any of the Little League World Series. Some really excellent fundamental baseball played by all the teams!

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

Agreed! Crazy great defense. Love seeing that.

Eric (NC)

Why is NASCAR so infatuated with timing lines? Why not use real-time velocity measurements (GPS)? This goes for their "loops" on the track as well as pit-road. Enough of the 'avg. velocity' crap.

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

I'm with you. And so are a lot of drivers. A lot of them.

Snookie (Jersey Shore)

Did you hear I am the honorary starter for Richmond? What on earth was NASCAR thinking when they asked me to do it?

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

1. What the hell were you wearing on the VMA's last night? 2. With all due respect, no one will ever top Anna Nicole Smith's visit to Rockingham on behalf of Trim Spa. It was beautiful and horrifying all at once. We tried to get her to do a promo for the show I was producing at the time. She was supposed to say, "I'm Anna Nicole Smith and you're watching Totally NASCAR". But after ten straight takes of "I'm Anna Nicole Smith and you're totally watching NASCAR" we gave up.

tony black (Rich,VA)

Why does Goodyear keep bringing tires that don't fall off, making it almost impossible to pass after 20 laps? Is this how NASCAR has achieved parity because you can stay out on old tires and hold off the guys who pit to get tires?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

The cars have a lot to do with the parity, but yes I think the ding-ding-ding when it comes to lack of cautions and all this pit strategy is with the tires. I don't want to go back to gummies, but somewhere in between what we have now and what we had then is probably about right. That said, I don't think we're way off. And I will certainly take today's racing over what we had a decade ago.

Jimmy (STL)

Is the talk of moving to JGR and RPM by Clint just posturing to get a better contract or are the divides that serious?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

I think it started as A but has inched into B.

Jenn (NJ)

Hurricane Irene destroyed my Yacht this sadden me a lot, but my favorite Dale Jr memorabilia was saved!

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Sorry to hear that. My yacht was not damaged. That's because it is safely docked within my imagination.

Tracy (the real one) (CT )

Now that Kyle had is little record that was so important. Will he stop racing in the minors so much? No one wants to see him every year ruin the days of actual drivers trying to make it to Cup

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

As long as he's trying to build Kyle Busch Motorsports into something bigger, he will keep driving his own cars in those other series. Sorry.

Teri (Home Sick Today)

Hi Ryan! Do you think we'll see Matt Kenseth get another win in before the year is over?

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

Sorry you're sick Teri. But yes I do think he will win again. And that might be all it takes to be in the Cup hunt seeing as how he keeps cranking out top 10's the way he is. I say it all the time, he is this generation's Terry Labonte. The silent killer.

Jeff (Georgia)

Ryan, since you'll be in ATL this weekend, who do you like in the UGA/Boise game and in victory lane on Sunday? Thanks

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

I like Jimmie on Sunday and Boise on Saturday.

Michelle (NY)

Watching ex-NASCAR exec. Jeff Payne on Bloomberg talking about his UPS college football deal. Does that spell trouble for NASCAR sponsorships?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

Maybe. I know they are much happier today than they were a year ago. And I know that it would help if Ragan would win another race and make the Chase. It would especially help if he did it in the front the Atlanta crowd. It seems like UPS employs half that city.

Jules (NJ)

Is the reason ESPN always opens with Kyle Busch interviews and features because Kyle is turning into NASCAR's most popular driver?

Ryan McGee
  (2:45 PM)

Two things get you airtime - winning and popular demand. I'd say he makes the show all the time via winning, but there's no doubt he's more popular than he used to be. Winning usually takes care of that too.

Teri (Home Sick Today)

Any idea what the hold up is with the Jr/Hendrick contact?

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

No hold-up at all. In fact, they're negotiating a full year early. They have plenty of time.

Chris (New York City)

Any words on Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas signing a new deal? I thought this would of been done already.

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

It's all but done. The lawyers have it now.

Mark (Iowa)

Do you think Rockingham gets a Nationwide and/or a truck race next year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

I think they certainly have taken a huge step closer with the addition of the SAFER barriers, which start installation in a couple of weeks. Those guys have always told me that they wouldn't make that kind of investment - $1 million per mile - unless they had a pretty good feeling that a big league race was on the way. So, what does that tell us?

Jesse (Huntersville NC)

What caused the spike in attendance at the Cup race in Bristol?

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

It's the Bristol night race! I think fans have had to make spring-or-fall decisions about what race to attend. So many people, especially at Bristol where so many ticket buyers are from out of state, can do one or the other. Clearly the Bristol fans have chosen the August race over the March race. Just as the Michigan fans seemed to have chosen the June race over the August race.

Trevor (Clemson, SC)

Please Ryan can you tell me why Kurt Busch isn't using Brad K's setups? I cannot understand it!!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

I think there's a lot more cross-shop communication going on there now than we've seen in the past. Certainly over the last few weeks. But no matter what kind of set-up Kurt had in the car on Saturday night, he got caught speeding on pit road twice.

Dave (Pittsburgh)

Mark Martin said he'd like to work for Kyle Busch. Do you see Mark driving a KBM Tundra or being a manager sort of guy?

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

Whatever Mark does, he'll be driving, not managing. I think he'd like to be in a position where he can race but also mentor a young racer.

Vinnie (ATL)

Did you see the IndyCar race at Sonoma? I know NASCAR fans love beating and banging, but that is what a race should look like at Sonoma. I am in the majority, but I prefer new Bristol to old Bristol. Passing cars by setting them up. Moving someone with your bumper is not racing in my mind.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

It was a very nice IndyCar race. Certainly a heckuva contrast to the road racing we've seen in NASCAR this year. And I will say this about "New Bristol" since my comments earlier in the chat a lot of comments have scrolled through from people saying they liked it.

Jeremy (D.C.)

Bristol is not going to change and we as fans need to get over it. If fans had their way we wouldn't have the COT and we'd have more dead race car drivers. I'm all for exciting racing and fender-rubbing but Bristol is not like that anymore. They also had a great crowd and great 3-wide racing. Just calm down and watch the race, people!

Ryan McGee
  (2:54 PM)

See?

Tracy (the real one) (CT )

Glad octo likes me enough to use my name in a chat. That said. Why is it that Kyle fans blame everyone else for Kyle having a bad day and that is fine with them, yet they bust Jrs fans for doing the same thing

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

How do know this isn't Octo saying that so we don't think it's Octo?

bill pa [via mobile]

since brad k is running so good do ya think he might be an underdog to win the championship?

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

Certainly. History says the guy who makes a late dash into the Chase field or has to claw his way in usually fades once the Chase starts, but if BK has shown us anything this year it's that he's all about proving people wrong.

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

He had 300-1 preseason title odds at the Vegas Hilton. Two weeks ago he was 25-1. Now he's down to 15-1.

Toni Stert (Burger King)

How many whoppers should I have for lunch today after that awful run the other night?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

Yikes.

Scot (Charlotte)

Dario Franchitti said that he never got a fair chance in NASCAR. Perhaps, if he was smart as Danica and made sure everything was in place before making a commitment, he would still be in NASCAR

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

Good point. But a lot, perhaps all, of that blame falls on Chip Ganassi. And Chip has always openly taken the blame. That broken ankle didn't help Dario's cause either. Clearly he's a wheel man, he just didn't get a fair shake. But he also didn't come into it with the most open-minded attitude. I thought Danica's comments at last week's press conference were very telling about her situation vs. Dario's.

octo (moms house)

You rule! Best writter on the site! King Kong Kyle #1!

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Well now, wait...maybe I do like Octo after all.

mark buffalo ny [via mobile]

going to martinsville in october, curious to know if this is one of your favorite tracks to experience a nascar race?

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

Absolutely. It's so old school, and I love that. Plus, they have sunk millions into the place over the last year and it has really paid off fan experience-wise. That are in the fall is stunningly pretty.

Vinnie (ATL)

Where would be the best place to take my 12 year old daughter to her first race? She is a Kyle Bush fan because of the M&Ms car. I have been to Daytona, Dega, and Charlotte. I am NOT taking my daughter to Dega!

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

I like Charlotte and Daytona for kids and first-timers just because there's so much else to do around the track. Gotta take her to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. My daughter would camp out there if they'd let her.

octo (moms house)

Just kidding. We really like Hinton. You don't show enough Kyle love.

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

Dammit.

Ryan McGee
  (3:03 PM)

Alright folks, gotta go. I had a LOT of traffic I couldn't get to, so hit me up on Twitter (@RyanMcGeeESPN) or via email (mcgeespn@yahoo.com) and I'll try to answer your queries. Until next time, tip the wait staff and enjoy the music of The Mavericks.