What's up my Chase confetti covered brothers and sisters and welcome back to the interweb's greatest (perhaps only) one-hour Monday motorsports block party. After what happened on Saturday night we have more than plenty to talk about. So to the queries!
Will Kurt Busch be penalize by NASCAR for accosting a woman? Jenna was just doing her job. I think grabbing personal property out of a lady's hands and destroying it deserves at least a slap on the wrist. There's NO PLACE for that type of behavior in this sport. Regardless of whether the journalist is male of female. Thoughts?
It was pretty weak. I said it on Twitter that night and I'll continue to say it - I've been doing this a while now and that was the dumbest damn thing I've ever seen a driver do. It was either just mindless rage or an insecure person trying desperately to look cool. Either way, it was (no pun intended) totally bush league.
Yes, I think he should be fined. No, I think he probably won't be.
Do you expect HMS and JGR to use Martin and Joey to bring out cautions to help their chase drivers like RCR did with Menard?
That's certainly created a little buzz hasn't it? Jeff Gordon was the first to bring it up and then Dale Junior and Matt Kenseth's spotters were pretty clear about their feelings, expressed on Twitter.
3 points per win to start the Chase ? WOW. As a Tony Stewart fan, I love it because one bad race (Which means 12 spots behind Stewart) from Busch and Harvick and Stewart is all over them. I hate because those guys won 4 race's and really get nothing going into this thing.
I have said it all along, I think there should be a bigger reward for winning races. Both during the regular season and when it comes to the Chase reset. Now granted, you don't want to guys with the most wins to be so far ahead they are unreachable. But perhaps just a little more.
Hey Ryan, after all of the hoopla surrounding the wild-card system that was implemented for this year, all that really changed from last year's system was that Keselowski and Hamlin were denied the bonus points for their wins. Should NASCAR add a caveat that any drivers who qualify as wild cards that were in positions 11 or 12 anyway still receive their bonus points?
Yeah, but the wild card element certainly did what it was intended to do, which was keep as many guys in the Chase hunt as long as possible. There was David Ragan, running near the front late in the race. Biffle was in the mix for a little while. Keselowski flirting with getting into the top ten. Bowyer's soap opera night. There was plenty of wild card-related drama that we'd never had without it.
So I say leave it like it is. It worked. And I think the best 12 teams are in.
That had to be one of the best 16th place finishes I've seen out of Junior. He may have barely made it in the chase, but I loved the effort he and the whole team put out at Richmond...almost as much as the drubbing the Vols put on Cincy. Your thoughts?
I agree. The early wreck put them in a terrible spot and yet they still engineered the finish they needed. I think had the 2 still been running up front then the 88 would have finished higher. If you listened to them on the radio they were definitely playing Chase defense after the wreck. And in the middle of it all he still figured out a way to punt Travis Kvapil. And nice Vols reference.
1. My Mom (48 fan) says she is writing a letter to Kurt for being unprofessional. 2. My brother (24 fan) says Menard spun on purpose to give Havick a chance to win. Which family member deserves most passionate fan award?
It's a push.
Since it was Gordon who called out RCR for using Menard to create that last caution do you think NASCAR will do something to prevent RCR from doing that again?
I don't think it would have mattered who brought it up, there were plenty of people questioning it. Yes, there will be a conversation had in the big yellow trailer this Friday at Chicago, but I wouldn't expect a formal statement.
As Junior has accomplished his season goal of making the chase, does the #88 team now start working on Daytona '12?
No. Their goal wasn't merely to make the Chase.
Do you think the 88 and the 14 deserve to be in the Chase with no wins ...and who would win in a thumb fight the 48 or the 22 ?
Yes. They were in the top 10 all year. Just because someone has a win doesn't mean they've had a better year. I love Regan Smith, David Ragan, Ambrose, all those guys. But no way they had a better year than the 88 or 14.
Has there been a performance by a pit crew this year that was better than Hamlin's crew on Saturday?
Yes. But when you consider how Denny has stayed on their backs and the scrutiny they came under last year during the Chase, what they did on the big stage was crazy impressive. Same for the 29 guys. That final stop is what won the race for Harvick.
Harvick said his NW team failed because it needed to be under that same roof as a cup team. Is that why Jr. Motorsports is a failure too?
I wouldn't classify JR as a failure. They've won a lot of Nationwide races and Almirola has been in the title hunt most of the year. But even with their big names and nice sponsorship, Junior admits that it is a real financial struggle.
i find if funny in nascar that when a team wins a race that have all the momentum in the universe. that's all.
It's like the NFL. The teams that win in Week One are suddenly Super Bowl contenders and the team that lose in Week One have to coax their fans from jumping off bridges.
You heard it here first Ryan!!!...Straight from HQ in Atlanta, if Joey Logano does not win one race in the next ten weeks, Home Depot will be moving their sponsorship to the 17 of Matt Kenseth for 2012. Shows how important making the chase is for big name sponsors..
Okay folks, write that down.
What does Michael Waltrip Racing do after this season? Lets face it, David R. stinks & Martin Truex is just to inconsistent to be a chase contender..
It's a bit of a mess over there, for sure. Though I will say that I think Truex is legit. But if you look at the places he driven and their situations, did he ever really have a fighting chance?
Hi Ryan, Kyle Busch was a class act in his post race interviews. Do you think Rowdy can maintain that composure and consistency throughout the chase? Thanks.
I think everyone got to fly under the radar on Saturday night thanks to Kurt's ridiculousness. The best part of Saturday night's post-race press conferences was how Kyle, Newman, and Smoke just sat there not saying a word while Jimmie was on ened of the table taking shots at Kust and then Kurt made that moronic decision after the fact.
Do you expect Ambrose and Travis to be headhunting #88 and looking to get payback on Junior starting at Chicago?
No. That's not how Marcos operates. And with all due respect to Travis, he doesn't need to be headhunting anyone.
I'm not a Kyle Busch fan, but I think he had the best looking car Saturday night that honor 9/11. What do you think?
Without a doubt. I thought it was a tremendous decision by M&Ms/Mars to bring back their post-9/11 paint scheme that was originally driven by Ken Schrader. I haven't bought many die casts over the years, but in 2001 I sure bought that one. And I encourage fans to buy Kyle's die cast from this weekend. Proceeds are going to a fund that supports the families of 9/11 victims.
Why would any crew member work hard for Kurt B.? First he won't man up to something he said. Then he blames his equipment for losing to JJ 5 years in a row. He is constantly on them during the race. What a bum.
He wore out his welcome at Roush. He appears to be working on doing the same at Penske. He's come pretty close before, but raced his way out of it. If he doesn't start winning races, patience will run out real quick.
McGee...how many wins and how high of an average finish do you think it's going to take to win the title?
I don't think it is as much about how many races you win as it is minimizing your bad days. You have to post a high average finish above all else. Last year with the 48 is a great example. His only poor finish was in the Chase's first race. He finished 25th at Loudon. Then he won the next week at Loudon. Then he posted an average finish of 4.5 over the last eight races. Hard to keep up with that.
When do you think Stewart Haas Racing will announced what number Danica will use in Sprint Cup Series?
I think we'll probably learn of all their Cup plans with Danica when we get to Phoenix in November. That's where she lives and also where GoDaddy.com is based. They've made all their major announcements out of there and there will be a big media contingent in town for the Chase.
It looks to me like the #88 used up everything they had just making it into the chase and now the tank is empty. Your thoughts?
I'm not ready to say that, but I think we'll know pretty quick which way they are going to go. History says the teams that had to fight their way have a bit of a letdown once the Chase starts. I call it the Brian Vickers Principle.
What old festering paybacks do you see affecting this year's chase? Or will cooler heads prevail?
Cooler heads will prevail, but I think that will account for only about half the people involved in these feuds - partticularly 22 vs 48. I don't think the non-Chase guys will do anything to disturb the Chase guys, at least not early on.
get the hell out of my way! i'm trying to win a championship here!
Ryan, based on Kurt's comments about the equipment at Hendricks, which sounded like he thought it was better, has there been any reaction from Penske or Dodge?
No, they're used to him spouting off.
Is there any tv apperences the chase drivers are going to be making this week?
Yes! NASCAR Now is on ESPN2 right now. And the show will be live from Chicago all week with drivers coming by each day.
To kind of hit on something Dillon in Ga mentioned..Are we at the point where the one sponsor for a full schedule is about to become a thing of the past?
When the Chase format was first unveiled there was some talk about that, owners fearing that sponsors would do 26-race deals with a "Chase option". So far that hasn't really happened. I think there are some situations where the sponsors get a little bit of a discount if the team doesn't make it, but that's not the norm.
Doesn't "boys have at it" apply to Kurt's behavior off the track too?
Not really. Keep in mind that after the Darlington incident between Kyle and Harvick NASCAR was very specific about stating that the penalties were a result of what happened with the cars still on the track and pit road, not the shouting and shoving that took place in the garage after the fact.
But also keep in mind that when Joey Logano's father had his credentials taken away it wasn't because he went crazy and started yelling at people, it was because he grabbed my buddy Ralph Sheheen, who was pit reporting with TNT.
Again, if I'm NASCAR I have to penalize Kurt for crossing the line with a media member. But I'm not expecting it.
So now that the Chase has started, all but 12 teams have nothing to race for. Is NASCAR thinking of doing anything to make the Chase more exciting for the teams not in? I think a double elimination bracket seeded by regular season points, March Madness style for a couple million dollars to the winner would bring some excitement. Can you imagine if everybody was scrambling this week to fill out their Chase brackets for the office pool?
Not a bad idea. Kind of follows the PGA Tour's massive opening field for its FedEx Cup. But I have never believed the "non-Chase teams have nothing to race for" theory. You think about the guys who have won in the past, going all the way back to Joe Nemechek's original Chase-buster in '04, and those guys have gotten plenty of headlines for their sponsors by winning. And they also got to take home the trophy.
If they really had nothing to race for they wouldn't even show up.
"Same for the 29 guys. That final stop is what won the race for Harvick..." and the 27 spinning for no reason. Sorry, but you forgot to finish your thought.
I love JG's chances, but am I the only one who thinks missing out late on 2-4 more wins this summer (Indy, Michigan, Bristol, Richmond) is going to come back to bite him? 6-12 points could easily decide the title.
I agree with you. And so does he. He could have easily won the last four races in a row. He certainly had the best car in at least three of them. But I still think he's in great shape. No one has more momentum headed into the playoffs.
Whats up Ryan..2 weeks ago I looked at the race winnings from Atlanta and noticed that for 2 laps of work Dave Blaney got $80,000. JJ Yeley completed 326 laps..one lap down..and got $82,000 in winnings. Ryan, How in the Hell can this be right!!!!
What makes it even more frustrating for me is that the winner of that race, Gordon, should have a much larger gap between himself and those guys. The drivers, and I agree, have complained for years that the winner doesn't receive enough of the overall purse. Meanwhile fans are angry that the guys at the bottom get too much. Pretty simple solution here. Take more away from the guys at the bottom at put it up top where it belongs.
If you ever want to see a driver blow his stack, bring up how much the winner of a PGA Tour event pockets vs. a NASCAR Cup Series winner.
Our parents taught us that vulgar, profanity laced language is a sign of lack of education. Why doesn't NASCAR order Junior to clean up his language over the radio?
It's not just Junior. It's all the guys. But that is a private radio channel that fans can choose to listen to or not. It's essentially us listening in on guys while they are at work. It's their choice what words they decide to use.
Slowing on the track to help a teammate is nothing new. A few years back Hamlin did the same thing for Kyle Busch at Richmond. That was the same race that Busch wrecked Dale Jr at the end. Until Nascar does something about it, it will continue to happen.
I don't disagree. But again, those conversations will take place behind closed doors. Maybe.
who better Denard Robinson or THe QB for baylor?
A football question! I love Denard. But I need proof he can do what he did Saturday night over the long haul. Last year he vanished. Same with Robert Griffin.
Is this not pretty much the deepest field ever? Ten championships between three of the favorites (Gordon, Kenseth, Johnson), and the guys who I would consider the weakest link at the moment (Earnhardt) had the best average finish of any driver at Chase tracks that NASCAR has already raced at this year. This Chase could totally rock!
Yep. I was looking over the field and thought the same thing. With the exception of maybe Mark Martin, we're not missing a single living legend (sorry Bobby Labonte, but it's been a while since you were running up front with these guys).
What is NASCAR's rule for single car spins and cautions? If I recall correctly, Landon Cassil spun twice Sat night, once with a caution and once without. In both he was in the grass and drove away under his own power. And the Menard spin at the end....looked to me like he stopped long enough to draw the yellow, then drove away.
It's balls and strikes. It's all about how Race Control feels about it at the time. No hard and fast rules, and I don't think there really could be. It's just a judgment call by the officials.
You've all heard of Japanese inspection? When the Japs get a load of lettuce they don't want in the country, - - they let it sit on the docks until they get ready to look at it. By then it's all gone rotten. There's nothing left to inspect. Lettuce is a perishable item, like you two monkeys. You trade paint one more time, I'll black flag the two of you. I'll take apart your race car for inspection. After you've put it back together, you can race.
I love me some Days of Thunder.
if jimmie johnson is such a great driver then how come the 2 times he's messed with kurt busch he's come out on the short end of the stick?
This also isn't a college football chat. They have their own chats for questions like that.
Oh, relax. I cover both this time of year.
Hi Ryan, a few of last years chase drivers recently missed a trip to the white house to visit the President. Do you believe their motivations political or is the life and schedule of a NASCAR Cup driver really so busy that sometimes you can't make it to the Whitehouse?
I think a driver should go, no matter what his political leanings. But I also don't think you can make them, whatever their reason. In the case of Harvick, now we know why he didn't go. That was the day that he met with KHI and told him that he was shutting everything down.
Who are your top five this weekend and a darkhorse?
How about the 24, 18, 29, 28, and 99. Darkhorses: 33, 4, 88.
Isn't this about the absolute worst time to make Jimmy Johnson mad? What is the 22 thinking? JJ is on the throttle now!
Yeah, of all the times to poke the bear with a stick...and just when he's been getting his act together on the track too.
do you have any stock tips?
Yes. Forget the stock market and watch more stock cars.
Alright folks, gotta go. About to go do a hit on Palmer and Pollack on ESPNU. If I didn't get to your question hit me up via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Twitter (@RyanMcGeeESPN). Until next Monday, tip your wait staff and be sure and take a moment to thank our friends in the military, the police force, and fire departments.