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February 28, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:01 PM)

What's up folks? And welcome to a jet fuel residue-covered Tuesday edition of the Monday motorsports chat. Wonder if we can come up with anything to talk about today? (Sarcasm) Away we go!

Jay (Wooster, Ohio)

Ryan, with his second Daytona 500 win to go along with a Championship, 22 points wins, including a Coke 600, and a victory in the All-Star race, is Matt Kenseth a Hall of Famer?

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

I thought he already was. Now this just ices it. I'm a big baseball fan and I always like to compate Kenseth to a Willie McGee or a Harold Baines. When he retires we're going to go, "Whoa, he did all of THAT?!"

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Ryan-- Is it me or was the racing unspectacular, esp. in the closing laps? I'm really disappointed by the 16 in particular. He seemed pretty content to ride behind the 17 at the end. At least Montoya kept things bizarre and Jr. actually went for the win...

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

Love you Rob, but there was nothing unspectacular about it. It didn't finish upside down and on fire like the Trucks and Nationwide did, but it was upside down and on fire all night before that!

Vernie (NJ)

Did it seem like at the end Biffle was blocking Junior and NASCAR should have black flagged him to make him move out of Junior's way so Junior could have won the race?

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

I don't think he was. I think what Biff said happened is what happened. They were too close to make a run on the 17. Even if he was blocking for Kenseth, a teammate and a very close friend, then I get it. Not saying I like it, but I get it. But again, I really think he didn't have a move.

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

Honestly, Kenseth was the best car. Maybe Hamlin was better, but not at the end.

The real me (CT)

Ryan, what do you have to say about the lack of passing and the outside lane not moving? To me that was more embarasing than then JPM fire.

Ryan McGee
  (2:08 PM)

I don't think it was as much of an issue throughout the race as it became after the fire. All the guys in that high lane said that the track conditions after the fire definitely played a factor in the high groove going away. Hamlin said it felt like gravel was banging around under the cars up there.

Bart (East Bay)

Is Cole Whitt already on the hot seat for dumping Danica in the NW race especially with her very vocal bashing of him on the radio?

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

I think he would be in trouble even if she hadn't said word. I like him a lot. I think he's going to be a star and pushed hard to get him in our ESPN The Magazine NEXT issue two years ago. But he dumped her. The fact that it was her made it feel worse, but he'd be in trouble no matter who the teammate was that he wrecked.

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

Do I think he's getting fired or even on the hot seat? Nope. It's week one.

Bub (OKC)

Wouldn't Jr. have given himself a better chance to win by choosing to go with Harvick at the end instead of trying to attach to the Fords? From my perspective, Harvick was left out to dry as his teammates were glued to the bottom lane, and the best Jr. could do in his chosen scenario was first loser.

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

First, I agree that second was about as good as he was going to do. Even if Biffle had made a move and they'd gotten around Kenseth, Junior's chances of getting around Biffle too were not good.

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

Harvick just never got it going up there. He was my prerace pick and I kept waiting him to make a move but it just wasn't happening. I think it was a mix of that slower high lane plus the Fords up front were just faster. Still, the RCR cars finishing 5th-7th is a pretty nice night.

Kevin (Nevada)

Do you believe Paul Menard's top 10- finish was a fluke or will it continue?

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

If he keeps improving like he did last year I think he's a legit threat to sneak into the Chase. Not saying he will, but he can be in that mix.

Chris (Little Rock, AR)

Why do you think the fords have been so strong this year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

Well, it's just one race, but that FR9 horsepower certainly doesn't hurt.

Kevin (Nevada)

How does one get a job as a NASCAR official?

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Gotta start on the short tracks and work your way up. All of the guys on pit road and all of the guys in Race Control started in the minors and worked their way up. David Hoots is a Bowman-Gray guy, John Darby is a Rockford Speedway guy, etc.

Justin M (Boone, NC)

Do you expect a new NASCAR rule banning cell phones while cars are moving? I could see someone trying to get the first ever green-flag tweeted picture from the car

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

Not an official rule, but probably a "don't do that again" reminder. NASCAR just in the last hour said they won't be penalizing him for Tweeting during the race, which is the right call. But yes, they'll be politely suggesting not to do that again.

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

NASCAR spent the offseason really pushing social media to the teams and so far it has paid off big. You don't want to come out of the gate conradicting that.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Ryan: I know Biffle didn't close the deal last night, but are you impressed on how fast he was in all of speed weeks?

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

I was. The Roush Fenway cars were the class of the field all week.

Kb nation (Vegas)

After wrecking out many times, is Urt still having fun?l

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Man, that was a lot of wrecked cars for an underfunded team, wasn't it? Last night he was jumping in helping the team with a hacksaw. Didn't look fun to me.

Mayra (Chicago)

Since the race was postponed for so long, how long do teams have to get their equipment and cars together to head out to Phoenix?

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

It's a huge scramble that's going on right now. I was texting with truck drivers this morning and they hauled it back last night, turned it around, and are hitting the road as we speak. The PIR track schedule's been adjusted a little to help. If we'd run it this morning then they were all going to have to run a relay, having a meet-up somewhere on the highway to trade out cars instead of coming back to NC and doing it.

James (Buffalo)

Ryan, do you believe in Brian Vickers saying "But I promise you I'll be back in a car and I'm going to contend for wins, and I'm excited about it." I Don't.

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

I believe he's going to try. I'm told there are some things in the works, but I have no idea what. I do know that he had some calls from some lower tier teams but ultimately he doesn't want to return to the garage in junk.

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

He was around on Sunday, acting as tour guide for Mitt Romney.

Andrew (NJ)

Do you expect any changes to be made to either the timing of the safety trucks entering the tracks or the construction of the tanks to prevent an incident like that from happening again?

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

They've been using jet dryers since 1972 and it's never happened before. I doubt they'll do much to change it now. I'm just glad we didn't have any of the guys out of the truck picking up debris like we see so often.

Caylee (CT)

Did you know Kenseth won the 500 and Buesher won the NW race? Because all I heard was Danica Danica Danica.

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

Then that's all you wanted to hear. Yes, she got a lot of coverage, but I wrote zero words about her. I'm tied of people complaining about her. With her on the pole for Saturday's race ESPN2 set a cable record for the Nationwide Series. The numbers were up 37%, so someone wants to see her.

Mike (AZ)

Ok, so Kenseth has given the Roush organization their first Cup championship, their 300th win, their only 2 Daytona 500's and only duel win. Major milestones, and one would wonder, why do we keep talking about Carl being the pillar of this organization???

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

I never said that.

Howard (VA)

When will they announce a penalty for the 48 car? What do you expect out of it? Points? Suspension? Double Secret Probation?

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

I think it will be a fine, but no suspension. And I expect that announcement probably tomorrow.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

I'm not a conspiracy theorist per se, but watching last night with about 10 left, the only though I had was, the only thing that can make this weekend any wilder would be a Jr. win. Say he had, would this be the most memorable 500 weekend ever?

Ryan McGee
  (2:30 PM)

It would have certainly capped off the craziest ever. I had dinner with Marty Smith on Saturday night and we were like, "Dude, what would these people do if Junior won this thing tomorrow?"

Bill (Concord)

"Cole, I want you to go out there and hit the track dryer"

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

Exactly. There's already a funny photoshopped deal of Harry Hogge that's making the Twitter rounds.

Mary (Chicago)

Obviously, there was some type of material place on the burn spot last nite (kudos to the track guys). Is there any type of further repair/reconstruction necessary prior to the July race?

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

They are looking at that literally right now. I have to tell you, I am totally blown away at what that Daytona International Speedway physical plant crew pulled off. I was convinced it was a horrible mistake to restart that race and let those cars roll through there at 200 mph, but it held up great.

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

Factor that they had to fix a SAFER barrier on Thursday, a catchfence on Friday, and fought monsoon rains all day Sunday...totally amazing.

SusanR (Texas)

What's your opinion on prime-time racing? If I'm at home cool to see ... but planning on attending a race, a bit more difficult.

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

It's a tough call. The ratings were very good. FOX won the night overall, though The Voice was the #1 show. I did a lot of radio interviews yesterday and all the questions were about racing in prime time. I don't think that's a good idea for the Daytona 500, but I have long said they should run some summer races on weeknights. Hey, it's worked huge for college football in the fall.

Andy (MI)

If Jr would have been leading at the red flag, do you think they would have called it?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

No. My thoughts on Dale Junior conspiracy theories have never changed. If NASCAR really wanted him to win races, then they wouldn't have let him lose for 130 of them!

Austin McGee (MN)

What's up cuz??

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

Yo cuz.

John (CT)

Before Danica did it on Thursday, had you noticed drivers removing their hands from the steering wheel in a crash from in car cameras? She seems to be getting quite a bit of credit for this.

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Oh yeah, been going on forever, especially in open wheel racing. I do agree with DW that all the play her in-car replay received probably reminded some guys of the practice, but no, she didn't invent it.

Branden (Pittsburgh, PA)

Very scary wreck just glad Montoya is ok. Tired of reading online fans who are acting like he can't drive. It was a freak occurence but it could have happeed to anyone.

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

I agree. Something obviously broke in the car. And we are lucky he's not dead.

Riley (VA)

Am i the only one who thinks Nascar lost more fans last night?

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

Pretty much, yep.

Ron (Dalton)

Edwards still hasn't led a lap at the Daytona 500.

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

But he was on the pole for more than a week...

Jimbo F. (Tallahasse, FL)

The curse of the 25 car is alive and well at HMS, Kahne better be worried, he wrecked 3 cars in speedweeks

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

It's just one race in. And he was certainly not the only car who looked good but got wrecked.

Vader0209 (Florida)

Do you think we will see Steven Wallace racing in NASCAR this season?

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

I saw him on the grid right before the rains came down on Sunday. He says he's working on it. But I seriously doubt we'll see him in a full-time ride this year.

Andrew (NJ)

If the Sunday race gets rained out, they should not even try to start at noon Monday, just move it to 7pm ET.

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

That makes sense for folks at home, but when the teams are trying to get out west like they are this week, the earlier start is their only shot. I did give big props to NASCAR yesterday, though, for going on and making the 7 pm ET announcement early and not making us endure a jet dryer parade all day for no reason.

David (Los Angeles)

I understand that Biffle couldn't get to Kenseth's bumper, but don't you think he has to try to pull out and give it a shot...regardless of what happens?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

I do. And Biffle was pretty quick to say that himself after the race. I think he had that last lap to do over he'd do it differently.

Tim (Colorado)

Do you think the super-speedway rules package will migrate to the N/W series?

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

Yes.

Vader0209 (Florida)

Of the big teams, did Penske and SHR have the two worst 500's?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

It was an equal opportunity mess. Other than Junior, Hendrick's night was a total disaster.

ChrisC (Memphis)

Hard to tell from watching it on TV given it was night time but the number of "cheeks in seats" appeared to be much greater than I was expecting given all the delays and weather. Just how good was the at track crowd?

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

It was great. I was totally blown away. On Sunday night it was truly sad to see all the people that were having to pack up and leave, primarily the out-of-staters. Because of that I was expecting less than half a house on Monday night, but the frontstretch grandstand was packed.

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

And a lot of fans stayed even though the local hotels were gouging them. Totally shameful what those places do to fans. There are some solid operators out there, but not many. I know the Marriott where a lot of writers were staying jacked their rates up nearly triple on Monday night when they realized the race was being postponed. That's embarassing.

Tim (Colorado)

Are there any rumblings on when Chevy and Toyota will reveal their cars for next year? I know Dodge hasn't yet, but ...

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

Dodge is coming at Vegas in 2 weeks. Chevy and Toyota likely in the summer.

KB Nation (Global)

Doesn't Rowdy deserve credit for another amazing save at the end the 500 and for salvaging a top 20 right there with Stewart?

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor from what he did in the Bud Shootout.

Marty (TN)

Do you think the 2 hour delay hurt NASCAR in trying to get more fans to the sport?

Ryan McGee
  (2:49 PM)

The ratings say no. If anything it pulled a west coast audience they wouldn't have had otherwise. And judging from the chatter I've heard on all the TV and radio shows today, I'd say it was a big success.

ChrisC (Memphis)

In the EFI day and age, why user restrictor plates over just loading different settings into the engine computer?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

I asked the NASCAR Competition dept that during our preseason Q&A and they said plates were still the simplest way to resrict the engines with as much parity as possible. Hard to argue with that. Plus, you know one team (or teams) would start figuring out how to re-map the settings for an advantage. One thing about restrictor plates, not much you can do to them.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

NASCAR teams want more 2 day weekends, fans want shorter travel periods when attending races, NASCAR wants better ratings; all of this happens when we have Saturday night prime time races. Why don't we have more, at least at all of the tracks that have lights already?

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Hi, Boss. I was watching on CMT during lunch. I think we have a nice mix of Saturday night races now. Truthfully, Saturday night TV is a hard draw, and it's hard to find air time during college football season. But I like the mix we have now. And I LOVE the idea of more two-day shows.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Hi, Boss. I was watching on CMT during lunch. I think we have a nice mix of Saturday night races now. Truthfully, Saturday night TV is a hard draw, and it's hard to find air time during college football season. But I like the mix we have now. And I LOVE the idea of more two-day shows.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Hi, Boss. I was watching on CMT during lunch. I think we have a nice mix of Saturday night races now. Truthfully, Saturday night TV is a hard draw, and it's hard to find air time during college football season. But I like the mix we have now. And I LOVE the idea of more two-day shows.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Hi, Boss. I was watching on CMT during lunch. I think we have a nice mix of Saturday night races now. Truthfully, Saturday night TV is a hard draw, and it's hard to find air time during college football season. But I like the mix we have now. And I LOVE the idea of more two-day shows.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

Hi, Boss. I was watching you on CMT during lunch. I think we have a nice mix of Saturday night races now. Truthfully, Saturday night TV is a hard draw, and it's hard to find air time during college football season. But I like the mix we have now. And I LOVE the idea of more two-day shows.

SusanR (Texas)

Thoughts on what we can expect in Phoenix?

Ryan McGee
  (2:54 PM)

I think it will be a better race than what we saw at the end of 2011, simply because the new surface is broken in a little more and the teams are more familiar with the new layout. I have my eye on Dale Junior. It's been a while since he won there, but he's sneaky quick at PIR.

Octo (Moms Basement)

Ryan Newmans car control with a blown tire was way better than anything "Rowdy" did. He could have taken out half the feild

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

I agree, it was slick, but what Rowdy did in the Shootout was insanely good. And so was Jeff Gordon last night when his engine was blowing apart on fire and he calmly pulled over and motioned out the window for the field to go by him on the inside...at 195 mph!!

David (Los Angeles)

Elliott Sadler's response in car and then following up with Jimmie today is what class and humility are all about. It was a big mistake, and it took a big man to own it. Your thoughts?

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

I agree. The wreck wasn't even over yet and he was already on the radio apologizing. Doesn't excuse the gigantic mistake he made, but he did man up and face the music.

Corey (MS)

Who do you think takes Kurt Busch's spot in the chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

I like AJ Allmendinger in Kurt's old car. And I expect Kahne to make it too.

Ron (Dalton)

They lost more east coast fans than they gained in west coast fans because of how late it went.

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

The TV ratings say otherwise.

Evan ((PA))

Do you think Jimmie Johnson can make a comeback after that crash?

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Yes. It's just one race!! I remember Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart both finishing last (or close to last) in the 500 and coming back to win the Cup. WAY too early to worry about that.

Bill (Concord)

I know RFR impressed the most during Speedweeks, but what team had the biggest letdown?

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Hendrick. 3 out of 4 cars had brutal nights.

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

Alright folks, I gotta go. Go check out NASCAR Now, which just started on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. As always, tip your wait staff, enjoy the music of Palmetto Soul, and give a Happy Birthday shoutout to Mario (and Aldo) Andretti!