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March 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

What's up my desert dust covered brother and sisters and welcome back to the Monday Motorsports Block Party. Let's get to the queries...

Clint (Dallas)

Do you know when Travis Pastrana will make his Nationwide Debut?

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

The plan is Richmond on April 27. He was at Bristol testing just last week for the K&N East race there on March 17. He's also slated for K

Ryan (Ventura CA)

Chevy still plain on using the Mali for their next gen car? To me I see the cruze as a cup car.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

Looks like it, yes.

Quentin (Iowa)

Ryan, after yesterday's performance from Dale Junior should Junior Nation be concerned and why or why not? Thanks!

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

I think they should be encouraged. They took an absolute sled of a car and somehow got it into the top 15. Two years ago that team simply wasn't capable of salvaging bad days like that.

KB Nation (Global)

Did NASCAR warn the #29 team about dirty driving when Harvick couldn't pass Rowdy and was getting frustrated?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

No. Those guys were racing around each other just about all day without incident. Too early for that stuff.

Ryan (real one) (Ventura, Ca.)

I was really impressed with the runs of Kurt and Regan Smith and wondered if they are proving that small, single car teams can compete with the multi-car teams?

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

And you can throw Bobby Labonte into that mix as well. I think that there's a level of party NASCAR has reached that it has never had before. The numbers play that out. The little guys still can't compete with the big teams over the length of a season, but short term they certainly are much better than they have in a while. Like ever.

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

I am totally impressed with what Furniture Row has done over the last two years. Don't be surprised to see them make a move to two cars in the not so distant future.

Les (NJ)

Hi Ryan, with all 3 JGR Toyota's in the top 10 do you think the engine problems that plagued the team last season are over?

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

I'm not ready to completely say their engine woes are gone. But after two weeks with the TRD engines out of California there's no doubt that there has already been less griping from the JGR drivers than we've had after just two races in past seasons.

Joe (PA)

What happened to Marc Davis?

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

He's trying to get a deal together. Last time I saw him was in the Nationwide Series race at Dover last fall. But he's fighting to come up with funding to get back out there. There's no doubt the death of his father, also his team owner, was a huge setback. Harry was a good man and a lot of people are pulling for Marc.

Andy C (Indiana)

Has NASCAR given any consideration to including "chase points" penalties in addition to "pre-chase points" penalties? If Jimmie makes the chase, the points reset that occurs will essentially wipe out his penalty. Seems like this might make teams think a little bit more carefully about bending/breaking the rules.

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

They haven't and I'd be surprised if they did. I totally get where you're coming from, but I think the hole they have to climb out of (assuming the penalties are upheld) is punishment enough.

Saul (San Diego)

Is having your team headquartered in Denver a true disadvantage.

Ryan McGee
  (2:17 PM)

You know, I always assumed it would be, but so far Furniture Row is proving people wrong. I think logistics are bit of a hassle for them, but other than that they make it work. It blows me away because I've always had teams like Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott when he was a team owner say they compete being so far from Charlotte...and they were in Stuart, VA and Hickory, NC!

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

The key for Furniture Row is the management team. There is some serious firepower they have in the front office. They convinced those guys to move to Colorado and it's paid off.

Aron (Farmers Branch, Tx)

Are the fords the ones tp beat this week in vegas?

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

I think so, though we won't know until we see some practice. If Carl Edwards can replicate his ridiculous numbers on 1.5-mile ovals from last year then look out. His average finish on 1.5-milers last year - the most tracks on the schedule - was something like 6.6. That's crazy good.

Saul (San Diego)

Curse of the 25. I wondering if the Curse of the 25 has left the 88 and has moved to the 5.

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

I've never called it the Curse of the 25. To me it's always been the Curse of the 4th Car. Roush, Hendrick, RCR...you name the team and they've always had a hard time keeping the 4th car up to speed. At HMS it's been the 25 or 5 car most of that time.

Kyle (Boston)

Great to see Denny and Darian jell so quickly. If the early returns are this good, are they a title threat?

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

No question about it. Though I always say get me to April before I am totally ready to declare someone is for real. Or even May. I always go back to 2009 when Matt Kenseth opened the year with two wins and then missed the Chase for the only time in his career.

Joe (Nashville)

Will you answer an IndyCar question? Does the return of Chevy mean anything to any fan outside of the boxcar league?

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

I think it certainly doesn't hurt. There's no doubt that IndyCar, particularly the 500, has missed the Chevy presence.

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

Speaking of which, do you need any greater indicator of how respected Roger Penske is than the fact that Ford doesn't care that he's running Chevys in IndyCar and Chevy doesn't care that he's running Fords in NASCAR?

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

Speaking of which, do you need any greater indicator of how respected Roger Penske is than the fact that Ford doesn't care that he's running Chevys in IndyCar and Chevy doesn't care that he's running Fords in NASCAR?

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

I am guessing that Danica & ESPN crew that was there for the Indycar finale to Las Vegas is going to be very emotional on returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway since the accident to DW.

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

It's going to be hard, no doubt. I get out there Thursday and I might go on out the track while it's quiet and kind of deal with it personally to get my head clear.

Ron (Creston)

I see Kyle doesn't dominate NW when he isn't in a JGR car.

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

Little early to write him off yet.

Vince (Akron)

Nothing but doom and gloom coming out of the Ferrari camp, and the F1 season hasn't even started. Should Ferrari fans be concerned?

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

Yes. They feel totally lost to me. It has been a long time since Ferrari has gotten behind and feels more like a "react to" team than a trend-setter. Feels like they might be there again. But we'll see. As any F1 fan knows, it only takes two races to figure out who is going to be up front all year.

Kyle (Boston)

Just saw on twitter that Sadler 5-race deal at MWR is officially squashed. Is this a case of Chevy stepping in at the 11th hour? Since Mark is top ten in pts do you see him running those races or someone like Vickers?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

Yeah, that MWR deal never felt like it was going to work to me. RCR is such a Chevy stronghold. No way that deal was going to be approved.

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

My money would be on Vickers to jump in for those five races.

Joe (Nashville)

What circuit not on the schedule would you like to see, and which race would you give up to get it?

Ryan McGee
  (2:33 PM)

My heart says Rockingham (by the way, i'll be down there Tuesday reporting for NASCAR Now). But my head says Iowa. I would love to see Iowa get a Cup race. Been saying that for years.

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

As far as who would have to lose a race...I honestly don't want anyone to. But for a new track to land a Cup race they'd need to buy it. And the only tracks out there not owned by ISC or SMI are Dover and Pocono.

Ron (Creston)

Your prediction on the Knaus appeal?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

I think nothing will change. I think HMS will lose the first attempt, protest, take to the next level, and likely lose there too. There's a message that's being sent here. The appeals board isn't going to undercut NASCAR on something like that.

Submarine Mike (Jacksonville Fl)

I heard a rumor that Darien Grubb "told" on teh 48 team about the C-posts. Have you heard anything like that

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Not specifically Grubb, but the whipsers in the garage are definitely that someone gave inspectors a "hint". Those whispers are fueled by the fact that it was an "eyeball" penalty, not something that was caught via templates.

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

And that's why I call the garage the world's only traveling high school. More rumors and he said/she said than Saved By The Bell.

Jordan (Lubbock, Texas)

Howdy Ryan. You know, maybe Mark Martin should reconsider that whole "part-time' thing. Seems every time he goes to a new team, he rocks it that first season.

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed in the car. But keep in mind when he was running for DEI in the US Army car he came to Bristol either as the points leader or close to it (my memory's a little foggy) and still stuck to his plan and sat it out.

Joe (Nashville)

Dallara's DW 12 or many of F1's 2012 chassis' - which is uglier, and has there been an "uglier" version of race cars in some time?

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

I HATE these stairstep noses on the F1 cars. They look like Owen Wilson's nose, not a racecar nose.

Bryan (Pacific NW)

Do you think RPM renews w/Ford (hopefully) or are enticed by Dodge to come back?

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

This is an curious case to me. It's no secret that Richard Petty has been very bitter about how he felt Dodge treated his team (then Petty Enterprises) when they were part of the first group to bring Dodge back in '01. Because of that and also because of RPM's super-involved dependence on Roush Fenway, a Dodge move would surprise me. Heck, RPM's shop is literally surrounded by the RFR buildings!

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

Then again, that might be why he would leave.

Turk (Mich.)

Harvick said the EFI reduced the fuel flow so the engine would make it to the end. Isn't that kind of engine management totally against NASCAR principles?

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

Not really. Hoenstly, it saved Harvick's day. With a carburetor it would have just shut down and he would finished back 18th instead of 2nd. At the end of the day, these cars can't be using 1950's technology. They just can't.

Branden (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ryan I am enocuraged by the run from the 42 team yesterday. They took a potential bad day and salvaged a top 11 finish. Do you think Chris Heroy will be the crew cheif to get the most out of Juan in his Nascar career? He sounds so calm and in control on the radio.

Ryan McGee
  (2:45 PM)

I like Heroy a lot and judging by the radio chatter Juan does too. Certainly can't get any worse than it did last year.

John Cena (Daytona Beach, FL)

Is Carl ever going to let me qualify his car?

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

That would be awesome.

Dillon (Smyrna, Tenn)

Hi, Ryan! With the announcement of Penske going to Ford next year, my first question is will this mean that there will be two Ford engine programs, and my second is where do u think Dodge lands, EGR or RPM?

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

I think Penske will absolutely do his own engines. History says that's how he does it. Always. And no way he's going to be an order-placer with Roush Yates.

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

And the problem with EGR doing a Dodge move is that they still have Earnhardt in the name. If Chip wants to move to Dodge, he's going to have to convince Teresa first.

Geri (Canada)

Ryan, whose your champion in AMA Supercross now that Chad Reed is gone for the season - Villipoto or Dungey?

Ryan McGee
  (2:49 PM)

Still early, but Villopoto is my pick right now. Either way, I'm a winner because I root for all Ryans.

Kenny (McMinnville, TN)

Hey, McGee, i heard during Nationwide prerace, that during the week, not after the Daytona race, but during the week Cole Whitt approached Danica and apologized and she gave him a tongue lasthing and told him to give her room in the future. Who does she think she is, a veteran? If she makes a mistake, and she will, she needs to show understanding that she'll hope to get in return when she screws up! Have no respect for her and am now pulling for her to fail!

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

Yes, they talked. Yes, she let him have it. No, I don't see anything wrong with that. I like Cole a lot. I picked him for our ESPN The Magazine NEXT issue last year. But that was a bad move he made at Daytona.

Matt (Phoenix)

They need to stop that racing across the flat of the back crap.... PIR needs to push that wall out and increase the infield atmosphere.

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

Yeah, I hated that. Don't be surprised if we see orange cones lined up back there in the fall.

Saul (San Diego)

Watching the documentary on Ayrton Senna, I was wondering how he would be able to translate his skills to NASCAR. What do you think.

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

First, what a ripoff that rules loopholes kept that film from earning an Oscar nomination. Second, Senna could drive anything with wheels. He would have done just fine in stock cars. But during his era, that was like asking someone to move from Brazil to the moon.

Larry (Il)

5 drivers for Vegas and a darkhorse

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

Give me Carl, Dale Jr, Hamlin, Harvick, and Biffle.

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

For darkhorses I'll take Burton, Ambrose, and Logano.

Lee (Ohio) [via mobile]

Any grain of truth about a 5th (4th?) manufacturer or just a rumor making its annual rounds?

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

I asked this question of the NASCAR Competition Dept. brass during the winter and they said they are always open to listen, but didn't expect to be adding anyone right now.

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

Hey, they need to be worried about helping Dodge stick around first!

Frank (Kingston Pa)

While they should expect growing pains with the EFI what was the biggest lessons learned from yesterday?

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

How to handle fuel conservation situations. All these guys have made long fuel runs during off-season testing, but that was largely alone on the track. Now they have to figure out exactly how far they can push it and how much drivers can feather the throttle while they are actually in race conditions.

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

It won't take long.

Ed (Fort Worth)

Yo, McGee! I appreciate Nascar's effort to try to make track personnel safe, but it seems like the addition of another pacecar behind the last dryer is silly. I know JPM has had more than his fair share of wrecks, but that was just a freak accident. My fear is if something similar like that were to happen in the future, and the stock car hits a pace car, it could be even worse. A truck is higher up off the ground, cars are lower, different weight, etc. What do you think?

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

I get the idea behind the move, but it does feel like an overreation. It's been interesting hearing the reaction from people in other racing series. They can't believe that the jet dryer would even be out there with racecars in the first place.

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

The big thing is that the truck drivers now how to have to wear a helmet and firesuit. How in the world that wasn't already required is beyond me.

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

Alright folks, gotta go. NASCAR Now is on ESPN2 and Watch ESPN right now! Keep an eye out for me on the show Tuesday from Rockingham and Wednesday when Marty Smith and I unveil Twitter Wednesdays!

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

Until then, tip the wait staff and enjoy the music of Stryper.