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June 25, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:02 PM)

What's up my mashed grape juice covered brothers and sisters and welcome to the Monday Motorsports Block Party. I have brats on the grill and it's time to talk racing. To the queries!

Michael (Flower Mound)

Hey McGee, told ya Piquet would win Saturday! How impressed were you by his performance?

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

You did indeed. And he was my pick too. I am continually impressed with the guy and I have really been surprised by his willingness to really work at this NASCAR thing. He has really taken to the Trucks and Nationwide and is thoroughly enjoying himself. There's been no "F1 attitude" from him at all.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

In a realated note I was listening to my buds Pistone and Bagley the SiriusXM NASCAR channel this morning and was stunned at how many callers were complaining about Nelson flying the Brazilian flag after his win. Really? Aren't we a little past all that now? Wouldn't we applaud an American NASCAR driver for doing the same if he won a race in Montreal or Mexico City or Japan?

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

That reaction totally caught me off guard.

JR (Denver)

What's up with Logano spinning Truex on the last lap? He seems to be getting more aggressive since he moved Mark Martin a few weeks ago.

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

JoLo had a top 10, but he chose a helluva hard way to get there. He also turned his teammate Denny Hamlin, and nearly took out both of his teammates in the process!

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

I don't blame Joey for pushing the envelope. He's still fighting to keep his job. But it's a hard way to make a living having to go an apologize to a bunch of guys as soon as the race is over, which he says he did.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

Ya know, as good as Danica was doing in Elkhart Lake, some team should pick her up as a "ringer" for their cup car in Watkins Glenn. She was doing real good until she got punched in the rear on the last lap. Thought she said she didn't like road courses.

Ryan McGee
  (2:09 PM)

It's funny how that changes, right? Road courses certainly weren't her strong suit in IndyCar. Not even close. But I thought it was really obvious just listening to her talk about her car at Elkhart Lake how much more comfortable she was communicating what her stock car was doing on a road course than she ever is on an oval.

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

Her background is in karts and the European lower level series, so she has a ton of road racing experience. I'm like you. I'd like to see her at The Glen to see what she can do. And the recent record of bigger name road course "ringers" certainly doesn't seem like they are worth the investment for team owners like they used to be.

Matt Clark (Ft. Lauderdale)

Hey McGee and enjoy your chats! (Good call on Bowyer-- I admire your restraint from picking DE Jr. ha)I was really impressed with how Bowyer and Kurt Busch raced each other-- Bowyer for running his line and Kurt not impatiently tearing up both of their cars. Next year aside, how do you like Kurt's chances finishing the season with the #51 program? Also, did Finch find Kurt's comments calling the a program a "third rate budget" offensive?

Ryan McGee
  (2:12 PM)

First, the comment was offensive because it's the truth. He's made no bones about that all year, which is in line with what James Finch and the team execs like Barkdoll have been saying all year. That's also a way to let any potential sponsors watching know they need help.

Ryan McGee
  (2:13 PM)

Second, I think he will finish the season with the 51. Clearly Finch is willing to put up with whatever Kurt might do and there's really nowhere else for him to go. There'd been speculation that he might leave for somewhere else before season's end, but I don't hear any of that now.

Rich (NYC) [via mobile]

Hey Ryan. I actually enjoy watching the road courses but I was disappointed in the race yesterday. Other then the battle between the 15 & 51 near the end it was rather boring. That long green-flag run to start the race was bad. Why was it so different with much less beating/banging then usual? Any thoughts on it? Thanks for the chat btw!

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

I think they just got strung out at the start. But there was more beating and banging just in the last few laps than we see at any other track not called Martinsville.

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

It reminded a lot of the Watkins Glen race last August. Because of the threat of rain everyone held tight for a while. But once we got near the end all hades broke loose.

Craig (San Jose, CA)

How much will the new sway bar rule affect teams? Sounds like it was a big reason why HMS cars have been on fire lately? Will they be the most affected?

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Talking to some crew chiefs, they think there will be some changes, but nothing Earth-shattering. And yes, the non-Hendrick crew chiefs think it might help them close the gap a little.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Ryan all I have to say is Fernando Alonso is THE MAN. Would love to see him one day in NASCAR. Also, any update on the Stenhouse to the 6 in Cup or Kenseth's status with RFR next year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

He is pretty good, isn't he?! As for Kenseth, there are rumors out there, but he's got it on lockdown as far as giving any hints. I liken it to Carl's situation one year ago. He definitely needs to look around, but like Carl, it has to be next to impossible to think about leaving when you're having the kind of year that Matt is.

Ryan McGee
  (2:19 PM)

As for Stenhouse, if the money was there I think he'd be in that 6 car for sure. But RFR continues to stuggle to find sponsorship for all of its existing cars, let alone one that has been shelved.

Dave (Oh)

Am I crazy in thinking that 24 still has a shot to get in top 10 in points? Hes only 72pts away from 10th, and theres a lot of good tracks for him in these next 10.And hes capable of out running most of the guys ahead of him

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

You're not crazy, but I can tell you two things. 1. It's not so much about the points (basically a race and a half) it's about the guys ahead of him. It's a lot of people to have to leapfrog. Running better won't do it. He has to run perfect and hope those guys all have disasters.

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

Take Kyle Busch for example. Even with two blown engines and a wreck, Gordon hasn't made up much ground despite the fact that he's posted back-to-back top 10's. He has to win races. Multiple races. And he's the first to admit it.

Ryan McGee
  (2:23 PM)

2. Well, actually I think I just used up both of my points in #1...

Turk (Mich.)

Jimmie and Jeff used the set up Kurt gave them to score top 10's and I wondered if you knew why Kurt's setup notes didn't help Jr's#88?

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

Just handing someone a set-up doesn't mean it will automatically work. Jeff and Jimmie proved that when they working out of the same shop. You're talking about three guys who are proven winners on road courses vs. a guy who has never won a Cup race on a road course.

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

Keep in mind too that Dale Jr. was going to get out of there with a top 15 if not for that late issue.

Andy (Iowa)

Kurt never said third rate budget. He said one third budget. Big Difference.

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

Either way, he's been preaching "we're poor" all year. No matter how he phrased it, no one within Finch's shop would have taken offense.

Kristin (NYC)

Should people leave now if they are heading to Kentucky this weekend?

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

I was talking to some of the Kentucky Speedway execs during Charlotte Speedweek and they said it is really amazing how much better everything is this year.

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

But yeah, leave early...really early...just in case.

scott (denton,tx)

nascar on speed where talking about maybe they should add a road course in the chase this past weekand i think they should not add a road course in the chase that my opinion do you think they should add oune in the chase i think they should what is your opinion your thoughts on that......

Ryan McGee
  (2:28 PM)

I have always said yes. The beauty of being a NASCAR champ is that it proves beyond a shadow of doubt how well-rounded a driver is. They have to run well on all sorts of different style tracks. If the Chase is going to be a true representative of the "regular season" then it should include a road course.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

People try to tell me it is too much of a wild card. Well, is it anymore of a wild card than Talladega? Not a chance.

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

There's an awfully nice facility being built down in Austin, TX...

Jeff (Maryland)

Ryan,Has JTG signed B. Labonte for the 2013 season?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

To my knowledge he's inked just through this year, but let me check with Big Brad on that.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Do you think NASCAR should move the Homestead race to Sat. night so it doesn't conflict with our country's US GP?

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

No. And I have always thought it a bit a jerk move by Bernie to schedule the USGP for that weekend. But it's typical for him. It will give him the "America doesn't love" ammo he always craves when the majority of the US motorsports media is in South Florida and not Austin.

Ryan McGee
  (2:34 PM)

It's totally unfair to the people who run the track in Austin.

Dookie (Miami)

So how about Brian Vickers yesterday? Ran through the field, got a speeding penalty, ran back through the field and got a 4th. What is it gonna take to get him in a car more often!?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

He's getting very close to a deal for 2013. I think MWR would love to get him into a car full-time. I know Toyota would like him back in the fold.

Alan (MD)

I feel that a majority of fans want a road course in the chase but it seems like it never happan anytime soon. Does it look like the NASCAR inner circle is completlely against the idea?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Not really. Mike Helton had said to me that they like their current Chase track lineup but he isn't opposed to looking into a road course in the postseason. The problem they always cite is that the schedule is too packed to make any moves right now.

Ryan McGee
  (2:38 PM)

And you'd be cutting it a little close on weather at both Sonoma and Watkins Glen to just slide them into the fall.

Dee (Vegas)

Kurt Busch back in the 51 again next year? I'm not seeing where else he could go other than possibly Stewart-Haas if Newman has to leave.

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

I've said before that I think his only real Cup opportunities would be where he is now or if Kyle fields a Cup car. Both are dicey at best.

Jeff (Charlotte, NC)

Ryan! Saw you on TV this past weekend talking about track athlete Lolo Jones. What sport don't you cover???

Ryan McGee
  (2:39 PM)

LoLo Jones on ESPNU! I go wherever they send me, brother. Job security!

Tony (Atlanta)

I've read before where Roush has said Kenseth has a spot there as long as he wants it, despite the sponsorship woes. But, then you hear rumors about where he might end up next year, such as with Penske. If he can't find sponsorship while leading the points at Roush, is there any hope of him finding it anywhere else?

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

One thing to keep in mind - and I've had several team execs tell me this while I've been hammering Roush for not finding $ for guys like Stenhouse and Bayne - is that this isn't just a Roush Fenway problem. It's a garage-wide issue. Even teams like Hendrick and RCR are using the split-season sponsor model now. And for some big names.

Ryan McGee
  (2:41 PM)

All that being said, again, I would shocked if Kenseth left.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

What's wrong with Jr? He hasn't won since June 17. Time to bing in Knauss?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

I know, right?

Lucas (Tennessee)

How do you think Earnhardt will run at Kentucky? I know he didn't finish well last year, but he had tire issues in the race.

Ryan McGee
  (2:43 PM)

As I was writing this week's Power Rankings, the Kentucky deal really threw me a curveball. With only one Cup race to draw from, it's too small a sample of data to try and speculate how someone might do.

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

You're right about last year. Wasn't his fault. It was tires. So take a look at other 1.5-mile ovals this year and use that as your baseline. If you do that, I'd expect at least a top 10.

Greg (Topeka)

Do you think they're moving Danica to Cup entirely too fast? My concern for her is that she'll likely run consistently int he 20-30 range, and she'll fall into the Scott Speed trap of not getting results and be dried up in Cup within 4-5 years.

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

I do. I've said that all along. This is her first full-time year in stock cars...and she's going to Cup next year?? In the end, it's powered more by sponsor money than good racing sense. I think she has a chance to be good. But we said that about so many young guys during the "Young Gun" craze who had their potential totally toasted by exactly what you're talking about. And now they're all either in second-rate rides or completely gone.

Greg (South Bend, IN.)

Hey Ryan! Isn't about time for a daughter power rankings?

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

Good call. Summer's here, so I'll put her to work!

Phil (Farmville, Va.)

Will the college baseball season end tonight? SC hasn't been tested this much in a long time. And what are your thoughts on the umpiring in the last few games?

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

I think we'll go to a third game. Hard to bet against Mr. Roth in this situation. Arizona has been my pick since before the CWS started, but even as good as they are, it'll be hard to fend off Carolina's "been there done that" factor over the next two nights.

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

As for the umps, it's not been a good final couple of laps for them.

Luke (Wisconsin)

The Chase races were never selected as playoff races...the last 10 of the year were just appointed. It would be cool if five tracks were always in the Chase, but then five rotated every year so every track on the circuit would get a Chase race every few years or so. You'd have to think that would help the smaller markets right? Any chance of that ever happening?

Ryan McGee
  (2:50 PM)

The problem is logistics. Tracks want to know their upcoming dates as soon as possible. And history says that moving dates, even just a week or two, really messes with that region's rhythm. The folks at Dover learned that when their annual first weekend of June date was moved to mid-May. It messed with their fans' routine.

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

So yes, on paper rotating races is a great idea. But it's not that easy.

Ryan (NE)

Do you think we'll see guys like Paul Tracy and Tomas Scheckter back in IndyCar next season when teams have a few more cars to spare, potentially?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

Maybe. PT had trouble landing rides when there plenty of cars, so I don't know.

john (missoula mt)

why does it you 3 or 4 answers for one ?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

Do...

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

...what...

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

...now?

Jim (Bayala)

I feel that Rowdy's bad luck is just destroying his season and wondered if Coach might make a crew chief change to shake things up on the #18 team?

Ryan McGee
  (2:53 PM)

No, that's not the problem. Blown engines and spinning out have nothing to do with who is on the pit box. If the problems were pit stops and set-ups then maybe. But they just need to ride it out like the 5 and 24 have.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

I respect Dale Junebug for admitting that he's not a very good road racer and realizing his limitations as a racer but wondered if you think that defeatist, negative attitude is why he will never win the cup championship? Thank you.

Ryan McGee
  (2:54 PM)

No. And that's how it said that. At all. He was just being honest about his road racing ability. But if you really tracked him on Sunday and saw how hard he was working, there's nothing wrong with his attitude.

Chris Fiegler (Latham, NY)

Do you think World Champ Jack Villenueve might be running the Penske #22 in both cup and NW next year?

Ryan McGee
  (2:55 PM)

No. But if he does he better install airbags all over the rollcage because there's going to be a long line of people waiting to implement some payback.

Greg (California)

Montoya may have the worst team in NASCAR. Literally everything that could've ruined his chances happened yesterday. When will people realize that the problem with Gannassi isn't the drivers, but the equipment and engine builders?

Ryan McGee
  (2:57 PM)

The only problem with that theory is that over time, as they keep changing everything within the team - crew chiefs, management, pit crew, car construction, etc. - there's one constant. That's the drivers. Not saying that's fair. Just saying what it is going to look like if they keep overhauling but the results stay the same.

Chris (Hudson,NC)

When JG ran out of gas was that his fault for not saving enough or did the crew not get enough in the tank?

Ryan McGee
  (2:59 PM)

They had a miscalculation. Wasn't a big one. But it was enough to dig a big hole. But give a Barney Hall call to Gordon for both making it all the way around and getting to the pits without causing a mess and also digging his way back into the top 10.

Carl (Florida)

What track do you love being at the most?

Ryan McGee
  (3:00 PM)

Wherever I am at the time. I love my job.

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

Alright folks. Gotta go. Won't be here next week, but will be back in the chat saddle Monday, July 9. In the meantime, tip the wait staff and enjoy the music of The Mavericks.