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July 9, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ryan McGee

Ryan McGee
  (2:00 PM)

What's up my fireworks ash covered brothers and sisters and welcome back to the Monday Motorsports Block Party. I'm back from vacation, tanned, not-so-rested, and sort of ready. So let's do this!

ssgrandy (All Star Fanfest)

If Carl misses the Chase and continues to run like he has thus far, do you think Roush will split he and Bob Osborne up and pair him with Jimmy Fennig for 2013?

Ryan McGee
  (2:01 PM)

Nope. They lost the championship on a tiebreaker last November. One bad year won't undo that. Two bad years? Yes.

Ryan McGee
  (2:01 PM)

It wasn't so long ago that they tried to break up that pair and it was not good.

Brian (Broadalbin, NY)

I am a big Kurt Busch fan (not many these days). If he coninues to have solid runs in the Nationwide Series and improves (stops wrecking himself) in the Spring Cup series for the next several races, any chance Pheonix Racing finds a sponsor? Also, if you had to guess, what are his chance he is racing for a bigger team next season or does he have a better chance to be with Phoenix Racing again (if they get a sponsor)? Thanks for your time.

Ryan McGee
  (2:03 PM)

I still think Phoenix is his best shot for a Cup ride in 2013. But I don't see Phoenix having any easier of a time landing a sponsor. Not with bigger teams searching. That food chain works down, not up. They will get the sponsors first and then it's a loooong way down to the 51 car. Add Kurt's reputation and that doesn't help.

Ryan McGee
  (2:04 PM)

I personally think the best route is to win in that Nationwide car and help Kyle grow it into a Cup team. But that's a long hike too.

Ron (OH)

NASCAR has become one giant commercial for all of the sponsors. Which turns me and probably other fans off. No wonder ticket revenue is down 38%. How can NASCAR tone down the commercialism of the sport? No other sport goes to these extremes.

Ryan McGee
  (2:05 PM)

It's the business model. Everything is based on sponsorship, from track to team to sanctioning body operating costs. And this isn't exactly a new approach.

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

There are multiple issues that are causing declining tickets sales. But this is the first time I've heard commercialism.

Matt (Las Vegas)

How about Johanna Long Friday night? To bad no one would work with her!

Ryan McGee
  (2:06 PM)

Cost of being a rookie. I like her. A lot. But she's super-young. Going to have to put in her dues.

Andrew (NJ)

It seems that lately there is not much manufacturer loyalty among the drivers. I know there are a couple exceptions (smoke, jr). Has it always been this way, or was it different in the past?

Ryan McGee
  (2:07 PM)

There's no doubt that brand identity was a bigger deal back in the day. I think that will return some with the new cars in 2013. But as for the drivers, they've always gone where the money is.

Ryan McGee
  (2:10 PM)

Look at a guy like Richard Petty. He's always identified with Dodge, but he jumped from Olds to Chevy to Plymouth to Ford to Pontiac...wherever he thought the cars were fastest. And whoever offered him the most money to come over!

Clint (Illinois)

Any rumblings on any additions/subtractions to the 2013 Nationwide & Truck Schedules?

Ryan McGee
  (2:11 PM)

Not yet. There's been some talk about Nationwide at Rockingham. And I've even heard that the Trucks might think about returning to the Myrtle Beach Speedway. The good news is that there seems to be a lean toward old school tracks and short tracks. I love that.

Ryan McGee
  (2:12 PM)

That starts with Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR VP of Racing Operations. He's a short track guy and the one who made the call to send the Trucks to Rockingham this year. That's awesome.

Sam (UT)

I honestly think nascar should let me call the rules. Here is what i propose for Daytona and Dega. Normal Car style used at the other tracks at the schedule with a restrict-or plate. NO tandem racing allowed, penalty stop and go on pit road. Aero draft to get ahead is fine. All plate races are non points events, this way our racers can go fast, hard and make it exciting for the fans. No disrespect to Mr. Helton or Mr. France I just do not understand why they have to make things that can be SIMPLE so COMPLICATED to solutions. Thoughts?

Ryan McGee
  (2:14 PM)

I think I like where you are headed. But the problem comes in policing those kinds of ideas. That's nearly impossible. If two cars go high to make a move, what criteria do you use to determine whether or not that's tandem racing?

Bob (TX)

What I saw Sat night was not plate racing. It was not 2 car tango or pack racing. It was follow the leader till 30 to go than wreck half the field. I used to love plate racing, but it has become garbage.

Ryan McGee
  (2:15 PM)

But this is what people were screaming for when it was 2-car tandem racing, right? Because this is pretty much what we had before.

Andrew (NJ)

Any chance that Stenhouse is in the 6 next year? Or is it definitely the 17?

Ryan McGee
  (2:16 PM)

Definitely a chance it could be the 6. The day of the announcement Roush Fenway prez Steve Newmark was very quick to say that it was to early to rule out any numbers yet.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Going to my first cup race in NH this weekend. Any food tips? Any "must see" things?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

You know what, Joe? This will be my first Loudon race in a long time. Like years. I was there at least twice a year every season back in the late '90's. I'm looking forward to getting back up there.

Greg (South Bend, IN.)

Hey Ryan, Welcome back! Thanks for the daughter power rankings. With the AJ situation. I hope it's not true. I like him. Let me get this straight. Sample "B" comes from the same sample correct? Can AJ request a new sample be taken to test?

Ryan McGee
  (2:18 PM)

Thanks Greg. And Lil Girl says hello and thanks.

Ryan McGee
  (2:20 PM)

Yes, the A and B sample are taken from the some batch. They are split up immediately on-site, then sealed, packed, and sent to the lab in Nashville. He cannot request another test. The idea being that he would have time to get rid of whatever substance was in his system at the time of the initial test.

Ryan McGee
  (2:21 PM)

This is pretty much standard operating procedure for any drug test, in sports or otherwise. It's to protect the lab and the subject in case there was some sort of issue with the first sample.

Matt (Charlotte, NC)

First, I hope this isn't the normal way NASCAR informs teams of a failed drug test, i.e. and hour before a race starts. Is there something odd about this particular instance, and Second, show how connected you are and let me know what substance AJ got busted for?

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

That's just the timetable of the testing process. It takes time. The samples are taken, packed, flown to the lab and tested. Then there is the wait for results, the delivery of the information back to NASCAR and discussions and determinations over the next move.

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

This situation holds true to the same timetable of the only other Sprint Cup driver suspension, Jeremy Mayfield in 2009. Mayfield's test took place during a Saturday night race weekend at Richmond and the suspension was announced just a few hours prior to the start of the following Saturday night's race at Darlington.

Ryan McGee
  (2:22 PM)

Allmendinger's test took place during a Saturday race weekend at Kentucky and was announced just a few hours prior to the start of the following Saturday night's race at Daytona. The only variable is the July 4th holiday in the middle of the week this year.

Kristin (NYC)

It seems like a lot of people are demanding A.J. Allmedinger be banned ASAP. But we should wait for the "B" sample (if he requests it be tested) before NASCAR suspends him indefinitely.

Ryan McGee
  (2:24 PM)

Totally agree. And this goes to why NASCAR didn't announce what he'd tested positive for. If they stood up there and said, "He tested positive for heroin" and then by some chance the test was botched, then it would be awfully hard to fix the damage done to both the driver and NASCAR.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Ryan, do you have any idea when we should expect more news about AJ's drug test? If he is indeed guilty of abusing an illegal substance is his NASCAR career pretty much over? The DUI charge was bad enough...

Ryan McGee
  (2:25 PM)

His manager has already issued a statement today that they are all shocked by the test results. The B sample test has to take place within 72 hours, so that would have to happen by roughly this time (2:30-ish) Tuesday.

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

As far as actual news, it'll be at least a few days.

Charlie (Washington State)

Ryan, What happend to that winning streak you said Gordon was going to go on!!!

Ryan McGee
  (2:26 PM)

I don't know. It's crazy how rotten his runs turn with such great cars.

Ryan McGee
  (2:27 PM)

Though you have to admire a 12th place finish considering that he wrecked about 12 times.

Teri (North Hollywood, CA)

Welcome back from vacation! As well as Matt's running, he still needs more wins to start on an even playing field in the chase (with Brad and Tony). Where are his best chances?

Ryan McGee
  (2:29 PM)

If you're a Kenseth fan then Saturday night had to feel like a giant missed chance. He's always a threat at Bristol and Michigan, so keep an eye on those. And Richmond.

Dustin (Macon, GA)

With AJ's suspension; do you see Hornish in the 22 for the rest of the year and then a Free Agent steps in or does Hornish keep the ride?

Ryan McGee
  (2:31 PM)

WAY too early to speculate. But, no offense to Sam, I would think that Pennzoil might want to go after a bigger name. I just don't know that such a guy will be out there. Logano maybe?

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

I would love to see Sam do so well he stays in that ride. He's a good guy and there's never been a ballsier oval racer in IndyCar.

Ryan McGee
  (2:32 PM)

But keep in mind that it's still Allmendinger's ride until that B sample comes back.

Chris Fiegler (Latham, NY)

Why do you suppose some fans defend Allmendinger's alledged drug use but we so quick to condem Mayfield?

Ryan McGee
  (2:35 PM)

You clearly didn't have the same Mayfield experience that I did. When I broke the meth news I had fans threatening my family. Even before that I had a guy attack me in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield because he thought I was slandering Jeremy. It took a long time for fans to turn on Mayfield and a never have and never will.

Kristin (NYC)

NH will be 2nd race. First time I have hot passes. Are there any things I should know about them?

Ryan McGee
  (2:36 PM)

1. Watch out for moving cars. 2. Stop me and say hello. I'll be the guy that looks like Johnny Benson, but wearing a necktie with jeans.

Matt (Grundy, VA)

I noticed that the top lane didn't make much progress on Saturday night. Does the rules package need tweaked a little?

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

Maybe. I think that's more of a Daytona thing. People don't realize how narrow that place is, especially compared to Talladedga.

Ryan McGee
  (2:37 PM)

I think there's a lot of hope that the new cars will fix a lot of this next year. Depending on what engineers you talk to, some agree with that and some don't. Still early yet.

Purdue Fan (Florida)

Hi Ryan,Looking at the next 4-5 races on the schedule and Smoke's past record at each of those tracks, is it not crazy to see him picking up 1 or 2 more victories and potentially locking down the #1 overall seed in the chase?

Ryan McGee
  (2:40 PM)

He has 5 wins at The Glen, 3 at Richmond, 3 at Loudon, 3 at Atlanta, 2 at Pocono, 2 at Indy...you get my drift, right? The answer is absolutely.

Teri (North Hollywood, CA)

I would think AJ wouldn't hesitate to say "yes" to the B sample submission. Why do you suppose there is a delay?

Ryan McGee
  (2:42 PM)

I don't there is. I think the process takes a while. Hornish has been announced in the 22 car because everyone knows that at the very soonest, AJ would find out the results this weekend or early next week.

Matt (ny)

Hi Ryan, I was one of the few who loved the two car tandems and was extremely disapointed when NASCAR made the rule changes to get back to pack racing. With the tandems we had over 50 lead changes. There was constant action because you couldn't sit around and do nothing or you'd be left behind by the tandems. The hilarious thing is that the people who complained about tandems are complaining about the pack! People are never happy, NASCAR just has to realize that and stick with something until it becomes the norm.

Ryan McGee
  (2:44 PM)

That's my only issue with it all. The knee-jerk reaction to everything when it comes to plate racing. Just once I'd like to go one year, let alone two or three, without any rules changes. None. If you let people think they can make you make a change by complaining all the time, then guess what? They'll complain ALL THE TIME! And I'm not just talking fans here.

Ryan McGee
  (2:45 PM)

The biggest aspect of covering this sport in the 1990's that I DO NOT miss are the weekly aero rules changes. It drove me crazy.

Rick (MI)

Ryan, A lot of fans are not crazy about seeing Austin Dillion in the 3 car. Now that they have been busted 2 weeks in a row for cheating do you think it will be harder for fans to accept him in the 3?

Ryan McGee
  (2:46 PM)

But I also think a lot of fans do like seeing it. At least that's what the folks I talk to at the track say to me.

Ryan McGee
  (2:47 PM)

And the cheating stuff, all that says to me if I am an RCR fan is that my team is pushing the envelope. You know who used to push the envelope all the time? Dale Earnhardt.

Sam (PA)

Why is AJ silent? If my career was on the line and I did nothing wrong, you would not be able to get me to stop talking!

Ryan McGee
  (2:48 PM)

There will be a time to talk. If he's innocent, he has nothing to worry about. As Mark Twain said (and I'm sure I'm paraphrasing here): "While a lie is travelling the world, the truth is just putting it's shoes on."

Mack (aka Spade Racing) (Wilmington DE)

At what point do you see the 24 team essentially "giving up" on 2012 and going into full test mode this season for 2013?

Ryan McGee
  (2:51 PM)

Not until the Chase starts without them in it. He's 17th in points, less than one race's worth of points out of 12th and has won on every track left between now and the start of the Chase.

Norman (MI)

Do you see the rock ever getting a cup race again soon?

Ryan McGee
  (2:52 PM)

No. They need to perfect what they have now - Trucks and possibly Nationwide - before they ever start Cup dreaming.

John (Illinois)

Here's my take on why the racing at Daytona is not as good as it has been in the past - tandem or no tandem... It's a one groove track now. Inside line is the only line that really works. The outside line doesn't move. So, it's follow the leader around the bottom.

Ryan McGee
  (2:54 PM)

Fair enough. But I also think there's some riding around until the end going on. When it was go-time at the end, that outside line started moving. You saw that when Kenseth and Biffle made their big push at the end.

Zach (Indiana)

If Penske is as "Loyal" as everyone says he is, do you think he'll keep AJ after all of this is over with?

Ryan McGee
  (2:54 PM)

If his test comes back negative and NASCAR lifts the suspension? Yes.

Ryan McGee
  (2:56 PM)

Something to remember here. This is the same Roger Penske who stood by Al Unser Jr. when everyone in the sport knew he had big time problems. If this turns out to be a blip for AJ, a lab mistake, then I have a hard time seeing him cut the guy loose before his time.

Ron (OH)

Do you watch the whole race without fast forwarding thru commercials? Are you telling me that 32% commercials plus countless sponsor mentions by the drivers isn't too much?

Ryan McGee
  (2:58 PM)

No, I'm saying that it is nothing new. Not even close. It was like that during the boom years, so why would be an ship-sinker now? I'm not saying that it isn't an issue at all. But I think it's way down the list.

Larry (Il)

Your top 5 picks and a dark horse for Loudon?

Ryan McGee
  (3:01 PM)

48, 24, 11, 14 and 15. Darkhorses: 31 and 56.

Ryan McGee
  (3:02 PM)

Alright folks, gotta go. See you at NHMS this weekend and see you back here next Monday. In the meantime, tip your wait staff and enjoy the music of Joe Gruschecky and the House Rockers.