What's up my smoke and oil-covered brothers and sisters (which is totally true if you worked for Hendrick Motorsports over the weekend) and welcome to the intermittent Monday Motorsports Block Party. To the queries!
Ryan, clouding a great win for the 16 team, is Carl Edwards saying "He ain't a teammate". That doesn't sound like 'day ending frustration'...that sounds like season long frustration with each other. Should we be reading into that statement? Is there a problem with the Roush boys?
Nothing that the Monday competition meeting can't fix. Basically, Edwards had a piece of trash on his grill that was really taking away speed. He thought Biffle should help him out and suck that trash off via aero. But Biffle was afraid if he did that, it would open the door for the on-rushing Jimmie Johnson.
Edwards was rightfully frustrated, but I think Biffle was also justified. Carl's comments were pointed, but as you note, in the heat of the race.
The relationship between Biffle and Edwards has never been glowing (think back to what side Greg took during Car's feud with Kenseth a few years back). But again, this is nothing a Jack Roush-led chat can't fix.
Why are people acting like HMS had a terrible Mich. race when both Danica and Stewart scored top 13's?
1. Hendrick fields four cars. All were capable of winning and none finished higher than 28th. 2. Danica and Tony don't drive for Hendrick. They use Hendrick stuff, but no points, cash, or trophies go back to Hendrick. They are affiliates, not teammates. Big difference.
McGee- Loving the new podcast with Marty Smith. How do you think JR & the 88 respond from the blown engine, and how was JR able to stay so calm in his post race interview? I would've been madder than hell blowing an engine with a lead like that.
Thanks! We're having a good time with it. The Marty and McGee Motorsports and Music Extravaganza drops usually on Tuesday afternoons. We've done four now and like where it's headed...but we need race fans to download it so they'll let us keep doing it!
I think the 88 team will be fine, despite a couple of blown engines in four races. The reason that Dale was able to stay so calm is the same reason I think the whole team will rebound just fine. They know how good they are. They know they are a weekly top ten finisher, so they know they aren't going to fall apart like you might have expected just a few years ago when he was finishing 20-plus in points.
Plus, it's June. No need to panic in June. Now if this is still happening in late July, then you'll see more stress.
Do you expect Kesolowski to apologize to Mr. Hendrick and Coach Gibbs for his inappropriate, misinformed, insulting comments about HMS and JGR?
No. Maybe. Brad has said things he regretted before and has always owned them, good or bad. He did it earlier this year. But I still maintain that I'd rather have a guy who speaks his mind, who shows some passion by shooting from the hip, than being boring and mute.
"He looks young. What grade is he in?" I laughed for a good 5 minutes on that one. Luv when your daughters helps you out.
Thanks. She gets fired up for the annual Fathers Day edition of the Power Rankings. I think I started doing them when she was five. The answers are smarter now, but no less entertaining.
Danica finished 13th. Not bad. Of course if HMS didn't have such a tragic run of luck she would have been 17th, but still, not bad.
I think she'll take decent finishes however she can get them.
Did Dale try to snooker Jimmie on that restart so #48 would jump the start and get penalized like at Dover?
No. He straight up spun his tires. But there's no question that Jimmie's overreaction was stemmed from the Dover deal. That restart really still bothers him. I thought it was out of character for him to carry on about it over the radio like he did on Sunday, sending a message up to NASCAR. His spotter, Earl Barban, had to reel him back in and tell to him to focus ahead. That's unusual for the 48 team, but it was a great job by Earl.
Is there any hope for denny to make the chase
Nope. It's officially over.
Austin Dillon sounded a bit fed up with the cup guys ruining NW regulars days (Logano). We agree with him. Tell Logano and Kyle to go race cup
It's always been and always will be a devisive issue. I still say the answer is a cap on races Cup regs can run in the lower divisions. Put it at ten and let's get on with our lives.
Junior was calm because he's apathetic. He doesn't need to win everything to keep his sponsors and popularity. He's the Cubs of NASCAR.
You couldn't be more wrong about his attitude.
I respect the term "teammate" in racing. But lets face it, the only thing behind the meaning is you race for the same owner; on the track, it's every man & woman for themselves.
Yep. Teammates are teammates only up to a point.
Does the media just like to get Brad going or something? Its well known that teams steal other teams guys. Brad just has the gumption to actually admit it. That's why hes my driver. He speaks his mind.
I Tweeted this on Friday and I still believe it. I want Brad to quiet down about as much as I want to be kicked in the shins. (I'm @ESPNMcGee, by the way.) As for media getting him going, we don't have to do much. In fact, we don't have to do anything. We just ask a question and he takes it where he wants to go, even if it has nothing to do with the question. And that happens often.
Another quiet Top 10 for the world's quietest 3rd place driver. When is Clint going to start generating championship buzz?
He's gotta start winning races.
Love your eclectic coverage of NASCAR and college sports! With your ties to the South Atlantic Conference, I thought you might want to know that Front Row Motorsports announced Carson-Newman will be on the hood of Josh Wise's car at Bristol in August.
Thanks! I saw that about FRW and Carson Newman. That's very cool for both. My family's had SAC schools as long as I can remember, going back to the old Carolinas Conference. Dad was a ref in the earliest days of the SAC-8 and he's been president at Wingate University since '91.
KK's freefall from 2nd to 12th....one, is he going to be in danger of not making the Chase and two, how can this much bad luck be associated with one driver without realizing there must be something wrong with the way he drives?
History says that Kasey always has one head-scratching stretch of the season. We've seen it at the start (last year), at the end, and in the middle. This year it just happens to be in May and June, which some years has been his hottest time of the year.
As for his driving style, I think he's won enough that it's kinda hard to question, though he can be hell on tires. But bad luck is just bad luck.
I missed it,but what happened to Kurt?
Car broke loose and he wrecked. I feel like his Chase chances really hinge on the next few weekends. He can win at Sonoma and he can win at Daytona because they are kind team-neutralizing tracks. In other word, resource and pit crew deficiencies don't hurt him as much. But if he doesn't grab a couple of wins and soon, the wild card hunt is going to run off and leave him.
Is the clean air advantage the same on Gen 6 as it was on the COT? Or still too early for conclusions?
A little too early to declare it completely, but it's definitely good to be up front in the clean stuff. Here's the thing, though, I don't think we're ever going to race again when clean air on big tracks isn't an advantage. Not unless we go back to racing box-shaped 1967 Plymouth Belvederes. But even then, being out front was better.
Hi Ryan! Jimmie was really pushing to win yesterday, which cost him 2nd place. I don't blame him for trying to win, but does the drop in points from 2nd to 20 something really hurt him in the standings? He could have widened his lead. Was it an expensive gamble? Thanks!
Nah. The great thing about being atop the standings in June, especially with as big of a lead as he's had, is that you can swing for the fences like that.
If the NASCAR Truck Series Race goes well with the dirt race at Eldora, can you see the Nationwide and/or the Sprint Cup series racing on dirt in the next few years as well?
No. I would love to see it. I've said for years I want to see Cup cars at a place like Springfield or, what the heck, Churchill Downs! But I think this feels like a Trucks-only thing. I have no problem with that. I've always felt that series has done it's best work when it acts like the short track/old school series. Going to markets that likely won't ever see a Cup race and going to classic tracks like Rockingham.
Have you heard of any discussions on changes NASCAR wants to GEN 6? or are they happy for now?
All good right now. Teams are still working on some balance stuff, but I think everyone is very happy the racing. Places like Pocono and Michigan are never going to provide hours of side-by-side, but at other places like Vegas and California we've seen some of the best racing we've ever had there.
And I know that higher speeds don't translate into good racing, but it has been fun seeing these guys really drop the hammer in qualifying. It's the first time in years that pole qualifying has been compelling.
In light of the Jason Leffler tragedy do you think NASCAR needs a rule prohibiting our drivers from competiting in non-NASCAR races?
You know, we're tackling this question in tomorrow's Turn 4 ESPN.com writers' debate. I don't think NASCAR will ever tell guys they can't go race elsewhere. But I do think this will add to what was already pretty common, and that's Cup team owners discouraging their drivers from doing a lot of moonlighting. We even saw that with Joe Gibbs and Tony Stewart back in the day.
Is it time to stick a fork in Jeff and say he is done.As good a crew chief Alan G. is he can't seem to find a set up for Jeffwho had similar trouble getting comfortable in the COT
No. He's still in it. He's barely 20 points out the top ten. He's certainly capable of winning a couple of races between now and the Chase. And if you go back and look at his bad finishes this year, a lot of it has nothing to do with the car, the team, or Jeff's driving. Sunday is the perfect example.
Hi Ryan, since Michigan is now a Ford track where does Dale Junebug have the best chance to win a race?
First, Michigan has always been a Ford track. Second, I've always said his best chance to win wasn't Michigan in June. He's best shot is always during that late summer/early fall stretch that leads into the Chase. Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta, and Richmond.
Was Michigan a true sign that the Fords have recovered nicely, or just a momentary upswing?
I can see why you would say no to that since you would need a track that could fit 50,000+ people and a bit of a change to the cup series bodies. My other question for you is do you think that for the race at Eldora, should it be an open tire rule? What I mean is using Hoosier, American Racer and/or Goodyear.
Not a chance. The Goodyear exclusivity deal is iron-clad.
do you see the Eldora speedway put in the safer walls in before the campting word trucks race in the middle of the summer and I cannot believe like dale Earnhardt death and and now Jason death that they have to put safer walls in......
Tony was asked about this over the weekend. They are doing a lot. Tony actually brought in the University of Nebraska guys who basically invented SAFER and they said he didn't need it. But what he has done is long list.
He replaced sections of the infield walls with a new barrier that the SAFER guys devised, added energy-absorbers to the pit entrance (which were also inspected by the Nebraska folks), swapped out the gates, widened pit road, and added a helipad and a new infield care center.
That's a lot. Quite frankly, more than I'd realized.
4th wasn't a very good result for Rowdy Busch. Do you expect #18 to compete for the win at Sonoma and Kentucky?
I think, when you compare it to the run of rotten luck they had earier in the spring, they'll take fourth and say thank you very much.
Yes, he can win at both places. I can go on and tell you he'll be my pick for Kentucky.
I know when the chase starts everything changes, but who would you consider the legit cup contenders at this point, and how would you handicap their odds? Thanks.
I'd rank the title contenders as Jimmie, Kenseth, Carl, Harvick, and...I dunno about number five. Bowyer, Kyle, Brad, Junior, Biffle, I think they could all be in there, but they have to show me something first.
Mr. McGee! No chats for me for too long, this new job actually requires me to work, how dare they! Hearing the MWR crew talking about Sanoma being a strong track for Clint, I was shocked. I know he's the defending winner, but do you consider Sonoma one of his "Stronger tracks?" Thanks for the Chats, and P.S. your daughter is hilarious
Thanks! As for Clint, yeah, he's really good there. And the only person more surprised by that than you and me is Clint himself. Especially when you see how relatively generic he is at Watkins Glen. He has 5 top ten and 4 top fives in 7 Sonoma starts and it's his second-highest career average finish behind Richmond. Seriously.
As far as fantasy leagues go.. with all the low scores so far.. what stats do you look at.. or pick a team from a hat?
I'm a big believer in NASCAR's Driver Rating stat. Don't ask me how it works or how they add it up. It's sort of like QB Rating, which gives me a migraine, but it's usually pretty accurate.
You top 5 drivers and a darkhorse for Sonoma?
Give me Ambrose, Montoya, Gordon, Bowyer and Smoke. For a darkhorse, how about Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.
Alright folks, gotta go. Check out my Fathers Day Power Rankings and be sure to subscribe to the Marty & McGee podcast, either at ESPN.com or on iTunes. It's a rollicking redneck good time! Until then, tip your wait staff and enjoy the music of the Swinging Richards.