Chat with Ryan McGee
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Ryan McGee will stop by to chat about the 2010 NASCAR season.
McGee, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, is the author of "ESPN Ultimate NASCAR: 100 Defining Moments in Stock Car Racing History." For the '10 season, he will be putting together the NASCAR Power Rankings for ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join McGee Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Ryan McGee (1:30 PM)
What's up folks and welcome to a special half-hour earlier, half-hour shorter edition of the Monday Motorsports Block Party! I just got back from the pre-show NASCAR Now (5 PM ET, ESPN2!) lunch with Ricky Craven and Ray Evernham and I'm all fired up. So without further ado, adieu, ahem...to the queries!
Denny got a top 10 and holds the pts. lead and Harvick was a non-factor in 15th and 5th in pts. Doesn't that really tell who won the battle?
Ryan McGee (1:33 PM)
Sort of. I think we'll know the real effect of all this mess down the road. I think it's in the head of both guys now. Meanwhile, the 48 is taking care of their business and their business only. Cue the Jaws theme.
Hey Ryan, do you think if Henricks put Dale jr in the #48 and Johnson in the #88 that Dale could have dominanted and won like Jimmie did yesterday and Jimmie would have run 23rd?
Ryan McGee (1:33 PM)
Nope. They would likely met somewhere in the middle. But Jimmie still would have beat him.
Over/under on how many races until the Dinger returns the 43 to victory lane?
Ryan McGee (1:35 PM)
Great question. Don't be surprised if he makes a serious run when we get to Talladega in October.
Why would Kevin Harvick use his car to hit hamlins in practice? That would be like me using my flat screen tv to smash my friends flat screen tv because he called me a name. Yes I would have gotten him good, but of course my TV would not perform the same either. He will never win a championship because of poor judgement like this.
Ryan McGee (1:36 PM)
There was pretty poor judgement on both sides of that deal. But I will say this, I have received many more emails and Tweets on Harvick's side than Hamlin's. It seemed to really strike a chord with old school Earnhardt fans. And I don't hear a lot out of those folks these days.
Jake (Irving, TX)
Hey Ryan, do you think that RCR was more upset about getting caught cheating by NASCAR or getting called cheaters by Hamlin?
Ryan McGee (1:37 PM)
Both. I think that RCR came to Dover with plan to defend themselves against anyone that wanted to go down the cheater road. Denny volunteered for that job on Friday.
Hi Ryan, If Harvick wanted to fight Denny how come he didn't confront Denny in the motorcoach lot 1 on 1, man to man?
Ryan McGee (1:38 PM)
Well, he did get out of his car and get in his face in the garage after he wrecked him, so he really did both.
We are huge Rowdy fans and were really disappointed when #18 faded in the closing laps and couldn't hold on to the lead but how come Coach didn't order Joey to slow down and let Rowdy pass him to get more points for the #18?
Ryan McGee (1:38 PM)
Team orders Gene? Really? What is this, F1?
Ryan, after these first two races, is it fair to say that only 8 guys have a real shot at winning the title?
Ryan McGee (1:40 PM)
Yes. Ray Evernham and just had that conversation at lunch. And I think that 8th car - the 24 - is on the bubble big-time. They had a top ten car and totally beat themselves at the of the race.
Joanne (Henderson, NV)
Why doesn't Jr motorsports get Danica a decent crew chief and fire the guy she's now stuck with on the pit box?
Ryan McGee (1:41 PM)
Joanne, I don't really think that the crew chief is her problem. The Eurys have won in the Nationwide Series with everyone from Steve Park to Dale Jr to Martin Truex to Brad Keselowski.
Hey Kenny errrrrrrrr I mean Ryan,What's the Vegas odds that Bowyer wins his appeal? I'm thinking none since Slim's long gone.
Ryan McGee (1:42 PM)
Kenny?! The odds are not good and RCR knows it. And I think that's why they worked so hard to win over the court of public opinion over the weekend. They can't get the points back, so they'd better save their good name.
why do people keep saying the 88's having a bad yr? I mean, 1st TE w/1K catches, a TD in yesterday's OT win over SB champs - what more can you ask of a guy? wait - there's a 88 in nascar too?
Ryan McGee (1:43 PM)
Now that is funny.
Steve (Chillicothe, OH)
I think we will see the maturity of Jimmie Johnson reign in Hamlin and pull away from the field in the chase. If Kyle Busch could grow up he would actually be a contender but as long as he cries around and pushes people around he will never see the Cup
Ryan McGee (1:44 PM)
I think you are right Steve. It really struck me how the other guys were all talking about the 48 car after the race and not themselves. Jimmie is totally in their heads now, like "Oh no, here we go again." We're going to talk about this at length tonight on NASCAR Now.
Ryan McGee (1:45 PM)
As for Kyle, even his haters have to admit that he has come a loooong way this year when it comes to not giving up when a car is bad early or not getting too down after a disappointing finish. He's still not quite there, but he's a lot closer than he's ever been.
Ryan, what kind of chance does Jeff Gordon have at making a run at the cup? It seems as though every race they can't get over a hump, what seems to be the problem keeping him in the top 5 but keeping out of victory lane?
Ryan McGee (1:47 PM)
It's late race adjustments. They were top ten all day on Sunday, but when the track got covered up in rubber they weren't able to roll with it. And their last pit stop was a 17-second stop. That's not good.
Afternoon, Ryan! When is Carl going to break his winless streak?
Ryan McGee (1:48 PM)
This weekend might be it. He is quietly punching out top ten finishes and Kansas is where he pulled off one of the most bad ass moves in recenent memory to nearly win...the hip check, hit-the-wall, banzai move around Jimmie Johnson.
Missed this morn's NASCAR fan hailstorm & black helicopter mix, thought I might as well look at this one.
Ryan McGee (1:50 PM)
The conspiracy theorists seemed to have calmed down as the day has gone on, but last night I was bombarded with claims that all of this has been set up to help Jimmie win a 5th title. Yeah, because nothing would help appease a complaining "we're tired of the 48" fan base like handing him another Cup. Geez Louise.
What are the odds of harvick or boywer putting that mouth in the 11 car in the wall soon?
Ryan McGee (1:51 PM)
I think it's over for now. There's too much at stake for everyone this early in the Chase. But if Bowyer loses the appeal or Harvick fades...watch out.
McGee? Chatting at 1:30? You're throwing off my schedule McGee.
Ryan McGee (1:52 PM)
Tell me about it. But I'm in Bristol getting ready for a show in three hours and it takes at least that long for the makeup people to make me presentable for HD.
There was so much rubber down on the track before it started that it was hurting the performance of the cars. Wouldnt it be in everyones best interest to remove some of it. It would allow more drivers to be aggressive. There should be a track zamboni.
Ryan McGee (1:53 PM)
They do have jet dryers and street sweepers and typically they do blow all that crap off the track, but the problem yesterday was they never got a caution when they could do it. The last green flag run was 105 laps...more than a quarter of the race!
Walt (Newark, Ohio)
Of the chasers, only Jimmie and Rowdy led laps yesterday. Do you think that Gordon, Stewart, Burton, Kensith, Biff are just getting too old to compete?
Ryan McGee (1:54 PM)
It's not an age thing, Walt. It's a car thing. And hey, Burton finished did finish 2nd!
dont agree with you saying switching jr and jj in cars and jj would still be better!!!he would do no better....88 cars are junk every week and they will be junk with jj driving it......
Ryan McGee (1:55 PM)
Well, there you have it.
Jenny (Elizabethtown LA)
How much money do you think would pay me to fix the 88 team?
Ryan McGee (1:55 PM)
Right now I think Mr.H would pay about anything to fix the 88.
Diane (Los Angeles)
Would the last non Cup driver in the Nationwide series please turn out the lights when you leave? Seriously where is the future of the sport if the AAA can't keep good young drivers driving in your mind?
Ryan McGee (1:56 PM)
It's a huge problem. And the seeds of these problems were planted a long time ago, for Nationwide and the Trucks. And the purses are so low that teams literally can't afford to race.
On victory lane Rick said he is seeing improvement in the 88 I'm sorry but running outside the top 20 all day and getting put 3 laps down is not improvement
Ryan McGee (1:57 PM)
Well, he did get a top five last week. And if you listen to Dale and Lance on the radio they no longer sound like they hate each other's guts, so they've got that going for them.
Lyle (Columbia, SC)
What was the estimated attendance yesterday?
Ryan McGee (1:58 PM)
According to the box score it was 88,000. According to my eyeballs it was much lower than that.
Todd (Marietta, GA)
Do you think that after only 2 races it is already a 5 horse race between Rowdy, Jimmie, Denny, Kurt and Carl?
Ryan McGee (2:00 PM)
I'd put Burton in there too. If he doesn't come up a lap short on fuel at Loudon he's second in points right now. Even with that he's still only 80 pts back. Gordon's 83 back, but it sure seems like a lot further back than Burton, doesn't it?
Instead of roughing each other up, the other Chase drivers need to gang up and start giving Jimmie a harder go of it. Every pass a bump 'n run. Run him up the track if he's going for a pass. Race him too hard if he's lapping them. If he's in their collective heads, then collectively they need to be in his.
Ryan McGee (2:00 PM)
I'd expect nothing less from a man named Cale!
just caught an areial shot of Atlanta in teh Movie Six Pack from a long time ago...man has that track changed!
Ryan McGee (2:01 PM)
Oh yeah. They tore down the backstretch, added a double dogleg and about 20 mph with it! Love Six Pack. Brewster Baker!
Ryan McGee (2:04 PM)
Alright folks, I gotta go. Which is weird because this is usually my start time. See you on NASCAR Now, ESPN2, 5 PM ET. It's me, Ricky Craven, and Ray Evernham, herded by Mike Massaro...and Chad Knaus joins us live. See you next week, back at my regular time of 2 PM ET. Until then, enjoy the music of Tall Paul.