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 2 p.m. ET!
Ryan McGee (2:08 PM)
Whew! Finally in!
Ryan McGee (2:09 PM)
Sorry about the delay folks. Mr. Wi and Mr. Fi weren't cooperating with me on Valentine's Day. But I'm in now and it's time to chat. So to the queries!
Kevin (Fishers, IN)
Ryan, great to be back into the NASCAR season! I have a potentially dumb question concerning the Gatorade Duels on Thursday. Other than to have the exposure for their sponsors, why would Gordon and Jr. run those races as they cannot improve their position and potentially risk a wreck or damage to the car which could force them to start in the rear on Sunday? Are they required to run? Thanks
Ryan McGee (2:11 PM)
Not a dumb question at all Kevin. Comes up every year. Yes, they have to start the race. The biggest benefit is getting in real, genuine race conditions and seeing what you have. The 150's are a much more accurate indicator as to what we will see on Sunday, thanks to the similar start time and the big packs.
Ryan McGee (2:12 PM)
That being said, history says that the two guys on the front row won't stay out there very long if they lose touch with the front.
Why would anyone waste their life watching NASCAR?
Ryan McGee (2:13 PM)
Why would anyone waste their life going into NASCAR chat rooms if they don't care a thing about it. Go get a real hobby, dude.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
While Kasey Kahne will be driving the #5 Chevrolet in 2012 who will be driving for Team Red Bull in 2012?
Ryan McGee (2:14 PM)
No idea Chris. And Red Bull has no idea either. There are some pretty giant potential free agents out there (Edwards, Biffle, Newman, Bowyer, etc.) but I expect most of them to re-sign with their current team. I STILL say that Kahne will have a hard time leaving by year's end. Forget the blown engine on Saturday night.
Is there any optimism in the garage area that the 2 car draft issue will be solved before the 500? Is there even anything they can do to get them in a bigger pack?
Ryan McGee (2:16 PM)
Honestly Marcus the 2-car draft isn't viewed in the garage as an "issue". The drivers much prefer it over riding in giant packs, which they always complained about. This gives them the ability to make actual runs up to or away from the pack or other cars. It puts it more in the drivers' hands. They dig that.
do you think that jeff Gordon will win a race this year, or will it be another season full of "SO CLOSE" Races?and also, do you think he's probably seen his last championship?
Ryan McGee (2:20 PM)
I think he will win a race this year. And I think when he finally breaks through he'll get a few more quickly. It's amazing how that happens. Kind of like Edwards at the end of last year. Hadn't won in two years and won the last two races of the seasaon. If the season had been a month longer I have no doubt he would've won a couple more.
Ryan McGee (2:20 PM)
As for his Cup chances. I think he has one more in him. But the clock is ticking.
Kurtis (Houston, TX) [via mobile]
hey Ryan, other than the 500, the 600, and the Brickyard, which 2011 race r u most looking forward to? I think the Texas race under the lights will be one of the best in the season.
Drew (Bloomington, Ind.)
Ryan, odds that one of the front-row starters wins the Daytona 500?
Ryan McGee (2:23 PM)
Not good Drew. Last time it happened was Jeff Gordon in 1999! The last time the pole sitter won was Bill Elliott. In 1987!
Who is your Daytona 500 pick? I like Jeff Gordon with his new crew chief and start on the front row.
Ryan McGee (2:26 PM)
I've had Kevin Harvick all along. I think it's hard to argue against that Earnhardt Childress horsepower after what they've done on plate tracks over the last year. Don't forget, it's not just the RCR cars that have those engines it's also the Earnhardt Ganassi cars of Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Ryan McGee (2:27 PM)
No matter what engine they use it's going to be hard to imagine anyone other than a driver in a Chevy winning it this year.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which drivers would not be in the Daytona 500 if the field was set by Pole Qualifying?
Ryan McGee (2:30 PM)
The usual suspects. Richardson, Yeley, Lally, Cope, Norm Benning, with Brian Keselowski thrown in.
I wish Nascar would stop contradicting themselves. In my opinion, the Budweiser Shootout was great. The drivers didn't just ride around in a huge pack all night, they paired themselves up and chased each other down all night, but with the pressure value change and the grill change Nascar's trying to take it away from them. They need to learn that they can't say "boy's have at it" only when it's convenient to them.
Ryan McGee (2:32 PM)
Kevin, you are not alone on this. There is a very real concern that the engines will overheat tucked so close behind each other, especially when the air temps are expected to be so much warmer than they were for that very cool Saturday night atmosphere. But I have to be honest, of the fans that have contacted me via Twitter or email the people that liked Saturday night seem to outnumber those who don't about 50-1.
Ryan McGee (2:33 PM)
There does seem to be some real concern about the speeds. Steve Letarte was talking about that earlier today on the Sirius NASCAR radio channel, about the threshold of speed where these cars want to take off like an airplane wing. But he also seem to think that the warmer weather this Sunday might slow the cars down enough to get them back down below 200 mph.
Ryan McGee (2:34 PM)
I'll be honest though, I'm kind of old school. I like seeing those 200's come up on the scoring monitor.