Chat with Ryan McGee
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Ryan McGee will stop by to chat about the 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." McGee puts together the NASCAR Power Rankings for ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join McGee Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ryan Mcgee (2:01 PM)
Hey everybody...and welcome back (finally) to the Motorsports Block Party Chat!
Ryan Mcgee (2:01 PM)
I have had a hard time cracking the code to make it in here lately...but here I am. So...to the queries!
Richie Mikemond (French Island, Wi)
Thought your comments on the DA and how he handled the Stewart/Ward case were spot on. When a person is only concerned about doing there job and not the limelight they always look better. Now lets get back to pulling for the bottom 10.
Ryan Mcgee (2:03 PM)
Thanks. We've seen so many horrible press conferences over the last month, from the NBA to NFL to college football. About halfway through Wednesday's Stewart/Ward press conference even Bob Ley Tweeted that it was an incredibly well-handled session.
Ryan Mcgee (2:04 PM)
I know that some people have accused the DA of sidestepping and handing the case off to a grand jury, but I have always diagreed with that. I think they took their time, conducted the investigation as thoroughly as they could have, and somehow managed to ward off all the outside noise. And there was a lot.
Ryan Mcgee (2:05 PM)
And yes...go Bottom 10!
Will (Boston )
Ryan I've heard people question Edward's move to Gibbs given the state of the Gibbs team this season. Though isn't more likely that Gibbs gets back to a top tier team before Roush does?
Ryan Mcgee (2:07 PM)
I think people get way too caught up in the here and now when it comes to these moves. I said the same about all the conference realignment in college sports. A guy as smart as Carl has done all the research and talked to all of the people that he possibly could have. JGR is trending up over the next few years while RFR clearly has a lot more they need to sort out.
Is Randy Fuller a Carl Edwards employee so he can go with Carl or is he a Roush employee and has to stay there?
Ryan Mcgee (2:09 PM)
Randy Fuller (Carl's longtime rep) is an RFR employee. I'll ask him what's up when I (finally) get back to the track at Kansas next weekend. In the past we've seen drivers hire away their longtime PR reps when they leave a team and hire them full-time. The relationship between those two is as close as I've ever seen...and I've been around a while.
whats your take on Dale Jr's PR guy stepping down after his tweets on Sunday? they were petty, but didnt seem like something worth getting the boot for?
Ryan Mcgee (2:10 PM)
It was a tough spot for everyone. I tend to think that he just made a dumb mistake. But in the age of social media dumb mistakes can blow up big.
Clint D (Dallas, TX)
I just figured out why I like this Chase Format. Not saying it will happen but Penske could totally mess it up next round and not even advance!! How is that for pressure?!
Ryan Mcgee (2:10 PM)
It's like a real playoffs. It doesn't matter what you did in the previous round. You have to focus what you're doing in the one that you are in the middle of.
Is this Kevin Harvick's best shot at winning the title?
Ryan Mcgee (2:11 PM)
Kyle Larson a more mature version of Kyle Busch? Larson is awesome to watch
Ryan Mcgee (2:12 PM)
He reminds me Kasey Kahne. West coast, sprint car guy, kind of quiet, looks like a kid. In fact, this rookie year feels like a carbon copy of Kahne's first season. So many close calls but no wins to show for it...yet.
Clint D (Dallas, TX)
Hypothetically if we had a chase Grid system when Dale Sr was racing over or under 9 championships? He would drive the wheels off to win a race. I think he could win 8 out of 10 chase races.
Ryan Mcgee (2:13 PM)
I want to see how this format plays out first...but one thing I know about Dale is that he was a master of looking at the system and figuring out how to bend it to his advantage. So, yeah, he'd be contending in this system, too.
Will Tony Stewart be able to put everything that has happened in the last year or so behind him and be a championship contender again?
Ryan Mcgee (2:14 PM)
I don't think he will ever put this behind him. In the weeks following the accident those closest to him had told me he was an emotional mess over it all. Then when he finally faced the public that became very obvious to us all. He said on Wednesday that this would be him forever and I believe him.
Ryan Mcgee (2:15 PM)
I felt like after his injuries last year he was already entering a critical mental point in his career. Now that's become even difficult.
Derrick (Arkansas) [via mobile]
How many drivers are relatively safe going into this weekend? #406
Ryan Mcgee (2:16 PM)
I thnk the top 7, Gordon and up, are okay. But everyone from 8th to 16th is fair game. Only 12 points - so 12 positions on the racetrack - seperate Kenseth in 8th from Almirola in 16th. Holy cow that's tight!
P-Dub (Vancouver, WA)
Why in the world would the Biff re-sign with Roush when they have given him lousy cars with no speed all season? I realize there isn't much of a market out there for 45-year-old drivers but if he can make the Chase with Roush equipment imagine what he could do with decent stuff....is there any hope of the Roush camp figuring it out soon?
Ryan Mcgee (2:17 PM)
I think you answered your own question in the second sentence. I'm not sure he had a pile of better options sitting out there.
Ryan Mcgee (2:18 PM)
But do I think RFR can figure things out? Yes.
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Ryan, is there any reason for optimism for RFR moving forward unless they haul over their competition department? Or shake up their Crew Chief Lineup. Dumping Robbie Reiser looks awfully tempting.
Ryan Mcgee (2:19 PM)
I think a crew chief shakeup is imminent. As for Robbie, I don't know. There is certainly a lot of noise out there for that move to be made, but I don't see it happening.
Tony (Fort Worth, Texas)
With no testing rule -- does this even the playing field a little more or do the fat get fatter because of in house technology?
Ryan Mcgee (2:20 PM)
I think there is always an advantage for a team that can go out and do more testing than the other guys. History says that the teams who win titles are the ones who were somewhere on Monday running laps. But it is crazy expensive.
Ryan Mcgee (2:21 PM)
That being said, so are rig shakers, wind tunnel time, and the best sim programs. So honestly, I think the big teams will always be faster no matter what the testing rules are. So you might as well save everyone money on testing and see waht happens.
Hi Ryan. Is Matt Kenseth going to win a race this year? I'm beginning to lose hope.
Ryan Mcgee (2:22 PM)
I think he has a really good chance to win this weekend. If not for the unstoppable Monster Mile machine that is Jimmie Johnson, Kenseth might have 10 wins at Dover. He could get around that place with a blindfold on.
How many drivers do you think RPM is considering for the 9 car ? or do you think RPM has signed the driver they want already and just haven't announced it ?
Ryan Mcgee (2:24 PM)
I'm told there isn't a guy yet and that there's an extensive search going on. The question is do you go get an experienced, second tier guy (think David Ragan) or roll the dice on a youngster who will likey payoff in the long run, but is likely to tear up a lot of stuff in the short term?
Ryan Mcgee (2:25 PM)
I wish they had been able to put some money and rides behind their development contract with Corey LaJoie. But he just hasn't had enough experience to put him in a Cup car yet (he just made his debut).
How disappointing have the Dillon's been for RCR getting totally outclassed by Larson in cup and Elliot in nationwide?
Ryan Mcgee (2:26 PM)
I think Austin is doing pretty much exactly what they expected. I thought they would be quicker in the second half, but he's going to be top 20 in points.
Ryan Mcgee (2:27 PM)
And Ty is 3rd in points, 38 points out, with a win and 20 top 10's.
Ryan Mcgee (2:28 PM)
So...understanding that everyone already knew that Elliott and Larson were pretty special, I think that's not bad for a pair of rookies.
Dale Jr....quietly lurking in 5th place. with a better start to the chase than last season...then he went on a tear. I got Jr vs brad vs Joey vs Kevin for the final 4. outta be a helluva race!
Ryan Mcgee (2:30 PM)
Yeah, he's just kind of hanging out there, isn't he? Marty made a great point on our podcast last week. His finishes might be 11th/12th, but he's fast all weekend. And when he hasn't been, he's made up a TON of ground during races. So, yes, he's absolutely still a contender.
We are 4 weeks into the NCAA football season with UT heading to Athens for a really tough matchup against UGA. Thoughts on the Vols thus far and if they'll get to 6 W's and a bowl?
Ryan Mcgee (2:31 PM)
It is tough. I look at it like I looked at the Oklahoma game. The gameplan will be great. The players will be ready...but there just aren't enough of them to keep it up for 4 quarters. Yet. I do think they get six wins. I honestly thought their bowl chances hinged on the Utah State game. I like Butch. A lot. Just hope folks can be patient while he's building.
As a die-hard Kahne fan I completely agree with what you said about him in the power rankings. This year has been tough and last Sunday was painful. Is the 2015 rules package closer to what we had back in 2006 when Kasey won six times? I'm looking for reasons to be optimistic about next year in case he happens to have bad luck at Dover...and based on this season there's a 98% chance something bad will happen.
Ryan Mcgee (2:32 PM)
Sometimes you just have one of those years and he's having one...
Ryan Mcgee (2:34 PM)
The problem with Kahne is that there never seems to be any middle ground. He's go or blow. I do think the 2015 rules will be more similar to 2006-ish. For a guy like him, the more sideways you make the cars handle and the more you put the wheel into his hands, that's a good thing.
Is this the best year of racing in your memory? I think it's been great.
Ryan Mcgee (2:34 PM)
It really has. So...change all the rules, right?
Chris (Rutgers U Grease Trucks, NJ)
Hi Ryan:Does Jimmie continue his winning streak at Dover this weekend? Thanks!
Ryan Mcgee (2:35 PM)
Well, earlier today on Marty and McGee I picked him to win this weekend. So that probably means he's doomed. #McGeeCurse
Greg [via mobile]
What do u take on the Logano extension .expect he's a lot more richer
Ryan Mcgee (2:37 PM)
Yes, I suspect he is! To me, it's an amazing comeback story. So many people had left his career for dead just two years ago. But he was thrown into the deep end way too fast. Now he's got his legs under him, he's a legit Cup contender...and he's still just 24 years old!
Ryan, I love the #406, Will you two still be doing NASCAR related shows on there after this season?
Ryan Mcgee (2:38 PM)
Thanks! And yes, I've just re-upped with ESPN for a few years and the plan is to keep on talking racing...and football...and whatever else they need a dude with a Southern accent to talk about.
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Mcgee... With tracks like Gateway, Nashville, Rockingham, being closed and no longer on any of the 3 major schedules can a team still test there or is it once its closed up again like The Rock its done and no one can enter.
Ryan Mcgee (2:42 PM)
No. No testing unless it's a NASCAR-sanctioned group test or tire test. NASCAR has left the door open for teams to request pre-race weekend sessions. So I think we'll see a handful of Thursday tests prior to the usualy Friday-Sunday routines. But not a lot.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Race or Races will Danica Patrick will finish in the Top 10 Broadcasted by ABC/ESPN?
Ryan Mcgee (2:43 PM)
Ryan Mcgee (2:43 PM)
Okay, folks, gotta go pick my daughter up from school. Keep an eye out for the latest Marty & McGee podcast, posted at ESPN.com/podcenter. We have a real frank discussion about the Stewart/Ward case and the future of short track racing. Until next time, tip the wait staff and enjoy the music of Rathkeltair.