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CHAT TRANSCRIPT: Totally NASCAR's Ryan McGee

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Ryan McGee

 
   
 
Events_Moderator: Okay everyone! It's time to get started! Let's welcome Ryan McGee to the chat! Hey Ryan! Welcome to Lycos Live events! What's up? ryan__mcgee: Thank you! It's good to be back...as always! tb_la: How much will not being able to practice because of the weather affect the drivers once racing is actually able to get underway? ryan__mcgee: I think it will be a big deal very early in the race. Simply because these guys never really got to practice in their race setups. However, nearly two dozen teams tested at Texas 2 weeks ago, so the learning curve may not be as steep as it normally would be. What I am worried about is the first turn in the first lap of the race. I hope it's not an instant replay of 1997, when 13 cars wrecked. jaygirl15: Where's the next race going to be? ryan__mcgee: After Texas tomorrow - at 200 mph, we head to the half-mile short track of Martinsville, VA. Qualifying is Friday afternoon on Fox Sports Net and the race is Sunday on FX. And I LOVE Martinsville ... 'cause teams get to beat and 'bang' for 500 laps. It's 'old school' NASCAR ;) ebro_hep_cat: with the race tomorrow, will the short week make it tough on the teams? ryan__mcgee: Not really. Because Martinsville is so close to home. The turnaround won't be nearly as tough as if they had to go back west or say way North to Loudon, NH. Where it will hurt a lot of teams, is that I'm sure, a lot of Winston Cup testing was scheduled for tomorrow and Tuesday. If that's the case, they would have to put if off another week. Events_Moderator: Why has Chevrolet gone winless this year? Are their cars really at a disadvantage or is it bad luck? ryan__mcgee: This is going to sound like a cop out ... but I believe it is a little of both. Jeff Gordon is the perfect example. He has dominated at least three different races this year and still has nothing to show for it. I think the aerodynamics that they received a couple weeks ago will really help. I think we saw that in qualifying on Friday in Texas. tb_la: Do you think Texas Motor Speedway should get a second race? ryan__mcgee: That's a tough question ... I think that we are at the point, where - for a track like Texas to get a second race - you've got to start looking at taking a second race away from one of the tracks that has hosted two races during one season for a long time. It's hard for me, understand, to take a second race away from a Darlington, or a Michigan or a Rockingham and give it to a track that's only been around for five of six years. Plus, I hate sitting in traffic in Texas, which is the worst of any city on the schedule. tb_la: If it gets late in the season, and all four Roush Racing teams (Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin) are still in the top ten, which driver will Roush Racing really back for a run to the title? ryan__mcgee: If the team is really going to play favorites, they would have to go with Martin who made Roush Racing what it is today. But I honestly believe, that 'Jack in the hat' wouldn't give one of his teams an advantage over the other because that's not playing fair. tb_la: Do you think it's safe to run at the speeds that we saw at Texas Motor Speedway? Should something be done to rein them in a bit? ryan__mcgee: I do think they need to be slowed down. But I honestly don't know what's the best way to do it. When we go to Atlanta and Texas, I spend the entire weekend worried that someone is really going to get hurt. So, yes, I think they are going too fast. ebro_hep_cat: Not taking anything away from his great career, but do you think 'Texas' Terry Labonte should retire? ryan__mcgee: No way!!! Terry has been my favorite driver for 10 years. I think that Terry can still win races, and I don't think that his talents have diminished at all. Unfortunately, that team has never been able to re-establish the amazing chemistry that it enjoyed throughout the mid 1990s. But I think Terry has probably got about five more good years in him. noahs_ark2: how many cars do most teams have? ryan__mcgee: It depends on how much money they have. Back in the old days...15 years ago...it was a big deal if a team had more than six or seven cars at the shop. If you walk into Robert Yates Racing today, you will see anywhere from 20 to 30 cars being worked on at one time. So it all depends on how fat your car owner's checkbook is. ebro_hep_cat: If you could pick any make to race with NASCAR's rules as they are right now, which would it be: Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford or Pontiac? And why? ryan__mcgee: I would go with the Dodge Intrepid. Right now, it seems to have the best balance and seems to be the most consistent, no matter what size or style of race track we go to. Second...would probably be the Ford Taurus because ever since it was introduced back in the late 1990s, it's the car everyone else has copied. smittyfox: Why is NASCAR treating the Ford spoiler like a yo-yo? With the added spoiler height for Talladega, do you think they'll have any shot at a top 10? ryan__mcgee: I will bet you my house....that there will definitely be a Ford in the top 10 at Talladega. For whatever reason, the rear spoiler has been the area where NASCAR seems to always want to make a bunch of changes. But honestly, once the race gets started at Talladega in Daytona, believe it or not, the playing field levels out in the draft, and it's all about 'luck,' not which car you are driving. smittyfox: How do you think Darrell Waltrip will do at Martinsville after nearly a year and a half out of the driver's seat? ryan__mcgee: Well...since Darrell knows where I work and where I live, I had better say that he will win the pole, lead all the laps, and win the race. Otherwise, I may lose my job as producer of Totally NASCAR. Seriously, I do think, he will be very competitive because no one at Martinsville has ever been as successful as DW. Darrell won 11 Winston Cup races there, second only to Richard Petty, who won 15. icewoman4110: How do you think that people can avoid having "the big one" at superspeedways like Talladega and Daytona? ryan__mcgee: Two things...number one, and this will never happen...knock down the banking and turn those tracks into big, flat tracks. Number two, and this can happen...drivers need to use their heads and not try to force their race car into a hole that they know is too small. Ninety-nine percent of the big wrecks at Talladega and Daytona are started by someone who made a move that they shouldn't have. divine_beast: Who do you think is the best racer you've seen? ryan__mcgee: The best racer I have ever seen in person was Dale Earnhardt. I am a lifelong Richard Petty fan, but Dale did two things during his last year at the track which blew me away. The first was coming from 18th place to win at Talladega, with less than 5 laps to go. The second was when he slid his IROC car through the grass at Daytona and then swung it up on the banking and kept on going. Even Dale Jarrett said that was the coolest thing he'd ever seen. mason_foreman: Do u think a Pontiac will finish in the top ten of points at the end of the season conisidering there isn't one now?? ryan__mcgee: Yes. Tony Stewart sits 12th right now, just 12 points out of the top 10. And I guarantee you, he'll finish in the top five in points with Bobby Labonte not far behind. The most disappointing Pontiac driver this year, has been Johnny Benson, who is 30th in points. This time last year, he was contending for the championship. smittyfox: It seems Matt Kenseth isn't getting the attention someone sitting second in the points standings should get ... what do you think? ryan__mcgee: I totally agree! The thing about Matt is that he is all business and not a big talker. He reminds me a lot of a Harry Gant or a Terry Labonte who just lays low and lets his driving do his talking for him. He can very easily win the championship this year. Events_Moderator: Sterling Marlin turns 45 in June. Do you think he has the stamina to do what it takes and win a Winston Cup championship? ryan__mcgee: Absolutely! Sterling is so laid back, and has been all his life, that I believe he has an entire lifetime of energy in reserve. He could probably drive for another 10 years and will more than likely outlive all of us Events_Moderator: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Ryan. It's been fun! We'll have to do this again sometime! ryan__mcgee: Thanks folks for asking me back! See you again, soon!

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