First my bona fides to comment: Huge long time fan of Ryan. Watch every race, every week with RaceView dialed into the 39 radio channel. Listen to all chatter between Ryan and Tony G.
My first conclusion; I need to get a real life.
I don't think the problem is not (primarily) poor set up. My opinion is that Ryan gets nervous when things get slippery. Where the very best drivers manage to do well or even thrive when a car is a little loose, Ryan gets skittish.
Where Tony's (14) season heats up when the tracks get slick, Ryan's seems to fade. To me it doesn't look like a skill thing, I know Ryan has that, it looks like a confidence thing. I've listened to Tony and Ryan complain about their carss being loose in the same way at the same time while Tony is going forward and Ryan is falling back. In watching the telemetry it looks like the difference is that Tony is a hair less afraid to ride the razors edge than Ryan is. A hair is this sport seems to be all the difference. My bet is Ryan will surge again in the fall when things cool off like he did last season.
After the end of today's race at Kansas, but before the radio feed was cut, Ryan commented that "this" was getting old, in effect saying the problem was all on Tony G's. I just don't think that's totally fair.
The fix might be a shot of Vodka in Ryan water bottle. A looser Ryan might help him deal with a loose car.