Chat with NASCAR Now's Allen Bestwick
Bestwick, who has more than 20 years of experience as a motorsports broadcaster, serves as host of NASCAR Countdown and NACAR Now on ESPN.
Bestwick served multiple roles during ESPN's return to NASCAR in 2007, including pit reporter, play-by-play announcer and host. Bestwick was part of NBC and TNT's NASCAR coverage from 2001-2006, both as a pit reporter and lead play-by-play announcer.
Send in your questions below and stop by at 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday!
Buzzmaster (1:24 PM)
NASCAR Now host Allen Bestwick will be here in minutes to take your questions! Send them in now!
Buzzmaster (1:29 PM)
We've got Allen!
Jeanette (Henderson, NV)
What can you tell me about my driver David Regan? I know his expectations are high. But he seems to be the poster boy for causing wrecks. What's the deal? Is he just trying to be too aggressive? Thanks!
Allen Bestwick (1:31 PM)
Well, Jeanette, Saturday night's wreck wasn't his fault. I have a thing with this speedway races, the rule of five. The first car that spins, if you look five cars ahead of him, that's where the wreck starts. If you look five cars ahead of David, he was probably the one that started everything. David just needs to show some progress this year. If he can show as much progress this year as last year then I think they'll be very happy with him. The more up front you run, the less likely you'll be involved in the wrecks around you.
Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)
Were you supprised with Earnhardt-Ganassi having some of the fastest cars in qualifying?
Allen Bestwick (1:32 PM)
I was not surprised, Rick, because I had the luxury of being in the garage area Sunday morning and talking to some of those teams. They were very confident in what they had. The restrictive plate engines have always been a point of strength for the Earnhardt team. In this merger, the Ganassi cars are using the Earnhardt engines. I wasn't surprised at all.
Allen (SD, CA)
With the economic crisis in shambles, do you see any driver (or team for that matter) suffer a letdown this year and be consevative as far as equipment?
Allen Bestwick (1:34 PM)
No, I really don't. There's always going to be an element of gambling in racing. By gambling, you're taking a $60,000 race car and driving it in traffic over 100 MPH, there's a chance you're going to crash. There's no insurance, so every time you race, you're putting that $60,000 on the table. I don't really think racers think that way, that if I crash this car, I'm not going to be able to race next week. If you think like that you won't race very well. Will there be teams that if they damage some equipment that they'll be in a bind? Absolutely. But I don't see that effecting how they race.
Pete C Newark DE
Who impressed you this weekend? Who was a pleasant surprise?
Allen Bestwick (1:36 PM)
Hmmmm...surprise? No. The thing that I found really interesting about watching Saturday night was how difficult it was to stay at the front of the pack. I think Jeff Gordon went from front to back of the race about 6 times. I don't think it will quite be that way on Sunday. Handling will come into play more in the 500 then on Saturday. Aside from that, enjoying seeing Mark Martin sitting on the front row, I wasn't surprised much by what I saw.
How do you think the Penske cars going to peform this year?
Allen Bestwick (1:37 PM)
Great question. My only simple answer is, we'll have to see. There has been some restructuring of some people around the organization. We know Kurt Busch is a solid driver. They've got good crew chiefs. They have resources. We'll just have to see. I couldn't have predicted that they would struggle last year as they did. Will they win some more raceS? That's a great question that only time will tell.
Rae (Las Vegas)
What's up with this Joey Legano kid? He is hyped up way too much and hasn't done anything. Are the expectations that high for this 18 year old? All I know is that he must have something since he's on with Team Joe Gibbs. That's assuming the former Redskins coach knows what he's doing.
Allen Bestwick (1:40 PM)
I hope not. I spent a good bit of time Sunday talking to Joey's dad in the garage area. What happened to Joey on Sunday was not his fault. They understand, the Loganos, and the Gibbs team, that no matter what you've done at every level of the racing ladder, that you've stepped into the big leagues now and everyone at this level is there because they're darn good. Just like in any other sport, overnight success when you arrive in the big leagues is not likely. The Gibbs team feels that Joey will become a front running and winning driver. And his family feels like he couldn't be in a better place then with Joe Gibbs. As far as overly high expectations, they have a good perspective of what they're up against. It becomes managing the expectations of the outside world. If he struggles early, keeping the negatives from running away. They all understand where they're at. Managing those expectations is part of this year, both good and bad.
Kyle Busch Fan (Las Vegas)
Is Kyle Busch really a punk or is it that he's just too serious about competing? It seems as if everytime he's on camera whether he wins or loses, he's criticized no matter what he does or says. Tell me he's not what everyone says he is.
Allen Bestwick (1:43 PM)
First thing, Kyle Busch is one great racing talent. Second, I happen to think he's a good guy. He's got a good sense of humor, a good personality. He's also got an incredible desire to win. Kyle, like a lot of these young guys has been racing since he was a pup. But when they get to the major leagues, the thing that's new for them and is hard to handle for some guys, is being a celebrity. There's a difference between being a winning race driver and being a celebrity. they don't have a hard time with the racing, it's the celebrity part of it. Demands for time, signing autographs, dealing with the celebrity part is hard for some of these guys. Maybe people have gotten a negative impression of Kyle over the course of learning to manage that part of this business. Bottom line, I think he's a good kid a good race car driver. And when you get down to it, that's his job, to be a good race car driver.
Speedy Go Kart (Hawaii)
I"m probably one of 2 people who follow NASCAR in this state. What I would like to know Allen is, Do you see Jamie McMurray having a good year? I mean, he needs to keep his place and win. Otherwise, David Regan will keep that 4th driving spot that the team will only limit to. Thanks!
Allen Bestwick (1:44 PM)
Great question. I guess you have to define what a good year is. Do I see him winning a race this year? Yes. Maybe more then one. Do I see him making The Chase? Hmmm, I don't. Mostly because there's just so much competition. Who is he going to displace to get into that group? Jamie's reunited with Wingo, they raced well Saturday. But if your definition is winning races then yes. If it's making the Chase, then I'm not so sure.
Harvick hung around in the back until the end, Johnson and Gordon have used this strategy in the past. Is this the new restrictor plate way to race? Thanks
Allen Bestwick (1:46 PM)
I don't know that Harvick so much hung around the back Saturday, but those are the circumstances he was dealt. He took some damage early and had to pit. Then got nicked up and had to pit again. When Waltrip had his problem, Harvick was behind him and lost his draft. He needed a caution to catch back up to the pack. I don't know if that was his strategy to hang around the back, but that was his first clean run. Will we see guys hang around the back? Yes, but I don't know if that's the best. If you hang too far out in the back, and the pack breaks up, you'll lose the draft.
The Wood Brothers said that they do not want outside investors. Do you think that is a smart move?
Allen Bestwick (1:48 PM)
It would be hard for me to say because it depends on the corporate structure of the team. If the Wood Brothers family structure is able to keep administrative overhead lower and keep sponsors, then they wouldn't need outside investors. That's a family company and has been for a long time. I'm sure they wouldn't be anxious to change that.
Mike yeager (TRIE)
Who do ya like for the 500?
Allen Bestwick (1:49 PM)
I'll let you know later in the week. It's much too early to tell. We haven't really seen the 500 cars in drafting practice yet. We won't see that until Wednesday. Then we'll see who gets through the 150s on Thursday in one piece. See the whole 500 field practice together Friday and Saturday. It's a little too early in the week to tell, but I sure thought that Saturday's race was competitive and it will be hard to pick a favorite. It could be one of the more open 500's we've seen in a while.
Allen Bestwick (1:50 PM)
The weather's perfect in Daytona. I wish you could be here to enjoy it with us. We'll be on NASCAR Now at 5 p.m. ET today and tomorrow and then 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.