Chat with Ed Hinton
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Hinton Archive: Columns
Ed Hinton (2:00 PM)
Good afternoon, all. Let's drop the green flag on this chat.
Justin (florence alabama) [via mobile]
hey. Huge gordon fan. Have a question. One of the writers said gordon gets pumped for new paint schemes and runs well. There is sum truth behind it. Ex: 04 dega and daytona 07 fall dega. Wat is your opinion and what race will he end the winless streak
Ed Hinton (2:02 PM)
I've heard Gordon say he gets pumped for paint schemes. Then again, I've had him tell me in strong terms that he doesn't believe in luck -- that you work to make things happen. I think in this case they've worked AND changed the paint. My best guess for breaking the losing streak would be Martinsville. Johnson has owned it lately but Gordon has run better than Johnson at times this year.
miss Laura, Texas! [via mobile]
Howdy Ed and all of you nursing that St. Pattys hangover! Who's looking good to you for Bristol this weekend?
Ed Hinton (2:04 PM)
A lot of people are saying Edwards and you have to think about Kyle Busch, who dominated Bristol last August until Edwards caught and moved him. Here's the thing: this is Bristol's day race, and night race dominance doesn't necessarily translate. Remember, Jeff Burton won this thing last year.
Aaron mn [via mobile]
hey ed when do you think dale has the bestshot at winning i'm looking at martinsville he's always so close i know jimmie and jeff are strong there but i have a good feeling about it.
Ed Hinton (2:05 PM)
As I said last week, I've given up on making predictions about Junior. Martinsville? Well, he's told me that the story of his life is having a good car till the midway point or later, then having something go wrong like a bad set of tires.
T.J.: (Manteno, IL) [via mobile]
Ed, Im a devoted reader even though i disagree with you on a lot of issues. You got style. My question is this: Whats the one thing you would change about todays racing you would change to bring the sport closer to what you think it should be?
Ed Hinton (2:08 PM)
I'll give you an answer, but file it immediately in the "it'll never happen" drawer. The one thing I'd like to see is for NASCAR to return to using the bodystyles that the manufacturers are currently putting out. Back in the day, David Pearson and the Wood Brothers would run, say, a '73 Mercury in '74 and '75, because that bodystyle worked best. In 1978, Richard Petty came out with a Dodge Magnum, and it didn't race very well, and NASCAR told Dodge "tough." So Petty had to switch to Chevy to get a car that would race. Everytime I've asked nascar about going back to that, though, the officials have said, in essence, no way.
Ken - Lynchburg, VA
Here's a long winded crazy theory. I believe the drop of quality and performance of Goodyear's NASCAR tires could be attributed to the demise of the IROC series. For years IROC drivers like Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Dick Trickle ran thousands of miles in IROC testing for Goodyear. As another scribe opined, he believes that it's time for NASCAR and Goodyear to have a dedicated test team. That's basically what IROC was. Thanks for the chat.
Ed Hinton (2:10 PM)
The IROC cars definitely had significantly different balance than Cup cars, and I think they were lighter. Marcis and Sauter did a lot of testing, but a great deal of that was to try to make the cars equal. They never really were, drivers said, and A.J. Foyt once refused to run because his car was so bad.
Robby Gordon is under investigation for cheating. Your thougts?
Ed Hinton (2:11 PM)
Latest I've read is that he was exonerated and the protests were withdrawn.
just read your blog post on the f1 points change - can i ask why you think its a good idea, especially as the vast majority of f1 fans (hardcore and casual) seem to hate this idea? one driver could win 10 races and crash out of the rest whereas another could win 7 and finish second in 8 other races but would lose the title, and not to mention that it would lead to increased team orders and if a driver got off to a strong start (e.g. 1 driver winning 5 of the first 8 races and 3 others with one win) it would effectively ruin the remaining races as the chances of one of the other drivers winning the title would be drastically reduced under a championship decided by wins first, whereas with the points system in place that wouldn't be the case.
Ed Hinton (2:14 PM)
What you, and many fans, want to keep is the DRAMA of a championship. Drag it out for suspense. Look: When Michael Schumacher was winning 12 or 14 out of 17 races, he was clearly the champion. You readers in the U.S. will note that I advocate the same one win, one point, system for NASCAR. Championships have gotten too dragged out on points, and have left behind the real reason people have raced since Paris to Rouen, 1894: To WIN.
Ken (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Ed, Great article on the mea culpa of Nascar. The only problem I see is that your list of 5 is really just the tip of the Iceberg. Given your tremendous history in and around NASCAR what do you think the Bill's would say about Nascar today? You know if they could talk off the record that is.
Ed Hinton (2:14 PM)
Oh, I could have written a book on the subject. But the editors limited me to just five things.
The COtoday is extremely hard to get to handle, but it is incredibly safe. Has anyone been hurt in one? Do you think maybe they are too safe?
Ed Hinton (2:18 PM)
Interesting but very sensitive question. I have heard some fans say NASCAR has lost some of its appeal because there's not as much risk to it. I don't necessarily agree with that, but even some old-time experts say some fans came out not to see disasters but to see brave drivers risking disaster and avoiding it. If anything, maybe there's a pyschological thing with some fans that they want to see risk -- although not serious injury.
Hey Ed Thanks for ESPN for having the Legend race Saturday night! Who do you think is going to win? My pick would be Rusty.
Ed Hinton (2:21 PM)
Have to agree, Tank. Rusty's among the youngest, he hasn't been out of racing long, he's got sponsorship, he's built a brand new car, and he is PUMPED. I talked to him about it. He knows Bristol well -- although the track has been widened from when he last raced there. Tell you what, though, if David Pearson's back were well and he could race, and he had as good a car as Rusty, I'd pick Pearson hands down, even at age 75. Pearson was the best NASCAR driver I've ever seen, and probably ever will see.
Connor Chicago il [via mobile]
How many races will jimmie Johnson win this year including chase
Ed Hinton (2:22 PM)
Oh, you can usually count on Jimmie for his usual half-dozen or so. If they get their act together sooner, could be more, like eight or nine.
two questions how did jeff gordon who finished second make more money than kurt busch who won and do you think kentucky will replace a california race next year o ya one more whos gunna win this weekend
Ed Hinton (2:26 PM)
Good question, but one I can't answer completely in this format. NASCAR drivers get de facto "appearance" money for credentials such as championships won, races won at that particular track, etc. Whenever you see a driver make more money than somebody who finishes ahead of him, it's because of what's called the "winner's circle" plan. They don't advertise it, but drivers and teams are guaranteed money based on past performances. Oh, and I don't think Ky will replace Calif. Ky is a Bruton Smith track and Ca is an ISC track. Not sure how Bruton thinks he's going to pull off a KY cup race unless he moves one from one of his tracks.
Ed, with the 19 and 26 needing big season's to keep their current rides, who do you think will have the better season and why?
Ed Hinton (2:28 PM)
My guess would be 26. He actually ran better than 19 at Daytona, all week, but 19 was in a better spot when it rained. 26 has probably got better equipment, and if he can get his concentration to last 400 or 500 miles, he could win a race or two.
Mike Cleveland, OH
Ed, Dale Jr. upset me last year at Bristol's fall race when he tried passing people at the wave of the green flag, will that motivate him to finish well this weekend, as this is a big weekend for him?
Ed Hinton (2:31 PM)
Dale Jr. never needs any more motivation than he has built in. Look at what happened at Daytona when a nit-picky penalty cost him a lap and got him ultra-motivated to get his lap back before it rained. The Big One was the result. He needs to stay calm and not overrun the motivation he always has.
I just saw where TBR has gotten another owner, earlier this week they got a one race deal sponsor and mark martin has even contributed. Are things looking up for TBR and Scott Riggs? Thanks!
Ed Hinton (2:32 PM)
You could read Bechtel's buying in two ways: Yes, things could be looking up for Baldwin's operation. But it could also be that Baldwin's just hanging on financially, and needed an investor.
Joe (Missoula, MT)
Ed, Do you think with the early success of Vickers this year that he will be able to compete for a top ten at Bristol and Martinsville? Also does he win a race and make the chase this year?
Ed Hinton (2:34 PM)
Just not sure Vickers is the type to get through all the beatin' and bangin' at those two places. A top 10, probably, but not a win at those two places. Win a race? Probably. Make the Chase? probably not.
Brent Madison WI [via mobile]
Do u think maybe joey lagano should have run a full nationwide series b4 jumping in2 a prestigous ride like the 20?
Ed Hinton (2:37 PM)
Probably. But Jimmy Makar at JGR told me last fall, when they were trying to get him a little Cup experience, that Cup is so different from NW -- even the scrambling in and out of the pits -- that NW doesn't necessarily prepare a driver for Cup. That said, JGR always talks about not pushing their developmental drivers too hard, but when Stewart pulled out they got excited and pushed Joey along too soon. This may turn out to damage his career.
With equal equipment, who do you think is the better driver, Sadler or McMurray?
Ed Hinton (2:39 PM)
Tossup. Both can run wide open, but both can go over the edge sometimes. Whenever either is leading a race, I always figure it's just as likely he'll overdrive as that he'll go on and win it.
steve(philly) [via mobile]
do u think that dale jr has any chance of winning a championship in his life.? if so when?
Ed Hinton (2:42 PM)
Wooooo. Uhhhhh. Let's just say the clock is ticking. With so many drivers and crews able to put together serious streaks and complete seasons, he'd have to catch up to that part first, to have a shot.
Jimmie Johnson said that he wants to win at Bristol before his career is over. What are your thoughts on that?
Ed Hinton (2:42 PM)
Seems to be getting to be a pretty serious issue with him. I think it'll happen before his career is over, but not sure it'll happen soon. Sure as I say that, he'll win Sunday.
Will these second place finishes lower jeff Gordon confidence to win anytime soon
Ed Hinton (2:46 PM)
Hi, Brooklyn. Not at all. Gordon's a serious subscriber to the old NASCAR axiom that if you keep putting yourself in position to win, you will win. I think it's just a matter of time -- down to weeks now -- and so does he. Sure, he'd rather have won already, but he knows there's a pattern developing.
If you have one race ticket to any race in the Sprint Cup, what race will that be?
Ed Hinton (2:48 PM)
Either race at Martinsville. For years I said Bristol. But now that they've widened it, it's not nearly as wild as it used to be. BTW, did you hear or read Carl Edwards' great quote? "Martinsville is like racing in the parking lot at Bristol."
Ben H (Atlanta, Ga)
Will we ever see a parity in Nascar between all the teams? Or can we expect the big four (Childress, JGR, Hendrick and Roush-Fenway) to always dominate the sport?
Ed Hinton (2:50 PM)
There never has been parity in NASCAR, except for a stretch in the 90s before the big teams all formed their armadas. When I started covering, there were only three or four teams winning: Pettys, Woods, Junior Johnson, occasionally Bud Moore. Now there's a lot more de facto parity in that you have many drivers capable of winning, 15 or 20. It's just that they're grouped into the big teams.
you kinda skirted the quetion about F1, are you saying you think if a driver wins 9 races but finished dead last in all other races should be awarded the championship over someone winning 8 races and finishing second in all other races
Ed Hinton (2:52 PM)
OK, I'm getting more and more questions about this. My blog said my piece. Yes, I'm saying that if a driver wins nine and even DNFs the rest, and he has the most wins, he's the champion. Again, all you folks are talking about drama. I'm talking about winning races. Beyond that, I guess we have to agree to disagree.
M. Cook [Atlanta, GA]
Eddie: How's it hanging? I wanted to tell you a funny joke: Rick Hendrick fired Kyle Busch to make room for Earnhardt Jr.! I can't quit laughing. That #5 has been super strong since letting the kid go.
Ed Hinton (2:54 PM)
I won't comment on that one, except to say we always try to let AntiJuniorNation have its say along with JuniorNation.
nascar fan ILL
I read the article this morning on Bud and Kasy Kahne. Out of all the drivers in NASCAR does Bud really think Kahne is the best fit for their product. All the little girls cheer for him, before long all underage girls will be drinking Bud. Whats your thoughts?
Ed Hinton (2:56 PM)
Long-running question about alcohol sponsorships. My guess would be that teen-idol status doesn't translate to influence to drink. I think they cheer for him because they think he's cute, which has been promoted in commercials other companies did with him.
Aaron mn [via mobile]
so when is nascar going to get it and change the california spring race and if so where do you think it should be phoenix maybe?
Ed Hinton (2:58 PM)
Actually I think NASCAR should keep the spring race at Fontana and move the fall race. And manipulate the schedule to bring the Labor Day weekend back to Darlington, where it belongs. Why would they want to move either Calif. race to Phoenix? Phoenix already has spring and fall races.
Aaron mn [via mobile]
hey ed do you think when jeff retires will hendrick 'retire' the number 24?
Ed Hinton (3:00 PM)
I think Rick Hendrick is the kind of guy who would honor his driver that way, yes. I also think he's seen the sadness of "43" not being retired when Richard Petty retired, and the prestige of the number faded until it is almost forgotten.
Chad (Las Vegas)
My father in law is in town from Europe and we have the choice of doing the Mario Andretti/Jeff Gordon open car experience or the Richard Petty experience this weekend. Which should we do?
Ed Hinton (3:01 PM)
Depends on whether he's into European-style racing or has paid attention to American stock car racing. First question I'd ask him is who he knows/likes better: Mario Andretti or Richard Petty. If one or the other was a favorite of his, I'd go with the name rather than the type of car.
Justin Behling (Boyceville, WI)
When will Joe Nemecheck ever win again?!!!!!
Ed Hinton (3:03 PM)
Last question, gotta go. Sadly, I don't see him winning anymore. His age is just too much against him in an era when teams are obsessed with younger drivers.
Ed Hinton (3:03 PM)
Thanks for joining us, everybody. Talk to you next week.