Chat with NASCAR Now's Marty Smith
Smith reports for ESPN2?s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now, as well as SportsCenter, ESPN First Take, ESPNEWS and ESPN.com. Smith joined ESPN?s team of NASCAR reporters in late 2006.
Send your questions and stop by at 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday!
Marty Smith (1:30 PM)
Happy Easter everyone. Make sure to check us out on NASCAR Now at 5 p.m. ET. Let's get after it!
Lance, Irving, Texas
McDowell obviously cost Kyle the Nationwide race win Saturday at Nashville so how come Nascar doesn't do something about these backmarkers that are negatively impacting the race?
Marty Smith (1:32 PM)
They don't have to. It is a gentleman's agreement and ultimately I would not consider McDowell a backmarker. What I saw was Logano beat Kyle in the same equipment.
Jenifer, Little Rock
Didn't Joey Logano's win Saturday disprove all those people who were saying that Gibbs made a mistake in bring Joey up too soon?
Marty Smith (1:37 PM)
It was a huge win, Jenifer, no question. To beat Kyle Busch head-to-head in the same equipment was huge. The thing with Logano is people must have patience. He's 18. He's seven races into his rookie season. Jeff Gordon killed his entire fleet of racecars as a rookie. He's had a pretty good career.
I seems like Carl Edwards has lost his edge in both Cup and Nationwide. Is Carl still as hungry as before or is it a Roush issue?
Marty Smith (1:38 PM)
Edwards hasn't lost anything, Erik. He wins Texas if his pit crew doesn't screw up. Remember, it's truly a team sport.
Put Danica in the 8!
Marty Smith (1:39 PM)
I'm with you, Mike!
Gary, Pearl City, Hawaii
would the 24 team benefit by running in the Nationwide series?
Marty Smith (1:40 PM)
I don't think so, Gary. Gordon is just now learning to get comfortable in the COT. The NWS car is completely different and drives completely differently. It wouldn't help him any. And it's not like he needs seat time.
Drew (Bristol, TN)
Do you think Nascar will change back to the old format or will stay with the chase? I'd like to see more old style racing myself.
Marty Smith (1:41 PM)
I think the Chase is here to stay, Drew. But hell, it's NASCAR. It changes like the weather.
Lindsay Mount Vernon, KY
Hey Marty, love your stuff. Do you see Casey Mears in the 07 next year? Does this kid have "it?"
Marty Smith (1:43 PM)
To keep his ride Mears Gang must improve his performance. He knows that. It's a one year deal, and the pressure is on. Casey is an awesome guy -- I want to see him excel.
Bob, Coleville, CA
Can Gordon keep his momentum going all year, or will Johnson and Edwards step it up again come chase time?
Marty Smith (1:45 PM)
By all means, Bob. Gordon has a renewed vigor, a level of fire I've not seen from him in a while. He's comfortable in the COT. He's working out more and thus more sound in mind and spirit. Sounds cheesy, but that permeates your entire life. He's figured out work/life balance between driving and spending ample time with his wife and daughter. He's a new man. That win at Texas was beast.
Brian, Morgantown, WV
Think Kasey Kahne will have a good race in desert on Saturday night?
Marty Smith (1:46 PM)
I do, Brian. Kahne is the glue holding Richard Petty Motorsports together. He and Kenny Francis are an awesome tandem. They're doing a lot with a little right now.
Marty, is it true that Brian Vickers said you were the ?Red-headed-Step-child? in his family? And do you still talk to Brian?
Marty Smith (1:48 PM)
I have no idea if BV said that, but it sounds just like something he'd say. And yeah, I talk to Brian all the time.
Thomas Lexiington, Ky
Hey Marty, love your stuff as well and a big country music fan myself. Just bought Jamey Johnson tickets yesterday. Your top five drivers all-time 10 yrs. from now and who will be holding the cup at the end of this year?
Marty Smith (1:49 PM)
The Jamey Johnson album is stellar, front to back. Between Jennings and Jones was just D2D Song of the Week. In Color made it recently, too. As for the Cup -- JJ.
rink (Fountain Hill, PA)
Marty - quick personal question: Obviously, you're on the road a lot - but what's your daily driver, when you're not jetsetting from race to race?
Marty Smith (1:50 PM)
Chevrolet Silverado, quad cab, 4x4. You can take the boy outta the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.
Alan Gustafson (Concord, NC)
Do you expect to see Jr. continue to falter (and miss his pit box) this weekend or can a rebound occur at what has been a great track for him over his career? I say that he'll grab a good top 10 run (Let's say 6th).
Marty Smith (1:51 PM)
This is the week the 88 gets off the schnied (sp?). PHX is one of Dale's best tracks, and is Tony Eury Jr's best track outside of the plate tracks. I expect to see Dale do well this weekend. How's the 5 gonna run, Alan!!!!
TC parts unknown, KY
Hey Marty, how was the off weekend? Who would win a race/fight between Marty Smith and Ed Hinton?
Marty Smith (1:52 PM)
I'd win the race, but Eddie's a rascally ol' cuss. He'd probably whoop me.
Jake (Manhattan, KS)
Could Junior Run the 8 out of his own Shop with keslowski Next year, or maybe Truex and Bass Pro?
Marty Smith (1:54 PM)
Does he really want to go Cup racing with JRM, Jake? That'd rachet the pressure up just a tick.
Do you think that Harvick' truck and nationwide teams are distractions to his cup effort and the reason for his so-so season?
Marty Smith (1:55 PM)
Quite the contrary, Fred. I think Harvick's NWS and Truck programs make him a better, more understanding driver.
Marty, what is the best track or race weekend for a fan to attend?
Marty Smith (1:56 PM)
In my opinion -- Talladega in the fall. It's just awesome.
Nick, Suwanee, Georgia
With Gordon's consistency this year how many wins do you think he will get and do you think he will be able to out perform Johnson in the chase and take that fifth championship.
Marty Smith (2:01 PM)
The 24 could easily win five or six races this year, Nick. He's only finished outside the top-five once. Granted, they've faded late in races at times, but Texas kicked the door down. He may do it again Saturday.
Carl, Left Coast USA
I have a question Marty. At 1:51 pm et you answered a question from Alan Gustafson. Is that THE Alan Gustafson and if so what is he up to these days?
Marty Smith (2:01 PM)
I haven't a clue if it's the real Alan Gustafson, Carl. But my guess is no. The real one, I'm sure, is scheming ways to get Mark Martin to Victory Lane Saturday.
David (Akron, Ohio)
With the great year Tony Stewart is having, is this beginners luck or is this years team just that much better ta=han last year's team?
Marty Smith (2:03 PM)
Oh, no, it's not beginner's luck, David. It's Hendrick equipment, a Hendrick disciple as crew chief, a great management structure and a world class driver.
Brian (Columbus, IN)
Will they get the tires figured out for the Allstate (AKA Brickyard) 400 race this year? My family has been going the last 10 years. Being there in the Paddock, the race was different, but interesting. Will we see a repeat of last year or a return to the racing of old at the Brickyard?
Marty Smith (2:04 PM)
I do believe they will, Brian. After last year's complete and utter embarasment, I fully expect them to do any-and-everything in their power to ensure a good tire.
Do you think the 26 will rebound and have a good season? Jamie's had a lot of bad luck so far this year....
Marty Smith (2:07 PM)
I know they CAN. Whether they will is anybody's guess. McMurray is a good driver -- I don't care what anyone says. Some folks question my logic/sanity on that, but I believe it. I am quite surprised they're not better now, though, given his reunion with D. Wingo. Bad luck can make anybody's season look awful on paper, though.
Stu (Madison, Va.)
Is there any hope for Elliott Sadler to be competitive this year? Where will he end up next year? If I had to pick one driver to sit around and drink beer with,it would be him!
Marty Smith (2:11 PM)
In my opinion it's futile, Stu. Going to work knowing you're not wanted isn't the best confidence booster.
Marty Smith (2:14 PM)
Okay, guys! Time to make some TV. I appreciate your time and great questions! If you have any more, shoot them my way! ESPNsider@aol.com. Thanks!
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