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Hinton Archive: Columns
Darrell (Biloxi, MS)
Good Afternoon Ed. Is all the Testing at Indy good news or Bad news? I hope it's not the later.
Ed Hinton (2:00 PM)
Green-green-green-green, and I've done it again: gotten so fascinated with one question that I hit "post" rather than "queue" before I welcomed everybody. Welcome. Darrell, the more they test at Indy, the worse news it is for me. I'm just hoping Goodyear can find a way out. The COT, in the "axle yawed" setup -- a little bit sideways down the straights -- creates an awful tire problem that may get only partially resolved from last year.
Hey Ed great new article. How lucky is Jr., the minute they discuss a crew chief switch with the 5, Martin wins. The next week he doesn't win because his employee does. Is Jr. really plagued with bad karma?
Ed Hinton (2:03 PM)
TC, if you're an Insider, check out on our Rumor Central how we shot down the report, on an upstart Web site, that Hendrick had meetings about switching Jr and Jr. They didn't, according to high sources at Hendrick. Friend of mine said Jr may suffer from the Dega Jinx -- wins in 2004, cusses in victory lane, gets penalized, loses the Chase, hasn't won a Dega since and hasn't contended for the championship since. Hmmmm.
Did Junior prove that he belongs with his superstar Hendrick teammates by outlasting the rest of them and finishing 2nd on Sunday?
Ed Hinton (2:04 PM)
I wouldn't call it outlasting. I'd call it driving smarter than JG, who got too aggressive too early, and driving smart throughout. JJ's crashout was bad luck.
Jason Beck, Fayetteville, NC
With all the hubbub over Carl Edward's crash last week, do you think some of the positives have been overlooked? Sure, NASCAR has to come up with a way to keep the fans from being injured, but the sanctioning body should be commended with the safety improvements made over the last few years. Remember some of the big crashes of the 1990s? Earnhardt, Elliott, Kyle Petty, Davey Allison and Steve Park all suffered broken bones in various wrecks, some even at Dega. The fact that Carl (and Michael McDowell) were able to walk away from monstrous hits shows how well the new car performs. Not only the new car, but the full containment seats, HANS device and safer barriers make a big difference. Don't you think the sport is much safer than it was 10 years ago?
Ed Hinton (2:06 PM)
As David Newton said in his blog the other day, at least NASCAR's gotten a shot in the arm in publicity out of this. Carl has been on Larry King and "Ellen" so far. He's a great ambassador to the general public.
What cup seat will Brad K if any be in next year?
Ed Hinton (2:07 PM)
My bet would be one of two places: the 5 if Mark doesn't want to do another full season, or a third car fielded by Hendrick Lite, aka Stewart-Haas racing.
Is showing bias towards a driver, such as when Waltrip very openly was rooting for the 99 at Dega, bad for NASCAR, or do you feel that the showing of emotion by the broadcast team represents that NASCAR is more of a tight knit family then other sports? Thanks Ed
Ed Hinton (2:08 PM)
I don't think DW was cheering. I think he was excited over a helluva driving performance by both 99 and 09. There's a difference. Are you anti-Carl? Usually people think they're hearing bias when they hear anything they don't want to hear.
What is the rule with teams having only 4 cars? I thought Roush got grandfathered in due to sponsor commitments. How can Hendrick run a 5th car (25)?
Ed Hinton (2:10 PM)
I don't think even NASCAR knows the rule. They started it out of fear Roush, not exactly their favorite owner, was taking over. Roush was supposed to get grandfathered in for one primary sponsorship contract. He keeps on rolling. I'm not sure when they're going to really enforce it . . . . and I doubt they are either.
Patrick (Louisville, KY)
Ed, Larry King? Really? Do we really need to hear from Carl through Larry datgummin' King??
Ed Hinton (2:12 PM)
I watched it, Patrick, and I thought King was totally unprepared and ignorant of the sport. All they wanted was the video of the crash. I also thought Carl did a fabulous job of carrying King through the interview, and was a superb ambassador to Anti-NASCAR-Nation, which still stereotypes about toothless rednecks.
Ed, What's going on with these two-car tandems being able to literally run away from the field at restrictor plate tracks? This never used to happen.
Ed Hinton (2:13 PM)
Two cars hooked up tight essentially are developing twice the horsepower -- 800 on a plate track. But the aero package is tight enough to be like one car. So in 09 pushing 99, it was like one unrestricted car racing against a field of plate cars.
Heath Hinton, Laurel, Ms
Is the next move for NASCAR to create a seperate car for superspeedway racing? It seems they have blocked themselves in with the new car. How about decreasing the horsepower the engine creates, lengthening the car(to create more downforce) and raising the spoiler. As much of a fan as I am of Nascar, until they get this fixed, don't know if I will be going to Talladega anytime soon.
Ed Hinton (2:15 PM)
I'm posting Heath's question here, and next I'll post Zack in Atlanta, then I'll tell you what is likely to be done.
Zack (Atlanta, GA)
Hello Ed. Is NASCAR going to do anything about the yellow lines? Maybe that could eliminate this blocking going on. At least on the final last eliminate that rule.
Ed Hinton (2:17 PM)
OK: what they're almost certain to do is go to restrictor plates with smaller holes in them, to back 'em off about 10 mph. Doubt they'll change the yellow lines, because you'd get six wide going into three from that wide backstretch, and then they'd crash every time. They're not going to change the COT for superspeedways much -- they're too proud that the same car supposedly works from Martinsville to Talladega.
Jeff (Mooresburg, TN)
What are the odds of Jr. buying the 8 number back from EGR? It might just change his luck..
Ed Hinton (2:18 PM)
That's about the only source of big income EGR might have, if things keep going this way. So they'd probably hold out for big bucks.
Jason, Oxford, AL
Some drivers are saying Dega is too dangerous. Fact is, that is what the fans like, it was the best race of the year. So many up and coming drivers would give their left n*** to be in their shoes! I hope they dont change a thing at Dega.
Ed Hinton (2:19 PM)
That's the way most fans feel. But i'll tell you one thing: If a car ever does get into the stands there, millions of minds are going to change in a hurry.
Craig (Denver, CO)
I'm an admitted JR "hater". When are the zillion fans who love him for who his Daddy was, going to give it up? Is it acceptable to root for someone because you liked his father? - even though the son hasn't/won't really won much of anything.. and will never contend for a title? Thanks Ed, Craig
Ed Hinton (2:20 PM)
Well, it's a free country. Freedom of speech, and freedom of "worship," so to speak.
Hey Ed, any chance we see Kyle Petty in one of the top three touring series in 2009?
Ed Hinton (2:21 PM)
Extremely unlikely. He's actively trying to get back in, but I doubt it. Feel sorry for him. Only possibility I can think of is if his friend of many years, Mikey, were to get out of the 55 in mid season and put Kyle in.
ray gordon reid salem va 24163
queston to ed hinton AT 2.15PM hi ED WHOS YOUR PICK RICHMOND SAT
Ed Hinton (2:22 PM)
Smoke gets his first win as an owner-driver at Cup level.
Joe (Missoula, Mt)
Ed, Dega is a great race and if the drivers don't want to do it, do you think they might want to consider going on dancing with stars instead of racing?
Ed Hinton (2:23 PM)
Yeah, and the Romans loved gladiators too. Guess the gladiators were whiners, eh?
Gavin (Wilmington, NC)
Not really a question. Just wanted to say that David Poole will be dearly missed in this nascar nation we have created in NC and around the country.
Ed Hinton (2:25 PM)
Thank you, Gavin. I'll take this op to clear up something that's been going around. David could be heated over important issues, but he would NEVER complain about parking AFTER a race, while people were on deadline. He'd have taken care of that business beforehand, when it was practical. Now if a winner was late getting to the interview, yes. David would raise hell in that circumstance, because it was immediately important. Just wanted to clear that up. When David Poole got hot, it was for a very practical reason.
Dave(Kentucky) [via mobile]
I attended my first cup race this past weekend and all i have to say is, WOW! To anyone who is considering going to Talladega, you gotta go.
Ed Hinton (2:27 PM)
Yes, indeedee, Talladega tends to leave that first impression.
Jay (Paducah, KY)
Results from the Goodyear tire tests at Indy don't seem to be very promising. Will Goodyear get the kinks worked out before the Brickyard? Or, is this a preview of coming attractions,i.e. another Goodyear tire flop at the Brickyard? If we do get another tire flop, could that mark a quick departure for Sprint Cup from Indy?
Evan Johnson (SLC, Utah)
Do you think Matt Kenseth is in the most danger of dropping out of the top 12, or would it be Kahne, Reutimann, ???
Ed Hinton (2:30 PM)
Sometimes I wonder about Matt's sporadic gloomy attitude. I think it hurts him, and I think it's creeping in again.
With the win on Sunday has Brad Keselowski put himself ahead of Martin Truex Jr as the top free agent this off-season?
Ed Hinton (2:31 PM)
Absolutely. That was a very smart win, against the best competition. Between Hendrick and Stewart, he'll have a full-time ride next year -- and don't count out Joe Gibbs slipping in and paying big bucks.
Code (Frisco, TX)
Who is your favorite to win the title as of now?
Ed Hinton (2:32 PM)
Boring but true: JJ, he's hanging in fine, and he and Chad haven't even hit their summer surge yet.
Derik (Norman, OK)
Ed what's up? Which Busch brother do you think will end up finishing the season with the highest rank. It seems Kyle's been on a bit of a slump but as well all know he can go on hot streaks.
Ed Hinton (2:33 PM)
Kyle. I think he's better than Kurt. We have not remotely seen the best of Kyle yet. He hasn't peaked.
Hey ED, I think the best thing nascar can do for fans AND drivers is throw away that plate, throw away the rules that keep teams from putting the best car on the track. One that can be drivin' the way they are meant to be. Like the car you an I drive! Nascar can help themselves by downsizing the motor to around 280 CID. Only to be used in super speedway cars. A 280 CID with no plate at all would give the racing we just saw sunday,only this gives the drivers what they really need, THROTTLE RESPONSE. I bet every driver in nascar would want that. I think nascar's ratings would return to were they once were, if they would just stop holding teams from putting the best cars on the track every week!! What do you think, Ed?
Ed Hinton (2:35 PM)
I'd love to see 'em drop the engine size and go to injection; dump the caveman carburetors. But you know why they won't? Because smaller engines wind tighter, with a higher pitch. NASCAR went a little in that direction with Busch cars 10-12 years ago and dropped it for the absurd reason that fans didn't like the sound. Where I grew up, engines screamed rather than thundered. But that's today's nascar for you.
Jay (Paducah, KY)
Will anyone ever revive the IROC series? Granted the races could be pretty boring (as they were dominated by Cup guys), but the series did have a storied tradition.
Ed Hinton (2:37 PM)
Probably not. The IROC in its last 10 years was a joke. The great tradition was when F1 allowed its drivers -- Fittipaldi, Peterson, Mass, et al. -- to come over. The Europeans are afraid of getting their drivers hurt over here, plus IROC money was chickenfeed to the Michael Schumacher types.
Chris T (Cortland,NY)
Selina Roberts seems a bit ridiculous i mean i highly doubt A-Rod could only bench 100 pounds as a sophomore, i no 5th graders that can bench that. She needs to get her facts straight if she is really trying to just crush A-rod as it seems se is trying to do with this book
Ed Hinton (2:38 PM)
This is totally the wrong chat, Chris, BUT, don't knock Selina to me. She's a dear and longtime friend, and as professional a journalist as you'll find anywhere.
Jordan (Candor, NC)
Mr Hinton, when do you think the so called "silly season" will start heating up? I'm interested in the futures of Truex Jr. and Keselowski. Go 88!!!
Ed Hinton (2:40 PM)
Don't think it'll be very "silly" for long. Keselowski's a lock for Hendrick, Stewart or JGR, and I'm afraid Truex is going to have a tough time finding an upward move in this game of musical seats.
Derik (Norman, OK)
Kind of a follow up to the question of the best free-agent for next season. If say Gibbs does start a 4th team do you suppose they move Logano into the new car and the more experienced driver into the 20 with Zippy? I think it would give them a better chance of winning immediately.
Ed Hinton (2:41 PM)
I think Keselowski would work great with Zippy, far better than Logano. K is much more advanced. And that's why I think JGR is a player in the K auction.
Dave (Hastings, Ne)
With the 2nd place finish for Dale Jr, do you think this is a sign that Junior's season will turn around with tracks coming up that he likes to run at(Richmond,Charlotte,Darlington)?
Ed Hinton (2:42 PM)
His good clean run at Dega was a sign he's gotten his act together -- versus the temper-caused big one at Daytona -- and just in talking to him lately, he seems methodical and organized in his thoughts. Don't look for a big splash, just good, solid runs that get him into the top 12.
Huup (South Dakota)
do you think jr will catch fire and start winning?
Ed Hinton (2:43 PM)
see the previous answer just posted. He won't catch fire, but he'll get stronger and stronger.
Ron (Buffalo, NY)
Will Brad K. wait as long as it takes to get the #5 ride at HMS or will he work with Rick to find a suitable full-time ride next year if Mark runs the full season, possibly with SHR starting a 3rd team?
Ed Hinton (2:44 PM)
This won't take long. Outside forces will speed up the process. If Rick snoozes, he loses.
Gus (Peapack, New Jersey)
What do you make of Denny Hamlin's chances this weekend and his odds of putting together a run at a championship?
Ed Hinton (2:45 PM)
Denny's got an excellent shot and puts his best into his home Virginia tracks, especially this one, hometown track. Championship? I always worry about that crew of his, not the driver.
Tyler (Tampa Fl)
I know it's an old topic, but I still hate the chase. It has not grown on me one bit. I don't see any reason why the last 10 races should count more than the first 26. What are your feelings towards the chase.
Ed Hinton (2:46 PM)
You're not gonna like this. I think the Chase should be even tighter -- five races, six drivers, one is eliminated every week.
in this years draft where do u think lebron james would go
Ed Hinton (2:46 PM)
Oops! Someone else lost in the chat rooms. Tell you this, though: I just can't see Lebron going to the 5 car next year.
Jay (Paducah, KY)
Will we ever see Erin Crocker back in the seat of a stock car?
Ed Hinton (2:48 PM)
Sadly, I don't think so. Think she'd be a star today if she'd had the right equipment.
What about JR Motorsports moving to Cup with Brad as the driver?
Ed Hinton (2:49 PM)
Guess that's possible. But NASCAR would get awfully nervous what with Hendrick, Hendrick Lite (Stewart) and Hendrick Lite II (Jr.) But i've been calling this the Hendrick Motorsports League for a while now. Don't think that's a bad thing. Wish all operations were as professional.
Karen (Buffalo, NY)
It seems Brad Keselowski has a good relationship with Dale Jr. as well as Rick Hendrick. Can you really see him jumping ship next year and driving a Toyota just to get a seat in cup, instead of waiting for the 5 or a third car at SHR?
Ed Hinton (2:50 PM)
Money makes the world go 'round. And agents put a lot of spin on it.
Ed, do you think that if Dale Sr. had lived on after that day at Daytona..that he would have won another championship..considering he did finish 2nd the year before..and also, what do you think he would say about what NASCAR has become today?
Ed Hinton (2:52 PM)
Frankly, I doubt he would have won another title. He'd gotten to where he could win only at plate tracks. But he would have raised ever lovin' hell about the COT, plates, all kinds of things. He'd have turned Brian France every which way but loose.
Greg (Richmond, VA)
I might be biased as a fan of Hambone, but is there anyone more exciting to watch during restrictor plate races? Sure, he has no titles, but you gotta admit it us fun to see him giving people a push and moving around the field.
Ed Hinton (2:54 PM)
You sound like my son, who's 21 and a college student, and completely ignored NASCAR for years after Earnhardt died -- but jumped back in strictly because of "Ol' Denny," as he calls him, precisely because Hamlin stirs things up so well on the track.
Jay (Paducah, KY)
Do Penske and Chip Ganassi ever go to Cup races anymore? They always seem to be at IndyCar events, but never show up if there is a conflicting Cup race. Would they be there is Kyle Busch or Montoya had a shot to win?
Ed Hinton (2:55 PM)
They both show at Cup races, but their first love is Indy cars. Open-wheel people never get over it.
Aron (Las Colinas, Tx)
most over/underrated track in nascar?
Ed Hinton (2:55 PM)
Most overrated? Texas. Most underrated -- and under appreciated? -- Darlington.
clint cambridge ohio
Ed Hinton (2:56 PM)
Clint, I sure hope you're a NASCAR chatter, not one of those NBA fans lost in the wrong room. :-)
Shane ( St. Louis)
NO WAY...Dale Sr. loved the plate racing...he'd tell everyone to get over it and go race.
Ed Hinton (2:58 PM)
WHOOA, bubba. I heard senior say too many times, "This ain't racin'" even after he won at Dega or Daytona. Just because he was great at it didn't mean he didn't despise it. He wanted to throw the plates away and run 230 -- that's what he wanted.
Jay (Paducah, KY)
With attendance dwindling at California Speedway (and racing that would put a pit bull to sleep), will Cali ever lose a Cup date?
Ed Hinton (2:58 PM)
I sure hope so.
Aron (Las Colinas, Tx)
C'mon Ed Texas? Explain yourself
Ed Hinton (3:00 PM)
Overhyped. Track surface is too squirrely -- awful transitions off and onto the banking. You run out of banking before you're finished turning, which upsets the car terribly. I don't like 1.5-milers period, and that's the screwiest, gaudiest one. I do like Las Colinas a lot, though. Used to hang out in some of the watering holes with my old bud (football) Jimmy Johnson, when he was coaching the Cowboys.
Jeremy M. (Kannapolis, NC)
Every time I see Paul Menard or Jaime Mac finish 35th, I wonder how I can't get a decent ride while they do and I have 3 top 10 point finishes.
Ed Hinton (3:01 PM)
When your daddy's a billionaire six times over, like John Menard, you'll get a seat.
Ed Hinton (3:02 PM)
Aw, shucks. Gotta go. We were just getting wound up good, huh? But I gotta go finish a story. Thanks to everyone for stopping by.