Chat with Ed Hinton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com NASCAR writer Ed Hinton will stop by to talk about all the latest news and notes from the track.
Hinton began his career covering NASCAR in the 1970's working for the Orlando Sentinel. He has also worked for Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, where he worked until leaving in January 2008.
Send your questions now and join Hinton Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ed Hinton (2:00 PM)
Pete (san jose)
Do you think Mark martin can win the championship
Ed Hinton (2:01 PM)
Of course he can, if the NASCAR cops stop finding phantom issues with the 5 and the 48 cars.
How do the drivers feel about Brad K.? He seems to have one move, wreck somebody.
Ed Hinton (2:02 PM)
They don't whisper their innermost secrets to us like they used to -- too many PR types in between -- but you kind of get a little drift when Tony Stewart, the embodiment of all driver opinion, said he wasn't interested.
Jim ((Washington DC))
I don't get it, why does NASCAR bow down to Hendrick?
Ed Hinton (2:04 PM)
Why does MLB bow down to the Yankees?Answer: They don't. Some franchises are just good, overpowering.Why do you think they bow down to HMS? Because they warned them about tolerances? Read my current column and you'll see I call that harassment, not a favor.
Hi Edgood article you need to write something like that in benefit of Carl Long to. As a fan I want the rules being applied equal to all competitors if Chad and Alan have the chassis specifications in the limits, no problem.If they pass the limit a ittle they lose points and money.Nascar bring and isue is easy to think they are out of limits.
Ed Hinton (2:05 PM)
Great point. Why didn't they just issue a "friendly warning" to poor old Carl, instead of frying him for keeps?BTW, where's Hatillo -- sounds like either Georgia or Texas.
RAY GORDON REID ( PASADENA CA 95814)
QUESTION ED HINTON AT 2.20PM ED WHO DO YOU HAVE FOR FOTANA SUNDAY
Ed Hinton (2:06 PM)
Jeff Gordon, the only decently running Hendrick car NASCAR isn't putting the keebosh-by-intimidation treatment on.Watch for Martin and Johnson to tiptoe, leaving the 24 out front.
Jelly (Houston, TX)
Does Tony Stewart flat not like Jeff Gordon...seemed like he went out of his way to mock Gordon after the Kansas race?
Ed Hinton (2:08 PM)
Never seen any evidence of acrimony there. Of course, Tony is just a little older than Jeff and had to follow behind him coming up through the sprint car ranks, but I don't think that's an issue with Tony, if it ever was.
Ed, what's up buddy? Can you tell me what's going on with the 6 team? I became a big Ragan fan last year and this year has been disappointing. It seems like all of RFR is struggling pretty bad and once Ragan has a good run going, he gets wrecked (Michigan, Kansas he was up 10 spots in the first 5 laps, pit road with Kurt Busch) or an engine fails (Texas). Like seriously, if he had any decent luck this year he'd be top 20 in points. Give me some insight, I sure hope he picks it up next year and luck is on his side.
Ed Hinton (2:10 PM)
Roush Fenway finally breathed some life last week at Kansas, with the Bif, and with Edwards if he hadn't gotten a penalty.I think Jack knows the team has been so FUBAR all season that they'll start over next year. Jack's always liked David, so he should be safe for now.
Wouldn't Denny Hamlin be a lot better off taking care of business (Kesolowski) on the track instead of whining about it in the press? He's coming off like a spoiled little girl.
Ed Hinton (2:11 PM)
You won't say spoiled little girl if an when he does take care of business. Denny's the only driver out there who reminds me a little bit of Earnhardt Sr.
Jerry (Tampa, FL)
Reutimann was the only non-Chaser to crash the Top 10 at Kansas. Do you think any non-Chaser can win a race the rest of the year (Talladega doesn't count, anyone can win there), and if so, who?
Ed Hinton (2:14 PM)
All due respect to Reuty, I hope no non-chaser wins and that the playoffs take care of themselves the way they should be.I'm for an All-Chaser point system, and Tony Stewart for years has advocated all-Chaser races, and I'm not at all sure I disagree.I remember the first Chase, when Nemechek won at Kansas. Almost nothing was written about the race winner. I went to the winner's interview just because I felt sorry for Nemecheck, and sure enough he was in there talking to three or four people.
Earlier this week Michelle was rapping on Danica Patrick saying she was just an average driver that happened to be pretty and she has only won one race. Obviously MB hasn't been following Indy racing because with one race left in the season Danica is in the top five in the total point standing ahead of such notables as Dan Wheldon, Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan. The gal knows how to drive and would (will) make her presence known in NASCAR as well. I'm seeing a little 'cattiness' here. Meow!!
Ed Hinton (2:14 PM)
sorry, Michelle who? I'm drawing a blank here.
Can you see Paul Menard taking his sponsorship to the 4th RCR car?
Ed Hinton (2:15 PM)
Depends on how hard up Childress is for money. Wherever Menard goes, that's a daddy-bought ride all the way.
Zach (Waterbury, CT)
What's with the animosity between the NASCAR.com and the ESPN.com writers? Any time either side is brought up to the other there's always a quick "Well they don't know what they're talking about." or a "Well dumb thoughts like that is why they work over there and not here."
Ed Hinton (2:18 PM)
Do we say that? Criticizing NASCAR has always been easy for me, on a friendly but respectful basis for them.Now their PR department does get riled at us occasionally because we don't do the party line all the time. Would you want us to?I've never been anybody's cheerleader, and I never will be. The truth is always first and foremost.
Bill (Charlotte, NC Woooooooo)
Hey Ed!! Do you know, Or have you heard anything bout how secure Home Depot is as sponser for the future with the #20?
Ed Hinton (2:19 PM)
If you listen to Joe Gibbs, they think it works best of all their advertising-promotion spending.Now I've heard some vibes from Toyota that maybe they should have held Stewart to his contract for this year, but that's as near to dissatisfaction with Logano that I've heard.
What's the truth about Earnhardt Jr? Good Driver, bad luck, Bad Driver, good name?
Ed Hinton (2:20 PM)
Very frustrated driver with an enormous name that's part of -- no, most of -- his problem.Good driver, bad driver? Hard to tell, as tied up in knots as he is.
When is someone at ISC going to actually address the safety issues at Talladega? Raising the fence the extra 8 ft. is great, but isn't the problem that guys (like Carl Edwards) are almost going through the fence when they get airborne?
Ed Hinton (2:22 PM)
Look closely at the Talladega fencing and you'll see three very thick steel cables running above, and parallel to, the wall. They reinforce the fence.THAT's what held Edwards in, and what held Bobby Allison in, and what will hold the entire cars out of the stands.Shrapnel? Not sure what can be done about that.
Evan Johnson (Salt Lake City)
Jr's run on Sunday, Did they really have a strong car or were the first few laps fluke. Jr said postrace that he had a really good car, good enough to run with the leaders, and just needed some track posistion. Your thoughts
Ed Hinton (2:24 PM)
That's been a recurring theme for Junior for a couple of years. Good car at the start, falls off toward the end. If they knew, I'm sure they'd fix it.
Looking forward a little, who do you see having a better season next year among these three drivers: Marcos Ambrose, Brad K., or Joey Lagano?
Ed Hinton (2:25 PM)
Of those I'd pick Ambrose to have the breakout season, IF the ownership can get the really big bucks to run with the well-financed teams.
Sorry...I meant Michelle Beadle of SPORTSNATION.
Ed Hinton (2:26 PM)
Well, that's an all-opinion show. She's right if you just look on paper.Old goats like me can look deeper, knowing, for example, that Ford tested Danica in a stock car long before she got to Indy and was quite impressed.
Ed, do you think JPM will get another top 5 this weekend?
Ed Hinton (2:26 PM)
JR blows his motor to help his teamates on sunday analyze that.
Ed Hinton (2:27 PM)
I thought the same thing myself -- he's running R&D for them -- until I heard something had come up off the track and broken a belt.Still, I suspect that he and Brad K were both running R
I have heard rumblings that Logano's parents are stage parents from hell and interfere with Joey and his progress. How much do you see/hear about them when you are physically present covering the races?
Ed Hinton (2:29 PM)
Oh, Tom Logano seems a nice enough guy to me, but then, I'm media.I've heard the stage-parent thing, but hell, they all are in their way nowadays. There's hardly a guy out there who wasn't brought up through the ranks by a dad or stepdad.
Ed, I absolutely love your no-nonsense approach to journalism. Now no-nonsense question, why a race in two hours east of Los Angeles in the middle of no where. What money (sponsors) keep that race alive? Thanks
Ed Hinton (2:32 PM)
Pure and simple: The France family's blind lust for the L.A. market, going back to Bill Jr.They sure built that thing out of a hellhole, all right. I remember when they got it started, I asked good ol' Les Richter if they'd ever get past the L.A. environmentalists to get it built."Sure we will," quoth The Coach. "NOTHING else could survive on that property."Meaning, a toxic waste area.When they opened in '97, Texas had just opened but wasn't nearly ready. We got to Fontana and found everything paved just right.I complimented Richter. He said they HAD to get it done, "to cap all the [toxic] hot spots."How's that for no nonsense, bro?
Bill S. (High Point, NC)
Danica must think highly of her services, if I heard right 8 mil. for 8 races. Is she really worth that kind of money, or no matter what she'll be a cash cow for money and popularity?
Ed Hinton (2:34 PM)
Whatever the market will bear, my man. Whatever the market will bear.Remember: she's not coming in as a driver so much as a marketing mechanism. As such, she's probably worth more than a million a race.Her agency, BTW, is IMG, which handles all the Manning boys in the NFL, and look how much marketing they do.
Mitch Chance (Brandon, Mississippi)
Greetings Ed from your home state! Who do you pick for the Hall of Fame and why?
Ed Hinton (2:37 PM)
OK, home boy, off on the limb we go:1. Raymond Parks, no doubt about it, had more to do with the beginning success of NASCAR than Bill France Sr. himself. (But he won't get in first round.)2. Junior Johnson, who always has been, always will be, the very soul of NASCAR as far as I'm concerned. He is the embodiment of NASCAR's bootlegger roots, and the most fearless driver ever to hit the tracks.3. Bill France Sr., for obvious reasons. (Bill France Jr., with all due respect, should be second round.)4. Fireball Roberts, because he was NASCAR's first household name, completely transcending the sport.5. And of course, Richard Petty, not only the biggest winner but the best ambassador, truly the Arnold Palmer of his sport.So there.Suspect the panel will agree with me on only two: France Sr. and Petty.
Bill S. (High Point, NC)
As a die hard NASCAR fan, dating back to the '70's, I think they finally got something right. I applaude them for the new start times, as it has been a bit confusing the last few years. What's your take on the starting times?
Ed Hinton (2:38 PM)
There you go. I've got a blog that should be posting shortly, if not already, pretty much on the same page with what you're saying.
Thanks Ed. I didn't know about her taking some laps for Ford. NASCAR could use her right now. Indy races have beaten NASCAR with tv ratings twice this year.....something that wouldn't have happened prior to her and Marco and some of the other young drivers.
Ed Hinton (2:39 PM)
Danica in 2005, and Marco in '06, would have brought the IRL light years if they'd only won those two Indy 500s.Those were watershed events, and sadly, open-wheel racing's terrible loss.
Jeff (Chattanooga, TN)
How much outrage do you think there will be when Nascar takes a race away from Martinsville instead of Fontana and gives it to Kansas? Just another nail in the coffin of Nascar in my opinion
Ed Hinton (2:41 PM)
SOOOOO much outrage that I now don't think that'll happen. I'm hearing from deep inside NASCAR, no way, but then . . .that's an ISC call.
Mitch Chance (Brandon, Mississippi)
Ed, did I ask the wrong question? It was skipped over.
Ed Hinton (2:42 PM)
Did it not post? I answered, beginning, "OK, homebody." lemme look on my monitor.
Ed Hinton (2:44 PM)
You're right, it didn't post. TECH!!!!!!!!Anyway, Mitch asked my first round picks for Hall of Fame.I said Raymond Parks, Junior Johnson, Bill France Sr., Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty.Had elaborate explanation why. Sorry there isn't time to repeat.
Ed Hinton (2:45 PM)
Hey, Mitch. The whole thing's now posted. Check the whole chat. Don't know how that happened.Anyway, Hotty Toddy.
Bill S. (High Point, NC)
Has the idea of a track in the New York and Seattle areas been scraped, or just put on the back burner?
Ed Hinton (2:46 PM)
Back burner, then back shelf of the fridge.
ed, old school nu school on nascar now today at 5 ????????
Ed Hinton (2:47 PM)
If it is, I better shower and shave in a hurry. First word I've heard of it. No OS-NS scheduled for this month. Producers say they love it, Marty and I enjoy it, but . . .go figure.
Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)
I agree with most points in your piece, no doubt. But isn't it a little, I don't know, "misleading" to compare the way the NASCAR sanctioning body handles things vs. other sports? We're talking human performance vs. machines, among other things Also, when will Paul Menard give his ride and sponsorship to Bobby Labonte? It's disgusting that this guy can focus on racing while a great champion like Labonte struggles...
Ed Hinton (2:49 PM)
Here's the way I look at it: NASCAR constantly demands to have itself ranked alongside the other MAJOR sports.They want comparison to the big leagues, I give it to them. Warts and all.If they don't like it, they should quit trying to muscle in among the established, truly sporting leagues.
cavedog (Houston (TX))
Hey Ed, what is your opinion about Piquet Jr coming to test for Nascar after being involved in a scandal in F1?
Ed Hinton (2:50 PM)
Hell, as sport once rife with bootleggers shouldn't worry about one guy who allegedly was involved in race manipulating, should they?
Has the IRL really beaten NASCAR twice in the ratings this year? Can't even get IRL on TV anymore here (No VS on DirecTV)!
Ed Hinton (2:51 PM)
Yeah, that was a surprise to me too. I'd have to look. Only one possibility that I know of, perhaps Indy 500 over Charlotte. Otherwise it'd have to be a Sunday IRL over a Monday NASCAR rain day.
Ed, what do you think of the Kansas Speedway facility and racing show it put on this past weekend? Worthy of a second date...attendance and interest is pretty impressive in the market.
Ed Hinton (2:53 PM)
Very nice place, huge and enthusiastic crowds. But think about it: If it weren't a cookie cutter, maybe Gordon could have run down Stewart in the final laps and it would have been a better show.Be careful what you wish for. Texas and California both got second dates and now they can't sell out any of them.
Rick (Buffalo, NY)
Just saw Marty's piece with Kevin Harvick who all but says he is leaving RCR next year... where will he go - seems he will be the 2nd best free agent behind Kahne...
Ed Hinton (2:54 PM)
Oh, I think he's headed to his pal Tony Stewart. Slam-dunk.
I get the feeling that Edwards, Kenseth, Boyer, Someone with a good Ford may break though an win Fontana. You think it's a possibility Ed?
Ed Hinton (2:55 PM)
Based on the Ford performance at Kansas, close except for some glitches, I sure wouldn't bet against you.
Ed (Fort Worth)
That wasn't you asking Tony about Wonderboy in the post race was it? Figured you'd had enough back-and-forth with Smoke for a couple of weeks.
Ed Hinton (2:56 PM)
No, actually I wasn't at Kansas. We had Terry Blount there. But if I'd been there, Smoke and I probably would have had an exchange all right. Natural as a summer thunderstorm.But, for the record, Smoke starts 'em . . .most of the time.
With Montoya getting top 5's in all three chase races so far, do you like his chances more than before the chase?
Ed Hinton (2:57 PM)
No, because before the Chase, I thought he was going to get an outright win on an oval, in short order.Just don't see how he could win the championship without at least one, probably multiple, race wins.
Danica needs Nascar more than Nascar needs her, agree or disagree?
Ed Hinton (2:58 PM)
It's about equal.She needs the money.They need the money.Rather,She wants the money.They want the money.
Scott (Kansas City)
Ed, what was your reaction to NASCAR warning Brad K to watch the aggresive racing on Sunday at Kansas (be careful around the Chasers). Personally, I thought it was weak.
Ed Hinton (2:59 PM)
Oh, Brad's just a rowdy boy, so the street cops lean on him from time to time. Nothing serious.
Is there any truth to the rumor about Danica asking for 8 million dollars to run an 8 race limited schedule in Nascar for 2010?
Ed Hinton (3:00 PM)
I'd say that's low, considering her agency, IMG. Again, look what they've gotten those Manning boys in the NFL.
Brett (Evans, Ga)
Dale Jr's crew chief in 2010? Why not Ron Malec?
Ed Hinton (3:01 PM)
Because why would you break up a proven combination to go chasing a tough situation?
Ed Hinton (3:02 PM)
oops! see the clock's run out. Thanks everybody for stopping by. See you next week.