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August 1, 2:44 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to another Wednesday afternoon chat, where we can argue like Carl Edwards and Bob Osborne and still get along. Fire away.

becka, va

what is the latest on reed sorenson's contract deal

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Still working on it from what I hear. What do you hear? And are you he president of his fan club or something? We don't get many Sorenson questions here.

Rick (Pa)

David - I have the highest respect for you and your work. Recently both you and ESPN have been attacked in the press, specifically over the Newman to Haas agreement. My question is how do you deal with these type of issues knowing that you have credible sources? Do you ever really get used to it?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

I'm glad you asked that. As a journalist, I learned to have a thick skin a long time ago. Much of what we report gets disputed even though we know it to be true. I checked back with my sources on Newman again on Tuesday and was assured it's down to lawyers and sponsors getting all their I's dotted and T's crossed. The funny thing on this one is that many members of the media themselves have decided to attack the network and specifically me. I've never covered a sport, and I've covered about all there is, where this type of behavior was so prevalent. That part of the deal is difficult to deal with at times because these are supposed to be people that I respect. Do I like having to use sources? Not unless it can't be helped. But would you rather me sit and wait for the news release or keep you informed even if it takes weeks for the news to become final? Thanks for asking and allowing me to get that off my chest.

John (Spokane WA)

So, Jeremy Mayfield, does he have a future in Sprint Cup?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

You would think one of these middle-tier teams needing a driver with experience that could win races would give him another chance? I don't believe he's washed up and neither do many of his peers.

Kullmann (West Allis, WI)

Will Tony Stewart drive in the Nationwide series next year? Maybe for Harvick or Junior?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Good question. That is something that really hasn't come up with all the focus on his Cup program. I would have to believe in order to strengthen Stewart-Haas that they would put together a Nationwide Series to get that team up to snuff. Next time I see Tony I'll ask.

Andy (Cleveland, OH)

As posted on Jayski.com, are there any truths to the rumor that Mark Martin may drive the No. 5 before the end of this season?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Just saw that myself. I wouldn't call "I'm hearing" reporting. Until I know further I won't fuel the fire. But it would benefit both sides. Aric Almirola needs seat time in the 8 and Martin needs to get familiar with his new team. It's just a matter of getting Mears out of the car early, which I'm sure Hendrick can figure out.

David (Jackson, KY)

What's the likelihood of Casey Mears ending up at Petty?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

That one seems to make the most sense to me. I'm pretty sure he won't end up at RCR because General Mills doesn't want a driver coming over from Kelloggs, although I believe they could market that to their advantage. If he were going to Penske it likely would be announced already. Just not sure what number they would put him in at Petty. Kyle has been pretty adamant about driving the No. 45, even if it's on a part-time schedule, because it was Adam's number.

John (Richmond, Va)

Do the recent rumors about Truex to RCR at all affect your certainty that Truex is going to resign with DEI?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

I try not to deal in rumors.

Drew (Baltimore, Md)

Newman fan here, Newt. Do you see Ryan and Borland being reunited as Driver/Crew chief, or will Tony stick with Bootie? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Not sure what will happen there or if Borland wants to take a step back and become a crew chief again. I'm guessing Bootie and many others will be replaced. One reason Haas got Stewart was to upgrade talent.

John (Richmond, Va)

Allow me to rephrase then. Do you still believe that Truex is going to end up resigning with DEI?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

The people, and not just one, that told me that initially have given no reason for me to think otherwise.

David (Jackson, KY)

Any rumblings about potential sponsors for some of the unsponsored cars for 09 -- specifically the #43?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Not a lot on the 43 sponsorship, but they're hoping to announce a few things in the next month.

Tank

Don't u wish NASCAR was in the Olimpics? If two-man luge and horse jumping can be Olimpics, why not NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Only from you, Tank. If it was an Olympic sport then we'd kick butt. Last time I looked the Russians didn't have a team.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Only from you, Tank. If it was an Olympic sport then we'd kick butt. Last time I looked the Russians didn't have a team.

Tank

Does you has trouble making it back from Pocono foryour wenesday chat...feels to me like the race just ended.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Didn't go to Pocono, Tank.

Johnny (New Jersey)

Newt -- I've given-up on NYC, but still love the chats! I'm leading big group of diehard fans to Richmond in a month...we are all pretty psyched. We are gonna be out there at 8:30 am with the BBQ for some burgers, dogs and a couple of refreshments. You should stop by...see the fun outside the track!!!

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Hey, drop me an e-mail closer to race weekend and let me know where you'll be. I never turn down good bbq.

Dylan (Rochester, Ny)

What are the chances of David Stremme racing full time in cup next year?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

He has been interviewed for the 12 car opening at Penske. But if it were that simple you'd think they would have announced it by now as well. Do I believe he deserves another shot? Sure.

Tom (Boston, Ma)

Let's get the junior questions out of the way shall we... Why hasn't he been runnin' that good the past few weeks? Do you see his performance matching that of the 48 team, since they have similar driving styles?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

It's not that he hasn't been running well. He was headed for a top 10, maybe top five, last weekend before running out of gas. He wasn't that bad at Indy, either. As for the Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team, they have two titles, so it'll be a while before he can match that performance.

Sandi( NC)

Any chance Casey could go to DEI and replace Regan Smith or Menard?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Not Menard, but he'd be a good fit to replace Smith if they could get him.

josh (park city)

mayfield is a joke! he's always crying "give me a good car and i can win" dude everyone who rides in the back probably thinks that. he had his chance with two great teams. and what happend his big mouth opened up.

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

All I can say is he had good equipment with Evernham and made the Chase two straight seasons.

eddie (ma)

why do drivers agree to race in certain races before the season? (example junior racing this weekend in nationwide, when fellows won last weekend)

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

It's mainly sponsor driven. Say Junior's sponsor wanted some exposure for a certain market they would ask him to drive the Nationwide car there.

Rick, Pa

Monday night Michael Waltrip stated that MWR was having a picnic on Tuesday and that he was giving a sponsor update. I have not read anything on this. Have you heard anyting? My sense is that MWR is taking on more water than can be bailed out and that the sponsor situation is still murky

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

I wasn't invited to the picnic, but the steak and shrimp I had at my house was pretty good. No sponsor deals here, either.

Jack ( Detroit )

How does Menard still have a ride...cause his family sponsors the car ??

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

You said that, I didn't. But his performance has improved this season. That team is solid in the top 35.

Scott (Reno, NV)

AS a Casey Mears fan, I'm curious as to why he's being treated so poorly. Granted, he's not running well, but all of the changes had to hurt. Considering how he "moved over" for Jimmie and Jeff several times during the chase in '07 i just think he's getting a bad deal.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

It's pretty simple. He was given good equipment and the results just haven't been there.

steven atlanta,georgia

how do you see the new stewart,haas motorsports team doing next year?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Still a lot of unknowns there. They'll have good cars and good drivers, but they need to improve the overall talent base [engineers, crew members, etc.] and those things take time.

josh (pc)

since martin has not retierd how does jack feal about that? does he miss him

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Jack and Mark have moved on from that. If Jack wanted Mark to stay then he would have tried to work a deal to fit the schedule Mark wanted at the time. Bottom line, the split was good for both sides. Martin has done well and David Ragan is a rising star.

Jon (MPLS,MN)

What are Jimmie's chances this weekend at Watkins Glen, i know he hasn't won there but he'll get some good practice running the nationwide series there this weekend. Any thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

That he's in the Nationwide race makes me believe he's focused on getting his road-racing program on track. When he's focued on winning he usually does pretty good.

Steve, Maine

I'm a big Tony Stewart fan and while I hope he makes the chase, if he doesn't, has there been any word on 1.) whether Gibbs will let him out of his contract the last 10 races, 2) if he does get out of his contract, would he jump in the 66 or 70 to try to get it into the top 35 for next season

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Sorry, had a technical meltdown here. Hope I'm back working now. Anyway, Was told that Tony will remain in the No. 20 for the remainder of the year. Apparently there are some sponsorship responsibilities left with Home Depot.

Scott (Reno, NV)

Fair enough, it just seems like they were so "happy" to keep him over Kyle Busch, but now they can't wait to get him out of there. By all accounts Casey is a good guy, I just wish he could find and sustain some success.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

There are a lot of good guys that simply aren't great drivers.

Scott (Indy)

If Brett Favre were a NASCAR driver, would he ever be able to decide whether to pit or stay out?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Funny. I'm sure he'd have some say in the matter.

John (Spokane WA)

Okay, because it ahsnt been asked yet or even mentioned.. who's your last one in and first one out, in the chase?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Last one in? I'll go out on a limb and say David Ragan. Last one out? Kevin Harvick.

Andrew (NJ)

What are the chances that Scott Riggs has a ride next year?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Oh, I'm sure he'll land somewhere.

Greg (New York City)

What are the chances that Nascar shortens Pocono races to 400 miles and takes one date away and give a race to Kentucky?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

They won't take a date away unless Bruton Smith is able to buy it and move the date. If that happens he'd move both dates and put one at Vegas. As for the 400 miles, i'll sign a petition for that immediately.

David (California)

Maybe if Mears hops in the Petty car he'll bring the #25 with him since Kyle is attached to the #45. He did have success with the #25.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Believe Mr. Hendrick still has the rights to the 25.

David (Jackson, KY)

I recently saw ESPN's baseball insider, Buster Olney, say that at the trade deadline he frequently commuicates with the other ESPN reporters to see what they're hearing, confirm what he's hearing, etc. He also said he does not do so with reporters from other outlets. How much do you, Blount and Marty communicate about "silly season" or other NASCAR news, and do you share/receive inside info with/from non-ESPN reporters?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

If you're asking do we huddle once or twice a week and discuss potential deals, no. We usually dig for the stories and when one gets it they let the others know they have it. Now if it's a story that needs a collaborative effort there is no hesitation to do that.

Jack ( Detroit )

Will you please answer my question about JPM...can we finally put him in the same class as the other open wheel drivers ?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

I didn't get the question. Perhaps it came during my technical difficulties and wound up in cyber space. If you want me to say Juan Pablo Montoya is no better than the other open wheel drivers that have made the switch to NASCAR I can't. He's proven to be much better.

Jeff (Lafayette)

I love listening to Darrel Waltrip. Will there ever be a chance he can do work for Fox and ESPN?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Darrell loves listening to himself as well. No offense, Darrell. Couldn't resist. You know I love your insight. You gave me some great stuff this morning for a Friday column. And no, I don't see him working for two networks.

David (Jackson, KY)

In regard to the Mears/Petty/car# situation, doesn't PE actually own the rights to the #44? If they field a 3rd car, they might be able to use that ...

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Waltrip Racing has the 44 now. But if that team were to somehow not have a sponsor or driver it could become available.

John (Spokane WA)

Who wins more championships in their career, JJ or Jeff G?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Good question. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jimmie at least win four. He's that good. Was looking it up today and he's never gone more than 15 races in a row without a win. Impressive.

Indianapolis, IN

With Stewart making the calls next year, what is the likelihood of him racing the Indy 500?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

NONE. He'll have not time.

Melissa, Las Vegas

Is Red Bull moving to three teams next year with Scott Speed as the driver?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

There are rumblings about a third team. As for the driver, I've heard a few names.

Jennifer, Atlanta

Outside of Busch, Johnson and Edwards, who would you say has the best shot at winning the championship this year?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

I'll go with Jeff Gordon. He's starting to get his act together and it would be justice to see him win the title after losing it last season with arguable one of the best runs of his career.

Rick (VA)

Will NAPA be back on the 55 next year?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

I'd say 50-50.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

With whom is the sponsor principally aligned: the driver or the owner? If the former, can a driver (e.g. Riggs) enhance his chances of obtaining a (presumably future) ride if he can bring along a sponsor (e.g. State Heaters)?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Used to be the owner, but over recent years more and more align with the driver. He's the face of the product.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

Who schedules the guests for ESPN radio shows, like Mike & Mike in the Morning? Wouldn't it help ESPN, who is now airing NASCAR races, have you (Marty, Terry, etc.) call in those shows to help heighten the sport's profile beyond current fans?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

You sound like a PR person. Yes, it might help. But I have no idea who schedules those appearances. I just answer the phone when called.

David (Winston-Salem N.C.)

Is Newman a done deal going to Stewart Haas or could he still end up with Gibbs?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Done. Just don't tell Krissie Newman I said that.

Rick, Minnesota

Now that Waltrip and Stewert have gone on thier own, who do you think might be the next top tier driver to possibly take that step? Johnson? Gordon? Edwards?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Well, Gordon already has ownership in Johnson's car. But he's shown no evidence of wanting to become a fulltime owner. Greg Biffle might be a good one down the road.

David (Jackson, KY)

What I meant was that I think Petty owns the rights to the actual # 44, not the car itself. I think they just allow MWR to use it since they've not had a 3rd car ...

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

If they're loaning it then you know more than I do on that one.

steven (atlanta,ga)

where do you see casey mears goin next year?any updates on his situation?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Petty, as I said earlier, makes the most sense to me.

Xavier Copperas Cove Tx.

Does Earnhadrt Jr. Have a chance to win another race this season and also have a chance to win the chase?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Yes and yes.

Dana

Any word on Aric Almirola's sponsor?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

The U.S Army still makes sense. He fits the demographics they're looking for.

John (Spokane WA)

lets have one last Junior ? today.. where does he end up, in the chase at the end of the year. to me.. i think he's fading.. still a top 5 guy?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

I'll say No. 8.

David (California)

Winning a championship is so difficult therefore I think the champion needs to be visually recognized. Rookies have a yellow tape on the bumpers. Maybe there's something Nascar can do for champions? Maybe a silver car or a silver stripe on the bumper. Maybe a trophy painted on the car? Just something to recognize them a little bit more. Am I crazy? What do you think Newt?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Might not be a bad idea. They do recognize the champion by giving him the first spot in the garage ahead of the points leader. But something the fans can see might not be bad, either. How about making him run with the trophy on the hood. Or would that hurt downforce?

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

As a Ford fan, why doesn't UPS or NAPA sponsor the 6, 28, or 38? They all run better than the MWR teams. Also, David I'm assuming McMurray back in the 26, so who sponsors Ragan?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Don't be surprised if UPS doesn't go to the No. 6. They met with Ragan at Indy.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, my time is up. Sorry about the interruption due to equipment malfunction. Enjoy the race at Watkins Glen.