Hello folks. Great finish at Kansas, which could be a good omen for things to come on the 1.5-mile ovals. What's on your mind?
is this true that tony gave the finger sunday
Didn't see it, and frankly, not exactly Earth-shattering news if he did.
Who's performance (good or bad) this year has surprised you the most?
Good _ David Ragan. Bad _ Kurt Busch.
Don't know if this got posted, but it's an excellent question. I wrote today that things might have tunred out differently if Junior was still around. You have to wonder how all this would have played out if team owner Teresa Earnhardt had agreed to give Dale Earnhardt Jr. 51 percent ownership of DEI last season instead of letting him leave. Tony Stewart?s name recognition is helping bring loads of sponsorship money with him as the new co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, so isn?t it obvious Earnhardt Jr. would have done the same thing for DEI?
Terry, with the Menards announcement to Yates, does that mean Yates is ready to announce sponsors for next year?
No, it just means that have a full-time sposnors in Menards.
with menard heading to yates ...do u think scott riggs will end up at dei..or where u think he will be at...dei if they get there act togethr can be a good thing....
He could, but DEI needs to find sponsors before signing other drivers.
Terry, any specific reason that the Gibbs toyotas seem to be struggling the second time around to these tracks, yet Waltrip cars look like they have improved?
Hamlin said the GIbbs guys have been trying new stuff for the Chase and it hasn't worked out. But why would the 18 try new stuff?
will nascar talk to brian's pit crew about kicking tony's car
I doubt it since their guy almost got run over.
Generally speaking, how long does it take a good team to "turn things around" after a bad season (i.e. Childress Racing was struggling for a while in prior years, Penske this year, etc)? And what causes a turnaround? Change in the way things are done in the shop? Dumb luck?
Not dumb luck. Often it's putting the right people in place and finding a team chemistry. IN RCR's case, hiring Burton was big part ot it because he brought a lot of info they could use to improve. Generally speaking, you don't see dramatic turnarounds in one year, although we did this year with the 18.
Menard move to Yates: upgrade, downgrade, or push -- for Menard? for Yates? for DEI?
A big upgrade for Yates to add the sponsorship money. And a huge downgrade for DEI in losing that money. DEI is in trouble.
do you see dinger going to reed's old car
Yes. I think it would be a good move for Ganassi and a good place for AJ.
Do you think there is any way the 24 car can turn it around and push to the front of the chase with the upcoming tracks left.
Doubtful because the top 3 all are running so well, but Talladega can change things in a hurry.
Will A.J. Allmendinger find himself a ride anytime at the end of this season? It's kind of funny that he's been outperforming his teammate more often than not for the past several races.
Wouldn't be surprised to see him in th 41 before the end of the year.
So, has there been enough crow to go around between all you sports writers who were ready to hand the championship to Kyle Busch? Most fans knew from the start that Shrub doesn't have the mental fortitude to win a championship. What are your thoughts now that he's given up on his team?
I don't think anyone thought Kyle had it wrapped up because anything can happen in the Chase. And you can't blame Kyle for three mechanical failures. Kyle still will race to win, but he realizes his chances of winning the title are over.
After the finish last week, I'm a little bit of a Carl Edwards fan. He mentioned practicing on video games. How much of that do the drivers do?
Quite a bit for the younger drivers. Some of these tracks videos are pretty realistic, or so I'm told. I'm a little old for video games.
Think that Dario will get a ride for next year of will he return to Indy? Same with Patrick Carpentier?
Dario is going back to Indy car to drive for Chip's IRL team.
What Carl Edwards did on Sunday proved that he is a driver who wants to win, no matter what the points situation is. Can any other driver do what Edwards does? Doesn't he deserve the title?
He deserves praise for going all out to win, but that doesn't mean he deserves the champiopnship.
Dodge is still finishing at 10th or just out of the top ten, what are they working on over the next few races for next year considering they are not included in the chase? Will we see a big step up from them?
They should improve because you can gamble of setups when you aren't fighting for the title. You change things you normally wouldn't change and see if it works.
Any updates on the drag racing safety studies/procedures? Are they going to keep using the shorter track next year? Are they going to lengthen the tracks for slowing down?
It isn't possible to lengthen some of he older tracks. I think the move to 1000-feet as been a huge success, but many traditional fans want the NHRA to go back to a quarter-mile next year.
what do u think of rbr leaving aj
They would have kept AJ if they had sponsorship money for three cars, but the big bosses want to move up Scott Speed. AJ will land on his feet. He has proven himself over the last couple of months.
What is wrong with Kurt Busch?
Nothing that a better car and a better team wouldn't fix.
Which driver has the best chance to jump into competition with the top 3 drivers?
Probably Jeff Gordon, but Junior could get in the hunt if he shows his old Dega magic this weekend.
Do you think that Stewart will win as an owner next year?
He might win a race, but he won't win the championship.
Why didn't Red Bull Racing try to get a third team in Cup? Instead of leaving AJ out to dry. Red Bull could have had three very young drivers.
The money just wasn't there in this economy and AJ wanted a multi-year deal that RBR couldn't commit to.
Any Canadians going to compete next year. I think Carpentier performed farely well considering the car and he did earn a pole. What about Jacque, will he attempt another go?
It doesn't look good. I agree that PC made a respectable showing this season in bad equipment. For PC and JV, it all depends on sponsorship backing them.
who do you want to win the chase
I would like my preseason prediction of Carl Edwards to come true since I'm the only one of our crew to pick him.
Can DEI come back from Menard leaving or do you think they are done?
I don't think they're done, but DEI is a little like Wall Street bankers. They need a bailout, or in this case, maybe a merger.
General question: how accessible are the drivers to you (racing journalists)? Are interactions limited to the garage before/after races and press rooms? Or are you able to go have dinner with them, say when you are writing a driver profile? Are the drivers' schedules so packed or do they have so many handlers that they are generally inaccessible to you in the media?
Cup drivers have incredibly busy schedules that include media time, sponsor time and track time. They do the best they can to talk us on race weekends at media centers and behind their haulers, but they aren't sitting around eating cake and shooting the bull with us.
Do Yates and RFR work more closely than other teams that have an agreement? (ex. Gibbs and HOF or Hendrick and Haas)
Yates and RFR share an engine program and RFR helps Yates find sponsorship money.
Would would you say is still in the title hunt after Kansas? I think anyone within 200 points has a chance. Especially going into Talladega, which is always a crap shoot.
They have a chance, but unless the top 3 wreck, they don't have a good chance.
Hey TB, With the shape DEI is in Truex will likely leave after next year. 2 things I could s ee happening are him going to Stewart/Hass to start a third team. Tony already has a relationship w/Bass Pro. The 2nd being a longshot is, JR Motorsports moving to Cup and Truex going there taking his sponsor with him. What are your thoughts?
Either of those is a possiblity, but it's a long eway off a so much can happen before then. Truex will have a lot of options for 2010.
will soresnon do better at gem then he is now at chips
Could he do any worse?
If things continue like this, coming into homestead, how many of the chase drivers have a chance that day to win the chase?
Only the top 3 if it stays as it is now.
Do you think Jr. is still the "pied piper" of restrictor plate racing? It seems to me that everyone is happy to draft with Jr. until there is 10 to go, then he gets hung out. Do you see that changing this weekend?
Junior hasn't won a restrictor-plate race (not counting the Bud Shootout) in four years. But other drivers respect his drafting skills. As always in the last 10 laps, it's every man for himself.
Other than Jr., who do you like at Dega?
Gordon, Johnson, Kyle Busch. and my wildcard is Vickers.
It seems to me that Gordon hasn't been real aggressive this season. Was wondering if you thought his crash at the beginning of the season in Las Vegas be a cause?
No, but in general, drivers tend to become more cautious as they get older. They know what can happen and they have too much to lose.
The Nationwide series had two stops at large non-US cities this year. Do you forsee the Sprint Cup series ever venturing north or south of the border?
Not anytime soon, but I would love to see a Cup race in Montreal.
Who do you think will be contending for the title at Homestead? I believe it will be Johnson, Edwards, Biffle, and Harvick.
I still think Gordon and Junior might slide in there, and Burton is so consistent he probably will have a mathematical shot at it going to Miami..
Sounds like Smoke is in a similar situation as Dale Jr.'s 2007 season. That being said, will Smoke's '09 season be worse or better than Jr.'s '08 season? Do you think it is similar at all?
Good question, but I don't think it's that similar. Junior went to the best team in NASCAR. Stewart is going to a struggling team and hoping to make it competitive.
With the economy the way it is do you think we will have 43 car's for every race next year?
NASCR will put 43 cars out there, but they may have to use fueld-fillers to do it. That's drivers who are guaranteed a spot in the show if they come to the event.
i hear NASCAR drivers talk bout how they dont like restrictor plate racing...why dont the driver put money into a pot...and say bring ur fastest car wit no restrictor plate.. but wit rules ...winner takes all..at daytona or talledaga
Not gonna happen. Without plates tese cars would run 230 mph or more at Daytona and Talladega. Too dangerous to them and too dangerous to the fans in the stands because a car could go through the catch fence.
Do you see any changes to the format of the chase to kind of close the gap from the old point system to the new, or expansion of the chase field, or even add two races more to it.
No, I don't see any of those things happening anytime soon.
Is Kyle Petty about done behind the wheel? He's literally running around in circles. I know after one restart this weekend, he pulled down and let 5-6 pass him. Jayski has a post with quotes from his wife saying they (including the King) have wanted him out for years. I know it's trouble once the wife or mother starts talking. I do give him all props for his Victory Junction work. His legacy will be that, rather than anything he did in a race car.
Kyle is one of the true class acts ever to sit in a race car. But he's days as a full-time driver probably will end after this season.
How do you think the COT will race at the end of this year, moving into next year? NASCAR says with time, the racing will improve.
If the last two racse are an indication, things are improving with the new car. The true test will come on the four high-banked 1.5 mile ovals left this season.
is harvick going to win a race or what?
Maybe next year, probably not this year. But it wouldn't shock me if he won at Dega.
with how long the race at Dega is do you see most of the chasers heading to the back to just ride around until about 75 or 100 to go?
They may ride around until there's 40 or 50 to go.
Does Nascar still run the Izoc series..dont hear much about it anymore? and do you see ford or nissan,honda coming into nascar in the near future?
It was the IROC Series, but it's dead. Don't look for Nissan or Honda to come to NASCAR soon because these are very tough financial times in the auto industry.
Gotta run folks. Some excellent questions today. Have a great week. Peace.