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September 30, 12:36 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to Week 4 of the Chase and arguably one of the most suspenseful weekends of the season at Talladega. Let's roll.

Ryan (St. Louis)

Happy October, Newt. Seeing as how Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jr. are world class, champion drivers, albeit in Indy cars, how much of their struggles this season can be attributed to switch to the COT? Do you think they would've struggled this much had the old car still been in play?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

The COT isn't the problem. If anything, it should be an advantage to those guys because they never were so used to the old car. Bottom line, you just don't make the jump and expect to be successful right away no matter how good you are in another series.

Jay (Candor, NY)

Ok, slightly older news, but don't ya think team Red Bull has stabbed AJ in the back by taking him out of the car the week after is best finish, and after racing them into the top 35 in owner points so they have a guaranteed starting spot at 'Dega this week?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

This was planned well before he had his best finish. If anything, it's the best thing to happen to AJ. Now the last memory other owners have is positive.

Boston Tom

Do you see DEI recovering or are they in serious trouble?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

As Max Siegel said, they don't plan to close the doors. It'll be tough to rebound, but I believe they will. Perhaps it starts by becoming a two-car operation again. But they have all the physical resources to be a successful organization.

John (Durham, NC)

Hey David, I see Bootie Barker is going to MWR, State Water Heaters is looking at Yates. This makes Scott Riggs destination even more mysterious..any insight on his situiation?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Sorry, no insight on Riggs. Yates would like to get to four teams eventually, but that will come when the fifth Roush Fenway team moves there in 2010.

dave(durham nc)

do you think scott riggs will be in cup ....with dei....they need sponsers and scott will bring them....where do u see him at in 09

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

You're right, DEI needs a driver and sponsors. Whether Riggs is the answer I can't say.

becka,va

what is up with brad colemen

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Not much.

GLYNN (ATLANTA)

This may get wordy, sorry!!! With the new car's lack of adjustability has NASCAR made it impossible for drivers with certain driving styles to get confortable in this new car. I look at an all time great like Gordan and how every week the car isn't right, he didn't suddenly forget how to drive. Commentators always say how the set up for one driver may not work for the next because of different styles, yet the powers that be have limited the suspention adjustments so much that it seems to me that they are asking all drivers to get into vertually the same setup. Thoughts???

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

No, it is not an impossible situation for Gordon or anybody. Other drivers have struggled with changes, some when the old car first was introduced, others when there are significant tire changes. Gordon hasn't won, but he hasn't been horrible. And he seems to be coming around.

Dave (Denver)

What up with the Rusty to DEI rumors?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

You used the right word, rumor. We didn't address it with Rusty's denial because that would be denying a story we never reported in the first place. I'm not sure what prompted his brother to make the statement. Maybe he was trying to force Rusty back into a car. But as of now Rusty says he has no intention of getting back behind the wheel.

Rick, SC

Do you think it was a bad idea to put Joey Lagano in the 96 car? It didn't exactly turn out well. Especially if you consider the 96 needs to get back into the Top 35.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

I'm really confused on this one. I figured Joe Gibbs Racing would simply send one of its cars to Hall of Fame along with the engineering and everything else to make it competitive. That apparently didn't happen. Then again, all of the Gibbs cars have been off in the Chase, so maybe Joey is in the same boat with Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

Tom (Minneapolis)

Does Menard's departure and Truex's one-year deal signal the end of DEI?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

They've got problems, but nothing they can't overcome. As I said before, losing Menard was no big deal. Losing the sponsorship was. Money makes the world go around and cars go faster.

Greg

Hey David, Rusty coming back? He's denying it today in a report from the AP but what are your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Seems everybody is reporting a denial of a story that they never reported would happen. While we're at it, I'll deny I'm going to drive the 96, 15 and 41 next season.

Dave (Denver)

Thanks, shows Rusty is reasonably smart.

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

LOL. You've got me there.

becka,tn

why have we not seen colemen in the 96 car

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

They want a veteran driver in there it apperas. I really haven't gotten a better answer.

lynn,va

do you think tony will get brian back this weekend

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

Help me here. It was my birthday on Sunday and I was at an NFL game indulging in barbeque and such and only saw the last few laps.

Keren (Maui)

How much is NASCAR going to allow that front spoiler to be modified? It looks like most cars are sliding around on it in the corners. How much do those things where during a race?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Front spoiler? I assume you mean front splitter. No word on what will be done there. Most teams believe they need a little more wiggle room to create more downforce, but all aren't sold on how that should be accomplished.

Jeff (LV)

Ok who do you think gets into the 5 car after Mark Martin is done with it next year? Keselowski? Truex? Kenseth? any other drivers that are coming out of contract? or young up and comers?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

I'd go with one of the top two. If DEI gets things straight and Truex has a good year there's no reason for him to leave. Rick Hendrick said last week that Keselowski is the future of HMS, so you'd have to guess he has a spot reserved.

Greg (Sacramento, CA)

Is there anyway that someone outside those top 3 win the points? Does the level of competition in this chase surprise you? What did you think of that finish sunday?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

I can't see anybody outside of Johnson, Edwards or Biffle making a run because I can't see all three of those guys letting up. Maybe one of them, but not two and certainly not three. The finish was outstanding. The guts Edwards showed with that move should win him more fans than any backflip. All I could say was, 'WOIW!!!"

mitch (oakland)

what about jeff gordon this race win ?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

He's one of the best plate drivers out there, so why not.

lynn,va

happy belated birthday, brian sent tony flying through the grass and tony's pit cre got mad at brian's throughout the race

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Wish I'd known. Was talking to Brian earlier today. As for revenge, I doubt it. Perhaps at Martinsville, but Talladega is much too dangerous for payback.

Nick Rolando (Lakeland, FL)

Mr. Newton I was wondering if you think Crown Royal will head over with McMurray to Yates in 2010?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

That's the general consensus. But what if Jamie wins the title next year at Roush and Kenseth has a horrible year? You never know.

Otto (CA)

Is there any chance Rusty will race again? NASCAR aint the same without him on the track.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

This is the second time this season Rusty's name has come up. The first was with Childress' fourth car. It says to me the sport is lacking for good young talent.

Keren (Maui)

Spoiler - splitter. My bad. Sorry about that. A Kyle question... Why does Kyle Petty want to keep driving? He seems like a natural talent on broadcasts. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

I agree totally with you. He needs to step back from Pattie Enterprises, I mean Petty Enterprises, and let the organization move forward.

Rick (VA)

Will Menard inherit the points of the 28 or 38? Or will he have to race his way in next year?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

That's to be decided. I'd say the points go to the sponsor that puts in the most money.

Ben (Fayetteville, GA)

What driver that normally runs towards the back of the pace 25-43 do you see having a top-10 type weekend at Dega?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Hmmm. Let's go with Michael Waltrip. Clint Bowyer can say what he wants, but Waltrip knows how to plate race.

ray gordon reid (los angeles ca 90027)

THIS WEEKEND who ya got?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Rusty Wallace. I mean Jeff Gordon.

Nino (Clarkston, MI)

The sport may be lacking in young talent. But what about Marc Davis, when do you see his move to at least Nationwide? He is already running for Moss Motorsports in the trucks.

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Don't rush him. The last thing we need is for Davis to get here before he's ready, fail and set the diversity movement back further. But if he succeeds at the Truck level then sometime over the next year or two.

Sid (Atlanta)

is there any one (or more) track(s) you think any of the top 3 is(/are) at a disadvantage vs the others? obviously 'Dega's a routette wheel for everyone and the 1.5s appear to be about a wash but Jimmie's got a bunch of wins @ Martinsville and the last two at Phoenix. do the 16/99 need to sweat either of those? on the other side of the coin how big a lead does Jimmie need going into Homestead which seems to be the Roush invitational?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Roush has been strong on the 1.5 mile tracks, but otherwise nobody has a huge edge. I'd say Jimmie needs at least a 30-point cushion going to Homestead if Biffle is in the mix. He s won three times there since the Chase began.

Jake(Indy)

is there any truth behind the rumors that rusty could return to racing at DEI?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Yeah, he's going to drive the 15 and I'm going to step into the 8 and Brad Daugherty into the 01 if they cut a hole in the roof. Please read below for all the Rusty insight.

dave

Ok you said it was your birthday and Im noticing a lot of misspeaking is this a coincidence or are you losing your marbles in your old age? haha pull it together and do some brain exercises

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

You got it. I'm having a senior citizen moment.

Jack Johnson (Hawaii)

Are we going to see "The Big One" at Dega this weekend or has the COT limited the chance of that happening? Do you like my songs?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

You're right about the COT, It reduces the chance of the big one becuase cars are able to push each other around the track without spinning the one in front out. As for your songs, as Barry Manilow would kinda say, you write the songs that make the whole world sing. Not.

Greg (Sacramento, CA)

How about that 88 cruising to victory lane? Maybe Jr. will get back to himself at the plate tracks, it seems to me watching him that he has been picking the wrong lines late in races, what do you think? and hasnt he been quoted saying something to the effect that he is making some poor decisions on who to go with and when late in races on the plate tracks?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

His problem at recent plate races, other than having engines that don't survive, is finding a friend to help draft. He's gotten so good at drafting that others are reluctant to push him to the front and concede the win.

Tom, Boston

If Jimmy wins the cup again this year, is there a chance Chad Knaus pulls a Ray Evernham and starts seeking out other challanges (opporunities) to conquer or does he stay with Jimmy til the well runs dry?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Somewhere down the line that could happen. But I suspect Chad would want to win four in a row first.

Dave (Denver)

David - I have really enjoyed some of your replies today. It has been a while since I laughed this much. Keep it up. BTW Happy Birthday too.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Thanks. This is a good distraction while Ernie the dog drags all the shoes from upstairs to his bed in my office.

Jake (Indy)

hows it going david, give me who you think could be a potential top 5 this weekend

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Did you miss my answer earlier. After Rusty Wallace I listed Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.

Nino (Clarkston, MI)

I may be wrong, but doesn't Junior have a great shot this year, with a little bit of luck? He has 5 wins at Talladega, always runs well on the Quad ovals of Atlanta, Texas, and Charlotte, runs well at Martinsville almost every race, and has wins at Phoenix. Could he work his way back into the championship race?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

In case you haven't noticed, he's like 190 points back. Jimmie Johnson never was that far back when he had a miraculous finish. The other guys ahead simply are running too well for Junior to sneak up and steal a title.

Greg(Sacramento, CA)

Bowyer is overall correct about Mikey, at times but let me tell you i agree the dude can plate race makes no sense to me but whatever to each their own but sometimes you wonder if Mikey is out there filming a commercial or something and not paying attention to driving so he runs into stuff

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Didn't you get the memo? He's filming a reality television show during the races.

Mike (Dallas, TX)

I agree with Greg (Sacr) about the plate races for Jr., but what will it take for him to get back to the top?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Let's see. Win, Win, Win, 2, Win, Win and Win.

Mike (Dallas, TX)

Is Jr. and Eury's working relationship strained, or are they just missing a bit overall right now?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

They're just fine. They're not missing as much as the top three guys are just hitting on all cylinders.

Chad, Philadelphia

Sliced bread to charred toast, poor Joey. Whats more important Dave, Having a great team or a great driver? To put it another way, if Dale Sr. were in the 6 car back in the day and Mark Martin were in the 3 car, would Dale still have all those championships?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Great team and good driver anyway. As for Earnhardt, the 6 wasn't a bad team so he still would have won his share.

Bre (Seattle, WA)

Any news on Montoya? Any news on a merger with anyone? If his 42 doesn't get full sponsorship can Chip move him to the 41 or the 41's money to the 42? I don't know how all that stuff works.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Let's see. Ganassi is merging with Robby Gordon, Michael Waltrip, DEI and Team Red Bull to form a Super 20-car team. Or not. Ganassi has been rumored as a merger candidate for half the garage. From what I've been told there are no plans. As for Montoya, he's committed to Big Red and whatever sponsor they find.

Mike (Dallas, TX)

"The other guys ahead simply are running too well for Junior to sneak up and steal a title." But this is why they call it racing! one "big one" out of four gets the toppers in the pits and leaves JR front running.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

And you are dreaming.

Sid (Atlanta)

is there any hope of people learning to spell Jimm_IE_'s name right before he retires?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

You've noticed that as well. I've been nice and moved on, reminding myself it could be worse. Has anybody heard from Tank?

dan san antonio texas

do you think paul menard will have a good year at yates .

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

By good year, do you mean finish 25th in points? He's had decent equipment at DEI. Mark Martin is a threat almost every weekend in it. Martin Truex Jr. made the Chase last year in it. Enough said.

Tineke the Netherlands

Hi David , have you heard how Jeff Gordon is doing , He was pretty sick last weekend . And Jeff is someone who is hard on himself , also when he know's that the camera's are arround him . thanks , from Europe !!!!!!!!!

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Haven't heard how Jeff is, but I suspect it was something he got over in a day or so.

Wes Republic,MO

David you are a little testy today are u tired of the same questions or what?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

I'm just upset people aren't wondering why I'm not considering a ride at DEI. Serously, I'm feeling fine and having a blast today.

Randy Ohio

Why is Jr a longshot for the Title? Hecb Biffle had gotten very little consideration until he won New Hampshire. Who's to say that Jr can't win 3 of the next 4 races and be right back in this?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

But Biffle was only 80 points back when this started. Junior is 190 and has three guys that show no signs of letting up ahead of him, not to mention a few other good drivers. Maybe next year.

Cactus Jack (t or c, NM

Why did Gibbs pull Logano out?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Not sure it was entirely Gibbs' idea. Bottom line, the feeling was Logano learned nothing running around the back. OK, so he learned how it felt to run for a third- or fourth-tier team.

Joshua (Carnesville, GA)

In my opinion if Gordon does not get back to back wins at Talladega and Martinsville, he will not get enough momentum to get up there to sniff the points lead. Agreed?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Totally. His team is the only one I believe has a chance to make a run at the top three, and that is a longshot.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

Hey David, How soon before we notice any improvement in the Dodge camp with the new engine package they debuted at Kansas?????

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I wouldn't look for a lot of improvement till next year. It's still in the testing process.

Nino (Clarkston, MI)

Johnson finishes 43, Junior wins, now hes about 60 back. Its a long shot... but its a shot. And Johnson won the title by a decent margin when he came back from 160 points down. He could of won it 200 down. I think anyone within 200 points has a chance, slim, but its there. This is where winning should be awarded more points.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

I agree with the last part. I'd like to see winners get more points. As for the rest, click your heels three times and hope you get back to Kansas.

Cyndee Capone (Oaks, Pa)

With the 48 on its way to at least its 7th consecutive top 5 year and potential 3 peat is it time to start considering Knaus as one of the top crew chiefs in the modern era?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

He already is in my book. Outside of Ray Evernham, I can't think of one better for a longer period of time.

Mike, Ny

Truth be told Dave, How would the sport be different today if dale sr. were still alive? Obviously, jr would be in a bud 8 car, but i'm talking about the sport in general. Let me start, there would be no car of tomorrow.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

You're right, his death did spur NASCAR to step up safety measures. That truly has been a good thing. Had he stayed in the sport he likely would have retired by now and DEI wouldn't be in the mess it is.

Mike (Dallas, TX)

David, look at the run of luck Busch has had...it is very possible that things still get jostled around a bit before it is all said and done...right?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

It could happen to one of the top three, but not all three. Just enjoy the fun they'll provide.

Mike (Dallas, TX)

Happy Birthday Dave! Thanks for the time today...

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Thanks. And with that I'll wish all a good rest of the week. Enjoy Dega.