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October 6, 2:28 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Hey, my apologies. Got stuck on a phone interview and am totally late. Will try to catch up.

Scott Riggs

I know where I'll be next year. Do you?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

LOL. If I keep missing the start of my chats I do. So where will you be?

Joe (Troy, NY)

So, If Don Meredith was broadcasting NASCAR, would he be singing "Turn out the lights, the party's over?" Do you see any scenario where Jimmy Johnson falters in the last six? Is there any track in the remaining six that he traditionally does not come to play?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

I seriously see him holding on to win it. It may not be easy. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle still could give him fits, but he's good almost everywhere from here on out, particularly the next three tracks. By Atlanta it definitely could be lights out.

LIberty lAke

Who is the Best Joe Gibbs Driver, Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, or Kyle Busch

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

You'd be silly not to say Tony Stewart since he's won 33 races and has two titles. But given time I believe Kyle will prove to be ranked right with him. The other two aren't half bad either.

Susan (austin)

Who do you like this weekend at Lowes?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle. Johnson has won here five times. Biffle was fastest in two of the tests. My darkhorse? Jeff Burton.

Glen Fla

David. whats your thought on Dega. did tony force smith below the line in your eyes, and if he did why didnt nascar send tony to the back sinse that is in the rules also, you can NOT force below the yellow line

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

In my humble eyes Regan Smith was forced below the line. Tony admitted he forced him down there as well. That to me is the issue. Not whether he passed on the yellow line. If he was forced then Tony should have been penalized as well.

John, Covington GA

Allmendinger is running this week fro MWR and the rest of the year for GEM...where does il look like he is headed next year?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

That's the $60,000 question. The good news for A.J. is he appears to have lots of options.

Chris

Hi David, 2 years ago this weekend was my sons make-a-wish trip to meet Jeff Gordon. My son gave Jeff a T-Shirt with my sons face on the front and hsi name on the back, my son always asks me if he thinks Jeff wears it, now I know you see lots of things but have you noticed Jeff wearing that kind of shirt?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

The drivers on in uniform most of the time when we see them at the track, and the rest I really don't pay attention to their style. But I'll be glad to ask if you want to get back to me next week.

Billy (TN)

Looks like a 65% chance of rain at Lowes tommorrow. Does that change the outcome of the race? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

No, just of qualifying if it rains. The weather for Saturday night is supposed to be good.

Savannah (Raleigh)

David, please rank next years Hendrick lineup from best driver to worst driver in your view?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Wow. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. That what you looking for?

Glenn Fla

David. whats your thought on the Dega finish. do you think Nascar got it right?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

I wrote what I think in a blog posted on Monday. And no, I don't agree with the decision.

dan san antoino texas

regan smith won the race at dega. nascar gave the wrong guy the win. what a run for paul menard he is a ok driver.

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

I just hope this wasn't his last chance to win. It would be a shame.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Sorry, one more question, I heard a rumor that NAPA thought about leaving MWR back in July, where would they have head to?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

NAPA has signed on for one more year. The power of Michael Waltrip lives.

Mike (New Orleans, LA)

Any chance Kyle Petty is driving for anyone next year?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Would you hire him to drive for your team?

Johnny (NYC, NY)

I agree that JJ will probably win the Cup...but I could see a comeback bc there isn't a logjam at the top like in past years...anybody w/in 100 could do it...how far back do you think somebody could come from???

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Well, Jimmie was 165 back after three races in 2006, and he had a phenomenal finish to win it all. I'd say anything further back than that would be miraculous.

Chris

Thanks David! Would make his day

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Just heard back from his PR guy. He said the same thing, that Jeff wears a sponsor shirt or uniform most of the time he sees him. But I'm sure Jeff has the shirt in a special place.

Savannah (Raleigh)

Yes, that is what I was looking for. Intersting so you think Johnson is officially better then Gordon now and Junior is the weakest driver in the lineup? Is Johnson the best driver in NASCAR in your view?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

I can't say Johnson is hands down the best driver, but he's in the top three and he definitley has the best team.

Scott (Minneapolis, Mn)

Is it true that Carl doesn't get along with his teamates, namely Biffle and Kenseth and why is that? Does it really matter?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

It really doesn't matter as long as he's doing well. Anything else I say would just be rumors, so I'd rather not say.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

David, what's the best way to become involved with the business side of NASCAR, whether it be with a race team, track, or the NASCAR organization, itelf?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

A business degree or degree in PR would be a good start. Then a lot of it is about knowing the right people to get a foot in the door.

JD

The 40 car for ganassi makes a return this weekend for the cup race with Clausen as the driver. Will he be the one replacing the Sorenson in the 41 car next season? Any news on sponsorship for JPM for the other half of 2009? Finally, how do you have the three ganassi cars ranked for this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Clausen in the 41 is a possibility. If the A.J. Allmendinger deal were as done as many said it seems it would be announced by now. No word on sponsorrships for JPM. Got any ideas?

dave(roxboro nc)

ssems like thats all teh media is good for is rumors....how funny ....seems us in the few public know were people r headed b4 u guys....lol

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Hey, not all of us are about spreading rumors. I prefer to deal with the facts. And if you know something before me, you know how to let me know. Always looking for good tips.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

Looked like the 24 was running well last week before getting knocked out...#1 could be outta sights, but you see him moving up at all???

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Gordon's good at Lowe's, Martinsville, Atlanta and Phoenix, so he can get on a run and put some pressure on Johnson. Unfortunately, Johnson is pretty good at those tracks as well.

Keren (Maui)

Hi David. Did all the kudos Carl Edwards for being aggressive the week before go to his head last weekend? Did that wreck put a lot of "dents" in his chances for the championship?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

A dent, maybe, but he's not so far back that he can't make it up if Johnson has a slight hiccup.

Nathan (Manhattan,KS)

what are you views on Bryan Clauson and his future? I heard some big news for his first cup start this weekend! I met him this summer at the Belleville Midget Nationals and man he is a down to earth dude! He can also drive the wheels off anything that moves!

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

You probably know more about Brryan than I do to be honest. From what I hear he has a future ahead of him. It all depends on being in the right situation at the right time.

scott( kentucky )

ne word on scott riggs ...i know hes announcing in 2 weeks.....ne ideas friend

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Are you suggesting the Wood Brothers?

John, Covington GA

I've watched the finish 100 times(thanks to the DVR) It looks like the 01 was below the yellow line before the 20 came down to block. Even so, blocking has been going on forever at the restrictor plate tracks. Just because the 01 goes below the yellow line and gets penalized, why complain about blocking now?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Nobody complained about blocking. The complaint is that he was not allowed to make the pass after being forced below the line. Being forced down there is considered a violation juat as passing below the line is. Apparently, NASCAR agreed with you. I thought he was forced.

Savannah (Raleigh)

David, who is the most overrated driver in the Cup right now?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

That's a loaded question. You might say Joey Logano since he's done nothing in his first couple of Cup starts, but that would be unfair. Who do you think it is?

bryan (Clayhole, KY)

Over under for wins for JJ in the remaining Chase races.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Two.

Rich (Pittsburgh, PA)

I think Target will move to the 42 for JPM. Target is sticking with Ganassi only because they get so much exposure on the Cart/Indy series. So I look for Target to switch to JPM, for at least half a year (not sure if Wrigley's had a multi-year deal with JPM). But still leaves 1 of their two cars without a solid sponsor, I smell a merger.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Not sure that would work since Wirgley has a big deal with JPM.

Pete C Newark DE

Any backlash about the tires since Hamlin was hurt and there where so many issues involving goodyear? Any official word?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Goodyear has found no evidence thus far other than a few tires were punctured. When they explode like that it's not easy to piece everything together.

Ryan, Chicago

How will tony fare as a team owner when he has to be polite and deal with sponsors?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Are you suggesting that Tony isn't always polite and cordial? The better question is will Tony make it to NASCAR's Hall of Fame that will open in 2010 because of his poor attitude? Maybe I should get involved in that brick program and buy one for him.

JD

JPM did have a few sponsors while in Formula 1. Maybe it would be good if one of them jump on board like a reunion type of thing. It could be a good sales pitch and maybe bring alot of new following to nascar over from F1 with a recognizable sponsor.

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

If it were that easy Franchitti still would be in the No. 40.

Catfish

Who do you like in November?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

The Carolina Panthers are playing pretty well right now. What do you think?

other Chris (Richmond, VA)

How's Mr. Hamlin feeling?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

He's been cleared to drive in the Cup race on Sunday, but will give way to Dave Blaney in the Nationwide race.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Under what conditions do you see Biffle winning the championship?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

If he wins three more races and Johnson has one bad one.

Scott (Minneapolis, Mn)

Is Carptiner done in NASCAR and can he do well in the right situation?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

I don't think he's done, but there aren't a lot of good rides available. And as Joey Logano found out in the 96 gaining experience in inferior equipment isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Dana

Any new news on DEI and sponsorships or mergers.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Nothing new yet. Can't see a merger taking place. It's a shame they can't sell Regan Smith as the Dega winner.

Catfish

I think I'd like another race at Dega in November...yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!!! But nobody listens to me all that much...

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Only if they paint over the yellow line.

Scott (Minneapolis, Mn)

I heard that next year NASCAR might have to use field fillers to get to 43, do they do that for perception purposes? Would it really be that bad if there were only 40 or 41 cars in a race?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

I'd rather see them run short than put in field fillers.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

Hey David, Is Hamlin back at 100% for this weekend??? That was a helluva hit last Sunday. Thank God for SAFER barriers.

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

You're right about the barriers. They are lifesavers. As for Hamlin, as I stated earlier, he'll drive in the Cup race but not in the Nationwide race.

Sammy: (Colorado Springs)

Do you think that Jeff Gordon is nearing retirement?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

He's a lot closer to it than he was five years ago. Not being smart. It's just he's getting to an age where, with his family situation, there are other things he wants to do.

Pete C Newark DE

Is there a tie breaking system in place if two drivers are tied at the top of the chase at the end of homestead?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Yes, it goes to the driver with the most overall wins first.

Savannah (Raleigh)

That is why you get the big bucks....to answer the loaded questions. I think it is Junior. Not many wins, zero championships, unlikely to win won given the other talent in the sport today.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Except he does have 18 wins, which is a lot considering somebody such as Elliott Sadler has only three. Do you think Sadler is overrated? Junior can't help the hype that comes with his name.

Catfish

I agree!!! Get rid of the line...get rid of all the rules!!! I want 43 cars out there just racin'!!!! It would be crazy silly!!! yeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!!!!!

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Back at you.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

David, With the new engine package the Dodges are running, will we see any improvement in their results before next season?????

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Probably not a lot. It will take time to get them up to speed, so to speak.

Georgie/NH

'Dega should be renamed MR Toad's Wild Ride...I bet Tony was giggling and besides himself with joy while making it through the carnage and getting the checkered flag...I would have liked that luck to fall upon someone more deserving!

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Except for one thing, Regan got the checkered flag first. Just a minor detail. But Tony did get the victory.

John: Lubbock, TX

Do you think Jeff Gordon's new paint scheme is a sign of his nearing retirement?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

His last one didn't mean that, so I wouldn't read too much into it. But maybe the black feature is a sign.

dan san antonio texas

paul menard will be dark horse this weekend at lowes.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Very dark. So dark you won't see him at the finish.

John (KY)

David, if you made all the decisions surrounding Nascar, what two things would you change first?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

There truthfully aren't a lot of things I'd change. I do believe the sport woud be better if we had fewer 1.5 mile tracks and a more consistent rulebook,, but the guys running the show have been doing this a lot longer than I have been writing about it, so I'll defer to them.

other Chris (Richmond, VA)

Turn the loaded question around: Who's the most underrated driver in Sprint Cup?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

OK. Brian Vickers. I really believe he's got a star in his future.

Savannah (Raleigh)

Any chance Kurt Busch breaks out of Penske and replaces Martin at Hendrick after next year? He is probably the most underrated driver. Past champion nobody talks about because he is equipment is terrible. He has to be regretting going to Penske.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Kurt's struggles tell me there truly is something wrong at Penske. He's too good to be that far back in the standings. As for Hendrick, I highly doubt it.

Jake (orlando, FL)

Do you think DEI will be forced to drop a team next year? if not who will possibly drive the 15?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Barring a miracle I'm betting DEI will field two to three teams. It would be nice to see Regan Smith get Menard' s ride. He deserves something after Talladega.

clint(durham)

name the top 3 driver that will not have a ride in 09

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Richard Petty, David Pearson and Cal Yarborough.

Josh (Washington, DC)

I guess my question earlier about Bobby Labonte and being consistent wasn't good enough. YOU SUCK

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Never saw the Labonte question. Sorry about that.

John, Covington GA

Do you think Bowyer feels snubbed to be pushed into the 33 and Mears to get his points in the 07? He seems to be performing better of late kinda like he has a chip on his sholder and has something to prove.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

The good thing about Clint is if he were feeling that way he wouldn't say it. He'd just do his job, one he's thankful to have in a world where there aren't many good rides.

clint (durham)

i meant active driver....i do agree those were my top 3 alltime...but i meant current in cup but mabye not next year

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

I knew what you meant. I just find it difficult to think there are three good active drivers without a ride. I'm not sure there are 43 good drivers some weeks.

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

On that note, I'm back to the phone. Sorry for being late. Hopefully, Josh from Washington aside, I got to most of your questions.