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October 25, 8:01 AM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to It's Almost Over Wednesday. Only three more races before we crown Jimmie Johnson for the third straight year. Fire away.

Catfish

Any chance NASCAR adds a third race at Talladega??? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw...I love that place!!!!

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

I love it, too. OK, I love the racing there. I don't really love the place. Takes a week to get all the firewood smell out of my clothes. As for a third race, no, it own't happen. Sorry.

Jim, GA

Is there any truth to the rumor that Tony Gibson is going to be Ryan Newman's CC next year and that the entire 8 team is going with him?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

From what I've been told it's a done deal. They're just working out the details. Tony has time left on his deal with DEI after this season, but that won't be a problem.

Catfish

Is Jerry Bonkowski as exciting in person as he is in print? I owe him big time...I tend to get insomnia in the fall and his columns are a mighty quick cure!

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

I sat across from Jerry at Atlanta last week and fell asleep. Can't say much more.

Tank

whatis yur adress? if you.ll be in town on January you shood come to my sons barmitzva??? see you their!

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Dang, Tank. I believe I have something scheduled for January. Like time off. But thanks for the invite.

Dave, NM

Whatever happened to the two Nationwide crew chiefs from Joe Gibbs Racing that got suspended indefinitely? Are they still employed at JGR?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

They are still employed. JGR was extremely embarrassed over their actions, but felt firing them wasn't the answer. Once the suspension is over from N'ASCAR then the company has plans to punish them further.

Drew (Baltimore, Md)

Hey Newt, Casey Mears has been running pretty well of late. Do you see him adjusting well to Martin and the #7 crew next year? The guy can't seem to get comfortable anywhere before being forced to move. I hope he can find the consistency i think he deserves.

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

It always seems we're saying Mears is running well late in the season. Maybe that's because he's just getting used to a new crew. We'll probably be saying the same thing next year. I hope he gets to stay with the same group three years so we can see if he can drive or not.

Steve

Vito -- Anything worth watching in the racing world between now and Daytona?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Sure. If you like watching history then watch the next three races as Jimmie Johnson tries to win three straight titles. The racing has been pretty good during the Chase as well, so just because it's all but wrapped up doesn't mean you tune out.

Pete (Phoenix)

Is it a bit curious as to why JJ Yeley never gets mentioned for rides. He seems like a good guy, and the #96 certainly hasn't improved since they fired him.

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

He is a good guy. He just hasn't proven to be a good Cup driver.

jessie (virginia)

ur thoughts on where scott riggs will end up in 09...41, 15, 01, ur thoughts as to where....

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

I really haven't nailed that one down, but I'll say the 15 or 01.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

With attendance down, any chance tracks will cut ticket prices?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Some have, but not enough. Seems to me you cut until you're selling them all. I'd rather have a full house paying less than a half full house paying more.

David (Jackson, KY)

What's your best guess as to what the Pettys will do for '09? Is a merger for sure going to happen? If it's with Ganassi, will Target sponsor Bobby L.'s car? AND, when will any of this ever be announced?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

From what I'm told none of it may happen until after the final race. They are talking to several teams and really would like to do something to make this work. Ganassi is in the mix. But Ganassi is in the mix with other teams as well.

Jill (FL)

In your opinion, out of the young guys in Sprint Cup, Almirola, Speed and Hornish, who has the best chance to be the most succesful and win races?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

If DEI can keep the pieces together I like Almirola's chances. That car with Mark Martin has been solid all year.

Keren (Maui)

Aloha David. Can HMS clone Chad or at least get him to train the other Crew Chiefs?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Not sure you can clone him, although Chad is close to being a Ray Evernham clone. My guess is that there aren't enough people out there willing to give up their life to be a crew chief like Chad.

Steven L. ((Queens, NY))

Is Rutgers good enough to compete for BCS bowl game next year?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Sounds like something I would hear from my friend Mark Spiegel. I'd tell him the same thing I'll tell you. Forget Division I football and keep an eye on the really big game this weekend, my Wofford Terriers versus Appalachian State on Halloween night.

Keren (Maui)

As a follow-up to my last one. Will Rick Hendrick send the other driver and crew chief combinations to a week long communications seminar?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

They do have sessions together. Not sure if it's a week long deal, but they communicate all the time.

Scott Hagerstown, MD

Will NASCAR ever do something about rained out qualifying sessions? Its just not very fair that #1 starts #1! What about at least inverting the first half of the field or even the 12 chase drivers. I'm for pill drawing so everyone gets a fair shake. What do you think?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

I wish there was an easy asnswer. I don't understand why they can't make an attempt on Saturday if the schedule allows.

one (los angeles)

fear is can be mental but if you good in the heart the world is a playground

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Did you read that in a fortune cookie?

David

Vito -- Why so many Riggs questions...is his family camped out on this chat! Keep up the good work!

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

I was wondering the same question. Thanks.

Sid (Atlanta)

is there a smackdown on the 18 forthcoming? why has this gotten so little attention so far?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

I wrote a piece on it last week. Check the archives on the website.

Joshua (Ferguson, Ky)

Is there a scenario however unlikely it may be that JJ clinches the championship just by starting Phoenix? This team Is amazing and every year they prover the haters and the Nay-sayers wrong. The Champ is here and his name Is Jimmie Johnson.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

I have heard that sceneario. Bsaically, he would need to win this week and Edwards and the next two closest to him would have to finish last or near the bottom.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

What ever happened to the Rusty Wallace comeback talk...going anywhere? It would be fun to see him back in a car...even if just to run 5 or 6 races (though it would only be fun if he could get into a good car).

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

It was all a rumor built by a Kenny Wallace blog.

Joe (Seattle)

What's your favorite restaurant at Indy?Have you ever tried Angry Lobster?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

I have had the angry lobster. A fine $198 portion of it at Oceanaire. As for my favorite restaurant, I'd have to say the steaks at St. Elmos are great but overpriced, and I go to the Slippery Noodle mostly for the music. But for food at a great price and quantity with a good atmosphere, I'll go with 'Bourbon Street Distillery. It's not stuffy like a lot of place there, although most of my co-workers might prefer paying high prices for lobster with an attitude.

Marvin

Vito -- head to head, if they were racing today in identical cars, who do you think would win...Richard Petty or Kyle?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Kyle Petty or Kyle Busch. If you say Kyle Busch I'll say it would be interesting. Depends mostly on how cheated up the Petty car is.

Nick Rolando

David any news on Yates sponsors, or will we find out about this in the winter/offseason?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Looks like the offseason.

Joe, Philadelphia

DN! What's the story with McMurray and Crown Royal? Are they back together next year, and when Roush does have to cut a team, while he be the first to go?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

They are indeed back together. That's old news. As for which team will go to Yates in 2010, McMurray's makes the most sense but you never know.

TG

Since Tank invited you to his son's barmitzva, the least you could do is let him attend your wedding...maybe be best man!!

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

We're trying to keep the wedding small, and I'm afraid the Hollywood crowd that always follows Tank around would make it a spectacle.

Roger

Vito -- Is Tank related to One from LA?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

I don't think he is related to anybody.

ray gordon reid (bristol CT 06010)

GOOD AFTERNON MR NEWTON. MY COMMENT AT 222PM. WHO WILL WIN THIS WEEKEND?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

My answer at 228 pm is Carl Edwards.

devin whitmore lake michigan

will Casey mears run better at rcr next season as he is doing whit henrick right know

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

I can't imagine the RCR car being better than the Hendrick car.

Rich, Newark Delawhere?

Why does the nationwide series continue to visit non-cup tracks like memphis, st louis, milwaukee. why don't they just support the cup series at cup tracks?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Because NASCAR wants to support the many other tracks around the country that need help as well.

Bob (Pensacola)

Who will be the first driver to make an intentional right turn?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Didn't Michael Waltrip make three last week?

Hank, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Love NASCAR on ESPN, but c'mon already with Jerry Punch! Nice guy, but lacks real energy. Any shake ups in store for the broadcast team in '09?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

My agent hasn't heard a word.

TG (PA)

I know the drivers receive a trophy for winning races. Do the owners also receive a trophy. When I visited JR Motorsports earlier this year, I saw the trophies Mark Martin and Brad Kaeleowski won there.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

A lot of times they'll make duplicate trophies not only for the owner but for the crew chief as well. Good observation.

jessie(virginia)

to answer u guys question is becuase scott riggs has quite a few fans and they care what goes on...thanks ...im sure jj or gordan or jr does as well...we may not stand popular but we stand proud behind our driver.....like it lump it or jump it .....

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Thanks for the explanation.

Rick (Yardly, PA)

If you had to choose one organization from this season that will not even make it to the 2009 Daytona 500, which won would it be?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Interesting question. I'll guess and go with Bill Davis Racing, only because I believe he'll sell or merge with somebody before then. And because he has no sponsors on his cars for next year.

Jason (Louisville,Kentucky)

Whats your favorite track?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I'm a bit biased. I was born a few blocks from Darlington Raceway and have always love the racing there.

Jay

I saw jayski reported that jr motorsports cut some employees today. when that happens, who are the first to go?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

It depends. Usually a few execs that were considered dead weight, then some others that were considered expendable.

devin whitmore lake michigan

when do you think david ragan will get his frist win

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Next year at California. Dont' ask why. I just picked it.

ann (CT)

Any theories on why Dale Jr seems to do real good at the beginning of a race but when it gets toward the end of the race his car seems to be really bad..

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Because he and Tony Eury Jr. don't seem to keep up with the car as well as others for the entire race.

Bill (NY)

Do you think McMurray makes the chase next year, after closing out 08 so well?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

He's closed out a few other seasons well and still is looking for his first trip, and I've got to believe his window of opportunity is shrinking.

Kevin (Boston, MA)

Newt, what does the off season look like for the drivers and crew. Will they decompress until the start of the year or is testing starting the day after Homestead?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

They'll decompress until the first of the year, then start gearing up for Daytona testing and the rest of the season.

Jill (FL)

Out of all the young guys in cup now or starting next year, please rank your top 5 in prospects of being champions.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

David Ragan, Joey Logano . . . sorry, can't think of three more I realistically believe have a chance to win it all.

David

Vito -- Sorry to Jessie for stepping on the toes of her driver. I think its totally cool to root for Riggs...I was just surprised how many fans he seems to have here! how do you think my Lions do this week...I think we are starting to put it together!!!

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

If you could arrange for Rudi Johnson to get 30 carries for about 140 yards I would appreciate it. I have an iffy situation with one of my starting running backs and the natural replacements are on bye.

Kevin (Boston, MA)

Did they find anything yet on Busch's rear end setup?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

NASCAR hasn't released that info yet.

TG

Yikes, I really hit the wrong keys trying to spell Keselowski.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

How can you tell? LOL. No problem. I have to double check that one all the time.

jessie(virginia)

no offence taken....we love the chat and loev the driver......so u didnt step on my toes....everything is a ok....newt does a great job with desribing as well sitations thats why we like to chat as well

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Glad everybody is happy here.

Bill, New York

YES or NO: Mark Martin will win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

No.

Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)

That's a personal foul against David, violating chat protecol by using 'LOL', 15 yards and repeat 3rd down

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Sorry, I am not up on my chat etiquette. Why can't I use LOL?

Sheldon - Nova Scotia

Think it would be worth it to have Mears paired with Gil Martin at Homestead? I think it makes sense - Bowyer can still have the 07, but Shane Wilson as CC, which I think would be good for them too - his title hopes are gone so might as well build for next year...

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

You're probably right, but I suspect Gil would like to finish what he started with Clint this season.

Brian (NY)

Who in your opinion was the best rookie this year?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Not a lot to choose from to be honest, I guess you would have to say Regan Smith. He won at Talladega, even though NASCAR says Tony Stewart did. For a while I thought it was Patrick Carpentier, but it would be hard to vote for somebody not in the sport right now.

Tank

Newt -- TG said sory for speling K's name wrong...I think i made a miskae as well...sorry! Hey -- when did you pikcs up the nikname VITO??? o like it!

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Not even sure what to say about that garble, Tank.

John (FL)

Can scott speed win ROY next year? I think he's going to surprise people after winning in only his 6th nascar start. (Trucks)

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

He can, but a lot of eyes will be on Joey Logano.

The Suits (Bristol)

'LOL' is barred for use by any of our chat hosts. We are adults here, not 12 year old girls. Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Excuse me. I'll remind my other 40ish friends that they're acting like 12-year-old girls when they use LOL the next time.

Ryan (San Diego)

Ed, you're in no position to be reffing chats. I still have a bone to pick with you over that charger game

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

OK, settle this somewhere else.

Justin (Cashville)

Who actually watches racing still? Its like the WWE..got old in the 5th grade

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

C'mon. The racing is not fake.

Justin (Cashville)

I think you can LOL if yuo want Newt. If you feel its funny enough to laugh out loud, then by all means, LOL away. Forgot these pesimistic emo children!

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Thanks, but I have to play by their rules. TTYL.

Todd, Norristown PA

Which driver will be a flop: Speed, Logano, Clauson or Coleman.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Logano has the most potential since the expectations are higher on him than the other three combined. I don't expect it to happen, but it would be hard to call anything the others do next season a flop.

scott (boonestown)

what did you think of M. Waltrip's comments on "this week..." regarding how Carl passed Denny and how David Reutimann did not do the same thing.

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Did Mikey have time to comment this week? I figured he still was in Atlanta picking up the pieces from his car that looked like Sherman had marched through it.

Joe (TX)

My 7 year old is looking to pick a favorite driver and he likes Almirola, Speed and Hornish...not sure why. He would like me to ask for your opinion?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

I'll go with Almirola. Tony Stewart isn't so high on Speed, because of the way he dressed at a track. Said he was making fun of the sport.

Justin (Cashville)

What do you think about Rusty Wallace's son doing commercials for that 6 hour energy stacker drink? Have you seen it? What a career ender before it gets going huh?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

I just saw the commercial for the first time the other day. I personally believe the Wallaces have enough energy without a boost.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Well guys and gals, my time is over. Enjoyed the Chat. Only a few more to go before we crown Johnson again. Until next week . . .