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November 25, 2:27 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Welcom to a pre-Thanksgiving Holiday NASCAR Feast. Right now I could use some turkey and dressing. This new diet is killing me around the holidays. Enough about that, on with the questions.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

David, any news on if Yates will still run 3 cars next year and have a great Thanksgiving?

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Nothing concrete. From what I hear whether they'll run three cars is dependent on getting sponsors. They'd like to run three if at all possible.

Ed (FL)

Looks like Rodney Childer's will be Reut's new crew chief in 09. Who's going to crew chief the 19? I hope Elliott and Todd Parrott get back together.

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Theyr'e still working through a few things on that. It's a shame Reutimann couldn't keep his team intact. They were starting to click toward the end of the year.

Anthony ( CO)

Why would Kenseth re-sign so early and if the rumors are that he's unhappy at RFR, why not leave?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Because they were rumors and he's not as unhappy as people think. The faster you can lock yourself in to a new deal, particularly with this economy. the better off you are. Then you can start planning for future sponsors and all it takes to win.

John (TX)

My son is just starting to get in to NASCAR and wants your opinion on the following two drivers: Scott Speed and Sam Hornish. He wants your opinion on who will be more successful over the long run?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

It's really too early to tell. We have seen so little of Speed to make a real judgment on what he'll do. Hornish had moments where he could run near the top, but he still makes too many mental errors. Let's wait a year before we settle that issue.

Brandon (Minnesota)

Is nascar considering racing less then 43 cars next year?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Not at all. There may be a few field fillers at some tracks, but they're not going to reduce the size of the field. That would be knee jerk at the moment. That doesn't mean we couldn't see a few races where there are 42, maybe 41 cars. But I doubt that will happen often because somebody will bring a car just to get the prize money for starting the race.

Tank

After his all wreks this year, you think JPM is gona ask the pres for a pardin?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Good one, Tank. Wish I'd thought of it. The good news for JPM is he'll have better chassis and engines next season, so he should be closer to the front and reduce the number of cars there are to hit.

Rick (Pa)

No testing is good for money strapped teams but this really favors the 18, 99 and the 3 peat champs. Any trial ballons beyond Mr. Hendrick on using Friday as a testing day and Saturday qualifying and impounding?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Haven't heard any updates on Mr. Hendrick's idea, which I liked. I agree, it does favor the big teams with money to spend on engineers, and seven-post and pull-down rigs.

Michael (Wichita)

Not to be rude or anything, but is NASCAR really a sport? All they do is drive around in circles all day. It does not take the physical demands that other sports do..

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

I take it you never have been in a racecar on a banked oval at 200 mph. Why don't you get the NASCAR PlayStation game and see how tough it is to maneuver Bristol, then imagine how tough it would be to have to physically do it for real.

JB (WA)

Hi David. Who'd win a race to the Thanksgiving dinner table ... Jimmie, Carl or Tony?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

It wouldn't be a race. Tony would smash his way past everybody to get to the table first. And if he got the lead, there's no way Jimmie or Carl could get around the chassis he's built up with years of milkshakes and hotdogs.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

Newt -- Great year!!! Thanks for keeping us all awake on Wednesday afternoons this year!!! See ya at Daytona!!!

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Thanks. But do you really think I was awake doing this? Just kidding. It's the highlight of my week.

Michael (Wichita)

Ok. Ill go rent the game now. Thanks!

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Cool. And don't judge it by Daytona. Getting around Daytona isn't all that difficult. As Dale Earnhardt Jr. says, his mom could do that. But Bristol and a lot of the other tracks . . . I'm just glad I don't have to pay insurance on all the video cars I've wrecked.

Catfish

Everybody in these parts been talkin about how the offseason is way too long...what ya think of my idea of having a $5 million winner take all exhibition race at Taladega on New Years? They could drop the flag as it hits midnight!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEhaw!!!

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

It may be too long for you, but not for those that go to the track 38 times a year and spend the week testing. They need a break. So do I.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

Dave -- Do you think these emails from guys like Michael from Wichita saying NASCAR ain't a real sport are real...or do you think one of us might be trying to ruffle your feathers by raising this arg sporadically throughout the year? I think I remember the same email coming from VA Beach a little while back?!?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

It doesn't ruffle my feathers. Takes a lot more to do that. I was just making the point that it really does take a lot to do what these guys do. I hope he rents the game. Maybe he'll have a better appreciation.

Bill (MA)

David Ragan....is he the real deal or like many former drivers who have shown flashes but disappear the following year, like Johnny sauter, etc.

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

I like the kid a lot. He was close to winning a race or two this year, and I believe he'll win one in 2009. He also has dang good equipment underneath him, so that will help avoid being a flash in the pan.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

NASCAR has already banned testing in an effort to save money, will they cut down the schedule at any point?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

No plans, I'm sorry to say. That to me is the best solution. Take a race away from California, Atlanta, Dover and two from Pocono and we'll all be happier.

dan ( mt morris michigan)

i think we might see less than 43 car fields in 2009, agree?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Think I said there's that chance, but NASCAR wo'n't reduce the field. If you show up and are qualified they'll let you race.

Ed

Dspite missing so badly on your prediction as to who would win the cup this year...any prediction as to who wins next year? Does JJ get his 4th???

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Not sure who I picked at the start of the season. Thought it was JJ. Know I pegged him to win it before the summer heat. Just felt his team would get its act together. As for next year, it'll come down to JJ and Edwards and . . . Jeff Gordon. He's got one run left him him at least.

Tank

Come on...JJ and Edwards wood already be 1/2 way thru the Turkey before tony got off the couch!

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

No, they would stop by the fridge for a vitamen drink and then do a few pushups. Tony would make no detours.

Rick (Pa)

Try driving backward at Bristol. Now that is a real hoot. My favorite driver since his rookie season has been JJ but I think he would do better at bristol if he tried driving backwards

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

You might be right about JJ. That track has been a nightmare for him. If he ever figures it out and how to win on a road course there's no telling how dominant he can be.

Susan

What do you think of the story that Hylton might try to qualify for Daytona in February...seems like a great idea to me! He was respectable 2 years ago...I hope he makes the field (and tha they start the race alittle earlier to accomodate his dinner hour).

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

NASCAR needs to step in now and tell James Hylton he has no business on the track. Nothing against the man, but it would be a shame if a legitimate team were left out of the field for some fluke reason and Hylton made it. Shame on NASCAR for allowing this.

Joe

take Jimmie out of the mix, which former champ has the highest probability of winning another cup?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

You'd have to say Gordon now. Stewart would have been the easy choice had he not left Joe Gibbs Racing. It'll take that organization a while to get up to those standards.

Sven (Seattle, WA)

Wow...38 weeks a year...I could never imagine working that many weeks in one entire year!!!!

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

You know they work the entire year. Have you ever had to be on the road Thursday through Sunday or Monday 38 weeks a year, and travel to testing in betwee? Gets old in a hurry.

MIKE (BOSTON MA)

WHATS SO GOOD ABOUT NASCAR ITS DRIVE FAST AND TURN LEFT, I DONT SEE THE EXCITEMENT

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Then why are you here?

Johnny (NYC, NY)

What's the word around the track as to whether the problems at GM will have a negative effect on their teams?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

All the manufacturers are struggling, but none have indicated they will bail. They are making cuts in some areas, but none they believe will hurt performance.

Jerry (NYC)

David, I want to get into broadcasting and journalism one day, what advice do you have?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Get a degree and pray the industry turns around. It's tough out there right now. Meanwhile, get what experience you can in the business doing whatever you have to do.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

Tell Sven (Seasttle, WA) that those 38 weeks are 7 day a week jobs. So 38 X's 7 = 256, His 52 week job X 5 days = 210 work days.

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

I'm an English major, so thanks for the help.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

Hey David, Have a good holiday. Is there any word on who will drive the #41 for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing???? Isn't that car fully sponsored by Target???

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

The cars is fully sponsored by Target. Haven't heard anything yet. Would love to see Regan Smith get a shot. Looks like it'll come down to Smith, Allmendinger or Riggs.

MIKE (BOSTON MA)

Im here because i want my question to be answered

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Just find it curious that you cared enough to get on the site and ask. My guess is that you secretly watch the sport every week but don't want your friends to know.

Catfish

I get ya about 38 weeks a year away from home (though I'd pay anything to get away from my home that much...going to the track would be an extra bonus!!!) i guess if they ditch testing that the schedule will get a lot easier for all of you? No more covering important, but kinda boring testing sessions...right???

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Testing is a good time to catch the drivers in a more relaxed atmosphere. Not the pressure they have at the track. But you're right, testing can get boring.

Ricky Bobby (Alabama)

Take no fear Dave, if NASCAR is ever short of its 43 drivers I will come out of retirement to fill the field than win the race.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Thanks for falling on the sword.

Susan

You just basing that on his age? come on...2 years ago he was right up amongst the leaders in his duel? if a "legitimate team" is not in the top 35 and can't beat him, what's their gripe? If he can qualify, why hold his 74 years against him?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

What if a legitimate team blows an engine? Or gets caught in a wreck not of his making. If he wants to run the entire circuit, fine. But just to put ona show for one event to me is a joke.

OPEN UP A WINDOW (Krign)

Thanks David for all of the work you have done in NASCAR!

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

My pleasure. Thanks for reading.

Sven (Seattle, WA)

Newt -- I get your point...sorry for making light of your schedule. To Chad (Savannah, GA)...you might want to check your math. Thursday through Sunday is 4...not 7. 38x4=152. 52x5=260 (even after 2 weeks vacation, that's still 250). Their work might be harder, but your math might need some work.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Glad you get it. And the math is getting way too complicated for me. But they do work the other three days of the week, not just four. Most get maybe half a day off each week.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

I forgot about the vacation and holiday days that Sven hopefully gets so he probably works less than 200 days per year.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

OK, Sven is coming around on this. Lay off of him.

A New NASCAR Fan (Wichita)

Thank you so much David, I just came back from renting the game and started to play it. IT IS SO HARD! I can't believe it! I thought it was just driving around like you do on a street, but its not! Thank you, as I have a new appreciation for NASCAR

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Glad to help. By the way, a lot of the drivers use the game as a training tool. It's pretty close to what they see. And if you really want to know how tough it is, go watch a car on a seven-post rig. The shaking a car does wears you out just watching.

riggs fan(durham nc)

ne update on riggs in 09...where u think hes going to be at in 09...thanks and what number

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Nothing yet. He had a ride, or thought he did, and that fell through.

Will (TX)

Who do you think are the smartest drivers in race situations in Cup?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Johnson has to be at or near the top of the list. Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton always seem to make good decisions, as does Mark Martin. There's a long list, actually. There's an equally long list of drivers that don't make smart decisions.

Matt Kenseth

Should I have waited out my deal and signed to the 4th Hendrick car after Mark Martin's last shot at a full schedule?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Nah, that will go to Martin Truex Jr. if the DEI-Ganassi merger doesn't work. You made the right decision.

Riley Niblett (Alabama)

Auburn will not stand a chance against Alabama. 2 reasons, Alabama's offense has to many athletes for Auburn's defense, Alabama's defense is to good for Auburn's offense. Special Teams, Auburn can't contain Javier Arenas. Alabama:28 Auburn:3

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

You are probably right. What I said about Alabama last week was all for my fiancee's sake. Thought she'd snuck a question into the chat. Turns out it was legit.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

The math is actuall 266 if you X 7 I misposted the 256. But David said 4 days on the ROAD. NASCAR is a 7 day a week job. And yes my math does need help but my drinking at 245 on a Wed might have something to do with that.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Cheers!!!

Mark (NYC)

NO WAY! The game will be a lot closer than that!

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Hey, the important game of the week is Wofford against No. 1 James Madison in the I-AA playoffs. Wofford will pull the upset.

Dale Junior (Lost in Space)

what happened to me?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Rick Hendrick would like to know that as well.

MIKE (BOSTON MA)

I dont like NASCAR, I have never watched it, and i dont care what my friends think about my sports and hobbies. I dont think that it is a sport or exciting at all, so I came here to get a simple explanation as to why it is, but you obviously cant give that to me so....

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Let me answer this way. What makes football a sport? Or what makes tennis a sport? Or baseball? It's a competition. NASCAR is a competition. Drivers compete to be first, just as track stars compete to be first or football players compete to win the Super Bowl. Yes, they have the benefit of machines. Just look at them as their sticks and balls.

Susan

come on...lots of guys out there don't run full schedules? all the open wheel specialists on the road coarses, the old guys who do cameos (Labonte, Elliott)...running just a couple of races a year is pretty common. Anybody who blows an engine and doesn't get into the Daytona 500 didn't finish this year in the top 35...if you're better, go beat him on the track!

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Hey, I've been around plenty of 74-year-old men in cars on the street to know I don't want to be around one going 200 mph on a track. This isn't meant to be personal. I just don't believe he belongs.

Bored at work

Better engines, Hendrick or Yates?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Tough one. The Roush-Yates engines certainly have more horsepower, but Hendrick engines may be slightly more reliable.

Mark (NYC)

And I think FLorida will be upset by Florida State.. USC ALL THE WAY!

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Florida will win the national title. Get real. FSU won't get close enough that wide right matters.

Mike (BOSTON MA)

Don't mind me, I also hate the Pats, think the Sox stink, and am not even sure what a Celtic even is! Happy Holidays!

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

But you never answered my question. What makes football any more of a sport than racing?

Bored at home (cooking turkey)

Does gordon win a race next year?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Wish I had turkey right now. Starving. Anyway, yes, I believe he not only wins but challenges again for the title.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

David, I know Robby Gordon has full sponsorship for next year. Will he stll be driving a Dodge as far as you know????

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

As far as I know he'll still get his engines from Penske, which is under Dodge.

MIKE (BOSTON MA)

What makes the other sports, sports is the physical demands it takes to play it. The strength and conditioning it takes to win. It is a lot harder to run and jump and throw etc. then it is to sit and drive

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Don't make judgments until you've done it, sir. Bowling isn't physical, so I guess it's not a sport. I don't buy your argument, but enjoy Thanksgiving just as well.

Dick Trickle (Retirement)

I can always race if a team needs me.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

On that note, it's time to sign off. Hope everyone has a happy holiday and gets plenty to eat.