Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 9, 2:11 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to a rainy day, at least in Charlotte, N.C. The season may be over but the poor economy has the industry in a flux that is creating more stories than normal for this time of the year. Fire away.

JD, Indiana

Tony Schumacher won Driver of the Year, which I can't argue with. But Tony Stewart got a first-place vote?? Please explain, David. Don't only the top motorsports media in the country vote on this?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Yeah, that one is hard to figure. Perhaps Tony had a vote since he was a member of the media until his Sirius radio show was canceled. I also understand Shumacher, but still give my vote to Johnson. He won for the third straight year with arguably the toughest competition of any motorsports. That deserves more.

JD, New Jersey

Has the 42 team picked up another sponsor for the rest of the season, and what abour sponsorship for the 8 team? Who will be the driver for the 41 team?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

No secondary sponsor yet. No sponsorship for the 8. And no driver for the 41. Some reports have it that Bobby Labonte might be headed for the 41. A lot of weird things are happening out there.

Tank

is the Rolx 24 a god race or am i dieing until Datona? Any good boks you can sugjest reeding this winter?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

A God race? I hope you mean good race? Try "Cat in the Hat." That should keep you busy for a month.

John (Spokane WA)

With the Economy the way it is, and sponsers hurting for cash, which hurts Nascar and its drivers, teams seem to be dropping like flies lately, how long do you think it'll be before the rebound, when we have 10 teams competing each year for wins, instead of 3 or 4 big teams dominating the standings every year.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

I'm guessing at least a couple of years, but nobody knows for sure.

Catfish

I bet right about now you are wishing you could reconsider my idea for a race at Dega on New Years!!! Yeeeeeeeeehaw!!!

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

No, I am happy to have that weekend off.

Tank

Iv never been to the Rolex...is it a G-O-O-D race???

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

I've never been either, but I hear it's pretty good.

Adam

What's the NFL culture like in Charlotte? People into it? As much as NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

It's still growing. Many fans in the area were fans of other teams before the Panthers arrived and have been reluctant to give up those ties. The kids that were 10 and 12 when the team came here in 1995 are going to be the real fans. Plus some of the fans of other teams are jumping on the bandwagon with this year's success. I went to the game on Monday night and it was packed, a great atmosphere. I've never sat in the stands for a Cup race in Charlotte so it would be hard for me to compare, but the NFL in general gets more enthusiasm about everywhere.

Mayor Blomberg

Why are you always ripping on NYC?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

I love NYC. It's just that I don't see NYC loving NASCAR, which makes me believe the banquet should be somewhere else where the fans embrace it.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

David - Please tell me that The Dinger will be racing somewhere in '09!

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

I believe he will, likely for Gillett Evernham if the merger with the Pettys works out.

Irving

I think a 74 year old can easily do the Daytona 500! To be nice, they could shorten the race, but, still, I think he can do it. if he's fast and safe, let him go!

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

It's not a matter of whether he can do it. It's a matter of whether he should. I don't believe he should.

Tank

Not sure that was really all that nice...I can finish the Cat in Hat in a week...tops:)

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

I knew you would take it in the good spirit that it was meant, Tank. If it sounded harsh, i was multi-tasking on the phone when I replied and decided to go with a book with short words in the title.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Please tell me NASCAR will stop field-filling to 43 cars.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

I doubt it. It's a free country. If you want to take a shot at the Daytona 500, go for it. Actually, that race should be fine. It's the trips to California and places far away from the Charlotte area that will hurt to fill the field.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

You know when Terry's book is ooming out? Have you ever thought about writing a book?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Not sure on the release date. Yes, I have thought of writing a book. Actually had a few good ideas, but never seem to have the time to follow through with them. What would you like to see and perhaps I can sell it.

RAY GORDON REID ( JACKSONVILLE FLA 32277)

TO THE / NASCAR GURU / DAVID NEWTON / HI DAVEY AVERAGE SALARY OF TOP 10 NASCAR DRIVERS?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

That would take a bit of time to research. If I had to guess, I'd say just base salary between $4 million and $5 million would be the average.

Brian (Levittown,Pa)

David, I did see on ESPN thismorning that Jeff Gordon is willing to give up some of his salary to help his team. If things keep going the way they are, is there a chance in the near future that we may see a shutdown or not as many races?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

The statement you're referring to came after the banquet and is included in a story I have written for Friday. He said it could come to that one day, and if it helped better the team he would consider it. And he didn't volunteer this. He was answering a question about should drivers consider this. That'll never happen though. As for shutdown, that won't happen. They'll keep running if it means 35 cars in the field.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

David - What are the top 5 tracks in your opinion to go see a fun, competitive race?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Richmond, Martinsville, Bristol, Darlington and Talladega.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Is there anybody out there that has a different opinion on those tracks?

Andy (Toledo, OH)

I think Charlotte is a blast. To go to the center of NASCAR is really cool. Especially if you have time to visit a few of the shops.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Just think. They could have the banquet at the new Hall of Fame that opens in 2010. They could close the streets as they do for the Coke 600 and create Speed Streets II. The fans would embrace the banquet. They also would have the option of visiting the shops while in town, perhaps participate in the Petty Driving Experience at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In New York they have to manufacturer any excitement with show cars and people that have never been to a race. It just makes sense. Even Rick Hendrick agrees with me on this one.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Any chance NASCAR reduces all 500 mile races, not named Daytona 500/Coca Cola 600/Southern 500?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

They won't reduce the length of those races. Too much i nstory involved. I'd love to see most races shortened a hundred laps, though. The Pocono 500 can't be shortened enough.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

I guess the economy has reduced the number of questions this week. Hope it picks up soon. Meanwhile, I'm off to the island of St. Kitts. Hope everyone has a great holiday.