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January 13, 12:16 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (1:01 PM)

Welcome to NASCAR's version of Disney Land, where everything seemingly is on a rollercoaster ride right now. Fire away.

Dustin (Halifax, Va.)

I'm confused David because on monday according to espn sources Labonte was going to the 8 and then on tuesday "these" sources said he was going to the 96 so what are the sources saying about my man Scott Riggs. could he be in the 8 or 41 or could he possibly get a yates rides since the article said yesterday that Travis K. nor David G. were still garaunteed a ride next year?

David Newton
  (1:03 PM)

Actually, the sources said Earnhardt-Ganassi officials were discussing putting Labonte in the 8. Never said he was going into the 8. That was by another publication. It never was a done deal. Now it is. Crazy out there. A for Riggs, haven't heard a word on him. As for Kvapil or Gilliland, it appears Kvapil may get the ride over Gilliland. Wild ride, huh?

Tyler Lockrow, Averill Park, NY

Do you think that the DAYTONA 500 should continue to be held with the change from day to night or should it go back to being in the afternoon. I've gone to the race from 04-08 and again this year and I love seeing the cars at night. My dad seems to think that it should be held back in the afternoon because it just elongates the day and NASCAR changed the time to cater to the west coast. etc. But, personally. the race is more exciting at night. What is your opinion?

David Newton
  (1:04 PM)

I agree, night racing is more exciting. But the Daytona 500 tradition began in the afternoon and it just wouldn't feel right running the whole race at night.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think NASCAR should follow IRL on engines?

David Newton
  (1:04 PM)

No.

Steiny (NYC)

Will J.J. win a fourth title in a row?

David Newton
  (1:05 PM)

He'd have to be the favorite unless you know something I don't. Carl Edwards would be the best bet to dethrone him. That team has it all together.

steven sigmon

any news on where bobby labonte will go for 2009

David Newton
  (1:05 PM)

You must have been asleep yesterday. Labonte will drive the No. 96 for Yates Racing after the 96 of Hall of Fame merger took place.

Steiny (NYC)

Bobby Labonte is poised to drive No. 8 in '09. What are your thoughts on that?

David Newton
  (1:06 PM)

Funny. Think the words you used came from somewhere else. My story simply said he was being discussed for the 8. Things change, although honestly I didn't anticipate this one.

Steiny (NYC)

David Stremme is blaming his former team for all of his struggles. Is that fair on his part?

David Newton
  (1:07 PM)

No. There is enough blame there to spread around. The first place you look when things aren't going right is in the mirror I always say.

Steiny (NYC)

What are your thoughts on Truex Jr. having sponsor issues?

David Newton
  (1:08 PM)

Not surprised. Everybody is cutting back. Heck, I'm only going to 19 races this year. Nobody is immune to the economy.

Steiny (NYC)

What are your thoughts on Max Siegal leaving Earnhardt Ganassi Racing?

David Newton
  (1:08 PM)

Good for him. He's endured more than one person should have to at DEI, now Earnhardt-Ganassi. He did all he could to keep the company afloat. Now he wants another challenge. He deserves that chance.

Tank

Happy New Year!!! I know the economy is hurting NASCAR, but does you think that the racing will be different? I think it won't! p.s. I got a dictionary for the holidays!!!

David Newton
  (1:09 PM)

The racing will be the same, maybe better. Teams learned a lot about the new car last year and I thought there were some pretty exciting races last season. The big difference may be the number of winners. The no testing rule, I believe, will hurt the smaller teams.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

What do you think would be more worth it...seeing the Daytona 500 or the spring race in Bristol?

David Newton
  (1:10 PM)

Used to say the spring race at Bristol, but that track has changed so much with the resurfacing that I'd have to go with the Daytona 500.

Tank

Hey -- Did you get married? if so, congrats!!!

David Newton
  (1:11 PM)

Yep. I'm a lucky man, Tank. Sorry you didn't get an invite to the wedding or honeymoon.

jon frankfort,ky

kevin harvick had one of his better yeras last year, but didnt make it to victory lane its now been 2 years. will he win a race this year?

David Newton
  (1:11 PM)

The odds favor that. Who knows for sure. I thought Gordon would have won a race last year and he didn't.

David (Jackson, KY)

Is there any indication about whether Yates/HOF will swap points to put the #96 in the top 35. And, how competitive do you think Bobby L. can be with that team?

David Newton
  (1:12 PM)

That makes sense, particularly since they are going to be a three-car operation. Haven't heard anything definitive, though.

jon frankfort,ky

so do you think kentucky speedway will get a date 2010?

David Newton
  (1:13 PM)

Bruton Smith thought it would happen in 2009, so who knows. I always thought Bruton got his way.

Dustin (Halifax Va.)

In all honesty you do you think is going to get the 8 or 41?

David Newton
  (1:14 PM)

I'd look for Almirola to be in the 8 as was planned last season, but that is just my guess. Not sure on the third car. Losing Labonte was a big blow.

mike (columbus, ohio)

where is Kerry Earnhart these days

David Newton
  (1:14 PM)

Somewhere in Mooresville, N.C., I suppose. Haven't heard much or anything about him.

brian (washington dc)

will jeff gordon ever get back to where he was..or is he done???

David Newton
  (1:15 PM)

I picked him to finish third this year. That doesn't sound done to me.

mike (columbus, ohio)

Is he still racing

David Newton
  (1:16 PM)

He was driving some in lower series, but truthfully haven't heard a thing in months. I will have to check on that.

jon frankfort,ky

my dream top 5 in points at the end of the year. 1 kevin harvick 2 dale jr 3 clint bowyer 4 jeff burton 5 casey mears

David Newton
  (1:17 PM)

No Dale Earnhardt? If you're going to dream like that, you might as well go all the way.

Jeff (Des Moines)

Ultimately, can NASCAR weather this economy with its current business model...or at some point is the sanctioning body and the teams going to have to get together and put everything on the table in terms of changes they can make to survive and be profitable (like what F1 is doing at the moment)?

David Newton
  (1:18 PM)

They'll have to adjust some. I don't see it becoming as structured as F1, and I hope it doesn't. The biggest change has to be away from so much dependency in sponsorship. Not sure how that is done, but that has the gap in the garage too wide.

Scott (Michigan)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is he going to be a factor this year or is it going to be all JJ, or Carl Edwards

David Newton
  (1:19 PM)

Junior may make some noise, but I look for JJ and Carl to be dominant.

Dustin (Halifax Va.)

One more...In all honesty will Scott Riggs be in the Cup series next year? Yes or No? If yes what are his options?

David Newton
  (1:20 PM)

Maybe. Not man options out there that include full sponsorship. Earnhardt-Ganassi needs a driver or two. Several smaller teams could be looking. It's not pretty for him or the business.

Luke (Indianapolis)

Could NASCAR do anything to help the teams during these tough times like increasing the race purses? NASCAR is still awash in TV money, maybe they could give the teams a greater share.

David Newton
  (1:21 PM)

To increase purses they would need more TV money or more sponsor money. That won't happen. Or have tracks sell more tickets, and that isn't happening. Barring giving them money from the NASCAR pot . . . never mind, that will never happen.

David (Jackson, KY)

What do you think were the determining factors in Bobby choosing the 96 over the 8?

David Newton
  (1:22 PM)

Haven't talked to Labonte, but I would guess the strength of having the Roush program behind him and a sponsor in Ask.com willing to step up to the plate were big factors.

Dale (Roxboro N.C.)

Is Robby Gordon going to expand to two teams thsi year? In years past he has been known to make changes right before the season.

David Newton
  (1:22 PM)

In years past he has changed manufacturers prior to the season. Maybe he'll drive a Honda this year. Two teams? Not likely.

jon frankfort,ky

as you can tell im a rcr fan. oh do you think tony stewart will win a race this year?

David Newton
  (1:23 PM)

Tony probably won't believe this, but I do believe he will win a race this year. After visting the shop I am very impressed.

jon frankfort,ky

well david the man in black is always in first place

David Newton
  (1:24 PM)

Well, he was before a driver named Gordon started winning. And Gordon won before a guy named Johnson started winning.

Timothy Peters (Danville Va.)

How well do you think I'm going to do in the truck series this year?

David Newton
  (1:24 PM)

Not sure there will be enough trucks to field full fields this year, so you've already improved your position.

nick ( new jersey)

how fast does your car drive?

David Newton
  (1:25 PM)

The speed limit.

Bradley - Toledo, Ohio

Do you feel that any of the recent mergers will make any the new teams (i.e. - Earnhardt/Ganassi, GEM/Petty) run more competitively in 2009?

David Newton
  (1:27 PM)

I like what they're doing at GEM/Petty, even though the move with Sadler appeared bonehead. Ganassi should benefit from the engine program with Earnhardt and RCR. That company just needs sponsors. Had Labonte signed to drive the 8 they would be in good shape.

Chad (Las Vegas)

I just moved to Vegas. Is it worth me going to the race hear? I have been to several other tracks including, Tal, Daytona, and Bristol.

David Newton
  (1:30 PM)

Yes, it's worth it. The garage setup there is pretty unique.

Granny (Bristol)

It is called the Speed LIMIT David. That doesn't mean you have to go that fast!

David Newton
  (1:30 PM)

I drive a Hyundai. Not built for speed.

jon frankfort,ky

thats true, but earnhardt will always be the best no matter what.

David Newton
  (1:34 PM)

Dont' tell David Pearson or Cale Yarborough or Richard Petty that.

josh illinois

Do you think Kasey Kahne will be a factor for the championship this year.

David Newton
  (1:34 PM)

Let me see how to phrase th is. No.

dan san antonio tx

do you think paul menard can get a win at yates and larry carter calling the shots for paul.

David Newton
  (1:35 PM)

Maybe in a plate race. He showed some promise there in a DEI car and the Yates cars have been good at Dega and Daytona. Otherwise, probably not.

Timothy Peters ( Danville Va.)

I have had good runs in the past though at places like martinsville, dover, nashville and kentucky, I think we will surprise some ppl especially using toyota now

David Newton
  (1:35 PM)

Good luck.

jon frankfort,ky

who wins the daytona 500?

David Newton
  (1:38 PM)

Drum roll, please. Tony Stewart. What a better way to kick off a new team than with his first Daytona 500 win.

alex (Branson Mo)

who is the odd man out at roush

David Newton
  (1:43 PM)

A year ago i would have said McMurray. I'd still have to lean that way since Kenseth, Biffle and Edwards all were signed to extensions last season.

Nate, Nebraska

Now that Labonte is in the 96 does that open the door for Scott Riggs at DEI/Ganassi, that ride is still open.

David Newton
  (1:44 PM)

It could. All is quiet there at the moment.

dan san antonio tx

will yates have 3 or 4 carsin 2009. and will the 98 car get points from the 28 or 38 cars.

David Newton
  (1:44 PM)

Three cars. Checking on the points.

john, albany,ny

why do you think Kasey Kahne wont be a factor this year?

David Newton
  (1:45 PM)

Just not sure the organization is up to par enough for him to do so. Nothing against him as a driver.

Dave (Madison WI)

New to the chat so bear with me cuz Im sure you have answered before, what are the expectations of Stewart and Newman? Chase? Top 20?

David Newton
  (1:47 PM)

After visiting the shop I am convinced Tony will have a chance to make the Chase. Maybe even Newman. They have all the equipment and a lot of good people.

Dustin (Halifax Va.)

how well do you think the 22 is going to run this year(if they run)with the new owner?...these guys have had a lot of success in the truck series.

David Newton
  (1:49 PM)

It all depends on sponsorship. Not looking good at the moment.

devin howell michigan

what do yuo of henrick doing seven race for brad thiss eason and you think mis will be one of the race that is brad home track

David Newton
  (1:50 PM)

Haven't heard his entire schedule. Sorry.

Jmerms (NYC)

Hey David, do you think that Tony Stewart has a good shot at the title this year?

David Newton
  (1:50 PM)

I wouldn't say title. That's a lot to ask for basically a first-year team. But I'd say a top 10 finish is realistic.

Jason, Nebraska

who would you say is the odd man out at Yates, I would say Gillilan, cause Kvapil showed strong runs at the end of the year

David Newton
  (1:52 PM)

You are probably right.

David Newton
  (1:53 PM)

Sorry to cut this a few minutes short, but I have an Elliott Sadler conference call to get to. Thanks for all the fine questions.