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February 1, 2:46 PM ET
Chat with NASCAR Now's Allen Bestwick

Allen Bestwick
  (1:31 PM)

First day at work. Getting ready to go. Look forward to talking racing for the next ten months.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Allen, What did you think of the Super Bowl?

Allen Bestwick
  (1:32 PM)

I live in New england and the Pats were not in it, so I did not care as much. But it was a great game I watched rigtht to the finish.

justin(durham nc)

hey allen. great job on ur nascar do u think riggs will do with tommy baldwin racing in 09.....thanks and have a great year

Allen Bestwick
  (1:33 PM)

Thanks fot the kind words, Justin. Scott is a great guy and a great driver. he's facing an uphill climb with a new team with limited resources. I hope he does well, because I would like to see him in a full time ride. But it will be tough.

Wanda, Fort Worth

Will tough economic times mean better racing? seems like it could level the playing field.

Allen Bestwick
  (1:36 PM)

Look forward to being in Fort Worth soon. I am not sure how to answer that. I think the racing we see at the front of the pack will not change that much. The best teams will compete to win the races each week. What may change is the hunger factor for drivers without a secure future either team or sponsorship wise. You would like to think they will be hungrier than before, but knowing most racers, they cannot be more hungry than they already are. I do not think the racing will change that much, but the stakes will seem much higher than before.

Jim (Seattle)

Big Kasey Kahne fan. Will he get it together this year, or does he and that team just have too far to go?

Allen Bestwick
  (1:37 PM)

Hi Jim. I think we saw Kasey and his team get it together a little better at the end of last season than at the start of the year. I am really not sure what to expect this season overall. The merger, new people, etc. leave a few question marks in my mind, but Kasey is a big talent and it sure would not surprise me to see him make the Chase this year.

Mark (Chi-town)

I want to know if this is Junior's year or not. C'mon already! Rate his chances for winning the title, please.

Allen Bestwick
  (1:39 PM)

Gee, I have not been asked that yet this winter. I think they have a good shot. He ran well last year, and I think they showed signs of all the things you need to win a title. They just need to be more consistent all year long. They are running well, leading laps, they are up-front and if they can turn those late-race adjustments to close to right on, they could win a bunch of races this year and be holding a trophy by the end of it.

Luke Gloucester UK

Whats going to be the biggest suprise in 2009 then allen? Apart from the multiple wins for montoya! lol

Allen Bestwick
  (1:42 PM)

I am not sure what the biggest surprise will be. Nothing jumps out at me strongly. I have a group of about 6 to 7 drivers that I expect to be the champion. The biggest surprise would be if one of these 6 or 7 does not win the title. I do not see anything that says Hendrick, Roush, Gibbs, Childress cars will not be the strongest. So you can probably figure where my group of 6 or 7 comes from.

KK, Sacto

Welcome back! What do you have in store for us tonight on the first show?

Allen Bestwick
  (1:45 PM)

It is good to be back. Warming up the voice right now. Tonight we will look back at everything that has happened in the 78 days we've been off. Talk about who we think will contend for the championship. Talk about how the ecomony is influencing the sport. We will interview NASCAR President Mike Helton and Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson live. And there is more stuff probably, that we are still dreaming up.

Gary, San Diego

So Tony Stewart has no one to blame but himself this year. What's the biggest challenge he faces as an owner and driver?

Allen Bestwick
  (1:48 PM)

The biggest challenge a driver/owner faces is being able to focus on each job enough to get them both done at the level they need to, to succeeed. In racing, today, they are both full-time jobs and are both 24-7-365 roles. That said, if anyone is is of the proper mindset to do both, it's Stewart. He eats, breathes, sleeps racing. He has surrounded himself by good people. And I believe as much as we see the fiery competitive side of Tony as a driver, he also understands the business very well and will have the right balance of patience and aggresiveness as an owner, to succeed. I do not have him in my 6 or 7 favorites to win the title, but I would be surprised if he does.

Luke Gloucester UK

Me again, so how do you cope with the off season? do you miss the NASCAR circus like the fans and count down the days to the 500

Allen Bestwick
  (1:51 PM)

Yes and No. I still enjoy the races and broadcasting the races every bit as much as I ever did; and I look forward to getting going with that again. It is very much fun for me. What wears you down are the airplanes, hotels, nights away from home and things you miss when you are away from home, like family functions, birthdays etc. I anjoy a break from that during the offseason.

John (Spokane WA)

With Hendrick Having an All-Star type 4 teams of drivers, can they really spread the wealth around, or is JJ just going to dominate again this year?

Allen Bestwick
  (1:54 PM)

Good question. One that I will be interested to watch during the year. Like any good multi-car race team what Henrdrivck does is provide drivers and teams with the best equipment, engines, put crews etc. that he can. From there it is up to the driver and individual teams to win races and titles. Johnson and Knauss have gotten the most out of it the last number of years. No reason to believe it will not continue. But like I said, I think Jr. could have abig year. I think Jeff Gordon was very solid last year, and like Jr. right on the edge. And what will happen with Mark Martin and will he win a title, will be very fun to watch. The potential is there. We will have to wait and see what happens over the next 10 months.

Allen Bestwick
  (1:55 PM)

Time to go back to work! Check us out at 5 p.m. ET tonight!