Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 17, 1:14 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Won't waste time with a long introduction. Sure judging by the comments on the Junior blog there's plenty to talk about. Fire away.

rb west columbia sc

On the dale jr wreck, i think it was a product of hard racing.If anyones to blame you have to more fault on brian vickers.Ninety-nine percent of the time if you wreck someone on a superspeedway usually you'll end up with a wreck racecar also.So why would jr take that chance knowing if he got his lap back that he had a car that could contend for the win.By the way kyle b and brian vickers shouldn't complain to much because if you go back and pull video of previous races over the past fews years I think busch and vickers both have caused there share of wrecks taking out cars capable of winning thoses races.

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

I'm not saying Brian Vickers doesn't deserve some of the blame, but blocking is legal. Taking somebody out isn't.. Junior was having a bad day. He made it worse _ for a lot of others. Whether he intentionally did it is up to the individual to decide. You don't expect Junior to say so if he did it on purpose. When he admitted to spinning out on purpose at Bristol a few years ago to bring out the caution NASCAR penalized him.

Adam Hamden CT

So first instinct Junior and Vickers. Accident or Deliberate?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Deliberate. That was my second and third and fourth reaction as well.

Ed, MI

Vickers must have a real short memory, i.e. Talledega 06'. I didn't hear Jr. crying about that one, just one of them racing deals.

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

C'mon. Do you really think Vickers was good enough to take Johnson adn Junior out that day for the win? Nothing against his skills, but that one was more stupidity than anything. Nothing personal.

Chris Luke Jacksonville, FL

Brian Vickers is at fault. He was a little late when Junior got that run and then he whines about it. Then dont be stupid in your decision next time. I think junior should start acting like his Dad a little more. GO JR

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

The person in front has the right to protect his ground. The person in back doesn't have the right to take the person in front out.

Jimmy B

was it not brian vickers that wrecked dale jr at tallagdea to win his first race

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

Yes, only that one truly was an accident.

Chris Salem,MA

Kasey Kahne got a bum deal Sunday. If Almirola hadn't wrecked him all 4 Petty cars would have finished in the 10 ten. That team seems to have a good thing going in restrictor plate races with the COT they did well last year too.

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Good point. They've done well for a few years in a row. Now we'll have to see if they can take it to the mile and a halfs. That'll be the real test.

TG

Dang, I hope we can talk about someone else next week besides Vickers and Junior. Why does Kyle think they were racing for nothing. He does it all the time to try to get his laps back and so do all the other drivers. Its important in every race.

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

He didn't say they were racing for nothing. He only said they were racing a big out of control for lap-down cars. Funny to hear Kyle talk about somebody else's aggressive driving though, isn't it?

Brooklyn, CT

Could you please explain to me how this wanna be driver can do anything he wants and NASCAR does NOTHING???? Oh YA wasn"t his father Dale Sr,( 7 time champion), DIE blocking for JR and Mike W... Oh ya that was different... That was Sterling M fault..... OK NASCAR YOU HAVE LOST A LONGTIME FAN... SEE ALL YOU REAL RACE FANS AT THE DRAG STRIP... NHRA ALL THE WAY

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Geez. You're a bit upset. Do you give up on other sports that easily? And isn't this debate part of the fun of sports> But if you are satisfied with the NHRA, we'll miss you.

John (chandler, az)

what are your thoughts on Tony Stewart and his attitude?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Writing about that for Friday. Think you'll be interested in the thoughts of other drivers on the matter. My thought is he needs to act a little more like an owner in those situations. What do you think?

JT, SC

To be honest with you, there really isn't a clear video angle that shows junior actually hit vickers. Vickers may have just gotten loose from the air.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

No, he rubbed him to turn him sideways. Wish we had the in-car camera view to see what Junior did?

Billy (TN)

Mr. Newton, Blocking, especially on a super speedway, is insanely dangerous. If you saw Kyle Bush blocking out front earlier in the race, at 180MPH he could have taken out half the cars. #3 did not put up with blocking, he hooked them and spun them. IMO

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Didn't sa it wasn't dangerous. Just said it wasn't illegal. Most drivers despise the maneuver that Juan Paul Montoya is the master of. The typical instinct is to spin the guy out.

Cody (Charles City)

Dale Jr is not to blame for the wreck. He was almost by Bickers when he tried to block Jr. Vickers should have let him go by. And all i have to say is it was pay back for Vickers. I remember a couple years ago at Talladega, Jr was leading the race on the last lap and vickers bumped Jimmy johnson into Jr and Vickers won the race.

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

I don't agree he was almost by. He barely had his bumper inside of Vickers. I also saw others block in similar ways and the driver behind simply let off and pulled back up behind.

Baron North Vernon IN

Vickers should not have ran Jr. off the track...with that said, Jr. should have lifted. Simple as that! I am a huge Jr. fan but can admit that he probably did not lift off the gas because he was mad at the situation he created for himself.

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Couldn't have summed it up much better myself.

JD (Cincinnati, OH)

What did you think of Tony's debut? Rain clouds foiled Smoke's charge.

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

A few wrecked cars and few untimely comments toward Goodyear aside, Stewart had a great debut as a driver./owner. The cars looked really strong and the team semed to have everything together. They'll be a force.

Greg Akron Ohio

well What junior said afterwords sounded strangely familiar I didn't do it intentionally and it was an accident and a product of hard racing ......HMMMMM i can't remember who was infamous for doing/saying such things?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Think he drove a black No. 3, but that's just a guess.

Bill (TX)

Who do you think has the better season, the 77 or 82?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

They'll both be fighting for a spot in the top 35.

Bryan (KY)

Yes or no, NASCAR treats Junior diffrent the the rest of the drivers.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

You're making this very difficult on me. Can I take the fifth?

Adam, TX

Big Smoke fan but your right sometimes he just need to take his bad days like a man but he seems like he is always on the wrong side of these common Goodyear tire problems. I was impressed with the performance of Tony and SHR this weekend but what do you expect from him the rest of the year? I have my hopes up for the chase now even though Daytona never is a good indicator of things to come.

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

I've said for a month now I believe that organization will be strong all year. Nothing I saw at Daytona changed my mind.

Joey (FL)

Do you think the 19 can carry this momentum and have a good next few weeks? The man just needs a little luck...

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Let's see. He had a top 10 at Daytona last season and where did he wind up? Exactly.

chad ,rayland oh

what's your thoughts on nascar so quickly calling the race?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

My first reaction was that it came too quickly. But after doing the math and watching the radar, had they waited it would have taken until 2 or 3 in the morning to complete. Not sure there would have been many around to see it. Not sure I would have been awake.

Josh (WV)

I think they were both to blame for the wreck. Jr could have lifted but then again that was an aggressive block by Vickers. David you called it stupidity at Talladega, well the same thing applies here. Maybe Vickers is not cut out for restrictor plate racing...

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

The same thing does not apply. Junior is one of the best plate drivers out there. To say he was stupid would be stupid. Does that make sense?

Greg Akron Ohio

Mr newton do you think Bobby Labonte will return Yates racing to their right full place in prominence in cup?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Not sure about return, but he'll help get them back in the right direction. The shame here is that Travis Kvapil had to give up the points he worked so hard to earn. This could have long-range repercussions on his career if he's not in the top 35 after five races.

PETE, SCHERERVILLE ,IN

WITH RAIN THREATENING THE OUTCOME OF THE BIGGEST RACE OF THE YEAR , MAYBE NASCAR SHOULD MAKE RESTARTS W/BAD WEATHER IMMINENT SINGLE FILE??,JUST A THOUGHT. DALE JR WAS WRONG ALSO! THANK YOU

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Thank you. The better solution would be to start the race earlier to give NASCAR a better chance to get the entire race in. Had it begun at 1 we would have been on the way home when the rain hit.

Josh (WV)

Stupidity on the part of Vickers is what I had in mind. Vickers wrecking them at Talladega was stupid and the agressive block he threw was stupid. Just not a good plate track driver.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Who was it that said, "Stupid is as stupid does?" Not saying Vickers is stupid. Just wanted to know who said it.

Bryan (KY)

This is not a court of law, so no you can't take the 5th.

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Then how temporary insanity. This is a no-win situation for me.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

Is Logano taking the "going to the school of hard knocks" saying a little too literally?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Didn't hear him say that, but he wsa the victim of bad luck twice during Speedweeks. When he avoided trouble he finished fourth in his 150-mile qualifier. The kid has talent.

Greg Akron Ohio

to the dude who said the # 3 didn't put up with blocking....how do you think Micheal waltrip and junior finsihed 1 2 the year he died?.....if he hadn't been blocking marlin would have passed all three and senior would still be here and junior would still be driving the 8.....

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Points well taken. Good ones.

Joe (Pasadena, MD)

Does Allmendinger run a full year, Can RPM find sponsors if he can run in the top 10 these first few races

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

That is the hope. It all depends on sponsorship. If he strings together more runs like Daytona RPM will find a way to keep him on the track. Hey, maybe Sadler will give up his ride? Just kidding.

Clint, SLC

Gump, from 'Bama.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

That's what I thought. Just didn't want to guess wrong. Thanks.

Casey (MPLS)

Kenseth usually doesn't fair well in restrictor plate races. Can this propel him to finish well the rest of the year?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

I talked to him before the season about being the forgotten man at Roush. It sure would be nice to see him on top again. He wasn't that far off last season. If he gets into the Chase, he's got what it takes to make a run at Johnson. Consistency, you know.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

David, I know Kyle Busch got screwed in the wreck, but so did McMurray, he had a contending car. Edwadrds and Hamlin at least got back on track and got decent finsihes. Who do you like this Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

You're right. That's why Roush was so upset after the race. He wanted NASCAR to do something about ti.

Guy (Enfield NH)

Why not just take the stupid yellow line out...There shouldn't be any out of bounds on the race track....

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Because theyd be running all over the place and it would get ou tof control. There's about eight acres on the back stretch. The yellow line, as much as I don't like it, has to stay. Just don't know why they had to make it a double yellow line, as they said, for the fans. Think one line was enough for the fans.

Bruce (PA)

Which young, up and comers who haven't won yet, will step up and have a good season?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

David Ragan comes to mind first. We've already talked some about Allmendinger. Not sold on Speed yet. Your thoughts?

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

By the way its Juan Pablo Montoya (not Juan Paul Montoya). And speaking of JPM, how do you see his year going? Is this a make it or break it year for the Formula 1 convert?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Did I say Paul? Must have been a Fruedian slip. Still a bit tired getting back from Florida at 3 a.m. As for make or break, i wouldn't go that far. But he needs to show marked improvement in the standings to justfiy this.

Kevin (Anderson,In.)

Isnt this what NASCAR wanted? Its what everybody has been talking about all week. I do believe Jr. was at fault for the wreck (should have let off after he was drove to the grass)But Jr. did have a whole bumpper inside him before Vickers started blocking.Thats why Vickers shouldnt have went for the block.So both have faults for it.I'm a huge Jr. fan.But Jr. should have let off before coming back up.But I dont think he wrecked the guy on purpose its just not his style.Like i said about NASCAR they got to be loving this.Getting them headlines all week....

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

NASCAR does like the attention, but the governing body would rather have it for a great finish than a great mistake.

Joe

Is a rain shortened win like Kenseth's considered a bit tainted by fellow drivers or media?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Not as much as one won on fuel mileage. Kenseth had a good car all night and did what it took to be out front at the right time. Everybody knew the rain was coming, so nobody was holding back.

Mike (Atlanta, GA)

What's up Newt, been a while...just wanted to let everyone know, they have the video online of Jr's in-car and your can definitely hear him lift off the throttle as Vickers came down. Both were at fault....it's just racing.

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

But what did you see when he came back up is the question?

ShaQ Beantown

the block didn't cause the wreck,the rub did - JR gets a pass by NASCAR

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Pass on brother.

paul (albany, NY)

David: Everyone has been posting comments bout what happened at the 500 with the rain shortening if and the late start to the race, does NASCAR ever read what people say about the sport and how the fans feel because the fans help this sports grow along with the drivers etc?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Theyre very interested in what the fans say. That's why we have a green-white-checkered finish. They knew the fans were tired of seeing races end under yellow without at least one run at the checkered.

Don, DELTA PA

IT AS JUNIOR FAULT FOR THE BIG ONE SUNDAY ...PLANE AS DAY...

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Or even plain as day. Vrooom.

alex(phoenix az)

kyle busch is an idiot, he would have and has done stupid moves like that in races when he isn't doing well over the years and for him to call out jr for "racing hard when it doesn't matter" is hypocritcal. he blocks people on lap 1 of 200 in the 500 for example and he is just a whiny baby, he would've gotten passed through the tri oval and lost anyways

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

I'm sure Kyle will take this with the deep-felt sincerity it was meant.

Adam, TX

The Roush cars were not the cars to beat at Daytona but good to see Matt back in victory lane and not the fake Carl.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

You're right, Busch, Gordon, Stewart and maybe even Junior appeared to have stronger cars. But Kenseth wasn't far off.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

In a recent column ("... 500 more fizzle than sizzle"), your colleague Ed Hinton posited that finishing well at Daytona is more of a crapshoot than an indicator of things to come. 1) What, then, can one take away from Daytona? And 2) when can one safely interpret race results as reliable trends?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

It is a crapshoot, but I disagree that it's all just a show and shouldn't count as a points race. They're all for show. That's what NASCAR is all about. And what about the crapshoot at Bristol before the new surface or new car? It was a matter of survival there. And I'd much rather see this crapshoot than the boring racing you'll see at California this week. I wish we had more races like Daytona, particularly with the new car. As for what you can take away from it, not a lot as for how the season will unfold. But that's because there are only four plate races. If there were as many plate races as there are intermediate races we'd be able to take a lot from it.

chris ( jersey)

i heard ticket prices are going down....did pocono raceway 4get we are in a recession ?....they went up from last year....

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Really> Hadn't heard that. Interesting. Guess they are charging by the mile.

Clint, SLC

On the subject of green-white checkers...do you think there should be more than two laps for those "overtimes" at plate and short tracks? Fuel mileage issues aside, the crew chiefs can adjust for that, easily.

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

You make a good point. It takes a lap to get up to speed on the plate tracks. I'd like to see one or two laps added to that, but then fuel mileage does become a bigger issues.

paul (albany, NY)

David: why are people blaming JR for the wreck? Im a huge Jr fan and i dont think it was completely his fault. Vickers made a hard block after Jr already was underneath him and Jr moved down and was almost on the grass so i say its more vickers fault than jr.

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

They are blaming Junior because he didn't let off, thus causing the wreck. Blocking, while not advised in those conditions, is not illegal unless NASCAR penalizes you for forcing somebody below the yellow.

Jeff (Dayton, OH)

What would you say to the people who say things like "Jr has no talent" and "Jr should go back to Nationwide"

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

I say they haven't been paying attention. I still believe he is one of the top 12 drivers today.

casper

just for giggles, lets imagine something crazy and they ran a full 500 miles... who won?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Without the crash, I'd go with Kyle Busch. He had a dominant car. With the crash, I'd say Gordon or Stewart.

aaron westport ct [via mobile]

what do you think is more likely- jimmie johnson winning 2 more championships or dale jr winning 1?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Jimmie winning two more.

Peter

Do you Drink Red Bull or Amp??

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Neither. I'm a Diet Dew fan myself. Not into pure energy drinks.

Wm.D. (portage,MI)

I say it was both of them, but Vickers was a jerk to try to block in first place.....he knew that Jr. would be coming . . . .

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

That's why he blocked. He knew Junior was coming. No need to block otherwise.

Court, Chicago IL

Whatt happened to Jeff Gordon Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

He pitted out of sequence and got caught a lap down when a caution came out. He had a car capable of winning.

Adam, TX

I agree and disagree with the idea of Daytona being a crapshoot. You know who is coming to the front before the race starts(JR, Jeff, Tony, etc.) good cars being crashed out is part of racing it is just a shame it was rained out because no matter who wins a plate race the finish is always great with the new car.

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Exactly. They need more of them, not less. Why do you think people pile in to watch them?

Tom (Jackson, MI)

I vote to remove all point earned for Jr and Brian from the race for rough driving. Brian was at fault for trying to block Jr and hitting him in the process and Jr was at fault for retaliating.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Your vote has been posted.

mike (vegas)

i dont think kyle had a dominant car ...more like follow the leader....

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Maybe, but they were all following Kyle. Case closed.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

David - As far as up and comers, I like Logano, even though he will have his ups and downs this year and maybe next much like Kyle Busch did at 19, as well as Keselowski. Ragan may be a solid driver, but at last check has zero wins in Cup, and more importantly in Nationwide, the "level down series". I think Brad and Joey have more potential for starpower in the future of Cup. Thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Thanks for reminding me of Logano. We"ve heard so much about him it feels like he's already up. And I do believe he'll be among the top 15 when all is said and done.

Chad (Harrisburg, PA)

What do you think of the one lap penalty for pitting outside the pit box or in Jr's case of a tie being barely on the line?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

It's a black-and-white rule. NASCAR made the right call there.

Dan (Rancho Cucamonga, California)

Why do you think we didnt see JR's incar camera of the incident when it was available to FOX and probably would settle alot of this debate? Also, how do you see Dodge faring this year?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Not sure on the whys or why nots of the in-car camera. As for Dodge, i believe six finished in the top 10 at Daytona a year ago and none made the Chase. Too early to tell.

Michael (Orlando)

WHo do you think will have the best cars this weekend? 18, 24, 48, 99

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

17, 16, 99, 48, 18

Colleen (ottawa,canada)

I have a solution. Have the lap cars start in the back and they can fight it out there. Not only on restrictor plate tracks, but on all tracks.

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

That I'd liek to see, but then it would be almost impossible for a good car that happens to go a lap down to get his lap back.

Andy (Kabul, Afghanistan)

Navy Reservist here in afghanistan....What is Nascar thinking with starting the races so late. I know we have West Coast tracks, but those tracks can't even sell out their dates? NFL kicks off at 1pm why can't we go back to our noon time starts?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

I agree totally. And what time is it there. Keep up the work you do.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

I'd prefer the "surviving on the short track" crapshoot over the "restrictor plate race that takes 1/4-1/3 of the cars in the big one" crapshoot anyday. But I'm here in Richmond, so I'm biased.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Richmond is one of the best races of the year, so I totlaly understand. Hey, it's my time to get out of here. Thanks for all the questions and keep reading and commenting. I'll try to comment on the bottom of more stories to keep the comunication open more than once a week. Enjoy the race at California.