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March 20, 12:23 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Hi, all. Green-green-green-green! As the crew chiefs say on the radio.

flynn, alabama

Hey ed i was wondering about jeffrey earnhardt and if youve seen him race and if hes got any potential and also steve wallace do you think he has the talent to be a top cup driver in the future?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Have not seen Jeffrey race. His dad, Kerry, hasn't had much success, but not much opportunity either. You never know when, in which descendant, the gene pool will pop up strong. We all used to say the Petty genes skipped a generation, from Richard to grandson Adam.

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Oh, as for Steve Wallace, my thought is that he's had enough time and backing from his dad that he really ought to be showing something by now. Maybe soon.

T.j. (Manteno, IL) [via mobile]

Hi Ed. Which program do you think has a better chance of sustaining their early season success, the 00 or the 47?

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

Both Reutimann and Ambros are up-and-comers. I think both could sustain. I think Ambrose just might do more than sustain. The guy had done nothing but make progress ever since he rolled into the U.S. from Tasmania. You gotta pull for the guy, on his perseverance and adaptability. Reutimann may have the better financial backing, though.

Heath Hinton, Laurel, Ms

I will probably be working when this is on, but I had to ask you at least one question. As you know I am a Kahne fan. I was just wandering does his talent get put to waste because it seems RPM does not put him in the best equipment possible. Case in point: Why would they not want to run the new Dodge engine. This seems really stupid. Tell everyone I said hello.

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

Hope there's no such thing as "chat nepotism." Besides, I can attest that my cousin in Mississippi is a long-time ESPN Insider who was a subscriber long before I came on board last year. Anyway, Heath, I think Kahne has missed the mentoring of Ray Evernham more than anything else. Not sure about the eco-politics of the new Dodge engine; don't know if Petty's as far up the pecking order as Penske. Maybe we've given too much credit to the engine and not enough to Kurt Busch for the way he drove Atlanta. A whole lot of that was driver. Our Terry Blount will tell you Kahne's on the upswing anyway. The other thing I always wonder about is whether Kasey has been a victim of his own TV commercial appeal. Like Dale Jr., he may just be in so much demand for TV that he really doesn't have enough time to focus on the car.

Brent Madison WI [via mobile]

Hey smooth ed. Was dissapointed 2 c kvapil lose his ride. I would take kvapil and gilliland over paul menard any day! I understand why yates would take menard with daddys big sponsership but it still sucks. And secondly how bout eury jr and martin, dale and gustafson?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

Kvapil is the lastest example of money-over-talent laws of gravity in NASCAR. It really is a shame, but that's the way it always has been. And sadly, always will be.

Steiny (NYC)

There are 28 days until the Indianapolis 500. Do you have an early favorite?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

Gotta go with Scott Dixon; he's dominated the early testing, and Ganassi has been the strongest team at Indy for a while.

Gary (CO)

Ed, Terry and Ryan didn't want to answer this so I hope you do. Why is it that NASCAR fans are subjected to a bias call of the race? Other sports announcers arn't pulling paychecks from teams to talk them up, so why it it ok for NASCAR? I know the sport is different then the others, but I just feel that members of a certain broadcast team pulling paychecks from Toyota is absolutely crazy, and hurts NASCAR's image of being talked about in the same breathe as the NFL, NBA, etc..... I am not against Toyota, nor do I think certain drivers shouldn't get the recognition they do (Ky Busch)during a telecast, but it just seems very unprofessional in my opinion. Thanks Ed.

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

Gary, this may seem like a non-answer, but I just cannot see bias for or against any make on anybody's telecasts. If Toyota gets a lot of attention, it's because Toyota is arguably on top right now, and has a whole lot of teams. Sheer volume of involvement, and success, is what has warranted the attention. If I perceived a bias, I'd tell you. But I honestly don't.

Eddie-Franklin,WV [via mobile]

Im a huge Mark Martin fan an was wondering if his son,Matt was planning on moving up to trucks or Nationwide series anytime soon?Have u heard?

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

Last I heard, Mark was talking like Matt had lost interest in moving up. I think that's a lot of why Mark has re-intensified his own effort. These things happen with youngsters. We've seen it in tennis, etc. But if you want a new youngster to watch, Chase Elliott, Bill's son, age 13, will be making his late-model debut at a track near Valdosta, Ga., this weekend.

Justin (florence alabama) [via mobile]

10 race chase: 1. Richmond 2. Darlington 3. Watkins glen 4.lowes 5.talladega 6.texas 7.martinsville 8.bristol 9.homestead 10 daytona. Start and end it @ daytona. Any changes u would make.

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Agree with a good part of what you're saying, Justin. I strongly believe the July race at Daytona should be moved to make it the season-ender. Homestead just isn't the place for the finale. But if I ended it at Daytona, I'd pull Talladega out of the Chase. Two is too many crapshoot plate races to ask the competitors to go through. I'd actually like to see the Chase start at Darlington, on Labor Day weekend as of old, and then put some weekends off into the Chase. Start at Darlington, end at Daytona.

Scott (MN)

Does NASCAR have any intention to pull the cup guys from Nationwide races and make it Nationwide only series? If not, why?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

We can only wish there was any hope, Scott. Makes me sick to think what a great developmental series Nationwide could be. Think of all the interest in the stars on the horizon! I get sick of watching the Cup guys drop down and cherry pick. It's like Richard Petty has said: You don't see NFL quarterbacks going back to play college games on Saturdays, do you? The reason NASCAR won't stop this travesty is that the track promoters demand big names in the Nationwide fields to sell tickets. I wonder if they're right -- I wonder if fans wouldn't turn out to see the promising stars compete with each other, rather than watching Edwards, Bowyer and all the rest cruise to -- ho-hum -- more wealth for the wealthy.

Patgrandstaff [via mobile]

When will tony stewart win 1 with his new team

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

It's not out of the question it could happen Sunday at Martinsville. Lest we forget, he's run well there in the COT in recent years, only to suffer minor parts failures. More likely, though, I'd say some place like Michigan in June. The team should have its act nicely together by then.

Aaron mn [via mobile]

hey ed what do you think of of the 'new' bristol i think they moved somewhere else because it's not the bristol i knew

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

Your'e right and Bristol officials know it. They widened it and took a lot of the wildness out. David Poole of the Charlotte Observer said it pretty well during a Bristol race last year: "They've made a mini-Michigan."

Chad (Las Vegas)

What are your thoughts on the 10 lap shootout at the All Star Race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

I think it's OK to have a quick sprint. I just hope they don't jazz it up by having some rock band play a whole concert before the 10 laps -- remember the year they had to throw a caution because the strobe lights from the Red Hot Chili Peppers show were blinding the drivers in the first turn? And I for darn sure don't want to hear Ric Flair holler wooooo! to start the final 10 laps. In other sports, e.g. MLB and NBA, the all-star game is an honorable event. They make a carnival out of the Sprint All-Star, which annoys the dickens out of me.

lostinyomi (my house)

at what point does the mainstream fan and press jump of the dale jr. bandwagon he has to win something soon right?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Don't have the answer to how long the public will ride. But as long as they do, we in the media need to serve them by reporting on their favorite driver. One thing to remember is that nobody, and i mean nobody, wants to measure up to all the attention more than Dale Jr. does.

Larry (MI)

Do you think Kyle Busch's recent comments about Dale Jr. and all the talking he does over the radio during the race about all the Hendrick cars is disrespectful.

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

Nah! I think it's great. Spices things up. And Kyle has a right to point out that he's winning and 88 isn't. That's fair. Darrell Waltrip, in his prime, used to dis Richard Petty and David Pearson unmercifiully. The fans booed him like crazy, but Waltrip added a whole lot of fun to NASCAR, and is a household name today because of his mouth as much as his winning.

Cleatus (Clayton, NC)

When is Eury Jr going to get rid of that mustach?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

That's it, Cleatus! You've hit it! Soon as Tony Jr. shaves that mustache, he and Junior will be off to championships and double-digit wins seasons! Just like Jimmie Johnson's season will pick up as soon as he shaves his beard. :-)

Ryan (buffalo)

In reference to the post about bias toward Toyota: The OP is likely noticing the regular "Toyota top performers" coverage on Fox broadcasts. I'm assuming that Toyota pays for/sponsors that spot. Any of the manufacturers could do the same thing. Other than that, its likely OP bias.

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

You're right about paid features, Ryan. Companies pay for those lists, etc. So if Mike Joy mentions "Toyota top performers," he's just doing the part of his job where the announcer leads into a commercially oriented feature.

Dylan (Milwaukee) [via mobile]

Kyle Busch dominated the regular season last year and did terrible during the chase. Do you think the chase should be removed?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

No, because Carl Edwards did well in regular season, did well in the Chase, won the most races -- nine -- and knocked himself out of a title shot with a tiny bump-drafting mistake at Talladega. If anything, Talladega should be removed from the Chase.

Joe (Raleigh)

Can anyone answer why the "88" car still has a job winning 2 races in his last 58? he says to blame him right?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

They have a saying in NASCAR: It is what it is. He is who he is.

Matt (Oxford, MS)

Hotty Toddy Ed, I'm graduating in May. What's the best way to land a job in Nascar?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Hotty Toddy, Matt. (BTW, my cousin Heath is a Golden Eagle, razzing me about the Rebs as we speak on this chat. Yeah, well, wait'll football season.) Anyway, if you mean on the tech side, it's pretty rough right now with all the layoffs. If you mean the PR side, I'd say apply for an internship at Talladega, make some connections, and see if you can land one of the many, many PR jobs around NASCAR. (although those are a little slow right now due to the economy).

Larry (MI)

Do you think Kyle would have the same success today if he were still at Hendrick? I know the kid has talent but it seems like he drives with more determination than anyone after what happened at Hendrick.

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

I do not. Rick's a patient man, but not enough to put up with the whole of Kyle's personality. Joe Gibbs is another type, with his vast experience dealing with temperamental football players in the NFL.

Steve (St. Anthony, MN)

What's the deal with the Sprint Cup gal that has to stand right behind the race winner flashing her white smile? She's a "Yeah Baby" but what does NASCAR or Sprint get out of it?

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

I assume they get the Sprint logo on the screen. Saw a feature about her the other day; think she's a former Miss North Carolina.


whats your top 5 looking like at Martinsville this weekend? you going?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

I'll be there. My top 10? Hmmm. 1. JJ (he owns the joint), 2. Jeff Gordon (he used to own the joint, and sill can); 3. Denny Hamlin (one of the few to break up the JJ-JG dominance there); 4. Tony Stewart (knows how to get around there in the COT); 5. Kyle Busch (just sheer talent).

Nick (SLC)

Do you think Hamlin took a right step forward last race? Think he's on his way up to the top?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

I think Denny Hamlin is one of the most talented drivers out there. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Earnhardt Sr. I still question whether JGR is giving him his due as their senior driver. Seems like there's always somebody there who gets more focus. Used to be Stewart, now it's Kyle, Logano on the way. Denny's a tremendous talent for whom I often feel sorry.

Mike (Seattle)

What is goin on with Biffle and the RFR teams right now? Thanks Ed

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

My educated guess is they've victims of their own superiority at simulation in the absence of testing. Bet they've put all their focus on simulations of intermediate tracks. And maybe even plate racing. Watch 'em take off when they get to Darlington and Charlotte in May.

flynn, alabama

I heard kurt buschs contract is up after this year but the jayski site says 2010+ one of the other espn writers said penske needs to focus on keeping kurt busch after this year do you know whats true?

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Latest I heard was, Penske says Kurt is not a free agent.

Steve (TN)

I know the racing is different, but do you think Bristol has lost it's magic?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Yep. Let's just hope the fans don't all figure that out at once.

Steve (St. Anthony, MN)

In your opinion do you think Dale, Jr made a mistake by not signing with RCR?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

No, I don't. There would have been tremendous pressure for Childress to roll out the No. 3 for him. You think he's under pressure now, just imagine what it would be like if he weren't winning with a No. 3 on the side of his car. I still think Childress may eventually be in the cards for him, though. Remember that when Childress took Dale Sr., people thought Dale Sr. was already over the hill. The rest is history.

mike (southern california)

what kind of chance does scott speed have of breaking the top 10 this week?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

With anybody but Speed, you'd say Martinsville will turn him every which way but loose. But I just wonder . . . maybe he could have a top 10, the way he's adapting without complaining.


Ed, what era in Nascar do you believe had the best competition and most exciting racing? Thanks

Ed Hinton
  (3:02 PM)

I'd have to say the 1980s. You had the old boys still around -- Petty, Yarborough, Allison, et al. -- and running decently. And you had the new guys -- DW moving to the top, Earnhardt wrecking everybody and making them furious . . . Waltrip and Earnhardt jawing at each other all the time. . . . that decade was a thing of beauty. Oh! And how could I have left out Bill Elliott!!! Waltrip would jaw about Elliott, Elliott would grumble about Earnhardt, Earnhardt would rip Waltrip . . . .more stories in one Charlotte weekend than you get in a whole season now.

Lou (Las Vegas NV)

Not to sound like a conspiracy nut, but does it seem like every race is going to end Green-White-Checkered? As bad as Atlanta (and Bristol to a lesser degree) was, it seemed like NASCAR's only hope was to have a G-W-C finish to make up for the complete lack of racing.

Ed Hinton
  (3:04 PM)

Don't know about conspiracies, but it sure does seem like G-W-C fever is rampant. You're not the first to mention this to me. Some experts I've worked for in the past have also brought it up, and they can see it from retirement.

Ed Hinton
  (3:06 PM)

Ooops! I've been having such a good time the clock got away from me. Gotta run, folks. Thanks for your time.