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May 6, 12:30 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Hey all. Just back from Lowe's Motor Speedway where Jeff Burton is promoting the world's largest grill, or something like that. Seems they are going to line the quarter-mile track there with grills and invite 10,000 or so fans to eat on the Friday before the Coke 600. Enough of that. I'm getting hungry. Fire away.

ray gordon reid statesboro GA 30458

NASCAR TRIVIA QUESTION FOR DAVID NEWTON AT 12.30PM THESE 2 NASCAR DRIVERS ARE FROM TIMMOMNSVILLE SPARTANBURG SC WHO ARE THEY

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

David Pearson is from Spartanburg and Cale Yarborough is from Timmonsville. I was born in Darlington, right down the road from Timmonsville, and went to college in Spartanburg, so that was an easy one.

Paul G, Tucson, Aizona

Why does Kevin Harvick suck so much this year?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

I wouldn't use such strong language. He has struggled, and I'm not sure why. If I did I'm sure Richard Childress would hire me to fix it. They have a lot of smart people at RCR. They'll figure it out.

Joe (New York)

When do you think Carl Edwards will finally get his first win of the season? He has to due!!

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

He is due. He should be good at the 600 at LMS. If not then it may be another month with Dover, Pocono and Michigan coming up after that. I don't thnk there is a major problem As I wrote a few weeks ago he was higher in points without a win than he was with two last year at the same time. Bottom line, it's not easy to win in this series_ unless you're Kyle Busch apparently.

Woody (Denver)

With RPM going with one driver with the new engine package..do you see it as Kasey so they can lock him up after his current contract ends or do you see them going with 'Dinger for a longterm, flagship driver kinda thing? Not sure how the RPM/Kahne relationship REALLY is...

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Kasey likely will get first shot at it. He wants it and they need to keep him happy if they want to sign him beyond next season.

Mark (Mount Airy, MD)

Hey David, I am sure you will agree there isn't a better track than Darlington in all of NASCAR. How do you think the Roush contingent will do this weekend????

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

Biffle has been really good there. Kenseth, too. Edwards hits and miss. Ragan is too young to conquer the track. What do you think?

Matt (Atlanta, GA)

David, I am a Kevin Harvick fan, but what is going on with the 29 team? He can't seem to catch a break this year and will more than likely miss the chase for the 1st time since 2005. He came on strong at the end of last year, but still hasn't won a points race since the 2007 Daytona 500. Do you think it's the 29 team's failure to adapt to the COT? Or was 2006 an anomaly (5 wins in a contract year at RCR)? I'd love to see Happy return to victory lane and become a threat to win the Cup. One more thing, could you see Harvick joining Stewart-Haas at the end of his contract at RCR?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

I answered this earlier, so check that out. The short answer is I don't know what's wrong. As for Stewart-Haas I don't believe his contract will allow that.

Chase (Atlanta)

If Newman makes the Chase (I'm assuming Smoke is all but a lock to make it) do you see them adding a 3rd team to SHR for next season? If so, who do you think would be a good fit. I heard an interview with Smoke a couple of weeks ago saying they have quite a few people on the waiting list.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Stewart said a few weeks ago he wouldn't think of a thir dteam until both of the current teams were Chase contenders. Well, they are. I'm sure the list is long. Martin Truex has to be on it. Brad Keselowski might be if Hendrick makes a push for him. I'm not surprised they are going this well, though. I left the shop during a January visit saying they were going to be good from the get-go.

Zach (Dallas)

More trivia here where did Richard Petty record his first victory

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Ouch. I'd have to look it up to be sure. For some reason Columbia Speedway comes to mind. What was it?

Jake (Manhattan, KS)

With news that Mark Martin driving full time in 2010, any news on the Keslowski front?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Nothing new on Keselowski. As I've been writing Martin's return to the 5 was a formality. I'm not sure where Hendrick will put Keselowski unless it's in a Stewart-Haas car or JR Motorsports goes to Cup.

Patti, Wheeling, IL

Whose your pick this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Hard to pick against Kyle Busch. He won this race a year ago and won everything in sight last weekend. If not him I'll go with Jimmie Johnson. That team has to be fired up after last week's poor performance.

Jonathan (Springdale AR)

Is Brad Childress trying his best to get Brett Farve to save his coaching job?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Not a bad move if he can pull it off. I don't think Dale Jr. is available.

Jake (MA)

Why is Ragan too young to conquer Darlington? He did have a top 5 there last spring....

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

He did, but history tells us that experience wins at Darlington.

Chris H, Bondurant IA

Is it looking more and more likely a race will take place in Kentucky in 2010? If Bruton Smith is willing to give up one of his dates from another track will NASCAR allow the move or does Kentucky's lawsuit and NASCAR's stance that they won't allow a race until the lawsuit is dropped mean it won't happen no matter what Smith does?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

The appeal of the lawsuit has to be dropped first. Bruton alrady has agreed to move a Cup date. I'm betting Atlanta. Any thoughts?

stevenc bloomfield ky

when will a crew chief change come on the 88 soon or later

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Hendrick officials have insisted they are being patient on this one. Personally, I'd make the switch next week during the All-Star break. I'm not saying Eury Jr. and Junior can't work. I'm just saying a change may be the best t hing for both of them. Right now he has to be considered a longshot to make the Chaes. It can't hurt.

Zach (Dallas)

Southern States Fairgrounds in Charlotte

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Dang. Thanks.

Stu (Madison, Va.)

what is your favorite darlington memory?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

That's easy. I was in the Cub scouts and they were letting Scouts in free with their troop. A buddy of mine and I put on our gear and snuck in with another troop. It was the old Rebel 400. Then to really make my day, since I was a Bobby Allison fan, Richard Petty vlew up right in front of me. I was standing so close to the catch fence that the hairs on my eyesbrows curled.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

David, It seems that every time I go to Darlington, Biffle wins. I see a top 10 for him and Kenseth. What seems to be Ragan's problem this year??? I had him in my pre-season Chase drivers.

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Junior aside, Ragan has to be the biggest disappointment of the season. The folks at Roush Fenway were confident he'd be a Chase contender. So was UPS. It's still early. Maybe they'll get it together.

Clay (Charlotte)

Do you think Farve would be a good fit at Stewart-Haas?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

He'd be perfect. He already has the scratchy beard look that Stewart likes going for him.

Courtney (VT)

with your experiences, who is the meanest driver you have ever come in contact with?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Wow. That's a loaded question. Stewart has been mean to me a few times, telling me to get out of his face last year at Charlotte. Really didn't understand since I like the guy and hadn't written anything other than he was headed for Haas Racing with Office Depot and Old Spice before he was ready to announce it. For the most part everybody is great. At times some are grumpy, but aren't we all?.

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

Do you think JPM can stay within striking distance of the top 12, so that when the Road races come up, he can make a big push to make the chase?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

He's been in this position before and fallen back as the summer goes along. I'll reserve judgment until mid-July and see where he is.

Adam (Galax, VA)

I had Jimmie Johnson winning the championship before the season. After 10 races, is he still a threat?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

You'd be crazy not to pick Jimmie. And he started slowly last year and won it all. No worries, he'll be a factor.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

Is Farve coaching Mark Martin on retirement?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Good one. They do have a similar program. One thing you have to like and the reason both struggle to give it up is they are so passionate about what they do. It's hard to beat them up for that.

Jake (MA)

David Newton: (2:14 PM ET ) He did, but history tells us that experience wins at Darlington. History Smistory

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Just look at the record books.

Mark (Ankeny, IA)

Why doesn't NASCAR require the tracks to repave after a set number of years? Daytona is pretty wore out, Indianapolis could use a repaving job, as well as Phoenix, and a few others.

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

They don't require it. Tracks make that decision based on the condition of the surface. If NASCAR feels they need a change they may recommend, but there is no written rule.

Adam (Galax, Va)

If Dale Jr. continues to struggle, what changes could be made if he does not make the Chase?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

If he doesn't make the Chase and the crew chief hasn't been switched then that is where you start. After that maybe hire a sports psychologist.

Jonathan (Birmingham, AL)

What about KHI moving up to cup? They have been very successful in the other 2 series. Would they have to be a favorite to have more success than JRM if both were to go full-time cup racing in the future?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Kevin doesn't want the headache of dealing with a Cup ride andCup team at the moment. But one day I can see him drive fulltime in Cup for himself.

Jerod (PA)

Are you as tired of hearing about the number 88 and their crew chief situation? maybe they need a driver change so people will be quiet forever... im going to start this rumor, BRAD KESELOWSKI to the number 88 by July if business doesn't pick up there.

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

You're too late. I jokingly told Earnhadt's PR rep during Saturday's race that Hendrick announced Keselowski would drive the 88 in 2010. It won't happen. And I don't grow tired of it. It's what we are here for.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

My fav Darlington moment has to be Craven nipping Kurt Busch at the checker.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

I was there and it was a great race. We can only hope for such a tight finish this weekend.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Do you think that Denny can win the title this year?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Yessir. He's focused and determined and pretty consistent. He just needs to find his way into Victory Lane a few times.

Aaron (Bangor, ME)

Hey, what do you think of the 24 team? Any worry about them at all after two finishes of 25th or worse, followed by a strategy that didn't work at Richmond? Still a championship threat?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Jeff Gordon is leading the points and has had a terrific year with the exceptoin of a few races. He's definitely a threat. Are you kidding me?

Dan (NJ)

Don't you think that Kyle Busch/Carl Edwards has the potential to become a great rivalry? I'm a Jeff Gordon fan myself, but when Edwards took Busch out last season and said "I just thought of what he would've done in that situation" or whatever he said, I instantly gained respect for him.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

It's probably the most natural.Carl just needs to contend for a few wins to get the momentum going on that one.

Stu (Madison, Va.)

Since you're a local, what is the best breakfast place in the area? We're leaving at 5 am Saturday morning and getting down there for breakfast before the Washer Tournament gets underway.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

I don't live there anymore, and the greasy spoon on the main road outside of Turn 2 I believe is gone. I can't help with breakfast. I will say the BBQ at Caines in Florence is good and the shrimp and grits at .... shucks, I forgot the name of the place. If I think of it I'll throw it into another answer. They are great. They fry the shrimp instead of grill them. I'm getting hungry thinking about this.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Do you get sick of all the Junior Questions? The guy is done for stick a fork in him! People need to accept he is a middle of the pack driver.

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I still believe he's a top 15 driver, maybe top 12. But it does seem Junior Nation is growing impatient.

Bryan (Columbus, OH)

No talk about the 24 this weekend or for thechampionship? That team has been the most consistent of any team so far this year don't you agree?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I do, 100 percent.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

Indy's track is newish, its the grinding that caused issues there and Charlotte..too much grip wears out tires- older pavement tend to have better racing in multiple grooves. Your take?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

The grinding indeed was a major factor at both tracks. Goodyear is working hard to fix it at Indy. I believe they have a handle on it for Charlotte.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

The grinding indeed was a major factor at both tracks. Goodyear is working hard to fix it at Indy. I believe they have a handle on it for Charlotte.

Jarrell P. Houston, TX

David, Great work here... I saw that Petty finally is making the switch to the new Dodge engine package. Is this new move identical to the Penski team's set-up and do you think the risk will pay off mid-season?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks. It's the same engine the Penske organization uses. I don't think it's a risk at t his point. Have you seen how poorly they have done the last three races?

Rob (Philadelphia, PA)

Another race, another costly blunder by the Denny Hamlin pit crew. How was he after the race? When do you see the #11 getting that first win this season?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

He was pretty down. Lef t without talking to us. He wants to win there so bad you can feel the frustration. Can't blame him. He's had the dominant car the past two years and had something go wrong.

Dave (W-S, NC)

When will people figure out that Dale Jr. is what he is because of his dad? He's nothing more than an average talent...thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

He has 18 wins. A lot of drivers would love that.

Zach (Dallas)

Darlington always seems to have something crazy go on

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

They don't call it the "Track Too Tough To Tame" and the "Lady in Black" for nothing. How many other tracks have two nicknames like that?

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

Newt! Predict who gets left out of the chase of those currently in the top 12...who replaces them?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

I'll say somebody from 9-12 will be bounced and somebody 13-15 will sneak in. I know that's vague, but I really can't say for sure. I still think Reutimann can make it. Mark Martin,too. That would mean two would have to fall out.

T-berry

Dave, you didn't answer my question about your phone conference with Junior.

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Sorry, I didn't get the question. Must be a blip in the system. Ask again, please.

beck,va

if a car has damage why can't nascar just let go to the pits with pit road being closed

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Cause they have a rule that you can't go there until it opens. You can go, but you will go to the end of the longest line for doing it. Most take that rout.

Patti, Wheeling, IL

the Keselowkski talk is at fever pitch right now, but I think we should wait and see how he runs this weekend. Can he run up front and lead laps with the big boys or will he run in the back of the pack? His dega win was impressive but its dega and thats a different monster on its own. Am I off base?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

BINGO. SHRIMP AND GRITS PLACE IS RED BONE ALLEY. AWESOME. Now for the question, you are right, you can't base his potential on a win at Dega. It's too much of a wild card race.

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

There will never be a real Rivalry within NASCAR. For one simple fact... Nascar wants their drivers to be prim, proper company spokesman. As much as I loved the Sr, DW fueds, you won't see them anymore because NASCAR is more conerned with keeping the Drivers prim and proper. Do you think that it hurts NASCAR that there is no real Rivalry?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

I agree, and yes I believe it hurts the sport. That is why Brian France encouraged drivers to be more themselves at the start of last season. Not penalizing them for little things has been part of that process. Honestly, I haven't seen much change although the aggressiveness seems to be returning.

M. Cook [Atlanta, GA]

What up David? I've got a funny joke to tell. You may have heard it before. It goes like this: Rick Hendrick fired Kyle Busch to make room for Earnhardt Jr. I can't quit laughing! Ten more wins in little over a year. Go Kyle Busch!

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Old joke. Not sure he fired him just to get Dale Jr. He let him go in part because Busch's personality and style didn't mesh with the HMS way.

Greg - South Bend, IN.

Hey David, Sorry another jr. question. I think Hendrick really dropped the ball with bringing Eury Jr on board and letting Darian Grub go to Stewart- Hass. How do you think Darian and Jr. would have worked together? I just look at what he did for JJ when Chad got suspened for those six races. Look at what hes doing for Tony in the first year. The guy is brillant!

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Letting Grubb go did hurt the team. He was one of the best people at HMS. His influence on the 88 last season was obvious.

Cr8on--Lugoff

Come on David. It's Red Bone Alley. Get the spelling right. Those shrimp and grits are good though, you right.

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Sorry. Was so excited at the thought of them that I typed too fast and made a typo. It is fixed now. Thanks for pointing that out.

Glen, Fla

David, did you get my question about the over/under for Joey & Speed on how many times they get a Darlington Strip Saturday night

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Didn't see that. I'll go with 14. That fair?

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

Just saw your article about Mark Martin running full time in 2010...Do you think this this seals Keselowski's going to another organization?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

I said all along Mark would be in the 5 next year and that Keselowski's choices would be JR Motorsports going Cup or Stewart-Haas Racing. Unless NASCAR changes the four-car limit or Hendrick bumps Junior K will have to go somewhere else.

Rusty (Bristol)

It was announced that Amp Energy Drink has announced a new Dale Jr energy drink called Tradin' Paint. Maybe this energy drink is what he needs. Steven Wallace is in the top 10 in Nationwide and not crashing as much since he started drinking five hour energy drinks. Maybe Amp does not last long enough as he usually fades late in the race.

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

I'll let that one stand on its on. Thanks

Ken (Richmond, VA)

When do you expect to hear Mikey's plans for next year? With the way that Reutimann and Ambrose are running this year, it seems like retirement is the best thing for Mikey from a business standpoint. The sooner he makes that announcement the better chances he'll have of finding a good replacement, right?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

He was pretty good on "My Name is Earl." Maybe he has a future in TV. Seriously, I don't expect anything until August or September. He's having a better year than last year, by the way.

Jake

So, were you a typical preachers kid, or were you better behaved?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I was so well behaved that other parents would let their children ride with me even if i was going to do something bad, which I didn't.

Stu (Madison, Va.)

Maybe I'm crazy, maybe it is because my driver has one top five and one top 20 this year (and was about 90 seconds from winning the Daytona 500), but I'm starting to like the 88 more and more. He still seems kinda down home and he's not blaming his crew for everything.

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

So who is your driver?

Mark (Minneapolis, MN):

Sorry if this a duplicate David - Did you see the stat on SHR's past 6 races? If the first 4 races were dropped (considered pre-season), they would be Tony would be 1st and Ryan 2nd by only 7 points. Is this a sign for the rest of the season?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

I like that star. They have been solid the last month. Thanks.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

David, Have you heard any rumors about Gibbs having a fourth team next year??? Who would they consider for the ride????

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

They are considering a fourth team. They have been for some tmie.Truex would be a candidate. Some say Danica Patrick, although that would be a project.

Brandon (Queen Creek AZ)

I keep trying to get this question answered. Is Ray Evernham still a part owner or just doing tv? If it is tv what are the chances he would go back to Hendrick to take over the 88???Seems like a great challenge to inspire a return.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

He remains an minority owner. He wants to be bought completely out, but RPM hasn't come up with the money yet. As far as the 88, Ray has said the only time he wants to be a crew chief again is maybe for Gordon in an All-Star race.

Joe (Fleetwood PA)

At least Junior doesnt pout or whine when he loses unlike Busch who acts like a child when he doesnt win, what spoiled brat.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

There is that. Maybe if Junior had that kind of passion he would be better. Just a thought. I'm not saying he doesn't have passion. A lot of drivers handle losing well. I'm just thinking outloud.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Danica in the #02 gibbs car I hope not. That would be a disaster!

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

I tend to agree.

M. Cook [Atlanta, GA]

Who you like this weekend?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. Had a blast. Until next week.