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May 28, 12:29 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Sorry for being a few minutes late. Was on a conference call with Rick Hendrick about you know who and you know who. Sure there are a few questions about it, so I'll jump right to them.

JR (Great Bend, Kansas)

Will Lance McGrew finish out the season or will they be looking for a permanent replacement right away? Or does McGrew keep the job depending on his performance? If not, who do you think is the crew chief next season?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

He has a shot to earn the job, but if it doesn't work I'm sure they'll look at somebody else. His title is interim, and that usually means temporary.

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

Finally, the endless Earnhardt/Eury Jr. questions will end!!!! Hooray!!

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

That is one reason Hendrick made the switch, to end the pressure of having to deal with that every day.

Jake, Ga

Is there any chance that Tony Eury SR could return as JR crew Chief

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Absolutely none. He wants no part of that.

Adam(syracuse,ny) [via mobile]

who do you see as the permanent chief for the 88 or are they already auditioning for the job

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

This is an audition for McGrew. If it doesn't work there are other capable people at Hendrick they can try. Hendrick also said he's willing to look outside the organization.

Saul (San Diego)

Sir Newton, 2 questions: 1. Do you know if the 88 sponsors were applying any pressure to RH? 2. Looking at Dale Jr make up, do you think it will give him a natural human nature to do better? Or will he have troubles focusing, an initial distracttion.

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Yes, the sponsors were applying pressure. Rick Hendrick said so. As for Earnhardt, the change has to be good. It'll challenge him to be more constructive in giving advice for improving the car during the race. Not just yelling, "Hey, Cuz. This is a pile of crap!"

David Springfield,MO

Have you talked to Dale or do you know how he is taking this situation.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

He is making an appearance in Michigan today. I have not talked to him, but Hendrick has. He says Junior is OK with the move, although not totally thrilled at first.

mike Cherry Point, NC

did eury jr get fired or just moved some where else

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

He was not fired, just relocated. Hendrick plans to keep him a part of HMS for a long time.

Jake (Manhattan)

Happy Birthday to me. What is with all of the people that are going to be on the pitbox?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Happy B-Day to you as well. As for the pitbox, it won' be overcrowded. They just are using all the top resources they have to improve the team.

M. Cook [Atlanta, GA]

How's life treating you, David? It is hilarious.....Junior nation! They celebrate the firing of Eury Jr. all the while their driver can't put the car in the pit box. Junior is damaged goods and needs to seek a sports psychologist. Sorry Junior nation, he will not be making the chase in 2009. Go Kyle Busch! Go Joe Gibbs Racing!

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

I haven't showered since I sat in front of my laptop at 830 this morning. I thought here might be a change, but hoped it would be a peaceful day where all I had to do was write about Billy Bad Butt. By the way, he's hilarious. And I want a T-shirt.

Luke, Indy

You think Hendrick wishes he still had Darien Grubb in the fold? Would he have been the natural next man up for Jr.?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Darian would have been a great fit. Had Hendrick anticipated this happening I doubt he would have let him go. Good for Tony, though. Darian is a great crew chief.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Newt, Thank god the drama is over! Do you think the new crew chief will make Junior run the other setups of the 48,24,5?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

He already ran the setups of the other cars and stll, for the lack of a better word, stunk. There are a lot more problems there besides setups.

Jake (Manhattan, KS)

Do you see Eury being a crew chief again, or is he pretty much done it that field?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Here's my scenario. JR Motorsports goes to Cup. Eury takes over for Keselowski and runs that program. They win a title and everybody is calling Eury the best crew chief in the garage. Like that?

Stu (Madison, Va.)

Shucks. I was hoping RH would keep the Jr./Jr. combo intact... his fans are defecting... I think Sadler nation doubled in size in the past two weeks!

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Too funny. So there are four Sadler fans now?

Jimmy (TX)

David, my daughter is looking to pick a favorite driver among Vickers, McMurray and Sadler. Who do you recommend?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Vickers. Sadler may not have a job next year and McMurray may be running out of time to prove himself. Vickers by process of elimination. He's young.

David Springfield,MO

You said at the begining that you were talking to Mr Hendrick what his expectations at this point?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

His hope is they rally for the Chase. That's not likely, but he can hope. His expectations are to improve and be ready for a Chase run in 2010.

sean (chandler az)

What do you think about kahne this weekend with the new dodge engine hes always been good at dover?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Wow, a non-Junior question. Dover isn't a really good test for the new engine. I'd look more toward Pocono or some of the mile and a half tracks to see how it pans out.

Adam(syracuse,ny) [via mobile]

who do you see as the permanent chief for the 88 or are they already auditioning for the job

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Auditioning.

Greg (Indianapolis)

Do you think theres a chance ray ervanham will be crew chief for the 88?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Not at all. He's said he"s done sitting atop the box unless it's a cameo performance for Jeff Gordon in his retirement year in something like the All-Star race.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Newt, if that's the case how long till they start blaming this new crew chief for Juniors poor results in the next couple of races? I bet Kyle Busch is laughing inside as we speak!

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

My guess is the pressure is on Junior now that Eury Jr. is no longer around to blame.

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

At the risk of losing my chat credibility...I totally missed the Billy Bad Butt situation...care to elaborate?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

It was the best moment of the Coke 600. Read my column whenever we get all the Eury Jr. stuff out of the way. It was supposed to run with my chat today, but Junior rules.

Tony Eury Jr., Mooresville NC

David, can I have a job at ESPN?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Can you type fast. My fingers are worn out. Haven't stopped moving them since I woke up. So if there is a typo in this chat, my bad.

Mark Virginia Beach, VA

I do not think his fans are defecting, once he starts winning again, which he will, they will migrate back to his side of the fence.

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

So Junior fans are front-runners?

Luke, Indy

The Vickers, McMurray, Sadler question is asked every week in these chats. What's up with that?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Somebody is bored.

Stu (Madison, Va.)

Not counting his wife... yes. Sadler gets a bum rep... Sure he has to be talked off the ledge over the radio every race, but if you were driving a Chevette when everyone else was running Chevelles you'd complain too.

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Again, what's up with the Sadler questions. I like the guy, but he's further back in the standings than Junior and doesn't have an entire Nation following him.

casper

could it be junior just cant handle the COT?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

He handled it well last year. He was the best Hendrick driver the first half of the season. Or at least his team was best.

Chris (Milwaukee, WI)

You responded, "He already ran the setups of the other cars and stll, for the lack of a better word, stunk. There are a lot more problems there besides setups." Can you elaborate on the other problems?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Communication, finding ways to improve the setup. Courage. Confidence. Lots of things.

Cory, Geneva, IL

Just a general crew chief questions given today's news. What are they responsible for? Complete control over set-up and changes? Basically, how much the actual CC impact any one race other than with strategy?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

They are responsible for the setup of trhe car, the crew, calling pitstops and making decisions on two tires or four, wedge adjustments. They interpret what the driver tells them is wrong with the car and translate that into adjustments. Jimmie Johnson wouldn't be where he is today if he and Chad Knaus didn't work so well together. Same with Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham in the day. The CC has a great impact.

Jeremy (GA)

Ok, that is 16 jr. questions already!! Can we please stop now. It is over and done. Jr. Nation can wait till next yr and start complaining again that he is stinking it up. (Then there will be no one to blame but Jr.)

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Sorry, but there are 137 questions on my screen and counting and most of them are about Junior.

Saul (San Diego)

Sir Newton, what is it going to be like in the garage. Is it all quiet, no one says anything, they avoid the 88 team, is there some unwritten garage rule when CC are changed during the mid season.

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

It'll be business as usual. This isn't a wake.

Rich, Clearwater, FL

DN, What are the other problems at the 88 that you alluded to? Based on Marty's article...seems like the whole 88 garage was backwards...isn't that on the CC?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Already answered that. And it's not all on the crew chief. The communication problem was a huge deal. I don't think Eury ever got the information he needed to make the car better. And if the driver loses confidence is't hard for the team to overcome.

Adam (Galax, VA)

WHo do you have at Dover this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and wild card Martin Truex Jr.

Matt (Ogdensburg, New Jersey)

david dont you think its funny how all the kyle busch fans try and put down jr when they should be worried about a driver who they like who cries and wrecks people so he can win.. how can you be a fan of the most unsportsman like driver ever. and not to mention he tries to give himself an ego boost by racing in other series. i mean come on you dont see A-Rod go and play in the single A do you?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Kyle didn't particularly like me saying he shouldn't compete in the minor leagues. I have a nickname that makes Billy Bad Butt seem tame. Sorry, can't repeat it. We are owned by Disney.

Jake (Orlando, FL)

Non jr question, well at least non earnhardt or eury jr question... all the rumors have truex jr going to MWR, so you think that's because he wasn't offered a seat at SHR or Gibbs, and do you think waiting to see how the Keselowski chips fall would open up a seat for him at one of those 2 places?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Remember, it's all rumors. But if Waltrip were to offer NAPA, a solid sponsor, and with the improved performance of those cars being the top dog _ yes, over Reutimann _ at MWR wouldn't be a bad thing.

Greg (Indianapolis)

do you think this change will help jr and will he turn things around this year? will he win a race this year?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Let's put it this way. There are no more excuses now.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

I was speculating after the last rain delay at Charlotte that if Kyle Busch had stayed out OR if Jimmie Johnson or Kasey Kahne was in the lead at the delay, we would have been home about 2 hours earlier and since it was a driver like David Reutimann in front, the delay drew out further. Was I just bitter and cold in the stands? I can't help but feel that someone high up wanted a dominant car to win. Five more laps and Kyle or Vickers wins the race.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

I can't help but share some of your curiosity. I do know Chad Knaus was ready to hang around until 9 p.m. and that didn't help.

Larry (MI)

Whenever people talk about Jimmie Johnson's success we always here about how great a crew chief Knaus is. You don't really here the same thing about Steve Addington when people talk about Kyle Busch's success. Do you see Addington as a great crew chief or is he just lucky to have Kyle?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Addington's problem is Kyle is so spectacular when he wins that he steals all the headlines. Jimmie wins a lot of races in which he wasn't good at the beginning, so credit goes to Knaus.

JT (VA)

is Brad K going to drive for JRM or SHR in Sprint cup next year?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

I would guess JRM, but that's just a guess at this point.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Newt, don't you think its funny how junior nation has won 1 race and kyle has won.. wait I forgot has it been 11 in the past two seasons? Kyle is a better driver and Junior Nation knows it. Busch Nation now!!

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Go ahead and print up the T-shirts. Tell me how many you sell compared to Junior shirts.

rick (North Wales Pa)

Listening to JJ describe how his car is acting versus Jr. is night and day. Saying this car is crap does not help the crew chief. Will Mr. H give the authority to Lance to be a task master with Jr?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

I believe that goes without saying.

Jeremy Brodhead WI [via mobile]

Who do think would be a good fit for the 88 as crew chief that's not related to EarnhartJr?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

I was going to jokingly say Teresa, but then you put in the non-related part. I really have no idea. I like Ron Malec with the 48 team.

Matt (daingerfield tx) [via mobile]

What seems 2 b the problem with aj allmendinger? Ever since he got hunts bros for sponsorship been strugglin. Will he get his first win this yr or is it wait til next year?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Ever try to get ketchup out of the bottle? It's really slow sometimes.

terry : lubbock, tx. [via mobile]

has anybody thought that maybe jr. Just aint got it anymore

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

You and several thousand who have emailed me lately.

darrrick b beeville texas [via mobile]

im the biggest dale jr fan ever! i like the eurys as well but when is everyone gonna wake up and realise that him and jr arent getting the job done.. its not like gordon\letartes situation last year, they were solidly in the chase whereas jr stands no chance of making it!

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

I think the wakeup call bell has rung. At least it did with Mr. Hendrick.

Dave (New Rochelle)

So if Junior continues to struggle who will his fans blame now?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Probably me. I get blamed for everything else it seems.

Larry McReynolds (Mobile)

Do you think they would let me be the crew chief for the 88? I'm sending my resume over as we speak.

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Heard they are looking for a young guy. Sorry.

Cory, Geneva, IL

I sense a lot of K. Busch fans have some hidden Jr. envy!

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Ya think!!!!

Bryan watson max meadows va [via mobile]

What do you think of mattkenseth winning the title, if not how far off are they?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

He'll start high in the Chase with those 20 bonus points. And there are a lot of intermediate tracks in the Chase where he has excelled. If they regain the consistency from early in the season there"s a good chance. It's still Johnson's to lose, though.

CP from NJ

Hi David, do you see Brad K. gets the full year cup ride next year? Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Yes I do. And I've spelled it out somewhere deep down in this chat.

Art (Burlington)

Should I start Wallmendinger or Ragan this week in fantasy?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

You've got problems. Serious problems. Having said that, go with Ragan.

Laura, TX! [via mobile]

Happy Wednesday David! I have a question about my driver, Kasey Kahne(woo!) How do you think he'll fair this weekend at Dover with the new engine. Also, what are his chances of getting back into the top 12 by Chase time?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Woo....it's going to be tough to get into the top 12. History shows the drivers in the top 12 after Dover usually make the Chase. As for this weekend, I haven't a clue. All I've studied is Jr., Jr. Jr. so far today.

Darrell Waltrip (KY)

Are June Bug's sponsors still going for next year without success?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Not allof them are all in at this point. That is one reason for the change. The sponsors weren't happy.

Joe (Missoula, Mt)

Newt, Are we talking about racing or are we talking about how many T shirts someone can sell? If its T shirts we should put Oprah in a car and I will sell her T shirts!

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I agree. I'm just saying, when people measure Junior T-shirts are a factor. He makes as much money from that as he does from racing. Well, close at least.

Greg

Hey Daivd, What do you think of what Scott Riggs did and is he going to catch a ride somewhere else?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I admire him for stepping aside and not agreeing to start and park. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of rides available. It'll be a struggle.

Billy Bad Butt (Dover)

Should I beat up Tony this week? I think I can take him...

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Tell me your age, height, weight, hometown and maybe I'll believe you are the real deal. I am skeptical.

casper

amp and national guard run up after this year? and you think theyre out?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Almost every sponsor in the garage is looking for restructuring or to get out.

kevin lake charles la. [via mobile]

dave do you think jimmy will when five championships before jeff gordon .

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

I do, and only because Jimmie is younger and willing to hang around a bit longer. I don't see Jeff going too many more years.

Anthony Erlanger ky [via mobile]

Why doesnt Robby Gordon lose his 3rd place finish after his car was found to be illegal in post race inspection?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Because NASCAR doesn't work that way. I don't agree, but NASCAR typically doesnt' agree with what I think.

Brian (Miami) [via mobile]

How do you think the stewart-haas team will do at dover?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Both should be strong. The track suits both drivers.

casper

well when are we going to see the nike car? mconalds? or how about a gatorade car? wouldnt that be cool, all the different paint schemes based on different flavors..

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

I've been calling for the swoosh in NASCAR for a long time. Nobody listens to me. Imagine if you have 160,000 at a race and 100,000 are wearing those shoes. That would be a great markering campaign.

Joe

You swamped today? no questions from your regulars...

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

I miss Tank. I wonder what he thinks about Eury Jr.? Or maybe he is working with Junior now.

Blair (Moorseville)

Do you think Danica would be over in NASCAR next year? I have a stand up of her in a dress, man she is somethin else. I would seriously stop pulling for Dave Blaney and pull for her.

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Let's see. Dave Blaney in a dress and DP in a dress. Tough choice. But no, she won't be in a stock car. She's just using the sport to make more money in her next IRL contract.

Michael (Core, WV)

David, Do you think that they'll have the tire issue fixed at Indy before the Brickyard 400? Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

They better or Tony George may be out of a job. Wait, i hear he is. Seriously, they're getting closer, but still have a ways to go to get it right.

DW

When are they going to implement the double file restarts?? They are fantastic and with the lucky dog it just makes sense

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

I hope soon. That they are considering it is good.

James (TN)

How is Dale Jr's relationship with Rick Hendrick and everyone at HMS?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Super. Hendrick treats him like a son. Haven't heard anything bad from anybody else, either.

Matt from charlotte nc [via mobile]

David i was at the all star a few weeks ago and the restarts were great. Do you think there is a good chance we will start seeing double file restarts in point races this season?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Again, they're looking at them. My guess is we'll see it by Daytona.

Jeremy (GA)

Newt, I have to hand it to ya! You have average a little over a question a minute today. You are earning your money!!1

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Tell that to the bosses. My fingers are on fire.

M. Cook [Atlanta, GA]

Come on David, you know as well as me that NASCAR is not about selling t-shirts. Its about running up front, winning races and kissing the pretty girls in victory lane. Granted, if you have a driver who is not good (e.g. Junior), you would hope that he could sell a little merchandise to make up the difference in what you have to pay him. Rick Hendrick is kicking himself in the ass with his decision to fire Kyle Busch. You and I know it although he will never admit it. All objective people know it too! Go Kyle Busch! Kyle?s won 11 Cup races since getting released compared to Juniors 1. I can?t quit laughing. Ask Rick the next time you talk to him if he would rather sale merchandise or win races (rhetorical question).

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

NASCAR is about making money. Every sport is really. It's a shame and I hate to say it, but it's the truth.

Courtney (VT)

So whats the deal with GM? They pullin out yet or what?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Not likely. As much as it cost, the manufacturer gets good exposure from NASCAR.

Blair (Mooresville)

But you do have to admit, Dave Blaney in a dress would be pretty hot, u think he shaves his legs for looks or for speed?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Bad image violation. You have been reported.

JR (CO)

In the Denver Post today there was an article about plans for a 1 mile track on the outskirts of Denver. Would this be a play to build the track and hope ISC would buy it from the investors, or would NASCAR want to be in on the ground floor to come here?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

I'd love to go to Denver instead of Pocono next weekend. My guess is ISC would buy it from the investors. NASCAR doesn't technically own any tracks.

Teresa Earnhardt

Dale needs to decide whether he wants to be a race car driver or a celebrity...

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Why can't he be both? Jeff Gordon is.

Jim Mocksville NC

Was there someone telling Tony what adjustments to make last year? Seems weird to go from top form to flat terrible

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I don't know what you've been told. But Darian Grubb was with that team last year. Maybe he whispered sweet nothings in Tony's ear.

Eric newburgh N.Y [via mobile]

do you think Dale Jr is ever going to win a chapionship? are his chances over? and is nascar going to let this guys bend the rules of the car of tommorow for better racing?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Let's put it this way. Only one driver who has been in the sport for 10 years without a title has gone on to win a title. That was Dale Jarrett. So there is a crack in the door. Just a small one.

Bill ( Kingston, Pa)

How do you attack our Pocono. It is one of the best places to be in the pits and the worst track to watch a race. I am all in favor of reducing it to once a year and only 400 miles. When will this happen?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

I am all in favor of reducing it to a place for honeymooners and move a second race to Las Vegas.

JR (CO)

I would love to have a race twenty minutes from my house next weekend as well. I just hope they dont intend on copying the 1 mile track from Pikes Peak, probably wouldn't be too exciting for Cup races.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Buy ear plugs.

Steve Addington

Once we make the Chase, I'll need a driver who handle the pressure of driving for a championship. Any suggestions?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Doesn't anybody ever chat using their own name anymore? C'mon.

Dj hopkins nashville tn [via mobile]

Do you think ryan newman has a legitimate shot to win the title this year? And i am a real big fan so i made a bet with my dad and bet him 100 bucks he would win 2 races this year is that a possibility?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

I do. I really like Tony Gibson as a crew chief and that Ryan is getting to prove he's a good driver when given good equipment.

Teresa Earnhardt

Tell Rick Hendrick I recommend lots of Tylenol for his season-long headache.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Is that legal under the substance abuse policy? I want to see the list, now.

James (TN)

How long do you think it will be before Dale Jr. bring JR Motorsports to the Cup Series?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Six months?

Chad (Dover, DE)

Can you please remind all of the HMS haters out there that Mr. H has won the last three championships, and he has Jr. bringing him in money. They way I see it, he's got the best of both worlds.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

All good points. And with that I will have to leave you my friends. It's been fun.I've tried to answer as many as I could, so forgive me if some of the answers were shorter than normal. This Junior Hysteria has taken on a life on its own. Until next week, as the sign said on my long journey to Lowe's Motor Speedway last week, "Honk for 88."