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June 18, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Hi, all. Thanks for stopping by. Let's get going.

Tim (AZ)

Ed, you seem to answer questions straight up, so I'm interested in your opinion of the new developments with nascar. Such as, after years a drivers offering their input along with fans complaining and Brian France covering his ears, now they say they will make some changes to the COT. Also, the rumor that NASCAR execs are stepping in to get a deal together to lure Danica Patrick, and that Brian France has been flirting with Honda for years. My questions are this, after years of bad dictatorship at the hands of Brian France IMO, are these acts of desperation? Also, after the whole "getting back to it's roots" campaign, how will these decisions effect the old school fanbase? Changes are going to happen do to the economy, etc.. But how will these fans react if the upper management of the sport start getting their hands involved into who comes over to drive, rather then working your butt off and hoping someone gives you a shot. Interested in your reply!

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Not sure I'd call it full-fledged desperation, but NASCAR is sure climbing off its high-horse. Double-file restarts and imminent loosening up on the COT show that. I don't think NASCAR execs need prompt teams to court Danica. She'll draw the sponsorship and they all know it. As for "working your butt off," that hasn't counted for a whole lot in NASCAR for a long time. It's marketing -- it's the rise of "the robotic salesman" as a friend of mind puts it, in NASCAR.



Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Kyle Busch. Slam dunk.(I'm not 100 percent sure, but that pick oughta get this chat's heart started in a hurry.)

Tony Romo (Irving, Tx)

Who receives more bad press? Myself or Dale Jr? Gotta go, Jess wants me to finish making lunch

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

Oh, you do, Tony. You do. Now turn around and sign in as Dale Jr. and argue that.

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

I agree with Terry Blount that Montoya could go it, and guys like Burton and Reutimann -- and Burton -- could drop.

Thomas (Alabama)

Hey, Ed. Huge Brad Keselowski fan here. I was at 'Dega to see him win his first race and it was awesome. What's your opinion on where he will be next year? Still with JRM in Nationwide? Will he move to Cup with a Hendrick satellite team? Or will another team snap him up?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

I think he'll end up in a third Stewart-Haas car. Get this same question a lot, and this is my story and i'm sticking to it.

Dale Jr. (16-20th finish)

Can you teach me how to talk to girls? I own my own bar, and still nothing.....

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

Is this Romo back, or another Earnhardt. Now, Dale, you and I both know you've got plenty of girl friends and have had for years. You just don't choose to display them.Bring one out on the pit road with you one Sunday.

Trevor (Michigan)

Hi Ed,I guess this question is fitting for Father's Day weekend. My dad constantly complains about NASCAR's lack of passing, side by side racing, and that it looks more like a "choo-choo train" out there and will often times gripe about the number of cars on the lead lap. He's always talking about how much better racing was back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and I've looked at some past results and there were races where some finished with only 5 or 10 cars on the lead lap. Is my dad the racing of yesteryear better than the racing of today?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

Trevor, you're buying the NASCAR statistical party line. Look at the 1975 Daytona 500 and it'll look like one of the worst races ever -- only one driver on the lead lap, winner Benny Parsons. But it was WAY better than that. David Pearson led, and Richard Petty -- with a strong car but laps down -- helped Benny gang up on Pearson to run him down. Then Cale Yarborough and Ritchie Panch wouldn't let Pearson pass them on the backstretch and he spun out, leaving Parsons to win.That race was a hundred times better than these restrictor-plate Daytona 500s with a gazillion meaningless lead changes.The older you get, Trevor, the smarter your dad will turn out to be.

wing lee (wyoming)

who is better tony stewart or dale

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Just as a pure driver, objectively, Tony is better.

Steve (St. Anthony, MN)

What's up with RCR? They made that crew swap and still no results. Your thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

They went into this season blind, with no off-season testing. Other teams have better simulation procedures, and made bigger improvements on the COT.Also, remember this: Bobby Hutchens has gone from RCR to Stewart-Haas. SHR is surging, RCR is slumping. That tells you something.

Jack (Columbia, SC)

Ed, who is your pick to win the Sprint Cup this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

Having a tech difficulty, folks. Hopefully it'll clear in a second, but some problem posting questions.

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

We'll wing it for a minute. Jack in Columbia, SC, asks my pick to win the Cup this year. I still say Johnson. He and Chad have been just horsing around lately, running out of fuel because they can afford to. Otherwise, he'd be so clearly dominant right now that the whole NASCAR nation would be sound asleep already.

Woody (Denver)

RPM to Toyoya? The King backing Toyota?! Say it ain't so? Ok, don't just say it..mean it!

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

Still a problem posting, so still winging it. Woody in Denver says the King to Toyota? Say it ain't so.It may or may not be so, but believe me, the King is down to anything he can get to get going again. He can't afford to be an American symbol at this point.

jesse (pittsburgh pa)

Why do you think Tony is so happy this year compared to other season. I think Tony has a great heart and has just found his spot in nascar after 11 years in cup.

Jeff (Lafayette)

Ed, are you ready for Danica? I'm not sure that you are. Are you prepared to chase her around pit road as she pick fights with multiple crews? She is coming, Ed! Accept her before she destroys you!

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

I've sent out an urgent plea to ESPN tech people, but we're still gonna have to wing it for a bit.

jeff (mlt)

why do nascar drivers say "the car ran good" instead of well?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

Bobby in New Jersey wants to know if Junior is the new Kyle Petty. No, it's not that bad. Kyle was a rare winner throughout his career. Junior has had his streaks.

mike (ma)

whens the last article you wrote without indirectly taking a shot at JR? do u have a problem with him?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

Junior Nation, my apologies for the tech glitch, because you're firing with both barrels at me and can't get through.Just know that plenty of you are blazing away.And know that until I started writing about how colorful Kyle Busch is, the other side blasted me all the time for sucking up to Dale Jr. in columns.

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

Danica fans now pouring it on saying I'd better get used to her, because she's coming to NASCAR.Listen, Pals, I've known Danica Patrick since she was an intern with Lyn St. James at Indy. I know her and her family well. Her Dad's a pure-bred, hard-knocks racer who'd rather have her in NASCAR.If Danica crosses over, she'll have 42 feuds going in the first month. When they hit her, she'll hit back. Fender-banging galore.

wing lee (wyoming)

why wont u answer me

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Hey, I kinda like this. I usually get 12-14 questions about the same thing. Now I can summarize them all because the questions won't post but the answers will.See now that ESPN Tech has called in ESPN Production. We're working on it.But this is kinda fun.

devin (whitmore lake mi)

ed do you see jamie mac going to joe gibbs in a 4th car

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Mooresville, NC)

I'm colorful, too, Ed. You should write about how colorful I am. I've felt an empty place in my heart ever since you started writing about Kyle so much. Oh, Ed, why must you hurt me so?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

I'm even trying to post the most absurd questions about Junior -- thinking maybe a "wouldn't you know it" will post.Still not working. So, Dale Jr. imposter, you don't get posted.

james (wyoming)

hey can u post me i think jimmie and tony are neck and neck would you agree?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Jim in California wants to know if there are any NASCAR drivers who aren't Republicans.Of course not! All they think about politically is their tax bills and how much of that Lear jet they're going to get to write off.

John (TX)

Thoughts on the Carl Long suspension time being shortened? Mayfield's "expert" being essentially a phony?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Bob in Chicago is going to Indy this month and wants to know if Goodyear has the tire problem fixed. They say they have, and they BETTER, as much testing as they've been doing. If they foul this one up, big trouble.

james (wyoming)

why is tony more happy than last season? ihave no clue why

John (TX)

Why do KB and Jr. fans act like idiots on this chat? Ask real questions people!

Jeff (Lafayette)

Ed, do you know how the pie is divided for merchandise sales? What percentage does NASCAR, driver, and/or team get?

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

hey, the glitch is fixed.James, my column that's just posted is about exactly that. It's a little too complex to answer fully in a chat.Oh, dear. Now I'm posting questions like mad, and my answers won't post. we'll try again.

Jane (NYC)

Hey Ed! Will Vickers win a race this season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

No.but mainly this is a test to see quickly if both questions and answers will post.

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

OK, we're working. But we got a lot of laps to make up.


HOW can you pick the shrub when he only started winning on the road courses last year. ARE YOU FORGETTING THE KING OF THE ROAD COURSES JEFF GORDON, HOW ABOUT TONY STEWART, JAMIE MCMURRAY, MONTOYA AND AMBROSE?

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

See, I told you that pick would get this chat's heart started. . . if only we hadn't had to change ignition boxes. but we're running now.

Ed (Hartford)

Hey Ed, How many wrecks do you think there will be on restarts at Sonoma? I'll say about 8...

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

At least.

Lee Berry (Hampton)

Does Robby Gordon have good enough equipment to run up front this weekend ?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Robby's so good on road courses he can compete with the big teams even without fully equal equipment. He'll be a factor, either running well or causing some kind of big commotion.

Steiny (NYC)

Mr. Hinton, how are you? It has been a while. I just wanted to stop by and see how you are doing. Keep up the great work my friend and I hope all is well!!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Steiny, where in the heck have you been? Hope you're well.

ed (hinton)

why do nascar drivers say "the car ran good" instead of well

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

Well, that's a hoot. Now you guys are impersonating me. I must be coming up in the world. Fractured English is something the younger NASCAR drivers don't come in with, but pick up as a sort of custom. "If we had ran better," always cracks me up.But the funniest by far in recent years is to hear Jimmie Johnson talk about how his car was "tore up."

Steven (Indiana)

Who do you believe is the most important driver or drivers for nascar? Not the best but the most Important?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Most important in the past 15 years has been Jeff Gordon, beyond doubt. He has done more to take NASCAR out into the mainstream than anyone else.

Rob (Flordia)

Who is your pick for the best performing "road course ringer", Ed? My pick is Ron Fellows in the #09 for James Finch. They'll be running Hendrick equipment this weekend and Ron definitely knows how to get around Sonoma. Maybe they can pull off ANOTHER upset win.

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

I'll go along with that, mainly in wishful thinking for James Finch. EVERYBODY likes Finch. Man, I wish that guy were a regular Cup owner, every week. That'd be a guaranteed funny story for us media types every race weekend. What a guy!And I feel akin to him in the "tell it like it is" department.

Mark (Europe)

1. Just to make something clear, the best road racer in nascar is JPM. By a wide margin. 2. Why should Danica go through ARCA

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

Let's not forget that JPM wasn't even the best in F1 when he left. He was getting squeezed out at McLaren.ARCA's actually a pretty good place for training now, especially at places like talladega. A few races there wouldn't hurt Danica.

Mark (Europe)

My question got cut off, your new chat system sucks :/

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Mark, did you see that it was posted last question? All you've done here is prove you're not in Europe. That's not their colloquialism.

Ryan (Gilbert, AZ)

Good afternoon Ed........Do you think NASCAR will tinker with the tracks that currently make up the Chase.....I know Fontana is added this year due to the 3 date swap w/Dega, Atlanta, and Fontana, but is NASCAR looking at doing anything else?? Maybe finishing at Vegas?? I think it would make more sense for the season to start out at Daytona, then go to Homestead and Fontana for races 2-3.......Your thoughts or wishes??

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

As we were talking about at the beginning of this chat, NASCAR is taking all sorts of drastic measures it arrogantly dismissed only months ago.My best suggestion is this: Start the season at Daytona, finish the season at Daytona (throw out Talladega and make Daytona 400 the only plate race in the Chase.)

JPM ((Miami))

Saying that I am not the best road racer in Nascar because I was not the best in Formula One would be like saying if I went back to F1 I would not be the best oval racer because I wasn't the best in Nascar. It is nonsensical.

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

The real JPM speaks a whole lot better English than you just spoke.

Mark T. (Mount Airy,MD)

Hello Ed, should one of the road courses be in the chase????

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

I think so. But doubt NASCAR will do it because that would hamper so many rockstar drivers.

Wheels (Barack Obama's Back Yard)

Ed when you get some time can you please set the Dale,Jr. Fanatics about how Theresa E. Helped Build DEI, She was the brains behind the operation and that Dale,Sr. Did not leave anything in his will to Dale,Jr. that he wanted him to be standing on his own two feet. Dale,Sr. left everything to his wife and his baby girl so that mama could take care of her and raise her if anything happened to him. Thanks keep telling it like it is.

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

Wheels, if you want me to keep telling it like it is, then what you just said ain't gonna be it.I think you've watched the movie "3" too many times.

Dan (New Jersey)

Does Jimmie Johnson need to win a road course race to cement his status as one of Nascar's best ever?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Sure wouldn't hurt. And I think he will, within the next two years if not Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Mooresville, NC)

"But doubt NASCAR will do it because that would hamper so many rockstar drivers."Ed.... are you talking about me?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

yes . . . but others too.

Ted (TX)

If Mrs. Patrick does come over, will she win a race in her NASCAR career?

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

Heck, yeah! With so many fuel-mileage races, that's right up her alley. Bet her first win is a pocono -- go fast, then save fuel.

Jeremy (Des Moines, Iowa)

Which road course do you prefer (just speaking of the track itself) Sonoma or WG and why?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Sonoma, for sure. Solely because northern california is such a great place to hang out.


Will Hendrick keep giving engines to Stewart-Haas. I heard Jimmie and Chad didn't like the idea.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Yeah, and maybe Jimmie and Chad WOULD like Rick giving back those dozens of Haas Automation computer-driven robotic machines that make those Hendrick engines so great.Hendrick gets the super-robots, Haas gets the engines. That's a more than fair trade. Without the robots, Hendrick engines wouldn't be what they are.

Mitch (Marysville, MI)

Do you forsee somewhere in the future the road course in Montreal may get a slot somewhere on the Sprint Cup schedule?

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Whether it's at Montreal, or on some yet-to-be-built oval in Canada, I have stood by this for years:NO region of North America is more deserving of its own race than Canada.Canadian fans have been a huge, huge boost to NASCAR for a lot of years.

Wheels (Barack Obama's Back Yard)

Ed when are You and Marty going to be on the Nascar show on espn2 bantering back and forth you two are hilarious.

Ed Hinton
  (3:02 PM)

Whenever the coordinating producers tell us to. We enjoy it too, and get lots of feedback.Hey, gotta go, folks. Sorry about the tech problems today. We'll get 'em fixed.