Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 23, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Your lucky week, or maybe mine. You get me twice in two days. Guess everybody else is traveling so I'm all there was left. Regardless, glad to be here and can't wait to get to the questions. By the way, just left Kyle Busch at a charity event. You need to see this side when the blog is posted. Onto the questions.

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

It was great seeing that side of Busch. We've had our run-ins in the past, but Busch simply is passionate about his job as I am with mine. I'm sure I was a bit more of a punk when I was a 23-year-old writer. And by the way, great cause at Gleaners. Hope more people become involved.

michael odell (kentucky)

do u think tony stewert will win the cup this year and if no who do u think will

David Newton
  (3:03 PM)

I've said from the start of the season that it's Jimmie Johnson's title to win until somebody proves better. Stewart is having a great year, but remember young Busch was having an unbelievable year in 2008 before the Chase began.

Chris (Richmond, VA)

Have you heard anything about Ganassi "merging" with Gibbs? Would that make Montoya the fourth Gibbs car with Target as the sponsor?

David Newton
  (3:04 PM)

Haven't heard any more than the rumors. But if such a move were to happen I suspect the sponsor indeed would move over with him. Imagine Busch and Montoya on the same team. Wow.

Buddha (Boston, MA)

Assuming that Jeremy Mayfield is proven to not have taken meth (work with me here....). In that case, he would have a lawsuit against NASCAR and damages would be, basically, loss of earning power. Assuming he wins (again, I said work with me here). So here's my question -- what does an average drive make in a year between races and sponsor ships. We all know/assume that Jeff Gordon (vineyards), Junior (most popular) and the rest of the elite make more than imaginable. But what about the middle of the road guys like the 'Dinger, Vickers, Mears, etc. How much money is at stake?

David Newton
  (3:05 PM)

It would go way behind the loss of earning power. There are punitive damages that would go to numbers I'm not familiar. Lets' put it this way, he probably could finish out his driving career without a sponsor if he wins. But that's still a big if.

Mike (Co)

The 17 without Dewalt? To me that was one of the standard paint schemes of the sport for years. Any rumors as to who the new sponsor will be?

David Newton
  (3:08 PM)

It will be different, but the sport and sponsors are changing. As for a replacement, I have no idea. Roush has more sponsor deals that any organization in the garage so he'll have likely two to three sponsors next year.

JR (Great Bend)

I really don't get why the media and fans have turned on Dale Jr. so much. Some of your fellow beat writers seem to thing he's washed up! He went into the chase 4th in points LAST year. Had 2 victories (if you include the bud shootout). The guy has won 18 races and a Daytona 500. He's finished 3rd in the points before. Last year was very good until the chase. This season is an abomination don't get me wrong. But seriously, people, including the media, need to give this guy a break. Even if he IS the most popular driver. He didn't ask for that. What do you think?

David Newton
  (3:09 PM)

It is what it is. When you're the most popular driver and struggle you're open for criticism. But I agree this isn't the end and I believe Hendrick will find a way to get him back on his game by next season. People have bad seasons. Kevin Harvick is having one. Martin Truex is having one. It is what it is.

Mark (Iowa)

I read on NASCAR.com that Jeremy Mayfield supposedly has a big-time sponsor lined up. With that, would any owner in the garage take a shot at him?

David Newton
  (3:10 PM)

Jeremy told me he wasn't returning to the track until he cleared his name, that he was putting all of his money into lawyers and such. That is all I can tell you other than no owner was willing to take a shot at him before this mess began.

Tyler (Snohomish,Wa)

Who is it contention for the 1 car at EGR?

David Newton
  (3:11 PM)

Good question. Wish I had a good answer. A lot of other things need to settle down at EGR before a driver will have to consider going there.

Ed (Hartford)

Gordon, Stewart, JJ favorites at Indy. Boring. Red Bull perhaps, turning into another Hendrick team. Boring! I see this going very much the way of the IRL

David Newton
  (3:11 PM)

Thanks for your boring question. Or was there a question in there? Sorry, too easy.

Marion (SC)

David,What is the latest on RPM to Toyota and any insight on who might be out at RPM because i dont believe they will be 4 cars.

David Newton
  (3:12 PM)

I agree, it'll likely be a three-car operation next season. My guess is Sadler is out, but none of the drivers outside of Kahne deserve a secured seat based on what they've done this season. Plan to check up on the Toyota deal tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Adam (NC)

David ,Do you think Kahne will resign with RPM or this time next will we be talking about Kahne signing to drive for another team.If so who do think he will drive for.

David Newton
  (3:13 PM)

If he makes the Chase and they prove capable of keeping in a championship car and allie with a solid manufacturer I believe he'll stay. But those are a lot of ifs.

Jason (VA)

I hear alot of reporters saying they feel elliott sadler will not be at rpm next year with him getting the new engine before aj and reed do you feel this is true?

David Newton
  (3:14 PM)

Maybe they are saying, "Hey, if you want to stay, here's your chance to prove your worth."

Cori (WA)

Since Dewalt has given up there sponsorship for 2010, do you think it will hurt the team going into next year?

David Newton
  (3:14 PM)

Not at all. There are plenty of sponsors to go around at Roush.

AL (IL)

Hey Newton,What is this Gibbs Ganassi rumor I thought Gibbs didnt want an outside ownership partner?

David Newton
  (3:15 PM)

Actually, Gibbs told me a while back they made a mistake by not forming a partnership with Hall of Fame Racing like Stewart-Haas has with Hendrick.

Jerry Lee (LA)

Do you thinks kahnes future is with another team if so who?

David Newton
  (3:15 PM)

See below

Happy (Gulf of Mexico/Ocean America drilling rig)

What do you think of Dale Jr.'s chances are winning this Sunday?? Do you think that he has gotten better with Lance McGrew atop the pit box?? Do you see Jr. winning 1 race or more this year??

David Newton
  (3:16 PM)

Slim. Maybe slightly. Maybe 1.

Mike (Boston)

Read your well writter article comparing NASCAR and Indy CART, however, I was bothered by your comment regarding Sept. 11th being a government conspiracy. No need to address it, but I wanted to let you know because I read your articles.

David Newton
  (3:16 PM)

Thanks for the comment. It wasn't meant as a slap at anybody. I was just mentioning other conspiracy theories.

AT (Charlotte)

Why does it seem like everyone is siding with Toyota now? They still suck. The only good team is Gibbs and the only driver really doing good is Busch! Does no one else get this besides me ?!?

David Newton
  (3:17 PM)

I disagree. Michael Waltrip Racing has gotten solid performances out of Reutimann and Ambrose, and Brian Vickers has won five poles at Red Bull Racing. Maybe Gibbs is the only Toyota organization contenting for a title now, but the others aren't so far behind they can't catch up.

Marion (SC)

David,I know kahne has been happy lately but i feel this time next year kahne is going to be signed with another team because i think a big team is going to offer him a deal he cant refuse and im sure he wondering what he can do with a Gibbs.Stew/Haas. type team RPM just has to many questionsand Im sure thats going to be part of Kahnes decision next year What do you Think.

David Newton
  (3:18 PM)

You make a lot of good points, but a lot can happen between now and this time next year.

Saul (San Diego)

Dewalt-sponsor announced it is pulling out from NASCAR/17. How much worst is going to get. Can you address one impact for next season?

David Newton
  (3:19 PM)

As Geoff Smith said, this wasn't a great surprise. DeWalt was looking for relief and Roush couldn't provide enough to warrant keeping it on the car. This won't be the last big-name sponsor to disappear or at least have a far less significant role.

AT (Charlotte)

Am I the only one who thinks Toyota is overratted? The on;y good team is Gibbs and the only drive that is Busch. Does no one else get this ?!?

David Newton
  (3:19 PM)

Think I just answered that. Anybody else want to chime in?

kevin (memphis)

so, now that mayfields independent test came back negative, whats next?

David Newton
  (3:20 PM)

NASCAR has to make a counter claim. I put what I suspect will be one aspect of it into the rumor mill today. Read it and get back to me.

Kevin (Texas)

If for a strange reason, the race at Indy turns out like it did last year, will Nascar consider taking it off the schedule?

David Newton
  (3:21 PM)

No, they'll just work even harder to make sure it doesn't happen again. With the rain they've had here it'll be interesting to see how the track responds without a lot of rubber on it.

Wonder Boy (1st Place)

Am I not your favorite to win this weekend? The only other acceptable choice is Sliced Bread.

David Newton
  (3:21 PM)

Have you seen the list of former winners? Logano doesn't stand a chance.

Aaron (Bath, ME)

Is it just me, or does it seem like some people don't really think Jeff Gordon has what it takes to run for the championship with the 14 and 48? Every time somebody asks who the title favorites are, it's always the 14 and 48. Don't hear the 24 in that conversation. Why is that?

David Newton
  (3:22 PM)

You didn't ask me. I have said all season that Gordon should be considered one of the top five to win it all this season. Don't rule him out at all. Those that do just aren't paying close attention.

JR (Great Bend)

David, I just can't stay silent anymore. The way the media and fans have turned on Jr. is ridiculous. This guy went into the chase 4th in points LAST YEAR. He won 2 races counting the bud shootout. The guy has won 18 races and a daytona 500(along with an all-star win) He's finished 3rd in points before(better than shrub has ever done). This season is an unmitigated disaster, i realize that. But you dont hear people saying kevin harvick is a no-talent waste of space. Give Jr. a break. He didnt ask to be the most "popular" driver. He will win again and be very good. What do you think?

David Newton
  (3:23 PM)

I think there's a down side to being the most popular driver on the planet, and not winning and being criticized is at the top of the list.

Saul (San Diego)

Can you tell us how Jr's state of mind is doing so far? Is the guy ok? Not financially, but again mentally.

David Newton
  (3:24 PM)

He doesn't seem to terribly different to me. He's simply having a bad year. He doesn't need a psychiatrist.

Felipe (Dallas)

Hey David, I know Montoya is points racing right now. If he makes the chase, how aggresive do you think he will be? Will he still be points racing or going for the win?

David Newton
  (3:25 PM)

He'll still have to point race to stand a chance, but you will see him take more chances and go for the win instead of a top five or 10 more. That's just my guess.

Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)

Thinking about getting tickets to Atlanta this fall. Is it worth it?

David Newton
  (3:26 PM)

A night race on Labor Day weekend should be pretty cool. You can always go to a Braves game or Six Flags over Georgia if the race is a disapointment.

kevin (memphis)

is his new sponsor Waterford?

David Newton
  (3:26 PM)

Got me.

Chris (Richmond (VA))

Are there any good books about NASCAR (a la "Moneyball" for baseball) that you could recommend?

David Newton
  (3:27 PM)

Hmmm. There are a lot of good books out there. My friend Joe Menzer has a new book coming out _ or it may be out already _ about the 1979 Daytona 500. As far as a NASCAR book that'll knock your socks off it's been a while since I've read one.

Mark T. (Mount Airy,MD)

Hey David, Thanks for chatting with us again this week. We know the favorites for the Brickyard, but who is a dark horse to keep an eye on Sunday.

David Newton
  (3:28 PM)

Juan Pablo has to be considered. And I've got a feeling Jeff Burton is going to have a good showing.

Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)

Everyone says things need to settle down at EGR before they can make decisions. What exactly is going on with them? What needs to settle down? They have a chase driver which is more than a lot of other teams can say.

David Newton
  (3:29 PM)

Agreed, they do have a driver. But they need at least two and sponsorship to fully fund the second car. Bass Pro Shop is only in for about 16 races and there are rumors it will try to get out of that to go to Ryan Newman's car. They also need to settle on a manufacturer, although I don't see a change from GM as long as they keep the DEI relationship alive.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

I am reading and hearing good things about tires at Indy. Is there anyone saying bad things or skeptical about the tires?

David Newton
  (3:30 PM)

The last test was a good one. Even Tony Stewart, Goodyear's harshest critic, is singing praises. Now that rain has washed all the rubber off we'll see if that holds true.

Mike (CT)

Does Carl Edwards win a race this season? I've been waiting to see a backflip.

David Newton
  (3:30 PM)

He'll win three.

RAY GORDON REID ( WILLIAMSBURG VA 23187)

QUESTION TO DAVID WEWTON AT 3.30PM HI DAVID RUMOR NO MATRTINVILLE RACES

David Newton
  (3:31 PM)

Rumor. It's one of the best races of the year in my opinion, better now than Bristol

Zak (Virginia)

What do you think about the Jermey Mayfield Case

David Newton
  (3:31 PM)

Gosh, I don't have that much time or energy.

Ed (Hartford)

Do you think Montoya has a chance to win Sunday?...That would be exciting!

David Newton
  (3:31 PM)

Yes, and it would be hugely exciting.

Felipe (Dallas)

DO YOU HATE MONTOYA OR ARE YOU ANOTHER RACIST GOOD OL BOY FROM THE SOUTH?? YOUR THE ONLY ESPN REPORTER THAT NEVER TAKES A JPM QUESTIONHey David, I know Montoya is points racing right now. If he makes the chase, how aggresive do you think he will be? Will he still be points racing or going for the win?

David Newton
  (3:33 PM)

Just answered that one, so please look below.

Tyler (Scranton/The Office)

Hey David. Did you happen to see the new commercial for the Brickyard race with Dale Jr? I laugh at it till my lungs hurt everytime I see it. Does he seriously think he's the best driver out there as he lags behind in 25th place all the time? Am I wrong in assuming that if Jr was actually a great race car driver, he would have won a title by now or at least be contending for one?

David Newton
  (3:34 PM)

I haven't seen the commercial. Tell me more about it.

Zak (Virginia)

Do you think Jeff Burton has an outside shot at the title

David Newton
  (3:35 PM)

Outside is a good word. No, I don't.

Joe ( Missoula, MT )

Newt, chances of Kyle being in victory lane on Sunday for the record?

David Newton
  (3:36 PM)

Are you kidding? He's one of the top drivers in the garage. Of course he has a chance.

kevin (new jersey)

Is it true that David Gilliland will be in the 02 car for gibbs at sometime this year?

David Newton
  (3:37 PM)

Haven't heard that one, but Gilliland has done a lot with a little this season.

Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)

I think if you plugged a bunch of those Chevy drivers into Toyota's they'd win, the same way they win in Chevy's. Did you forget about Denny, he's pretty good...My 10...

David Newton
  (3:37 PM)

If you plugged some of those Toyota drivers into Chevys they'd win.

Chris (Richmond (VA))

Maybe Jeremy Mayfield can use tennis player Richard Gasquet's defense; namely the drugs found in his system was the result of kissing a woman in a Miami nightclub.

David Newton
  (3:38 PM)

Your honor, the defense rests.

Zak (Virginia)

why is Richard Childress racing doing horrible right now?

David Newton
  (3:38 PM)

They don't know. I don't know. Nobody seems to know. It's a combination of a lot of little things, and without testing they can't seem to find a way to fix it.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey David, Can you rank Edwards, Stewart and Kyle Busch and maybe give a little thought on why? Thanks!

David Newton
  (3:41 PM)

That's a hard one. Stewart should be No. 1. He has two titles and leads the points. But Busch has been the most spectacular driver the past two seasons with more wins than anybody. Edwards would have to be third at the moment, but he led the series in wins last season so he could jump up at any moment. If I were starting a team I'd take Busch.

kevin (new jersey)

Do you see my driver david ragan finishing better then 30th?

David Newton
  (3:41 PM)

You are some fan to ask that. I haven't given it much thought, but if he can't finish better than 30th he should be moved to Yates.

Jerry (Tampa, FL)

The only reason Gibbs is the only Toyota contending for a championship is because they were already an established team who had won championships. MWR is definitely on the rise, and if Red Bull sticks with Toyota, they could be good too. And these teams had to start from scratch to get where they are today.

David Newton
  (3:42 PM)

Agreed totally.

Marion (SC)

I like your point noboby else on the RPM team deserves their ride besides Kahne any chance RPM can hire someone better to team with Kahne.

David Newton
  (3:42 PM)

Who would you suggest? Maybe McMurray if he wants to bolt from Ford.

Joe ( Missoula, MT )

Whats going to happen to DEI if Ganassi bolts to be part of Gibbs?

David Newton
  (3:43 PM)

My guess is they'll hook up with RCR in some way and field at least one Cup car and build up with a Nationwide program.

Stan (Wi)

How about bass pro shops to the 17? Matt seems to be an outdoorsman, could be a good fit.

David Newton
  (3:43 PM)

I don't think the people at EGR that hold that contract would apprecaite them leaving.

Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)

Do you think if Gordo wins the championship this year he walks away on top of the game? He said he doesn't want to race forever, what better way to exit.

David Newton
  (3:44 PM)

If he gets to five titles there will be the desire to get to seven and tie Earnhardt and Petty. Don't you think?

Jeremy (Port Angeles, Washington)

Do you think that Danica will do the full indycar season in 2010 with Chip Ganassi

David Newton
  (3:45 PM)

I've heard that. She says she won't make up her mind until after the season. That probably means she won't return to Andretti Green.

Johnny (Williams)

David, who do you think the "cut off driver" to make the chase is, realistically speaking I think anybody below Marcos Ambrose is done for right now and cannot make the chase.

David Newton
  (3:45 PM)

I'd say anybody outside the top 14 is dreaming.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey David, how do you think Brad Keselowski will do this weekend?

David Newton
  (3:46 PM)

Haven't given it any thought. Rookies don't usually do well at Indy.

TG (PA)

Oh Tyler, every driver thinks they are the best driver. But I did have to laugh when someone asked Montoya's son who his favorite driver is and he said "Jimmie Johnson"

David Newton
  (3:48 PM)

That is funny. But if you were a kid wouldn't you pick the three-time champion?

Johnny Williams (The Little Place in the back of your mind that

How many races do you think Logano would have won already if they were racing the old cars?

David Newton
  (3:48 PM)

No more than he has now. He might be higher in points, though.

Chris (charlotte)

Any word if Jeffrey Earnhardt is going to drive for DEI in nationwide next year?

David Newton
  (3:48 PM)

That I understand is the plan.

Tyler (Scranton/The Office)

Jr talks about all the pressure that he's under because he is not performing well. He goes on to say that drivers need to think that they're the best out there and that he "has no problem doing that." What a Joke! He can't even find his pit stall for Pete's sake!

David Newton
  (3:49 PM)

Enough said.

Clayton (Kansas)

Scott Wimmer is the nicest driver i've met at the track. What do you see for him next season?

David Newton
  (3:50 PM)

Haven't heard his name mentioned much for a Cup ride.

Bryan. (Hickory, Nc)

Hey, um what can Nascar do-that will bring more fans to the races? Lower tickets prices or something. Im 23yr, worried about next year for races and sponorship.

David Newton
  (3:50 PM)

They are lowering prices. And they are looking at other things to draws interest. The double-file restart rule is a direct result of fans wanting it.

Jason (ETN)

The last attempt at a testing ban to "save money" brought us the 7-post shaker rigs. What are teams going to now to test in-house?

David Newton
  (3:51 PM)

Between the seven-post shaker and wind tunnel they have pretty much exhausted technology. Maybe a few teams will build test tracks near their facility.

Marshall (San Diego)

Who do you think the next "enforcer" is going to be? By that I mean someone like Dale Sr., Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip etc... who would grab a youngster and "splain" things to him. Someone like Rowdy

David Newton
  (3:52 PM)

Tony would be my pick, and he does that to some degree.

Anthony (AZ)

Sponsor or not, marketing prince or not. I still think Kenseth is the best driver Roush has, period. Maybe he should do a backflip or a commercial for people to give him props. I guess a 500 win, rookie of the year, and a championship isn't enough.

David Newton
  (3:53 PM)

Unfortunately, personality does play into what fans want. But you're right, Matt is a terrific competitor and not to be forgotten.

alex (fl)

Tired of the start and park teams if 47 cars show up for the race and 42 of the cars are going to run the whole race why doenst nascar let the other five cars fight for the last spot so the can race their 20 laps and go home!!

David Newton
  (3:53 PM)

Because they can't determine who is going to start and park before the race. They can guess, but they don't want ot set the field based on that. Let the system work.

Mark T. (Mount Airy,MD)

David, any rumors as to where Paul Menard (have sponsor will travel) will end up next year???? I hear Yates is thinking of cleaning house.

David Newton
  (3:54 PM)

As far as I know Menard will return to Yates. A sponsor in the hand is worth two in the Bush. And I haven't heard about letting Labonte go.

Eric (Harrisonburg, VA)

Does he, or you, think he can get to 7 titles?!?!? Me thinks you've been spending too much time with Mr. Mayfield.

David Newton
  (3:55 PM)

Funny. If he wins another title this year it's not out of the realm. Amazing what confidence can do for a bad back.

Trevor (Clemson, SC)

I'm not sure if Kurt Busch's contract is up at the end of this year or next...do you think he'll resign with Penske or sign with another team?

David Newton
  (3:55 PM)

He has another year left. A lot of what he does depends on how well he finishes this year and starts next season.

jason (va)

i dont think its fair to compare the performance of the other rpm drivers to kahne they havent really been in the same equipment he gets alot of new cars and has had the new engine

David Newton
  (3:56 PM)

Not really true. Some of Kahne's best performances have come with the old engine.

Tyler (Scranton)

With his new daughter having arrived, maybe Gerber or Huggies will sponsor Matt.

David Newton
  (3:57 PM)

Great idea. Then when he says the car really hugged the track today it can have a double meaning.

kevin (new jersey)

I must sound like a bad fan because i dont think david ragan will do good

David Newton
  (3:57 PM)

Your call.

Sean (Atlanta)

Whats the deal with Allmendinger. He actually got extra sponsors this year and then tanked. Overrated or lucky?

David Newton
  (3:58 PM)

A lot of people got excited over his start. Remember, he's still young in this sport. Too ealry to say overrated. He never was that highly rated to begin with.

Jeremy (Des Moines, Iowa)

Fun question, if you could pick any driver at the start of their career, and start a team with them now, who would it be?

David Newton
  (3:58 PM)

Any driver? Any era? I'd still go with Gordon. He has the talent, the look and the appeal to sponsors.

Marion (SC)

Heres my thoughts David.Jamie Mac is better,Maybe Ganassi hooking up with RPM bring Target get that Toyota connection .Kahne and Montoya build on that have AJ drive the 43 than hire someone better once Kahne and Montoya show what they can do.Than they can attract a better driver for the 43 your thoughts

David Newton
  (4:00 PM)

A lot to digest there. But they do need a better driver in the 43.

Greg (Greenwood)

I appreciated your article about Ryan Newman Indy's Forgotten Son, as you have surmised he is not forgotten by Indiana in general, just the media. ( And that's OK with us.)

David Newton
  (4:01 PM)

Thanks, and with that said I appreciate the time you have given me today. Glad it worked out to double-dip this week. Be sure to tune into our weekend coverage. A lot is planned. Until next week, see ya.