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July 29, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Ah, the life of a reporter. Spent the morning at a courthouse in Statesville, N.C., looking for information on the Jeremy Mayfield case and am chatting with you from a Chic-Fila. Fun stuff. Fire away.

Kevin (WI)

Does Jeff Gordon have a realistic shot at winning the championship, Tony and JJ seem like they are racing a lot better. Can Jeff still win without the same amount of victories as the others?

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

He's got a very good chance. He's not that far off Tony. I don't think anybody is going to touch Jimmie to be honest with you. But if I had to pick a second Hendrick driver now it would be Mark Martin.

CJ SLC, UT [via mobile]

I'n ready for some racing! When does the season start?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

It's over. Hendrick is going to win again. Well, maybe not. Let's watch the next three months just to make sure.

Jeff (WI)

Good Wednesday to you Newt. I have a 2011 silly season scenerio for you. Kenseth seems to be a very competitive guy, and hasn't seemed happy the last few years. From Reiser getting pulled from his team and the revolving door of CC's since, to the whole clash with Edwards issue, and not being in equipment good enough to win the Cup. On the other side, running two seasons at this intensity has to tire out Martin. So my prediction is that in 2011 (when Kenseth's contract with Roush is up, and Martin's with Hendrick) Kenseth will go to the 5, purely to give himself the best shot at another Cup before he retires. One issue would be Kenseth's loyalty to Roush, which he has demonstrated through the years. But, IMO, for all he's done for that organization (first Cup and 500 to name a few) he doesn't seem to get the respect he deserves. It's obvious that Jack wants Edwards to be the main guy on the team, and he let Mark leave after all he did for the team, so why not Kenseth too? Thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

There was speculation a few years ago that Kenseth would join Junior at DEI when his last deal with Roush was done. Of course, DEI had a few problems in losing Junior and that didn't happen. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but Hendrick is high on Keselowski and a lot of other things could change between now and then. Good to know you'r two years ahead of the game, though.

J (Naples, FL)

There is 44 cars on the entry list for this weekends Pennsylvannia 500 @ Pocono. Instead of sending 1 guy home after qualifying...why can't NASCAR just have 44 cars in the race? They have to have atleast one extra pit stall on pit road. You think?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

That sounds nice in theory, but would it be fair the next week if there were 45 or 46 cars? Hardly. NASCAR has a rule and they must stick to it. If only 42 show up theh they can't let me on the track in my Sonoata just because I'm there.

Brandon Gordon (Toronto)

Mark Martin is finally showing some consistency after the win at chicago and a second at indy. If he makes the chase, is it possible that he could win his first title?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Nartin has built a career around consistency. I said earlier he would be my second Hendrick pick to win it all behind Johnson.

Joe B (London, Kentucky)

With Jayski's now reporting that RCR is thinking about going down to 2 or 3 cars - why would childress not let Harvick Go. I know Bowyer and burton are signed through 2010 and i believe Mears is also - why not let Harvick go before it tears the team up.

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

First of all, Jayski reports all rumors in the sport. About half are true. I've been told RCR will have at least three cars, and Childress says he hopes to have four. The problem with letting Harvick go is he has a sponsor deal for 2010. The 07 with Mears does not. Plus Harvick is a proven driver, Mears is not. It's not as simple as it sounds.

Anthony (Greensboro, NC)

While I'm longing for the day the Chase exits stage left, you keep trying to get more and more people into it, devaluing the championship further and further. Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, or anyone else who can't get in with consistency shouldn't be able to get in. Wins are big, yes, but running up front all year also means something. You have to bring it every single week.

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

I agree, but if NASCAR wants to put a premium on winning why not let the driver with the most wins not in the top 12 in. The NFL has a wild card. The NBA does. No reason for NASCAR to miss out.

LeRoi Williams (Stockton, Ca.)

Why does JJ seem to dominate in the COT on a weekly basis , whereas everyone else can put a good race together here and there, but not every week?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

JJ has dominated in the COT and old car. As for the COT, it fits his style, similar to what he was used to growing up. Plus he's young and strong, two things necessary to handle the machine. But JJ was good long before the COT.

Spencer (Indy)

David, any way Bobby Labonte and the 96 ask.com team become the 4th car at gibbs next year? I think it would be cool to see bobby back at gibbs to end his career.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

JGR officials told me they made a mistake not treating the Hall of Fame car like Hendrick does Stewart-Haas. Does that mean they would revisit that marriage? I haven't heard any indication, but you never know. Everybody seems to be talking to everybody.

Dustin Gandy (Chattanooga, TN)

I know you're not a crew chief, but do you know why the body of the car is sitting sideways? Its only on certain tracks i that i notice it.

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

You're right, I'm not a crew chief. But it sits sideways because crew chiefs set it up that way to get it to turn th rough the corners better. They call it crabbing.

RAY GORDON REID ( CATAWBA NC 28690)

QUESTION TO DAVID NEWTON AT 2.15 PM HI DAVID WHO YOUR PICK FOR POCONO SUNDAY

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Johnson or Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin, with Carl Edwards and Biffle close behind.

Aron (Las Colinas, Tx)

How bored do you get when you visit Pocono?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Bored? I love listening to the water ripple in Long Pond and the woodsmen chip away at carvings of bears.

Austin (Denver)

The way Kasey Kahne is racing....1. Can he compete for a championship?2. Can Dodge afford to lose him?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Yes and no.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

As president, or at least a client of Rowdy Nation (or Shrub Nation lately), I am glad to see in your articles you have warmed up to the Chosen One. Pocono is not his best track - what would you consider a success there for Kyle? Top 15? Top 10?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

I have seen the other side of him and was impressed. I believe he'll challenge for the win to be honest. That team has something to prove.

Darin (STL)

What is a drivers basic schedule when a race starts at 2PM? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Sleep in as long as the PR rep will let him, do sponsor appearances, go to the driver's meeting, eat lunch, go to driver introductions and drive. Pretty simple.

Richard Lacy (Kokomo, Indiana)

Will Stewart repeat at Pocono?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

If Johnson and Edwards run out of gas again, maybe.

Ray (Fayettville)

My friends say that all that the Stewart-Haas Hendricks have done this year is take wins and good finishes away from the Hendricks of Gordon and especially Earnhardt. Do you agree?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

By the way, it's not easy to type with eight-piece nuggets grease on your fingers. Having said that, Stewart has taken a few wins from the Hendrick cars, but not from Earnhardt. He hasn't been close enough to the front to win.

Richard Lacy (Kokomo, Indiana)

What can teams that do not run with Hendrick horsepower do to level the playing field? There is an obvious drop in performance between Hendrick horsepower and Dodge, Ford, and Toyota.

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

It's not just horsepower. It's overall performance, from setups to the talent of the drivers. They have the complete package. Well, most of the Hendrick teams do.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

Has Earnhardt Gnassi found some power under the hood- or did Montoya just drive his behind off in a great handling car?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

They've had good power all year. Montoya just knows how to handle Indy and getting out in front with clean air in these cars is a huge advantage.

Chuck (NY)

David, in your opinion what is the most boring race of the year?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Pocono, only because it doesn't have the intrigue and history that Indianapolis Motor Speedway does. I jokingly said Goodyear ruined Sunday's race by fixing the tires. It was much more interesting last year when they were blowing out, although none of us wants to see that.

Sid (Atlanta)

anyone in nascar talking about Massa or Surtees (F1[/2])? how strong are the windshields on cup cars in an event like those?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Haven't gotten any chat on that, but that was horrible to watch. I can't see something like that happening in a Cup car.

Ben (ATL)

Isn't RPM better off giving the new Dodge Engine to Sorenson or Dinger? Since their are rumors that Sadler is on his way out, whats the point in letting him use it?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Sadler I'm told has a contract through next season, so if they try to get out of it then they need to show they gave him the best of everything they had.

Adam (NC)

David with the rumor on jayski and sadler getting the new R6 again i guess hes sticking around after all

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

As I just said, don't read too much into that. By the way, didn't know Chic-fila gave out mints. Nice touch.

Jake (Manhattan)

The New Nationwide cars are the pony cars, Last fall Dodge had the challenger, and it looked pretty good. Will NASCAR allow the nose?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Not sure about the nose, but having Mustangs and Challengers and maybe Camaros in the series should look pretty cool.

Ocho Cinco (Chevy Chase, MD)

How much longer can these guys last that are flirting with the bottom of the Top-35? Don't sponsors want to see results when they are paying big bucks?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Many of those know they will never make it to the Chase and so do their sponsors. Under your theory the Detroit Lions would have closed up shop a long tim eago.

Richard Lacy (Kokomo, Indiana)

Do you think Stewart can maintain his consistency throughout the Chase and end Johnson's streak of championships?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Let's put it this way. This time last year everybody had Kyle Busch's name penciled in on the trophy. Oops.

Jennifer (KC)

Johnsons #48 Hendrick is obviously the class of the field and we saw that even Martin or Stewart are no match for the #48. What will there be ro report on the rest of the season?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Ah, there's always drama. Mayfield, tires, you name it. Who knows, maybe Johnson will fall off the top of a golf cart and break his arm and give everybody else a chance.

Anthony (Greensboro, NC)

"The NFL has a wild card. The NBA does. No reason for NASCAR to miss out." By my count, NASCAR already has 11 wild cards. I have to be honest, I can't stand the Chase. I very much love the playoffs in other sports because, unlike NASCAR, Indy doesn't play the Patriots every week, USC doesn't play Florida every Saturday. In NASCAR, everybody faces everybody all season long. I think the Chase renders the first 26 races effectively meaningless as long as you stay within earshot of the leader. I want the NASCAR champion to be the true champion, not whoever was within 700 points of the leader with 10 to go and then got hot once everything was evened out.

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Wait. Meaningless. If the Chase started today Martin who is ninth in points would vault to first. Johnson would be second. It's not meaningless. What would be meaningless would be finishing the season without the Chase. Stewart is like 190 poins ahead of Johnson. Unless he collapsed it would be over.

Jennifer (KC)

Rusty predicted on Nascar Now that Kyle is out of the chase for good. Do you agree with Rusty?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Sorry, Rusty, but I don't. I believe he'll rally.

Red (NC)

In your opinion, who are the top ten drivers in Cup right now (based off natural talent and driving smarts)? Thanks David

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano. Give No. 10 a year or two. He'll be in the top five.

Saul (San Diego)

The Dark Horse. Who could be the dark horse that can win the cup?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

What about Kahne?

Tom (Boston, Ma)

Hey Dave, I noticed that 2010 is a big contract year for a lot of drivers. Granted we're a season away, but which drivers do you honestly see jumping ship? I can see Denny Hamlin leaving

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

I can't see Hamlin leaving. I'm not sure where he would go better than where he is. Plus he likes Kyle Busch a lot and wouldn't want to lose him as a teammate. It'll be an interesting year. Too early to predict.

Tracy (Texas)

Hey David, Do Drivers have special devices so that they can go to the Bathroom when driving there Cars?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

It's called a portajohn. They go right before the race.

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

So I'm sure you are tired of the JPM discussion, but I have to bring up something... JPM was going .06 and .11 MPH over the limit in TWO of SIX zones (thats 1/3 of the timing area's). He was going Less than 1 MPH over the limit... This is nit picking by NASCAR. JJ, Smoke and all the 'Good ol Boys' are speeding just as much as JPM may have been (as evident with the Vickers vs Montoya 'speeding' at Phoenix). Is NASCAR REALLY that amped up over someone going less than 1 MPH over the Hard Limit, and not even over every zone!

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

You left out a very important detail. NASCAR gives them five miles, so he really was 5.06 and 5.11 over the limit. He never should have been that clsoe. He had a five-second lead entering pit road.

Hector (Naples, Florida)

A few years ago all we heard about was how competitive cup was. Now you need a Hendrick Car to win. What happened to the level of competition?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

It's still pretty close. Hendrick just has something the rest don't right now.

Jake (Indy)

Who you picking this weekend at Pocono. ALso congrats to my boy JJ on a fine win last weekend at the Brickyard

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

You'll be happy again this weekend.

Craig G. (Fairfield, California)

Hey David, do you think Brian Vickers can make The Chase?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Nope. Sorry.

Mike (Allentown, Pa)

In your opinion Dave, what 3 drivers should we watch for in the coming years that will make an immediate impact in NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Joey Logano, Austin Dillon and ....dang, I can't think of the other that was on the tip of my tongue.

Joanne (Penn. )

Monday on Nascar Now, Rusty said that Kyle will miss the chase. Do you agree and if he does what will be excitiing about seeing Johnson win the 4th straight championship in a Hendrick?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

First, I disagree. Second, people love watching Tiger Woods win every week, they love watching the Yankees win. Why not Jimmie. He's becoming legendary.

Ken (AZ)

Any news on the new Ford engine? The blue oval guys seem to be hurting a bit down the straightaways, and everywhere else for that matter.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

They should unveil it soon with a couple of lower teams. Have been so busy with Mayfield case that I haven't checked lately.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

What was your take on the F1 Massa crash- and should F1 and IRL look into a closed cockpit for open wheel racing? Is NASCAR looking at their safety defense against windsheild debris as well in response?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

It was a freak accident, just like the one at Talladega with Carl Edwards. I'm not sure there is a burning desire to make a change.

Mike (CT)

Do you think Joey Logano makes the chase next season?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

I really do. If he could erase the first six races this season he would be a contender.

Marion (SC)

David,Anything new on RPM to Toyota and what is this Sorenson out in a few weeks and AJ takes over the 43

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

I'm told RPM will likely go to Toyota next year. As for Sorenson, if AJ doesn't get sponsorship for the 10 Chase races it could happen.

Austin (Denver)

Can't Keselowski come out of the Hendrick shop with Stewart or Margaret Haas listed as owner? If so, my silly season predictions are Elliot Sadler moves to the 1 car because he is an outdoorsman and RPM is gonna let him go. Then what about McMurray? He could move to RPM but I see him at RCR to replace Harv. Harvick to SHR makes since, but Harvick to Roush would fit with good chemistry. Then, what about RPM? I see Allmendinger and Sorenson at RPM and Kasey Kahne at SHR contending with JJ and company. Thoughts? Arguements? Compliments?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Nope. He would have to come out of the Stewart-Haas shop, and that won't happen. Salder might be a good candidate for the 1, but McMurray is first on the list. I am guessing McMurray will stay put in the end.

Amy (DC)

Was Dale Jr overrevving his engine and blowing it at Indy just his latest mistake? Does Nascar have a mistake stat like baseball errors?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Yes, he said he overreved it. There is a chart for pit road penalties and such, but not for mental lapses. Unforced errors as you might call them in baseball.

Nino (Clarkston, Mi)

I am worried about Casey Mears losing his ride at RCR, and even a NASCAR Sprint Cup ride. Do you think this is a possibility?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Your worries are warranted.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

You take three things: 1. Overdriving after the mistake at Daytona, 2. Too many non-NSCS races, 3. Joe Gibbs' cars aren't quite right. Which one is the most accurate for Kyle Busch right now?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

I'll go with No. 3.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

Need some advice. I can probably get away with attending one more race this year (a.k.a. married). Do I go to Atlanta in September or Martinsville in late October? I already nailed down tickets to Bristol.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

I'd go to Martinsville. I believe it's the best race on the circuit right now, or close to it. Atlanta on a Labor Day weekend night might be cool as well, and they need help with ticket sales.

Jake (Manhattan)

If how well Junior was running at indy is an indication, Does Junior have a chance at winning this year?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

He's got great equipment. There's always a chance. A likelihood is another thing.

Kevin (WI)

Is NASCAR looking at changes to the COT to make racing more competitive?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Minor tweaks, but nothing major. They believe it's headed in the right direction.

J (Naples, FL)

It's only Wed and it seems like everyone has forgotten about JPM success on Sunday. I think he is the clear-cut favorite to win, and lead every lap. What's your opinion? He has something to prove just like Kyle Busch does.

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Pocono is similar to Indy, so JPM definitely has a chance there.

Mimi (Denver)

Roush hasn't won since Feb. Penske since March and Gibbs hasn't really won since May at Richmond. What the heck happened to the level of Nascar competition?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

It's called H Hendrick Power.

Marion (SC)

David,Dodge would be stupid to not try to resign RPM they need Kahne. the way the R6 has performed and they seem to have a good package.I would stay dodge Kahne in his charger is as good as ant Toyota out there

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

It makes sense, but Toyota is more stable and more attractive of an option at the moment.

TG (PA)

Dave, step away from the chicken nuggets! Go join the Hendrick group and have a healthy salad and some exercises.

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

I am headed in that direction soon. Had I tried to get over there instead of making this stop I wouldn't be here with you now.

Jeffrey Earnhardt (North Carolina)

I know I have my nationwide races coming up, but do you see me being better than my Uncle Dale?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

All I know is you've won just as many many races as he has this season with lesser equipment.

Saul (San Diego)

How much is the engine itself versus the crew chiefs who works on the engine/chasis to improve the performance? Can Cknaus take non-HR engine and continue to be competive/win?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Interesting question. Would Brett Favre had thrown so many touchdowns without a great line at Green Bay? It all goes hand in hand.

Chris (Richmond (VA))

Speeding penalty aside, JPM looked fantastic at the Brickyard, why can't he replicate his performance at Pocono?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

No reason to think he can't. Just back off the pedal on pit road.

Penny (Ft. Meyers)

Do Nascar, Johnson, Knaus and Hendrick understand why many race fans are turned off by their dominance?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Should they have to tank it to make you guys happy? It's a dynasty. Enjoy it. Embrace it. You can tell your grandkids about it one day.

Richard Lacy (Kokomo, Indiana)

Do you think that Stewart would really want to give Brad K the third seat when he is unproven, and he may be able to find an experienced driver to sign?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Stewart has no interest in that I am told.

Ocho Cinco (Chevy Chase, MD)

who is the next driver to get fired based on performance?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Casey Mears.

Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)

I like Pocono with the unique shape and different turns- I realize location and length are issues- but it would be a shame to abandon it.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Ok, just don't take us there twice a year.

Ben (ATL)

David, you must get up out of your seat and try a Peach milk shake from there. It is the best thing they have.

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Dont' think I haven't thought about it a thousand times. i told my wife I'd watch my diet, and I'm not sure I would be watching anything but my midsection grow if I went your rout.

Maria (Orlando)

Now that Kyle is out of the chase do you think Gibbs should put Lagassee or Coleman in the #18 so that Kyle can focus on only winning the Nationwide for his sponsors and team?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

That never has crossed my mind. I doubt it has crossed anybody's at JGR. Don't count out the Shrub just yet.

Savannah (Atlanta)

As good as JJ is, I think most would agree Gordon can still drive as well as him so the difference to me still has to be Letarte doesn't stack up to Knaus. When will they wake up and make an improvement for Jeff. He only has a few years left and is wasting them with Letarte.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

I disagree. I believe Jeff just hasn't adapted to the new car as well.

Ray (Georgia)

When does Kyle's bad luck end, I'm starting to feel for the guy?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Another historic moment. People feeling for Kyle. I'll write this one down. As far as the bad luck, some has been created himself. I think it'll end soon. though.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

On that note, I'll get in line for the peach milkshake and move on to my next stop. As usual it's been interesting and fun. Sorry I couldn't get to all of your questions. Sign in earlier next week and we'll try to get to them. Later.