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August 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Hi, all. Thanks for stopping by.Green green green green.

RAY GORDON REID ( SYRACUSE NY 132O2)

QUESTION TO ED HINTON AT 1.55 PM HI ED WHOS YOUR PICK FOR WATKINS GLEN SUNDAY

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

In order: 1) Montoya, on a roll right now; 2) Kahne, has road racing figured out; 3) Stewart, you all know why; 4) dark horse, Kyle Busch in an upset to pull out of his funk.

Gus (NJ)

Congratulations to Denny for his win this weekend, it obviously meant a lot to him. Now that he has the monkey off his back can we expect another win or two this season? With Bristol, Loudon and Martinsville still to come you'd have to expect another, right?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Depends on whether he keeps that dogged determination of Sunday. Did you see him shove Reutimann out of the way? Nothing stopping him that day.

Racefan (KY)

Ed my man, can the 24 keep pace with the 48, the14, or even the 5 in the Chase?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Maybe the 5, but I doubt it on the other two.

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

hey, somebody tell me if the answers are going up. don't see them on my separate computer screen. hope it's not another tech glitch.

Racefan (KY)

Ed, I understand that your son is a Hamlin fan, bet he had a good Monday.

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

Actually he's one of those fans who's down on NASCAR right now. He's been busy with law school applications so he hasn't had much time to talk.

Ryan (Gilbert, AZ)

Loud and clear ED

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

Whew! Thanks.

Mike (Port Carbon, PA)

Does Juan Pablo Montoya finally get his win this week while still in a great race to the chase??? Can't wait Stewart, Gordon, Montoya, Robby Gordon, Its going to be a great race!

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

He's got an excellent chance. He and Brian Pattie have found something for the ovals; just hope they haven't lost road racing focus.You're right: There are more serious contenders for this road race than any I can remember.

Jerry (Tampa, FL)

Ed, am I the only one that thinks Denny Hamlin owes David Reutimann a big time apology? His half hearted attempt during the post race press conference was pathetic. So was his reasoning that only 50% of him was driving the car. We all experience personal loss, but if you can't keep your emotions in check, you need to not be driving a car at speeds of 200 mph. Denny said he'd "cut him some breaks", but the damage is done, probably like Reut's Chase chances.

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

Well, he probably does owe Reuty an apology. But if you're recall, Denny did the same thing to Kyle Petty at Dover a couple of years ago and they got into it pretty hotly.Denny just doesn't believe in letting people hold him up. He knocks them out of the way.That's why my son is a Hamlin fan; he reminds him of Earnhardt Sr., who was his childhood hero.

Tim (AZ)

Why doesn't Jack Roush just pull the manager responsibilities away from Robbie Reiser (which he never really wanted in the first place) for the next few months and let him go to work with the engineers on the COT???? I am really tired of seeing the "elite" Ford team get stomped on by Hendrick, and more recently Gibbs and even EGR.That team has great talent in the 17, 99, and 16 teams and they looking like doormats on the track.

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

Roush is in no better, no worse shape than the rest in the COT straitjacket. I suspect they just had too much confidence in their simulation package with no testing. Turns out Hendrick's seven-post shaker is the hottest in the Charlotte area.

Ryan (Gilbert, AZ)

What was your take on the 7 and 12 fiasco last week? I can't imagine the Captain was too pleased

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

I could see why Robby was ramming him to show he didn't like what had happened. I think NASCAR would have let the whole thing go if 12 hadn't blatantly put a rear-quarter-panel slam on him to wreck him.A little rough rear ending is all right, long as the back and forth doesn't turn into a wreck. That's what put 'em in the penalty box.

Jason (ETN)

Which side is holding up the Brian Vickers/Red Bull contract?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

My educated guess is, Ol' Brian's ego, which we seldom see on the surface, is asking for more money. Jaye Frye is a no-nonsense guy who won't meet over-the-top demands.

Mike (Philadelphia)

Any truth the rumor Hendrick plan on putting Morgan Sheapard in the 88 after Watkins Glen to help figure out what's going on over there? Has Rick finally turned to a higher power to end this misery!

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

That's the funniest anti-Junior shot I've seen lately, so I'll have to post it.

MAC (Texarkana)

Junior is driving for the best race team, so you know he has a great car. But Mears, Ambrose, Reutimann are all in front of him in points. Is it he the most overrated individual in all sports?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

All you gotta do is look at the comments here every week to see that Junior is no longer overrated. His legions don't even brag about him anymore.

TC (KY)

Ed, how great are the double file restarts going to be in Thunder Valley?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

Actually I think double-file with leaders is going to be a vast improvement at Bristol. I used to hate to see leader get wrecked by lapped cars. Now at least they'll be getting wrecked by their peers.

John (KY)

Ed, what are the major differences between Sonoma and Watkins Glen? And which drivers would seem to be the favorites this week? Thanks

Ed Hinton
  (2:16 PM)

The Glen has more places to pass than that one lousy little carousel in the next to last turn at Sonoma. The Glen also has more pure straightaways without little kinks in them.

Deuce (Denver)

Hey there Ed, I don't want to sound to much like a conspiracy theory nut, but do think NASCAR slapped RGordon and Stremme the 5 laps in order to keep Johnson in position to get more free passes? Their penalty seemed pretty arbitrary. Wouldn't NASCAR normally just black flag them or fine them points after the race instead of docking them laps?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Absolutely not! I mean, did you see what they did to each other? Especially Stremme to Gordon. Penalty box offense, slam-dunk.

TC (KY)

Ed, where does Brad K end up? Stewart says no third team for him next year.

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

That's the question of the day, now that Stewart has seemed to make it final. Our David Newton thinks K will end up with James Finch, and there are worse places. Finch is quite a character and might just come up with more sponsorship to run more races.

Taylor (Iowa)

What's the reasoning for Finch firing Mike Bliss? You think this may have something to do with Hendrick and Keselowski or Cassill? Bliss was doing pretty well.

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

I think Finch is probably preparing to take K if he needs to.

CRISSY (CORINNA,MAINE)

GOOD AFTERNOON ED,DO YOU THINK KASEY KAHNE CAN MAKE THE CHASE AND BE A CONTENDER,

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

He can definitely make the Chase. Whether he'll contend depends on whether one of the big guns gets hot, winning a lot of races. Kasey should run consistently strong, but may not be a multiple winner.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

Realistically, what is the best case scenario for JPM in the chase? I say 5th or 6th...but likely a bit lower...don't really see any conceivable way in which he could win...do you???

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

Did you hear Mike Mulhern blurting out at the Pocono press conference, "You're a real race driver now!" Montoya is beginning a run on ovals. If he keeps it up, no telling what to expect from him. It would be a very intriguing international story if he makes a run at becoming the first foreign born driver ever to win a cup.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

How nervous is Kyle Busch about missing the chase. its not just that he's down 100 points with 5 races to go...its that he's trailing two great racers in Biffle and Kenseth. I wouldn't be surprised to see him make it, but he's losing time!!! What are your thoughts???

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Have to give anti-Kyle nation equal time with anti-Junior nation here.If it makes you feel better, yes, I think he's real down right now and it's affecting his performance. So you anti-Kyles might be in for a real good time.

YAR8pack (Hinton's Bar and Grill)

Mr Hinton, hope you're well. Do you really think it's Budweiser Kasey 's drank in Victory Lane? I love Budweiser, and I just can't see can as the spokesman for such a fine beverage. I keep waiting on him to puke it up after he takes a slug.

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

Dale Jr., when he reluctantly handed over the Bud sponsorship to Kahne after Hendrick wouldn't take them, said maybe the Bud people could bring Kasey "out of his shell a little bit."Maybe they have. Na, he's old enough to drink. He's 29 now -- ancient.

Justin (Palm Beach)

Kyle Busch is your dark horse this weekend. What does he have to do to win this week?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

Calm down, concentrate and quit giving up mid-race if his car isn't right.

Dan (NY)

Ed,I really think where RPM is hurting is the money they got from Dodge.They can be 3 fully funded cars they just need not to spread it thin with a fourth.

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

I don't think the Dodge money was as much as you think. For big teams, manufacturer money is only about 10 percent of budget. For RPM it might have been 20 percent, but if the King has to moan and groan over that, they must be hurting all around.

Jack (Brooklyn, NY)

I can't see Junior really drinking Amp either. Have you tasted that stuff? It's like drinking battery acid with 100 grams of sugar.

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

If you'll notice, they ALL take small sips of whatever beverage. It's all commercial. When was the last time you saw any of them really guzzle anything?

Mike (CT)

Is Jeff Gordon underrated now? It seems like no one thinks he can win the championship and he isn't even talked about. Would it really be that big of a surprise if he wins?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Not sure he's underrated. Not much pizzazz out of him while he's rolled up points. If he wins the Chase, that would mean he's won multiple races, and THAT would be the surprise.

JIm (Beachnut)

you ever get to hang with any of the drivers off the track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

They don't do that anymore. They hide in their motor coaches, which are off limits to media.Used to hang out with the old guys such as Earnhardt Sr. in the old days, and Tim Richmond could hang in the bars with the best of 'em.But this generation's not out and about in public at all -- when they're not getting paid for the apparance.

mike (port carbon, pa)

when will we see you on Nascar Now again?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

This very afternoon, assuming I can get to RCR in time and their satellite uplink is working.

Mark (Somewhere)

Interesting how Kyle Busch shuts his mouth about Dale Jr when he finds himself 101 points out of the Chase?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

That's a function of the system. Kyle's not in the top 12 anymore, meaning he doesn't have a mandatory friday media conference. Those are where he always ended up making his cracks about Junior, when he had a big audience and was obligated to be in the media center.

Jeremy (Sohn)

Didn't Kyle win the road races last year? Can't really call him a dark horse can you?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

I call him a dark horse because he's been so down lately. If he hadn't won last year, I wouldn't give him a shot at all.

Derrick (Guttenberg,Iowa)

what did you think of the race in Iowa? how long before the Cup cars run at the Heartland??

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

I thought it was Field of Dreams II. Fabulous racing, with "old" cars before very appreciative fans. NASCAR may lollygag for a while due to the smaller grandstands. But they did that with New Hampshire in the early '90s and then realized they'd better get there fast with a Cup race.Any sense at all, they'll dump one of the Fontana yawners and move the date to Iowa.

Phil (Louisville, KY)

I think KY speedway is far better than Iowa

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

Local bias, maybe? Haven't seen anything as good at Kentucky as we saw at Iowa last Saturday.

Mark (Atlanta)

What's up Ed. Where would Yates Racing be today if Davey Allison were still alive, bless his soul? Menard is just horrible

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Davey would have won one, two, three championships, but that wouldn't necessarily have meant that Yates would have kept up technologically.

Jack (Brooklyn, NY)

Ed, are you suggesting that Nascar is not as open and fan-friendly as it claims to be?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Who, me? I've never implied such a thing and I never will :-) Besides, if I did, Brian France would just show up unannounced at some track and bring you all back under his spell.All of you worship him. I can tell by all the e-mails and comments on the ESPN Conversation.

Phil (Louisville, KY)

I feel Jeff gordon should run a retro paint style for the chase. do you think that would help boost his mind set?

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

Don't get me started on paint schemes. i hate changing paint schemes, and that always gets me in trouble with younger fans.

mike (port carbon, pa)

ED, is anyone a true contender other than the hendrick stable(24, 48, 5, 14), if so than who?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

TRUE contender? No. Not unless Edwards gets hot after the Chase starts, which is appearing less and less likely.

Fan (USA)

The ESPN Crew of Petree,Jarret and Punch are very good!!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks on their behalf. I'll pass it along.

Lindsay (Lexington)

Hey Ed, love nu school/old school, but really JJ is Superman and this is his era. What do you think?

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

If he really were Superman he wouldn't have gone three laps down. Or, having gone three laps down, he'd have come back to finish second or so, instead of 13th.

Red (NC)

I like the way you speak your mind Ed. So, if you would be so kind, would you please list the biggest mistakes Brian France has made is his short amount of time at the controls, in your opinion. Try not to take the rest of the chat time, i'll even start you off. COT!!!!!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

COT aside, lusting after the big, glitzy markets, going back to when he was VP of marketing. Fontana is more and more of a bust. Chicagoland never has rung my chimes. And then of course there'd be the Staten Island track by now, if the FRANCE family hadn't run into the FIVE families!

Mark (Mount Airy, MD)

Ed, do you think any of the "road course ringers" will have any impact at The Glen on Sunday??????

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

I don't think so. They seem to be choking on the road courses in recent years, and besides, there are so many good regulars -- Montoya, Stewart, Kahne, Gordon, Kyle, etc. -- that the ringers don't have much of a chance.

Justin (Palm Beach)

Kahne is running well and pulled one out on the last road course. Do you really think it's fair to say that he has the road courses "figured out?"

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Tony Stewart's the one who said it. I just picked it up from him.

Mark (Pittsburgh)

Ed, what do you think of the Aussie this weekend???

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Actually Tasmanian, right? Aussies always want to differentiate that. (You should hear some of the Tasmanian jokes they tell.)Anyway, Taz should be right up there in the mix all race, and with a break or two, he could win it.

mike (port carbon, pa)

Ed, they oughta make you nascars information guy on espn rather than marty smith. what do u think?

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

I like spouting opinions more than gathering info. Besides, Marty's in much better shape for sprinting around the garage with a camera crew than I am.

Amber (NC)

what will JG role be at HMS after driving?

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

He says he wants to be some sort of executive with the team. We'll see if that comes true. He sure does seem the type to want to go private with his family after all those hundreds of weekends at racetracks.

Mark (Louisiana)

I know Jr's problem. He needs to return to the red cars. Jr belongs in red

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Sure couldn't look any worse than those things he's wheeling around now, could it?

Phil (Louisville, KY)

if kyle wins this weekend, will he break his trophy?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

Well, considering that the trophy may be a big bowl of potato chip dip from Heluva Good, maybe he could pie some top NASCAR official in the face with it.

Jeff (Chicago)

I love Jeff Gordon

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

Even after what he did to you guys at Wrigley Field that time?

Dan (WI)

Will Kenseth take a shot of Crown after wins next season? That may end the whole "vanilla" personality thing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Hey, that's a thought! Liven him up a bit, eh?

Jute (Long Pond, PA)

Hey ed, do u think they should take one of the pocono races away? cuz i heard that only 43 cars showed up to pocono, 1 less and i couldve brought my ford to the track and cashed in?

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

Before Monday, I thought they should take both Pocono races away. But this time the last 50 laps were actually good. So I'll say now, take only one race away.

Lindsay (NC)

Ed, what are the good /positive things in the sport right now?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

There's very little driver misbehavior (the aberrant Mayfield case aside.)The racing isn't as dull as a lot of fans like to say -- witness Pocono Monday.Considering the financial dependence, NASCAR is hanging in pretty well in this economy.And despite all the critical things I say, they still haven't thrown me out of the media corps.

mike (port carbon, pa)

IF Jimmy wins 4 championships in a row is he better than the king?

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

Richard Petty has always told me it's impossible to compare eras because the circumstances are so different. He's said it so much I now firmly believe it.

Scott (Indy)

Does giving the Lucky Dog to someone 3 laps down seem kind of cheap to you too?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

No, the rule's the rule. I see no "pro 48" conspiracy here.I can't rip the Lucky Dog, because I'm the one who screamed bloody murder for 20 years until they finally stopped racing back to caution, which was barbaric.

Daniel (Phoenix, az)

How can the captain allow that knucklehead Streeme to continue to drive the 12. For christs sake he caused a caution when his teammate had a 6 second lead...who will be in the 12 next year??

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

For many years we always said, "There are more good drivers than there are good cars."The past decade or so, it's been precisely the opposite. Even the Captain suffers when the labor pool is so small.

B. France (Race Track)

I keep telling the security to lock the door when they see Hinton coming...

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

Now, Brian. If that were really you, you'd always have them open the door, so we can argue some more.

Jim (IN)

Do you think Jeff Gordon wishes he never helped bring J.J. to the track and that would have gave him a 5th or 6th title?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

He'd never admit that, but betcha it flickers in the back of his mind when he loses a title to JJ, like a few years ago, and like he probably will this time.Fifth or sixth title? I'm beginning to doubt it.

jay (oakland)

ED in 15 years when jeff, jimmie, and tony are all retired, which one will win more races and championships?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Jimmie.

Ken (NV)

what are your favorite paint schemes in cup today?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Anything with da-glo numbers. I can spot 'em on the track and know who they are.

Mark (Pittsburgh)

Ed, why did they let Johnson drive around for so many laps last week under the minimum track speed. Were there politics involved in that??? If it were Robby Gordon or someone like that, they would have been black flagged, right???? And what was up with the final debris caution??? What a coincidence. Where was the mysterious debris???

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

I think that was only a few laps before he picked it up. Again, let's not go wild with the JJ conspiracies here.

Tim (AZ)

I know it's pretty meaningless to compare drivers careers who drove in different eras, but do you think there are some hard nosed drivers now that could have been successful in the old days?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Probably Stewart. That's about it.

Tom (Worcester)

How long do you see Chad Knaus being a crew chief before he moves on to greener--and richer pastures--somewhere else?

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

I think Chad's smarter than that. He'll have at least four championships under his belt before he even considers moving. Even then, I don't think money is attractive to him. Not yet, anyway.

Lindsay (NC)

how in the hell do they expect the little guy to purchase all these diecast paint schemes?!

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Why, Lindsay, they want every penny you've got! You didn't know that?

amber (NC)

will chad and jimmie stay together for years to come?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

I think so. At least through four, maybe five championships.

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, gotta go. Thanks for chatting. Barring traffic jams, I'll be on NASCAR Now at 5:00 eastern.