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August 20, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

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

Bill (Charlotte, NC)

Hey Ed, Any chance the new COT in the Nationwide series could influence the cup COT? I know its to early, but I LOVE the way the Nationwide COT looks, and the drivers who have tested it like it as well.

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

You'd certainly hope so. First they'll have to get the Nationwide owners adjusted to the costs; then they'll have to go back to the Cup owners about the costs of adjusting.I do think the looks of the car have been a huge influence on why fans hate the COT, so if NASCAR can come up with a better looking -- and more adjustable -- version, that's good.Still, I have to think adjustments to the "flying brick" according to the Nationwide version would come 2011, earliest.

Darrell (MS)

Ed, was it just me or did the President look like he had to take a crash course on NASCAR right before the presentation yesterday. It was really funny when he got to Chad Knaus's name.

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

Maybe he had to take a crash course, but I thought he aced the exam -- good for him. As for "Knaus" vs. "K-Naus," I even have to stop and think about that one myself, even when I'm addressing Chad face to face.I thought his only blunder came on what's supposed to be his specialty, college hoops. Brad cited him for "picking the Tar Heels," and Obama apologized -- as if for a moment he thought Brad had played at Duke.

YAR8pack (Hinton's House of Horrors)

How big would a cat-fight between Kryle and Danica be? You know those ladies would pull some hair and stomp their feet.

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

Now think about it: have either one of them ever actually hit anybody? Except for Danica thumping the one guy on the forehead with her thumb and finger.

Luke (Ft Lauderdale)

Poole wrote that you and Dutton were the proponents of making Nationwide a "pony car series". Did Nascar seek out your opions?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

Poole? the late David Poole? Don't recall that one. I always have been the proponent of making Nationwide a developmental series, but never mentioned pony cars one way or the other.

chris brokel (trinity)

the racing has been so/so at Bristol lately, how much do you think the double file restarts will help?

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

Well, it should, but the OLD style double-file -- with lapped cars up in the mix -- really caused a lot of mischief over the years at Bristol. Bodines wrecking Gordons with some regularity.Won't be any wilder this way, just less unjust.

derrick (g'berg,Iowa)

hey Ed... who ya got at Bristol this weekend??

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

Watch out for Kyle Busch in a comeback. Did you notice he was a whole different character after winning the truck race there last night? I think this slump was mostly in his head anyway, and his head might well be cleared with the truck win.

Craig (USA)

nice move by Obama to have Nascar at the White House... Being the Gov' owns GM!

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

I thought the president really quashed all fears that he might force Detroit to withdraw racing support. I thought he made some pretty strong statements that he understands the value of advertising through NASCAR.Folks, I think this guy has a LOT firmer grasp of NASCAR than most people realize. He's a smart guy who doesn't have to be a hard-core fan to understand the value.

Mike (CT)

Who will have more wins next year: Joey Logano or Dale Jr?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Logano, 1-0.

Matt (Orlando FL)

With JPM "points" racing, do you think there could be any revenge on Kahne at Bristol? Or is everyone going to be playing it safe being only a few races till the cut off?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

I don't think JPM has been angry at Kahne in the first place. JPM has no real problem with the pushing and shoving.

Mike (Jr.Nation)

Look out next year Jr. coming out like Gangbusta's!!! you heard it hear first!

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

We'll all mark that down on our calendars.

Gary (Tenn.)

How do you think Vickers and Busch will act with each other at Bristol?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

I'm hoping for some action, but bubble boys for the Chase tend to behave themselves at Bristol -- which is what has made it a ho-hum place in August lately.

Sam (Vegas)

Was Dale Jr just making excuse #88 when he blamed the COT for bad racing?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Some, but his grousing had some basis in truth. How shall I put this: he was throwing accurate stones from a glass house. He was telling it like it is, but wasn't in a very good position to be doing so. That's why Helton could blow him off so easily.Junior's old man never left NASCAR any wiggle room. He'd win a plate race and then come into the winner's interview and rip the crap out of plate racing. He was on firm footing.

JD (Boston)

Put the Bristol Night Race week 3 or so in the Chase= FIREWORKS!

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

Absolutely. But Helton said at Watkins Glen they're not going to mess with the Chase schedule.Helton works in mysterious ways, his -- er -- wonders to perform.

Jake.T (Ga)

Will Lance Mgcrew be Jr crew chief next season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

Yep. Mainly because so much pressure has been brought about McGrew being the scapegoat if Junior doesn't win.

Teresa (Orlando)

Dale Jr has never shown that he has the motivation and desire to win like Kyle Busch. What makes you think that at 37 years old he will show more hunger?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

I don't.

mallory lemeiux (taunton)

Who has a better shot of getting into the chase...83 or 18?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

83's looking good right now, but like I said, that truck win might have gotten Kyle's head back together.

Mike (Atlanta)

How can you say that the truck series win will give Kyle the edge mentally yet his 3 Nationwide wins over the same period have done nothing to help him, he looked lost on the track at michigan, especially at the end

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

I think the Nationwide runner-up finishes worked on his head a lot more than the Nationwide wins.

Jack (Brooklyn, NY)

Is that you Mrs. Earnhardt?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

She wouldn't be writing from Orlando. More like Palm Beach or Nassau.

Silvia (Jacksonville)

What was that thing on Petty's head at the White House?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

His hair, which you rarely see because of the cowboy hat.

Craig G. (Fairfield, California)

Do you love Vickers' chances of getting in to The Chase and doing some damage as much as I do?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

No, not really.

Densmore (New York)

Go #11!!!!!!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

11 could be "the Biff" of '09, opening the Chase with a win or two.

Aaron (Bath, ME)

You don't come off as being too high on Jeff Gordon. Where do you see him finishing in points this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

In the top five. I just think he's lost that edge it takes to close the deal on winning races. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see him go on a streak again and move up through the ranks in wins and Cups. I'm just beginning to lose faith it can happen.

Jake.T (Ga)

When will brad keselowski announce his decisions on what he will do next season

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

No telling. He's kinda locked out with the sponsorship issues. Most people think it'll be Finch part time.

Cody (Greenville (NC))

Does Mark Martin have a real chance in the chase?

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

Yes, sir.

James (Houston, TX)

I think the Cup and NW races are Rowdy Busch's to lose. This is the weekend he goes 3 for 3.

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Everybody write that down. James just might not be far from wrong.

Deb (Austin)

If Kyle Busch misses the chase doesn't the value of winning the championship go down cause whoever wins won't be beating the best?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Just letting KyleNation get its say in, folks.

jack mccarthy (whocares)

what was ur take on the 83 18 nationwide argument? who had the more valid argument?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

two self-centered brats going at it. who knows?

Mike (Atlanta)

anyone who thinks that anybody other than Jimmie Johnson is the best is delusional

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

JimmieNation is growing, so we'll let them have their say.

Roberto (Phoenix)

Why is Harvick so negative about Childress and the #29 team?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Well, the RCR results have been rather anemic this year, don't you think? Burton's been caught up in a lot of wrecks, but other than that, RCR is out of excuses.

Matt (Chicago)

A Kasey Kahne fan here. Any reason to worry about him making the Chase since he seems to have cooled off with an 11th and 17th the last two weeks after six straight top-15s?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Nah, I think he'll be fine.

Lucas (Lubbock)

Will Elliott Sadler, Casey Mears, Stremme and McMurry be racing in Sprint Cup in 2010?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

Does it really matter? Do any of those have any real impact on the series?

JD (Boston)

The Bristol night race makes sense too since the saturday nights don't compete with NFL- are they just letting current deals expire before a major sheakeup- or will it be incremental changes over the years?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

I don't think you're going to see any more Saturday night racing than you already do. They're absolutely KILLING local short tracks with it, and destroying what used to be their feeder system.

Sonia (PA)

Until Johnson can prove that he can win on a road course won't he always be Tier 2 to those who have won on all of our tracks?

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

Well, I said as much in a column from Watkins Glen and the readers revolted. But, yes, I think he needs to win road races to complete his resume. Even Dale Sr. managed to get one.

Steve (SF)

What do you say to people who say Nascar is not a sport?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

I always say when did the American definition of "sport" become so narrow as to include only "athletics."Are drivers athletes? Probably not, but who cares?Sport is "any diversion" according to Webster.I get equally nauseated with people who insist on calling drivers "athletes," and with people who say NASCAR is not a sport because you don't have to run, jump, dribble, throw and catch.Who cares? It's a sport!

Brandon (Queen Creek, Arizona)

You know what I like for JR. next year? Is that everyone is going to expect him to be this bad again. The expectations will be the lowest they have ever been for him by the media and people involved with racing. Yes his fans will still expect better but I think he has a chance to be a lot better next year and I think this awful year will sharpen his focus in the offseason. i think people forget that he entered the chase last year third in points and it is coming out now that they were still basically using DEI setups. I am not saying he will win a championship but at least a race or two and be in the chase.

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

The only thing that keeps that from sounding like wishful thinking to me is that he does seem to be entering a sort of R

Jack (Brooklyn, NY)

I was disappointed to see that the Daytona 500 has already been given a 3:30 start time again next year. Has Nascar learned nothing from what happened this year. Had they even started the race at 2pm this year they would have gotten the whole thing with plenty of people awake and watching on the west coast. That race should not have to finish under the lights.

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

Has NASCAR learned nothing, you ask?Do you really have to ask?Of course NASCAR has learned nothing.

Lester (NJ)

Will we ever see Steve Wallace in Sprint Cup and do you expect Rusty Wallace to move his team into Sprint Cup?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

First, I'm not sure Rusty could put together that kind of sponsorship.Second, I think we'd have another Paul Menard on our hands.

Tommy (Vice City)

If Dale Sr. was alive, do you think Jr would be running better?

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

No, because Senior would have so much heat on him Junior wouldn't know which way was up. And DEI, had it stayed the same under Senior, still would be no match for Hendrick.

YAR8pack (Hinton's Highway)

"he does seem to entering a sort of R" What the hell does that mean?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

The full answer got cut off somehow. I said "R

Joe (Missoula, MT )

Ed, Do drivers ever call you out on things that you have written about them or even said here in the chat? If so, anything a little dicey we should all know about?

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

Nobody does that anymore. Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip are two, off the top of my head, who on occasion would cuss me out nose to nose for something I'd written.Don't recall anyone lately.

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Tony Stewart and I go at it nose to nose quite a bit, but he never waits till you write it. He jumps you for asking the question in the first place. But mostly it's all in fun. Nothing serious.

Mike (CT)

When is Carl Edwards going to teach you the backflip?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Uh, right after I stick with low carb diet long enough to drop about 50.

Big Brother (Cyberland)

Looks like your answer is being censored.

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

It wasn't controversial at all, which makes me think it was some sort of tech glitch.

Edward (NJ)

Have you ever seen a greater Nascar driver at 24 years of age than Kyle Busch?

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher . . . maybe not in NASCAR, although Jeff Gordon wasn't brought along as fast as Kyle. Robby Gordon at 24 was probably the best I've ever seen, but his free spirit and his wildness led him astray.

elise (tampa)

do you think ryan newman is going to make the chase

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

yes, but i doubt he'll be a factor.

Crystal (Little Rock)

Kyle Busch was so nice in his interview last night at Bristol. Are we seeing the new, mature Kyle who read Game Plan for Life?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

I don't think so. I think he won and felt better, and cleared his head. If he's read Joe's book, it would be because it's required in his contract. Which i doubt.

YAR8pack (Hinton's Highway)

Which poster on the NASCAR comments section gives you folks at ESPN the most laughs? Most fodder for discussion? Be honest, please.

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Oh, you guys are mild compared to the ones on college football. There's a guy from LSU who . . well. . .

Eric (G-Vegas)

Why do you think Kyle is getting so much attention still even though his brother is the one who has a chance this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

Because Kyle is interesting, to say the least. Kurt is too stiff trying to be too nice after his early tempests, and he just doesn't come across as colorful.

Mike (Hampton)

Why is nobody talking about the WILDCARD in this weekend's race, David Stremme?? He could take out half the field and several chase contenders when he spins himself out and wrecks!!!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

A wild card's supposed to help somebody's hand. If you mean spoiler, or disrupter, or whatever, I'll buy.

Tony (Virginia)

Don't understand why Nascar fans are so upset with the government intervention with GM and Chrysler. If Obama hand't stepped in, both companies would have gone through a liquidation bankruptcy and support to Nascar then would have literally been zero. At least now they are viable entities who should be able to remain in Nascar for as long as they desire.

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

Because NASCAR fans are . . .well . . . NASCAR fans.I agree with you, but I'm probably in the minority.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

Kyle has shown he can't just take any car to the front, as many have said he could in the past. With good cars he can win, with bad he can't. Jr still has more wins, many of which came early in his career too, why does he get such heat for a bad season, when Busch gets praise, even though they've run about even the last 10 weeks or so.

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

Can't, or won't? There's a difference.

Joe (Missoula, MT )

David Stremme should be driving a tricycle!

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

I'll let that one stand on its own.

Barack Obama (Washington, D.C.)

Alright guys, I've made my pick for the 2009 championship: Tony Stewart.

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Mr. President, what would Rahm Emanuel say if he knew you were on this chat? Glad to have you here, though. This is the place you should come to win people over on health care.

John McCain (Capitol Hill)

I'll support Jimmie Johnson.

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

Want to free him from as many taxes as possible, eh? Hey, heard you drove pretty well at Darlington during your 2000 presidential campaign.

American Voters (America)

Alright guys, I've made my pick for the 2012 Election: Not Obama

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Of all the people I've seen writing in under a false alias, it's this one.What part of landslide don't you understand?

Cody (Greenville, NC)

If Brad Keselowski runs full time next year in the cup does he have a shot at the chase?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

That's what we don't know yet. We know he's good at go-for-broke wins, in both Cup and Nationwide. Does that make a good points racer? We'll see.

Charles (San Jose)

Assuming Stert, Johnson and Gordon finish 1-2-3 in the Chase all in Henricks, isn't that just about the worst thing that could happen to Nascar and the so-called parity?

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

No, like I said in my column that just went up, Cup has become the HRL anyway. The Hendrick Racing League. We might as well enjoy the intra-mural competition, because it's all we've got.

Sarah Palin (Alaska)

Here's my pick for the 2009 Cup: DALE EARNHARDT, JR.!!!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Best alias comment I've seen since I've been chatting!

Ed Hinton (North Carolina)

how's this for a false alias?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Don't believe you. You said nothing smart-alecky. You're not me.

james english (ma)

you are the worst person ed hinton...i have to walk away from my computer because u make me so mad

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

Too bad. You won't see that your comment got posted and that I replied.

Richard (California)

Ed, A comment on your article about start times. Please start races early, that gives those of us on the west coast lots of time for Sunday afternoon stuff!

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

I've heard a lot from Californians that they don't mind getting up early for sports events because they're used to it.Do you agree?

Helen (Atlanta)

What are your impressions of Jeffrey Earnhardt?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Not a lot so far. So far, seems to be racing on the name. But he did make the field at Watkins Glen.

Ryan (Buckhead)

I would move to the east coast if I lived on the west coast.

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

How are the real estate prices in Buckhead? I'm thinking of moving back, but only for a bargain.

Cintel (Alabama)

Are the Busch Brothers greater racing brothers than the Allisons, Waltrips, Labontes, Greens, Wallaces, Sadlers, Burtons?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Better than anybody but the Allisons so far, in my book. It'll be years before we know about Busches vs. Allisons.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Woops! question didn't post. just a sec.

Jamerson (Georgia)

Did you see that mug shot of Lisa Mayfield?!? She is a BEAST!!!

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Hope she gets to freshen up if she takes the stand as NASCAR's star witness.

Cintel (Alabama)

Will the Busch's develop a Las Vegas Gang sort of like the Allisons had their Alabama Gang?

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Nah, they don't have friends like Bonnett, Farmer, et al., to fill out the deal.

Richard (California)

Ed, I actually get up early most days, but make a point of up early for Cup practice on Saturdays, so 7-8-9 o'clock starts would be fine for all of my NASCAR friends.

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

See there, NASCAR?

Robert (NC)

Who is the best father-son combination: Lee/Richard, Richard/Kyle, Sr/Jr, Bobby/Davey ?

Ed Hinton
  (3:03 PM)

Lee/Richard, followed closely by Bobby/Davey. And both Bobby's and Davey's careers were tragically cut short, of course.

Ed Hinton
  (3:03 PM)

Well, the clock on the wall says . . .Thanks to everyone, as always.Bye everybody.