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September 17, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

I'm parked in the media center at the ZMax Dragstrip in Concord, N.C., where for the next three days I'll be covering the first round of these playoffs instead of the Sprint Cup playoffs. I've never been to an NHRA event before, so this should be interesting. It definitely is loud. Fire away.

Tim (AZ)

I present the evidence.#1 Waltrip's pit stall was directly in front of Kenseth's. Waltrip pit after pit stopped in his pit stall in an angle that continually blocked the 17 in his.#2 The blocking in the pit happened over and over again, even though the stalls were big enough to pull in.#3 Blick complained to the 55 box, to which michael waltrip replyed by doing it again.#4 Kenseth, who NEVER misses his pit stall, missed his and slid into the 55's pit, causing the 55 to have to drive through without pitting.Now, was this all just the incompetance and lack of class of Waltrip for a driver trying to get in the chase, as well as a out of nowhere pit mistake by Kenseth? Or, was this Waltrip trying to do what he could to help his TRD counterparts make it, and a frustrated Kenseth giving a bit of payback??? I ask you Mr. Newton, does it sound so far fetched?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

I'm all about conspiracy theories in NASCAR and to be honest I never thought of this one, but you make some good points. The truth is, Kenseth was so bad after winning the first two races that he deserved to be in the Chase about as much as Waltrip. Like the way you think, though. Who shot Kennedy?

Nicholas Rolando (Orlando)

David,chances that McMurray takes over Sadler's spot next year or where do you think he ends up?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Looks like the No. 1 at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing if they can find full sponsorship. If not he's got a tough decision.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Sorry, if I posted this already David, but what do you think the chances are that McMurray takes Sadler's spot at RPM? He seems to be a better fit for that team.

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

See previous answer. Thanks.

Dan (WI)

So yesterday I asked Ed Hinton what the problem with the 17 team is. I asked if Drew wasn't ready to be a Cup crew chief, if kenseth is slipping, if the team hasn't recovered from the loss of Reiser and the resulting musical chairs of crew chiefs, or Roush's fault do to the reliance on the 7 post and resulting bad cars. Ed's reply was that the biggest problem with the 17 team was Kenseth's attitude come chase time. Although it is true he gets a bit negative come that time, I find this answer absolutely ridiculous. Just because he tells the truth, and speaks his mind rather then the "vanilla" response, "the 17 team tried real hard tonight, I can't say enough about how hard everyone worked, I just wanna thank Dewalt..."blah, blah, blah this makes him his team's biggest problem??? I mean, is it not true that after the first two races that team was waaaaayyy off??? So , I ask you Mr. Newton, what are the problems with the 17 team, and what needs to be changed to compete for a Cup again? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

It's not just the 17 team's problem, it's all of Roush Fenway Racing's problems. Biffle and Edwards haven't won a race, and David Ragan didn't smell the Chase after being a preseason pick to make it by many. That whole organization is off. It's not just Kenseth. And I don't blame his crew chief at all.

Fred(al) [via mobile]

Mr.Newton do you think brad k. will drive the 12 later this year or a fourth penske car and have you heard if roy mccauley will be his crew cheif

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Haven't heard of any changes taking place before the end of the season. There might be a conflict with him driving Dodges in Cup and Chevys in Nationwide. As for McCauley, I wouldn't be surprised to see a change there. Maybe they move him over to Kurt.

Marion (SC)

David,Do you think RPM to Ford is going to be a factor for Kahne looking else where for 2011 he doesnt seem thrilled to be back with Ford (of course we know why)

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

I think that decision already has been made to be honest. I look for him to be outta there in 2011.

Adam (NC)

David I think Kahnes fed up with all these changes the last couple years nothing stays the same i know they needed a manufact. but you can see Kahne is tired of it.I think Kahne will be else where in 2011 your thoughts what could be Kahnes options for 2011?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

As I just said, he'll be somewhere else in 2011. Maybe Stewart-Haas.

Marion (SC)

David,Do you think RPMs switch to Ford using RFR chassis will help this organization?What can I expect for 2010 from RPM Kahne having an awesome year and improved performance from his teammates or same ol same ol and Kahne announcing he has signed with another team

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

On paper it should be a good move for the organization. It gets Roush-Yates engines and Roush Fenway chassis. And it saves the money-strapped George Gillett Jr. a ton, or will when he shuts down his engine and chassis department. On the other hand, Kasey has won two races with a Dodge, as many as all seven cars that use Roush Fenway equipment.

Bob (ny)

David Kahne seems to really be at home with Dodge any chance Dodge will get Penske to make a run at him for 2011 for a 4th team or If Kurt hits the road or is this just a slow with draw from the sports from Dodge

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Penske would be a good option, but I believe they're grooming Justin Algaier for that fourth ride.

pete (canada)

Is Dodge leaving the sport? soon as Penske finds another option will Dodge leave? or could they not stand Gillett.Gillett seems to get bad blood with people look for if Kahne announces hes leaving next year for 2011 Gillett might screw him over

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Dodge says it's committed to staying. Personally, I think it would be bad for the sport to lose the manufacturer. The way things are going it doesn't look good. And Penske has a new deal with General Motors and Saturn, so maybe that is the future a few years down the road.

Mike (AZ)

Do you think that Michael Waltrips' repeated blocks of kenseth in the pits were intentional, to help in any way he could to get a toyota in the chase? Also, do you think kenseth's "miss" of his pitbox, and ending up in waltrips when he was trying to pit was intentional as well? It just seems to block as many times as the 55 did in decent sized pitboxes has to be intentional. plus, you always wonder what lenghts waltrip will go to for toyota (jetfuel, stolen parts). Plus, I don't think I've ever seen Kenseth miss his pit, I know the team fell apart and there was a ridiculous amount of pressure that night, but kenseth rarely makes a mistake to that degree. Thanks David

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Again, an interesting way to look at it. And I absolutely can see Kenseth forcing Waltrip to miss his box if he was as fed up as I imagine he was.

RAYGORDON REID ( CONCORD NH 03301)

QUESTION TO DAVID NEWTON AT 2.20PM HI DAVID WHO YOU HAVE AT LOUNDON SUNDAY

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Ashley Force. Sorry, in this other world at the moment. I'm gonna go with Kyle Busch to steal the Chaes thunder and win the race.

Eric (Columbia, MO)

David, when Kenseth was eliminated from the Chase contention Saturday night, he indicated that even if he got in his team wouldn't have had the horses to win it. Is Kenseth's candor merely indicative of his frustration at that moment, or does it speak to Roush's team as a whole?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Me thinks it speaks for the entire camp. Have you seen the results lately?

Tank (California)

Newt -- I am on vacashion...I want to visit California track but my wife say we shood visit Disny..oh well. Does you see Kurt Bush on ESPN last night...is it that he's matured or does his brother make him seem setled? He is well spoken unlike Kile whose demeanor is up there with my speling!!!

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Go to Disney, or Disny as you call it. The California race normally is a snoozer. As for Kurt, he grew up a few years ago. Learned to speak better and control his temper and got a little cosmetic surgery. A new man. But you're wrong about Kyle. He has turned the corner and his demeanor is far better than your spelling.

Moncho (Hatillo)

Hamlin wins last race but lost the chase he dont receive any help from Kyle GO Martin and Montoya.

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

Actually, Hamlin could get more help from Kyle not in the Chase than Kyle in it.

Jeremy (Radford, Va)

If Mark wins the championship do you see him honoring his word of hanging around for 2010?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

Definitely. He's having too much fun. Why not win two in a row?

Moncho (Hatillo)

I think Michael Waltip is the worst driver ever in Nascar but he made good moves ltely as a administrator and owner with Pat and Truex.

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Agreed.

Ian (Wyoming)

Matt Kenseth seemed pretty upset about the race last Saturday. Did the stress of trying to make the Chase finally crack him?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

No, the stress of not having good enough cars to qualify for the Chase got the best of him.

Sean (Philadelphia)

Chase breakdown by team: Hendrick 3, SHR 2, so really there are 5 Hendrick cars total, Roush 2, and Penske, RPM, Gibbs, Red Bull, and EGR all have one. Some semblance of parity here? Or will it revert to an all Roush-Hendrick chase next year (14 cars between them, granted Sadler and Menard will be driving 2 of the Roush-powered cars)? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

I don't think the Gibbs cars are going to go away. In fact, I look for all three Gibbs drivers having a shot next season, with Kyle maybe winning the title. And don't rule out Hamlin winning the title this year. As for Sadler and Menard, I'm not sure they will help the Roush cars that much.

Kevin (Near Milwaukee)

Newt, what do you think of Kelly Bires to JRM? It would seem that he's accomplished more than Keselowski prior to taking over the 88. Does he have a chance of duplicating what Brad has done with that ride?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Think that is why Earnhardt Jr. wanted him. He wants to develop Nationwide guys into good Cup drivers. He did a great job with Keselowski.

Scott (NC)

Do you think Lance Mcgrew will be jrs crew chief in 2010? and if Mark Martin doesn't come back after next year do you think Hendrick will try to bring back kyle Busch to drive the 5 car?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Maybe and no. I still don't see a lot of improvement in Earnhardt. And it wouldn't surprise me to see Martin in the 5 beyond next year.

kevin (new jersey)

Now that Kyle Busch missed the chase do you think nascar is going to change the chase at all. I hope they dont because I'm tired of the chase format changing.

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

I haven't gotten any signs that it'll change, but I do like the idea of a wild card to spice things up.

Sue (Tampa)

Do you agree with Onion when he said at Iowa that Chevy has a 10 hp advantage over Toyota?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

No. If it was that big of an advantage then NASCAR would have stepped in by now.

Ed (Hartford)

Whose your dark horse for the championship?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Just wrote that on Saturday. Hamlin.

TG (PA)

I'm watching a 2005 race on Speed and Michael Waltrip just wrecked someone. Imagine that!

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Maybe they should bring him over here to the NHRA where the most he could take out in one race is one car.

kevin (new jersey)

How did your first week of fantasy football go, ray rice did good to bad you didnt get him.

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Ug. I played the team that had Drew Brees. And unfortunately my quarterback of the day, Jay Cutler, tried to keep up with Jake Delhomme in interceptions. And my backup Donovan McNabb cracked a rib. Other than that it was a terrific day.

Darrell (MS)

How big of a factor will Talladega be in determining a champion since it has a later date in the chase this year and it will be the first time the double file restart will be used there.

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

It would be a factor no matter where it was in the Chase, but I'm not a believer that it's any more of a factor than Martinsville or New Hampshire. They all count the same and you can have bad luck at others just as well as Dega. Just as Kyle Busch about last season.

Scott (FL)

Jr's Crew Chief in 2010? Busch Back At Hendrick in 2011?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Dunno. Hardly.

Sean (Socal)

David, Mcgee said earlier in the week that he could see Gibbs removing Addington from the 18. Let's face it, Addington is not at the level of a Zippy or a Mike Ford.

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

I've thought for some time that Busch needed a change. Nothing against Steve. He's good. But he's not on the same level as a Chad Knaus or a few other crew chiefs.

Frank (NJ)

Have you heard if Joe and JD Gibbs will be replacing Steve Addington and getting Kyle a better crew chief?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

See previous answer. Thanks.

Matt Minchew (Frisco, TX)

If you were a betting man.......who would you put your money on for the Chase?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Jimmie Johnson. Last I looked he won the last three.

Jason (ETN)

Did Matt Kenseth drive into MW's pitbox on purpose to make MW go around again?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

I certainly hope so.

Jay (PA)

What would it mean for Nascar and Juan Pablo Montoyas future if somehow someway JPM can win his first Sprint Cup

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

It would mean for NASCAR that despite all the talk about how the new car has made the super teams even stronger that even smaller ones can compete for the title. And it would make Montoya one of the most marketable drivers in the sport.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

Congrats on your first NHRA experience, wish I could be there for the four wide race, you'll probably need new pants after that one.

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

So what do you mean about new pants? Have I missed something here? Am I standing too close to the smoke and fumes?

Luke (Virginia)

Why the big deal in F1 about Renault throwing a race? Don't Nascar drivers do that all the time by causing cautions like when Dale Jr. intentionlly spun out and stalled it on the racing line?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

They apparently do it in every form of motorsports. Happened in the NHRA on Monday. What's wrong with it? Just doesn't seem right if you ask me. If an NFL quarterback was proven to throw a race he'd be suspended or worse.

Nick (Suwanee, GA)

Do you think NASCAR will ever add a road course race to the chase. I mean i feel that it needs it in order to show that the person crownded at the end of the season can run upfront and win at every track

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

No, I don't. But I believe it would get great for the sport. Some of the best races of the season are on road courses.

jason (va)

does todd parrott still work for yates and if so any chance him and sadler hook back up?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

You know, I haven't heard his name in a while. I'm not sure where he is now.

Nate (PHX)

Well I got kurt Warner and that was just great, not...Hey is dodge just gonna be with penske next year? Cause kurt needs out of the dodge and into a chevy or somthing

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I'm told Dodge is trying to lure one or two of the smaller operations over. We'll see.

Joey (va)

What do you think about giving the race winners the option to apply their 10points per win to help them get into the chase or use it during the chase. I think this would be an easy implementation and add even more excitement come the Richmond race. KB would be in by using one of this 10 bonus points and still have 30 to start the chase.

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Interesting concept. I kind of like it.

Tim (AZ)

David, thanks for answering my previous question. Now I ask, is there any way jack roush will let Reiser out of the job he doens't want and to the one he does, on the 17 box? If not, do you see frustration making both Reiser and Matt think of a change of scenery? The 17 team has been jerked around for 3 years now, and as guys who won a cup you'd think they are not happy. Not that I don't think Drew may be good in enough time, but Kenseth is wasting his prime years on rebuilding.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Again, I don't think it's a crew chief problem. I think it is a Roush problem. Of course, Reiser is the general manager, and people didn't expect these kind of problems under his watch.

q (bt)

hey david, i ordered the dirt race last week and was wondering what that cone was used for. It kept coming out on restarts. I am not that familiar with dirt racing, so was wondering if it is common practice to use a cone?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

I didn't see the race, but the cone is used to mark the starting spot on the track, I believe.

Jeremy (Radford, Va)

Where is Bobby Labonte in 2010? Its seems we have forgot about him he showed at Atlanta he can still drive a car.

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

He's had conversations with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing about the 1 if McMurray doesn't get it. Hall of Fame also wants him back but needs a partner. And he can still drive. How good is the question. He has struggled for a lot of years now.

Kimi (Denver)

We will watch Loudon to see if Kyle races hard or is testing for 2010. Do you think Kyle is focused on Daytona 2010 or helping Denny or Kurt win the championship?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Oh, he'll race hard. Wins are all he has to go for now.

Evan Johnson (Salt Lake City)

Get a grip Addington is a good crew chief. That combo has won 12 races in the last two years I believe. They will be in their third year together next season, I dislike the Shrub but those two are gonna win the title next year. You heard it here first.

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

You make good points about the wins, but Kyle could have won many more and the collapse in the Chase last year and not making it this year says something about consistency needed to win a title.

Branden (Pittsburgh, PA)

Where do you think Montoya will finish in the Chase? I am hoping for a top 5 finish.

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Hmm. I'll say sixth. No, seventh.

kevin (new jersey)

So many kasey kahne questions

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

And did you have a question?

John (IL.)

Why did Tryson and Waltrip disrespect Kurt Busch and Roger Penske by not waiting until after the season to make that announcement?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

The timing of that was very strange. I'm not sure to be honest why they couldn't keep it quiet for another month or two.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

The timing of that was very strange. I'm not sure to be honest why they couldn't keep it quiet for another month or two.

Andy (the streets)

on the nascar.com entry list some cars are listed as #171 and #187 but they just have numbers 71 and 87 durring the race. whats up with that?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I've noticed that too. Maybe they are predicting finishing spot. Seriously, I have no clue other than maybe it's a typo.

Leslie (Toronto)

Do you expect Kyle Busch to take his revenge on Stewart for Daytona early or late in the chase?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Neither. I believe that's long been forgotten. Kyle is a changed man. Haven't you been paying attention? Sorry, all the fumes from these dragsters are clogging my brain.

Eric (Raleigh)

Why did Pat Tryson leave Busch? Was it a money deal or did he have problems with Penske/Busch?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

It's always about money.

Ricky (Colorado)

Will Kyle Busch be the spoiler and have a hand in determining who wins the championship?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Back to the cone question, I'm told they are used to keep drivers from getting too low on the track. As for Busch, I do believe he'll be the spoiler and could definitely help Hamlin win the title.

Scott (Atlanta)

Slim or none...Kyle Petty in a Cup ride next season?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

None.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

None.

Trevor (CA)

Isn't it unfair to all the young fast talented guys trying to get into Nascar for all these old guys like Martin, Labonte, Elliott, Burton to hang around forever?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Have you watched Martin? He's better than most at any age. Some do hang around too long, but not the ones you mentioned.

Matt Minchew (Frisco, TX)

Tony Stewart has been so good this year after being all but counted out before the season started. The last 4 weeks for Stewart have been lackluster at best. Do you think it was because he was already locked in and taking chances or the rest of the field caught up with him finally? What perrcentage do you give him of winning the chase?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

I don't think he was taking chances. I just think he's going through a lull. I wouldn't pick him to win it all. He's been consistent with top fives and 10s, but not in leading laps and wins that it will take to beat Jimmie Johnson.

YAR8pack (Newton's Newstand)

You've got Kryle for this Sunday? Wrong. Hamlin's been the better JGR car at flat tracks this year. Maybe the 88 will just have a good finish. Yuck.

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

You tell me I'm wrong and then pick the 88 to have a good finish. You've been taking in a few too many fumes yourself.

kevin (new jersey)

I think they need a new model of robo-matt

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Stop picking on Kenseth. He's a class guy.

Thomas (GA)

Isn't Waltrip racing where most of the rejects from other teams end up?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Hardly. I really like Ambrose and Truex is a young guy with a lot of potential.

Darrell (MS)

Speaking of Pit boxes. On vickers last pit, i saw where the 20 tried to block Vickers but did not do it sucessfully.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Strong words there. I didnt' see it. Doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just didn't see it.

Richard (California)

David, Taking your article about restarts into consideration, do you see this Chase as a wild , wide open battle, or do you expect a close race between just a few contenders?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

It'll come down to Johnson, Gordon, Martin and Hamlin. Nobody else has a chance. Remember that.

Bill S (High Point,NC)

When the chase started they said you may have drivers that take some of the chase drivers out. This hasn't happen to this point, but this year it seems you have alot of non-chasers with alot to prove. Who do you see having the biggest impact on the chase?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

They don't do it intentionally, but it could happen, particularly with double file restarts. Read my latest column to learn more on that.

Nick (Suwanee, GA)

David, after the checkered flag is waved at homestead who do you think will be holding the sprint cup trophy and what how do you think the rest of the top 12 will finish

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Johnson, Gordon, Martin, Hamlin, Stewart ... no need to go much further.

Eddie (Miami)

It seems like Jr's ultimate fate is to end up as a great owner. He seems to be better at that than a driver.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

So you're calling him the next Michael Waltrip?

cactus jack (new mex)

will we see a 4th Gibbs car next year?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Maybe for a few races, but not a whole season.

cactus jack (new mex)

any word on the new Ford engines being used during the chase?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

They'll debut at Charlotte in a Roush car or two not in the Chase.

Jay (PA)

hey Dave, any chance we see you on Nascar Now this evening?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Sorry, I'm at the NHRA event now and have a fundraiser for Doug Herbert's BRAKES program tonight at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Do I need to hire you as my agent?

John (Boston)

Why does Nascar act like start and park isn't happening? Why not call it what it is, a shady practice?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

First, it's hard to prove they start and park unless they show up without a pit crew. Second, they don't want to start the race with fewer than 43 cars if possible, and to turn away start and parkers would go that.

Jay (PA)

How long is Jeff Burton going to be chatting today?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Not as long as me I bet, but he'll give better answers. Quality vs. quantity I suppose. Make sure you ask him if Michael Waltrip is the worst driver in the sport. Sure he wants to answer that one.

Robert (Chicago)

How much do you expect ticket sales and tv ratings to drop as a result of Kyle Busch not being in the chase?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

None. He'll still be on the track.

Scott (Kansas City)

Newt...can't wait for teh Chase action to hit Kansas Speedway in a couple of weeks. What are your thoughts and views on the Kansas Speedway and do teh drivers like the track and related facilities...in otherwords, is it s popular stop on the circuit?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

That's the only track I've never attended a race. From what I'm told it's exactly like Chicago, which I'd rank around middle of the pack a far as racing.

Alex (Florida)

Do you think that Kyle Busch will break Petty's 200 Nascar win mark?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Petty's were all considered in the top series. Busch's are split up between three series. So no.

Rey (Texas)

Do you think Dale Jr will ever win another Nascar race?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Probably. Maybe. I don't know. Why don't you ask Jeff Burton that one as well.

Rhonda (Virgina)

Now that Jeff Burton is middle aged how soon do you expect him to retire?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

I guess you think Mark Martin should retire then? Jeff has a few good years left in him. Another good question for him, though.

Digger (Indiana)

Will Kyle Busch win the 2009 Nascar Most Popular Driver Award?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Laughing out loud on that one. On that note, I'll go back to drag racing and let Jeff Burton handle you guys for a while.