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January 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Sorry for the delay folks. Technical difficulties on my end. Typical start to a new year. I'll get it ironed out. Meanwhile, to the questions.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What year would you see a woman actually qualify for the Brickyard 400 & who will she be?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Well, it would probably have to be Danica Patrick and I'd say three years from now if all works out with this Nationwide experiment. Maybe in the No.7 GoDaddy.com car for Hendrick.

James (Stillwater)

Is Denny Hamlin no longer the favorite to knock off Jimmie Johnson and claim the championship because of his ACL injury? Thirty six races is an extremely long time to have to deal with the nuisance of such an extreme injury

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Not at all. I talked to several orthopedic specialists who say this should have no impact at all. Now if he were a football or basketball player it would. But drivers don't cut and twist with their legs, except to get in the car, so once the swelling is down he'll be fine.

Robby O (Mechanicsville Va)

Can anyone stop Hendrick Motorsports this year? If so who, and why? or Why Not?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

It's possible, and I believe Joe Gibbs Racing is the organization to do it unless they get all of their cars recalled by Toyota. That's a joke by the way. I really like Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch to have great seasons.

lance (knoxville)

how long do you think it'll be before trevor bayne wins his first race?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Wow. I really couldn't say. How long do you think it will be before Junior wins again? Tough to say.

Tyler (Arkansas)

Since Dale Jr is Gustafsons responsibillity now, will that distract him and Mark any? Since Mark seems to be the only threat to Mr. Hendricks wonderboy aka. Jimmie Johnson.

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

I don't see how ou say Gustanfson is responsible for Jr. The 5 and 88 shops have been reoragnized so they work more as one, but Gustafson won't be on the 88 pit box.

Billy (TN)

Welcome back Mr. Newton,What has been the biggest under the radar news in the off season? Thanks for being here.

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

You're welcome for being there. And the biggest under the radar story of the offseason has been the layoffs that still are occuring. There were so many we became numb to it, but it's still happening. On the good side a lot of quality folks are working for teams that otherwise couldn't afford them. Can you think of a good one? I am open.

Matt (Chicago)

Newt, with Lat 43 purchasing the 26 team and its guaranteed spot, what is the situation with the 44, 07 and 96 points? What teams would slide into the top 35 if those points don't get purchased?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

I haven't broken it down to be honest. Just look at the teams outside the top 35 in owner points at the end of last year and how many teams, such as the 26, have disappeared. Those cars 36 and up move in.

Aneil (New York)

Joey, if you had an opportunity to take the seat for another driver (ex. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon) who would it be and why?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Joey??? do you think I am Joey Logano. I know I spent some time with him last week in a plane, but I don't believe I have morphed to 19 again. Wishful thinking. If I were Joey and could take another car there aren't many better than what he'll get with the 20 at JGR.

Chad (D.C.)

Jimmy Johnsons 24/7 was great last night with seeing that why is Dale Jr so bad....is that bad of driver is that overrated he has the same a JJ, Mark , and Jeff but he finish the worst in ever race

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Not making excuses for Dale Jr., but he had a lot of bad luck and after talking to him at the media tour he really lost confidence after missing his pit stall a couple of times at the Daytona 500. I look for him to make a huge rebound this year. I don't say he is a great driver, but he's much better than we saw last season.

Tracy (Wallingford CT)

It's awsome to see someone from a few towns over do so well! Have you done any practice for the Toyota showdown this weekend?? Will we see you in victory circle there? :-)

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Hey guys, this is Newton, not Joey. I can tell you he is working hard to get ready for the season.

Todd (GA)

Whos your picks for the Bud shootout and the 500?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

I tweeted (DNewtonespn) Dale Jr. yesterday. I really believe he'll be a force in both races. Mr. Hendrick has put a lot of energy into getting that team off to a great start, and no matter what you say about the lad he's pretty dang good on plate tracks.

Greg (Richmond, VA)

Huge Denny fan. In all honesty, how will this injury affect his performance? Is all this talk just smoke and mirrors?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

As I said earlier, the experts I talked to say this should have minimal impact on his driving. He can't do backflips off the door, but he never did those anyway.

YAR8pack (Candor)

Good afternoon, Mr Newton.Do you see NASCAR doing something with the splitter now that the wing on the COT has got the boot? I'd like to go back to an air-dam but keep it off the ground. I'd also like for conventional springs to be brought back. Also, when's Ed Hinton gonna drop an article on ESPN? Tell him to get off that beach and get back to work. Daytona's nearly just two weeks away.

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

They're looking at the front end, but they don't want to make too many changes all at once. Maybe something by next year. As for Ed, he's not sitting around twiddling his thumbs on a beach. We all hope he's back for the Daytona 500.

Tank (Work)

Newt -- Con you beleeve that the Daytona 500 is on Valantines Day? To make my wife let me watch it, I promised to fly her to Parris for a week!!! Can you sugjest any movies to watch while shes gone?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Mine will be with me at the track. I am trying to figure out how to get roses delivered through all that traffice. As for movies, if you want a good laugh and haven't seen it watch the Hangover. Like the modern day Animal House

Tank (Work)

Any news on Rockingham track? Didnt some guy buy it to start it up again? Cood they get a BUsch race someyear? I asume Cup aint returned ever?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Yes, it was purchased and fixed up a few years ago. They run some ARCA and Late Model events there, and teams use it to test a lot. I'd love to see a Nationwide race there but not sure a stand-alone event would be financially sound.

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

And Tank, nice to have you back. Follow me on Twitter at DNewtonespn and I'll keep you updated with every moment of my life. I'll follow you and keep up with yours, although that seems a bit scary when I think about it.

Tracy (Wallingford CT)

When are we gonna see a new comercial. The old one doesn't work anymore since you won a race!

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Again, I'm not Joey, but I'll pass it on. What did you think of the surprise moment with Gavin? I was there and it was enough to bring tears to your eyes.

RAYGORDONREID ( MARTINVILLE VA 24145)

QUESTION TO DAVID NEWTON AT 2.20 PM HI DAVID WHO BE NASCAR CHAMP THIS YEAR

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Jimmie Johnson. Why would you pick anybody else. He's won four straight, right? Having said that, I'll go with Kyle Busch.

RITA (ALABAMA )

IS REED SORENSON FUTURE IS ONLY IN NATIONWIDE SERIES ?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Seems so at the moment.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

Yo Dave.What's your take on the recent change to the spoiler for the Cup Series? Do you think NASCAR gave the wing a fair enough shot to work, and who do you think will "readapt" to using the spoiler the quickest when it makes its return about seven races into the season?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

To be honest, until they show me the spoiler makes the car handle better I'm skeptical. Teams invested a lot of money and time in getting the car hooked up with the wing. The change comes because NASCAR believed the general public didn't like the look of the wing. What did you think?

steve (tx)

on a scale of 1-10... how stupid is denny hamlin? and how badly will this hurt his chase hopes this year?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Geez, it was an accident. It could have happened walking the dog or going to the bathroom. And as I've said a few times, experts say it won't be a factor.

bryan (ky) (ky)

over under 2 wins for Jr this year.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

I'll take over, cautiously.

adam (pa)

i noticed that KYLE BUSCH resigned long term with JGR. why hasnt DENNY HAMLIN? is he as good as gone after this year?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

He's already signed for a few more years, but they're talking about long-term. He's not going anywhere.

WillieBGood (Nashville)

What are Kyles chances in Cup this year??? He is not a Truck team owner/driver, NW maybe full time driver, and Cup full time driver. It never seems to work out good for anyone that speads themselves like that

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

In case you missed it, I picked him to win it all.

T-berry (J-town)

Whoopie, finally a chat. How was your holiday? I'm so tired of piles of snow here in PA. If Punxsutawny Phil sees his shadow next week, he's cooked.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Holiday was great, but too short. Wish I could see snow once. I did drive through it having to take the long rout from Knoxville, Tn. to my parent's farm in South Carolina because of the rockslide on I-40. Of course, I'd go nuts if I had to deal with snow like you all the time.

DaleJrIsAwsome (New York)

Do you think the new changes to Jr's team will help him? Better yet, will they hurt Mark Martin?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Gustafson and McGrew believe the changes will make both teams stronger. So does Martin. I have no reason to think otherwise.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

I'm not sure what to think about Elliott Sadler splitting time with Kevin Harvick driving the KHI truck for a few races this year. You would think that Ford would have a problem with that. I understand RPM using two different manufacturers near the end of last season being that Dodge was more or less unwilling to help. But now that RPM is a full-fledged Ford operation in alliance with Roush, how are they allowing Sadler to drive a Chevy in the truck series?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

It's a different world out there and manufacturers are much more lenient in restrictions. I can't say I've given it much thought, at least as a concern.

Jason (IL)

If the 88 struggles horribly again is Jr looking for a new ride?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

If his name were anything other than Earnhardt he would be.

Tazz (CT)

Any word on Kevin Conways status for Daytona?? Who will drive for him if NASCAR says he can't drive there?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Nothing new. We won't know anything for another week and a half.

Eric (Milwaukee)

What cup driver is likely to have a disappointing season?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Brian Vickers. He had a pretty good year in 2009, but I don't see him making the Chase this time.

Elick (Oxford, MS)

Now that we have the spoilers back... Do you ever think that NASCAR and the crew chiefs will have talks about eliminating the bump stops or am I just getting greedy now? Surely eliminating the bump stops can help the racing even further...

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

You are greedy, but NASCAR is looking at all of that. They just don't want too much too fast. Give 'em time. Baby steps.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

How much faster will the cars go at Daytona with the bigger restrictor plate? You think NASCAR is serious about letting the guys bump more...or are we gonna start seeing black flags on guys like Robby Gordon 5 laps into Daytona?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Not enough to tell. The larger plates are because with changes to the car they needed more horsepower to pull them around at the same speed. And yes, I believe NASCAR is serious. When they say "have at it boys" they mean it.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

Did Hall of Fame dissolve it's relationship with RPM when they Yates merged with Petty? If so, did they dissolve the team entirely? Where does that leave Eric Darnell? Does he still have a part-time ride with Roush somewhere?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

They dissolved it before. They were looking for a partner but haven't been successful.

Rooster (Carolina)

Rick -- What time is it?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

2:42. Rooster Carolina. Are you a Gamecock fan? Big win for South Carolina last night vs. No.1 Kentucky.

Rick (PA)

Thanks for starting up the Chat again. Let me ask a couple of questions. First, Have not seen anything from Ed Hinton, is he okay? Did you see the JJ 24/7 and if so your first impression please, and should us 48 fans be worried that Chad still is not signed?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Thanks. As for Ed, he'll be back soon. And I didn't see 24/7. I don't have HBO and I have been fighting city hall in Charlotte all morning so I haven't had time to look at clips. And don't worry about Chad. Mr. Hendrick told me after the season that Chad has told him he wants to be Johnson's crew chief at least through the end of Johnson's latest deal.

Tracy (Wallingford CT)

Oops. Maybe you need to tell the ESPN guys not to put a link to your chat next to a bunch of Logano articles!!!! LOL

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Ah, that explains it. By the way, did you watch the video? A pretty touching moment.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, Washington)

Who is your pick to win the 24 hours of Daytona?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Or the Rolex 24. I'll go with Montoya and McMurray. Ganassi always fields a strong entry.

dz (phx, az)

who do you credit for the drastic rule changes, for example, letting the drivers handle each other on & off the track? the fans, drivers, owners, media? i really would like to believe nascar.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

It was a combination of declining ratings and attendance and complaints from fans.

Guy (Enfield NH)

So with the bigger restrictor plates in place are we gonna see speeds well over 200???

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Answered that already, but you won't see much of a change in speed. Offseason adjustments to the car created more drag so they needed more horspower to get them around the track. NASCAR hasn't lost its mind.

Jim Hrdlicka Jr (Riverside Calif)

Any idea why Fontana dropped the Truck series race?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Or was it NASCAR that dropped Fontana? If nobody came to watch why keep it there?

Scott (Manchester, NH)

Welcome back Mr. Newton. Will we be seeing more of the start and park thing this year or less of it. I read where Phil Parsons is going to two cup cars this year and I think the start and park thing is out of control. Why won't Nascar do somrthing about it?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

I'll say we'll see a little less, but I don't think it's a big problem. And it's not something NASCAR can easily fix. It's hard to prove they are start and park unless they do it every week or show up without a pit crew.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

Newt -- A few years back Boone hurt his knee while playing basketball and the Yankees voided his contract because pick-up was a prohibited activity. I know you say that the injury won't hurt him (not sure I agree), but I am curious whether NASCAR drivers have lists of prohibited activities?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Some of othem do have prohibited activities. Like Michael Waltrip isn't allowed to drive over 150 mph. Sorry, just kidding. But it is built into some contracts that they can't participate in dangerous activities. This was just a freak thing with Denny but it won't hinder him.

scott (charlotte motor speedway)

im glad the wing is gone how bout you?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Honestly, I didn't spend a lot of time watching the wing go around in circles. At 200 mph can you tell what's on the rear panel? And how many street cars are there with a four or so inch spoiler on the back? Bet you find more with wings.

Debbie (Midland, TX)

Just the opposite here...my husband is glad its on Valentines....no going out for us...my choice!! Go KASEY GO...How many races will Kasey win this year?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

If you're in Daytona I can recommend a real romantic spot for you and hubby to go on Saturday night.

Billy (TN)

Who does the rules change to allow bump drafting favor? Waltrip, Jr, Stewart, Labonte? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Those that are good at it, like Earnhardt, Waltrip, Stewart, Johnson, Gordon. Although Gordon isn't a big fan of it.

JR (KS)

So they are letting the drivers drive.....letting them show some personality AND getting rid of that UGLY wing....Am I dreaming or did nascar do some soul searching this off season?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

You aren't dreaming.

Jim Hrdlicka Jr (Riverside Calif)

Zucker is running Auto Club into the ground! No more night races,no Camping world truck series race!WTH DAVID!?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

I wouldn't go that far. She can't help that fans don't show up.

kevin (new jersey)

are you as excited as me to see ken schrader back in a cup car for the bud shootout

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Uh, hmmm, excited? Well, um, sure.

Marion (SC)

David,Reading Kahnes comments from the media tour it sounds if kahne might be back with RPM after he sounded he was outta there at homestead Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

My thoughts are he's gone after the season.

Adam (nc)

Any new rumors on where Kahne might land next year and harvick?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I'm betting Harvick winds up with Stewart. Kahne has a few more options, some that might surprise.

Jim Hrdlicka Jr (Riverside Calif)

David what do you think if Los Angeles turned the LA Collossium into like bristol and get rid of fontana?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I like where you're going with this. I really do.

Baseballman387 (DC)

What are the chances Tony Stewart will win his finally first 500? I have watched him trying to get his first 500 win in the past 8 years. Couple of them were heartbreaking, especially the last lap pass by Ryan Newman in 2008.

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

It took Earnhardt, what, 20 years? Stewart has a ways to go before he gets totally frustrated.

kevin (new jersey)

steve why are you calling denny an idiot he made a cut to the basket and tore his acl. i dislocated my knee cap doing the same thing and missed my last year of football, so i guess im stupid. sorry dave had to write this

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

You said it better than I could have. Thanks.

T-berry (J-town)

Dave, you're being nice to Junior so far. Did you get some nice 88 clothes for Christmas or what.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Too funny. I've never disliked Junior or thought he was a horrible driver. And I like what they are doing to turn things around. And to take the over on 2 wins isn't much, particularly when I said with caution. But I am a nice guy in general. Did you think otherwise?

Billy (TN)

How is your father?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Still recovering from the first kidney operation. It's been a very long and slow process with a few complications, but the first operation was a success. He's going for a biopsy on the second soon. Wish him well.

Jim Hrdlicka Jr (Riverside Ca)

What are Fontanas chance's of having a good race?Truck series is gone!

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

The second Cup race last year wasn't that bad, was it? Seemed better than normal for that track.

dz (phx, az)

hey david, is there more media buzz the beginning this year compared to the years previous? also, i'm not a jr. fan but i would like to see what he is actually capable of when his game is on!

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

No more than usual on the buzz. In fact, there are fewer media with the economy so less buzz overall. As for Junior, he won five or six races one season, so he has talent.

Todd (Ga)

Will jr finish top 10 in points this year?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Yes. I think so. Maybe. Probably.

Adam (Galax, VA)

With the Pro Bowl a week before the Super Bowl, will that help the ratings for Daytona?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Not sure it will do anything for ratings. Seems strange to be having it then to be honest.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

I tend to agree with you, and it seems that NASCAR reacted for the sake of satisfying fans. However, the wing had those side plates on there that kept the car stable in the turns. That's why you saw guys get so sideways in the turns and still save it. Once they put the spoiler on there, it could go to the extreme in either direction. Some guys who are too timid to drive it loose might drop back to mid field, guys like Reutimann and Kenseth, while others who like a loose racecar, like the Busches, Edwards, and Johnson will probably excel at it for the first few races. Either way, I would expect the cautions to spike upwards for a few races.

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

Wow, that was a mouthful. I'll let that stand as the final statement of the day. Sorry I can't chat all day. But I can tweet all day and all night (maybe too much according to my wife). If you have questions I'll try to get them on my twitter account, DNewtonespn. Or if you just want to follow in general to see what ridiculous things might come out of my mouth I welcome the company. Until next week. David, not Joey