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March 10, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Man, can't wait to talk about Dale Jr. moving to 13th in points, Scott Speed to 12th and Paul Menard to ninth. Can't imagine what else we'd talk about. Oh, we'll see. Fire away.

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

I am a huge Kurt Busch fan and this "suspension" issue has taken a lot more publicity away from Kurt. He really doesn't get his due; he raced a hell of a race, won it 3 times pretty much, and I still think Paul Menard was mentioned more. He didn't have the best car (he had a very strong car) and some how managed to beat better cars; based on his driving ability. Enough with Edwards/Keselowksi; stuff happens; can we please start celebrating Kurt's win.

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Sure Kurt has had a few Miller Lites since this one. And I understand your point, but in this case there was a much bigger issue than a win to discuss. It impacted not only one driver's safety, but the safety of fans, the outcome of the race, so many things. But you are right, Kurt deserves kudos for job well done. This one's for you Kurt. Sorry, that was a Bud commercial.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Carl Edwards should have been Suspended from Bristol for aggresive driving that put Brad Keselowski out of the race in Atlanta?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

I believe what he did warranted suspension, but I never thought NASCAR would do so. At least he should have been fined and penalized points. NASCAR can't lose total sight of safety and common sense for the sake of TV ratings and attendance.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What will be the race distance when there will a Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky in 2011?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

You mean in number of miles? I hope no more than 400. The track is 1.5 miles.

Austin (Denver)

What everyone seems to forget is BK's Top 5 he lost. Thats what he should have been upset about. He wouldn't have cared if he crossed the line in 5th, and then got wasted. He would've got out and said," Woo hoo, a Top 5 not for Hendrick"

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

He was pretty upset about that, but when you've just landed on your head it takes a while to collect your thoughts. That cost him dearly. He's 33rd in points and a mistake at Bristol could knock him out of the top 35.

Roller (Kentucky)

NASCAR basically doing nothing to C. Edwards is an absolute joke...so when someone else does it or does anything worse for that matter can they really say anything about it after this!?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Agreed. Seems that is the door they have opened.

Scott (New Orleans, LA)

Greetings from NOLA, Newt. I was wondering if Matt Borland was still with SHR. If he is, is there any way they might shake things up to recreate some past magic on the Newman pit box? Their past results together lead me to believe he is the best at communicating with Ryan. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

He is still with SHR, but there are no plans for a shakeup. They have complete faith in Tony Gibson.

Tyler (Arkansas)

Why do fans and other drivers get mad at Brad K? The last 2 times that he and Carl got together on track has both been Carls fault. Plus isnt that what the fans wntd? Im just tired of seeing people trash Brad when Carl was the one that was all over the place.

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

That was part of my point in today's column, that it's like being the kid everyone picks on in school. Once one person does it then another does it and then everybody does it. I'm not saying BK hasn't brought a lot of this on himself, but he can't get a break now.

Nicholas Rolando (Orlando)

David, I had two questons. Do you think the one big Ford effort (RPM and Roush) turned the corner last week? And after seeing David Ragan totally screw up a promising day by getting in the wall and cutting his tire is he on the hot seat?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

It's too early to say Ford has turned the corner, not that it ever lose complete signt of the track. As for Ragan, I can't imagine his seat is too comfortable right now.

Fred (Al) [via mobile]

So if Harvick leave Rcr who do u see in the 29

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Good question. Sure they'd make a run at Kasey Kahne but don't believe they can get him. I know some dream of Dale Jr. and returning that car to the 3, but I don't see it happening. Might have to settle for a young, up-and-coming driver.

Jim (Neverland)

I think NASCAR has put themselves in an interesting position, how far will they let the drivers go?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

You're right. Short of running over somebody in the garage I'm not sure.

Frank (Maryland)

The most frustrated guy after Atl has to be Hamlin. He had a top 5 car all day and had 2 tire problems. Are things ok in the 11 camp?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

He did have some bad luck, but it wasn't the tire's fault. One was cut down and the other he ran over something. They have to be encouraged by the effort and just move on.

Jason (WV)

I am glad that Brad K. is ok but there is no question he got what was coming to him. Will this change him at all?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Read my column. I highly doubt it. And I hope it doesn't. He's good for the sport and he's not a dirty driver. He just makes bad judgments sometimes - kind of like the one Carl Edwards did on Sunday.

randy crossville tn [via mobile]

was it carl that got into brad at daytonas nationwide race that sent jr over on his top...i love rubbin in racing to but is this going a lil bit over

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

I believe you're right on that one. And to quote Clint Bowyer, there's going too far, and that (Atlanta) was too far.

Chris (Pennsylvania)

Hey David love reading your chats!! It appears RPM may have turned the corner. I think Kahne is one of the top 5 this year to dethrone Johnson. He has been strong at each track so far. What do you think?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

No doubt Kasey has the talent _ and it appears _ equipment to challenge Johnson. I'm just not sure he has developed the consistency to pull it off.

Justin (Boone, NC)

Mike Helton mentioned that they were investigating why a car went upside-down at a 1.5 mile track, because that was rare. Isn't that rare just because it's nearly impossible to turn someone around backwards in the fastest parts of the track? Seems to me like the only ingredient that's normally missing is the guy turning right instead of left.

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

I have no answers for you on why the cars have gone airborne, but I agree with Elliott Sadler and others that getting them to stay on the track should be a priority. Then payback will be hell without the danger.

Todd (GA)

How do you think morale is in the 88 camp? They have to be pleased with qualifying, but no so much on the way they have raced. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Not sure they have a lot to be happy about other than qualifying. Two of Junior's best finishes were the result of multiple green-white-checkered finishes. He must have borrowed JJ's horeshoe for what he got out of Atlanta.

Tracy (CT)

Hi Newton and Ernie, I think Atl was actually a good race till Carl (but I am sure you have enough Carl/BK questions). It was good to see some new blood up front like Dinger, Menard (who has more top 5s then Kyle. Who would have thought?), Speed, and Brad.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Thanks. And the standings do look interesting these days. Will be interesting to see how long some of these guys hang around.

Bill (Reno)

So the new rule in NASCAR is that if you weck yourself, it is okay to go after the guy who held his line and did no wrong???

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

I love the ssrcasm here.

Josh (Wisconsin)

Newton, do you think guys like Bowyer and Truex who lost about 20 positions because of Corporate Carl might not be so forgiving next time they're racing side by side?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

All I know is Bowyer is pretty dang ticked. He would have been the point leader. Suppose he misses the Chase by the points he lost in that race. Then will he go for payback?

Norm Kern (Michigan)

Exactly what should Brad K. do differently to make Hamlin and Edwards happy. In every clip I've seen Brad is on the inside and someone comes down on him and then gets spun out. I've never seen a clip of Brad turning into anyone. Is he supposed to slam on the brakes when they come down on him? Is he supposed to stop moving in under them? I'm confused.

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

He races hard. He doesn't give a lot of room. They have to respect that just as much as they want him to respect them. I'm not sure what else he could do other than wait it out. We've all seen this before.

Ron ((OH))

I bet the drivers wives are thrilled that another driver can crash their husband and NASCAR doesn't care. Harvick's wife wasn't thrilled.

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Read Delana's comments. Totally agreed.

David (AZ)

Do you think BK will change his driving style to give veterans "more room", or do you think he'll continue being aggressive?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Status quo. Read my column on ESPN.com and you'll see why.

dz (phx, az)

hey newt! what is your personal feelings on the carl/brad issue? i understand the nascar is under some heat for not penalizing carl enough. BUT, i'm glad nascar has been consistent with a decision they made which is to let the boys have at it. finally some consistency. that being said are you excited for the bristol race???

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Personally, I believe Carl should have been penalized something. He not only wrecked BK, he messed with the outcome of a race. That shouldn't be allowed.

RITA (ALABAMA )

DO I THINK NASCAR PROBATION WAS TO LIGHT? YES. AT LEAST 5 TO 10 RACES. Do I think Carl should be suspended? No! Do I think BK had it coming? Yes! DID anyone think a punt intended to turn him around and wreck him would flipped upside down and cause all the controversy? HELL NO!!

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Punishment too light. No, I don't think it was on purpose. Do I think Brad K had it coming? Not for what happened at Atlanta.

Menard Fan (NY)

I'm really diggin' how Paul Menard is running this year...can you tell me what sparked such a great start? The merger, the car make?

Brian (Richmond, Ky.)

Here's a non-Carl Edwards question for you: is Robby Gordon really going to run the Indy 500 this year? The rumor on the IndyCar side is that he's going to be in an extra Andretti car for the month of May, but considering he's on the verge of being out of the top 35, is that a smart move?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

That's what I'm hearing. I'll double check at Bristol next weekend, but he has said all year he wants to make the attempt.

Jim (SC)

Did Ryan Newman have any comments regarding another car flying, other than, I'm glad it wasn't me.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Not a lot. He seemed a bit indifferent to BK being wrecked on purpose as well.

jeff (anderson, SC)

What's your take on the Edwards/Keselowski fracas. Was MASCAr's penalty too stern? In my opinion let 'em go. I think Kesleowski had it comin' from way back. He's been wreckless ever since makin' it to the big show. He certainly hasn't made any friends. Carl didn't mean to get him upside down and got his money's worth. Brad surely won't tangle with him any more.

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Interesting. So you're saying if LeBron James constantly is hacking somebody in a game the opponent has the right to undercut him and put him in danger. Just putting it in perspective for other sports. There are ways to take revenge and ways not to. At Atlanta at 195 mph is not the way.

dz (phx, az)

newt, i personally think that hms is not tanking. i believe the rest of the teams are finally catching up. do you think with the introduction of the spoiler that hms will adapt quicker than the other teams?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Who said HMS is tanking. Johnson has won two fo the first four and Gordon and Martin have had strong finishes. I am betting that they are putting more effort into the spoiler so they'll be ahead of the competition when it is introduced as they were with the COT.

Bill (Reno)

Why does a missing oil cap, an engine a bit over tolerance, swearing on TV, etc warrent a points penalty and crashing into a guy at 180 mph plus on purpose and costing him a 100 or so points warent a 3 race probation? Heck Dr Jekly got a longer probation for spinning Kryle after the Bristol race at slower speeds! Booo to NASCAR!

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

You make a good case. The difference is the oil cap and swearing are hard fast rules. What Carl did is a judgement call.

Brian (Richmond, Ky.)

Is Petty's decision not to go test the spoiler at Talladega going to wind up biting them later? Seems to me depending on Roush to be your test mules is just a good way to put yourself behind the 8-ball.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Seems to me depending on Roush is what they do for everything, so no need to spend the money when they'll get the best input.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

If memory serves me correctly, that 12 car in the Sprint Cup Series has a propensity for attracting revenge-styled controversy. Anyone remember one of the last fall races they had at Rockingham where Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman bounced off each other multiple times, Ryan turned into Jeff on the frontstretch before Jeff just dumped him in turns 1 and 2? Or how about at Bristol night race several years ago when Dale Jarrett went all Cole Trickle on Newman in the middle of of the turn in the essence of payback, collecting Harvick in the process? And didn't David Stremme get into an exchange or two with somebody last year that involved some sort of payback? Either way, I guess the jinx is out on that 12 car, and Brad K is just along for the ride.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

So it's the car and not the driver. Thanks for putting that into perspective.

Tanya (TO)

When a driver is called to the Nascar Hauler. Who goes into the meeting with him/or you can go in?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Mike Helton, Robin Pemberton, John Darby, David Hoots, usually a NASCAR PR person, the person called, maybe a crew chief and the team owner or GM. I've tried to get in but they just don't like my company. Really don't understand why.

Ed (Fort Worth)

Newt, did you happen to see Robby Gordon's comments about BK and Carl? I think there was no way Nascar was going to please everyone with their decision on Carl. You buying into the favorite son conspiracy? It's not like Carl has run incredibly well over the last year.

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I did see his comment, and I think what Robby was saying is that if a driver not expected to challenge for the chase, not expected to sell a lot of souvenirs and not tied to big-money sponsors had done what Carl did then NASCAR might have gone ahead and suspended them. Ask Carl Long what he thinks.

88NATION (FLA)

David, I dont believe for one minute Flipper should have been suspended. I feel Nascar couldnt do anything because they came out and said "have at it boys", by the looks of all the comments of every article written about this Nascar got what they wanted and the interest is growing again

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Can't aruge that at all.

Trae Adkins (South Dakota)

In your opinion, do you think that Jeff Gordon's prime is past him, and his career is going to start going down hill from now on?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Jeff Who? Just kidding. I still believe he'll win another title. Call me silly.

big ben (nc)

alot of people have said that if brad k hadn't gotten airborne we wouldn't be talking about the situation at all. but didn't carl show total disrespect to all of the drivers by changing the outcome of the race with 3 laps left. montoya was catching busch, another wreck ensued on the green white checker, and alot of the positions from 5-25 got flipped because carl went nuts. isn't he atleast somewhat responsible for all of those wrecked cars and wouldn't we still be talking about this if brad k hadn't gotten airborne?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

You said what I've been preaching all along. The flip caused the outrage, but the intent should have.

Kyle (Burlington, VT)

The 11 had what he called a "race winning" car last weekend but suffered through some more bad luck, does this at least mean Denny is headed in the right direction? Can we expect to see him up front at Bristol and Martinsville, two strong Hamlin tracks?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Yeah, it's way too early to count him out.

bk (IL)

david, i am sure there is a way to find this out, but doesn't it seem that when JPM is near the leaders his crew kills him in pit stops? meaning he always seems to be losing spots..

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

That's not always the case, but they have been working to improve. Thought the 11 showed big improvement on that last week.

Greg (WI)

It's early, but is Kenseth back?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Looks back to me, showing the consistency he did when he won the title.

Ron ((OH))

Here's a good analogy. Carl thinks he is a big shot senior at high school. Brad is a freshman in the lunch line. Carl tries to cut in the line but Brad won't let him. So Carl beats him up after school and pats himself on the back after the school did nothing to him.This isn't the first time Carl has had road rage. Michigan in 2006 to JR in the NNS.

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

He got a bit miffed with his own teammate, Matt Kenseth, at Martinsville once as well. Not trying to pick on Carl. He shouldn't be the villain. NASCAR created this.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

What people have to realize when it comes to enacting payback on somebody is how it is carried out. When Mike Helton said yesterday that you have to separate the payback from the result, he is right to some extent. It should hold no bearing on where each driver is running; they are on the track, so they are competing regardless. When Hamlin dumped Brad K during the Nationwide race at Homestead last year, what did he get in response? A one lap penalty, mostly because Brad suffered no damage. When Montoya came back out and dumped Stewart, he got two laps because Stewart nudged the inside wall a little bit. When Carl knocked Brad out of the race, NASCAR took Carl out of the race as well. While this formula has been followed pretty close to a T in the last few months, it's interesting to note that none of the involved drivers were suspended, so why would they start now, even if someone got hurt? That's a hurtful truth, but it's the way they've been doing it.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

That's why I never thought NASCAR would suspend Carl. Doesn't make it right.

Brad K (NC)

I've had my last $5 footlong

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Don't flip out. I'm sure it'll show up.

Ron ((OH))

Will the races turn into demo derbys?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

I actually believe it'll calm things down. Drivers will be less likely to take revenge after seeing what happened when Carl did.

Kyle (VT)

Hey David, with Bristol coming up I wanted to know your impressions of watching a race there, I'm going for the first time this year in August?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Not many better places to watch. Carry ear plugs.

ben (los angeles)

Dave, when I look at the finishes of the races I see where Jr. started in 1st or 4th place and winds up 12th-16th.....what gives?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Honestly, I was so engrossed on what happened with Carl and Brad that I didn't notice Junior's finish until well after the race.

John (Illinois)

I believe that Brad does deserve almost all of the criticism that is being directed his way. The fact is, a large number of crashes have started at his front bumper in both Nationwide and Cup. He has driven through just about all of them without consequence. Other drivers are justifiably frustrated with his attitude. If this was 1990 instead of 2010, there would probably be more than one driver already injured by Brad's driving style. Remember Gurney Ernie?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Everybody has a right to their opinion. I'm not saying you are entirely wrong.

MotorMatt (Connecticut)

Hi David, what I don't get is if it is okay to drive aggressively in the end of a race for a win or higher finish and that style of driving affects other drivers (who don't like being crashed or flipped either), and while the motives may be different, the result is the same, so why is this not simply a case of a driver saying don't do that? In other words, while I get the difference of intents, why is it okay to wreck someone at any point in the race because Edwards (and Hamlin) were only saying don't do that and I won't do this?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

When you use your car as a 3500 pound weapon for revenge all bets are off. Just think Carl didn't use the best judgment in this case.

Tanner Bergh (South Dakota)

In your opinion, do you think that Nascar is being more lenient on drivers crashing each other since the new cars are "so safe?"

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Sorry about that. Power outage on the home front. Back up and running. As for Tanner's question, no, I don't believe that is a factor, but thank God they are.

cody (IN) (lemars iOWA)

hey david i was told that nascar was going to stop in 5 more years. Is this teru?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

News to me.

Sharalynn (TeXaS)

What do you think kasey Kahne will do after his contract is up?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Sign with JGR or HMS.

Kirk (Indy)

Okay, a complete non Carl/BK (hey, isn't that a food chain?) question. Do you think other car manufacturers will get into NASCAR? If so, who's next, when?Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

I'm hearing BMW a lot. Seriously. Rumors of Volkswagen as well.

caster and camber (bahama, nc)

i think nascar's punishment of carl was right in the money. carl wrecked a car contending for the race when he was way off the lead lap. i thin it is nascar's fault that these cars are taking flight like they are. they know that this wing is a big problem, thats why they are getting rid of it. why didn't they do this at the beginning of the season if they know it is unsafe?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Cars flipped before the wing. Think there is a much bigger issue there. As for the punishment, what punishment? There was none.

Matt (New Jerssey)

david all everyone keeps bringing up is keselowski is too aggressive gimme a break there just mad cause he wont let the veterans run all over him.. what do you think nascars greatest aggressive driver of all time BiG E would think of brad and this whole situation

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

E would say, "Bring it on." Then he would spin BK out.

Gino (PR)

Can we conclude that the HMS engineers/set-up crew cost Junior a better finish at Atlanta?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Uh, no. Johnson had the same setup and he was close to the front before a late tire issue.

DeShawn Gutzmer (Pine Island, MN)

I don't see how NASCAR is so complicated..First, you just turn the key to start the car, unless you have one of those cars where you hit the button...then, you accelerate using the gas pedal, and steer with the steering wheel...Is there something I'm missing?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

The flip.

Jason (Lexington, KY)

I read your column, Dave. While I feel like I can relate to where Brad is coming from, being picked on growing up through school, it doesn't mean that he gets to make stupid choices. I have to agree with the majority of posters here in saying that while he didn't deserve the severity of the wreck he went through at Atlanta, he did deserve to have a day ruined like he has done to several drivers in the past. When he got under Hamlin at Dover in the N'wide race, he stuck it in there when he damn well knew that the 11 was coming down. That's racing etiquette, and no one else does that but him. When he got under the 11 at Phoenix last fall, he kept pushing until he spun the guy, even though Denny just moved him out of the way. He keeps hitting Carl down the backstretch at the Memphis N'wide race last year, spinning him out, and he cuts his wheet to the right, right into Joey Logano coming to the checkered in the California N'wide race this year. The boy has a lot to learn on how to race people, and whether you want to chalk it up or use the excuse that he's just racing hard, he needs to realize that if he doesn't learn the proper way to race others, his bad finishes on the track and bad blood with the other drivers won't buy him any favors in keeping a ride or staying in the sport for a good future.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

As I said, he is aggressive and as he matures that will be fine tuned. Look at how far Kyle Busch has come.

Jimmy (Conway, AR)

David, we agree on few places being better than Bristol. But I was wondering what you see the 2 crew doing the rest of the season, I know it's early but Kurt and Addington seem to be matching pretty well, and with Kurt's talent that's a team that can contend for a championship.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Yeah, those two really have hit it off. I'm a big Addington fan. He actually got the endorsement of the crew chief he replaced.

Jimmy (Conway, AR)

Cars did flip before the wing, then they added the roof flaps. The Issue is once the car is turned backwards, all the downforce created by the wing becomes lift as it's now pushing through the air in front. This lift is more than the roof flaps can overcome.

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

I hear ya, but I also hear engineers that say it's not that simple. Thanks for the input though.

Josh (Wisconsin)

Do you think Keselowski takes a shot back at Corporate Carl during these next three races while he's on probation?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Not really, but I also don't expect him to give much room. Interesting theory here, though. He knows Carl can't fight back.

Ron (OH)

Honda's not interested in NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Only for lawnmower races.

ryan (chicago)

If you could stage a rivalry between two NASCAR drivers, who would it be and why?

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

Last question for the day because my wife has a long honeydo list and I have to fight city hall. I'd pick Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Think of it. The car owner and driver, good friends, actually contending drivers, going at it. The fans would go wild. Kelly and Regis would be all over it. Oprah too. Now it's off to my chores. Thanks for all the great questions and sorry for the short power outage. If you have any more quetions please send them to my Twitter address, DNewtonespn, and I'll get to them between sweeping and mopping.