Good afternoon, all. Funeral services are being held this afternoon for Les Richter, one of the great characters and can-do men of NASCAR -- after a career as an all-pro linebacker with the Los Angeles Rams.Richter brought Riverside to life as a major NASCAR venue and then did the heavy lifting in getting civic approval and construction of California Speedway.A moment of silence, please, for the big, nice man we all called "Coach."
What is your take on the Casey Mears/Red Bull situation? He finished better than his "teammate" in his first two races subbing for Vickers.
I think Casey shouldn't have roughed up Scott Speed last week.
Which road course ringer has the best chance of winning this weekend?
I don't think ringers have a chance of winning. I think they have a chance of creating publicity and finishing fairly well. None of the ringers will win. Unless you consider Ambros and Montoya "semi-ringers" in that they run the full schedule but are road course maestros.
Going to post a couple of Kasey K questions here and then answer all at once.
How come JGR didnt get Kasey k
Do you think the whole where is Kahne going to go is effecting Mark Martin and the 5 team and where do you think Kahne will end up in 2011?
Best I understand the situation from the underground, Rick Hendrick got his blood up to grab Kahne by offering a little firmer deal than JGR. But seems Rick didn't look before leaping. So now, even though James Finch is being stand offish about it, look for Finch -- everybody's favorite owner, right up there with Felix Sabates -- to slowly but surely put together a full season for Kahne, with lots of support from HMS.
hey there ed. not just the 47 but what happened to the rest of mwr?
Here's what I'm hearing: Remember when Hamlin said Toyota was down on horsepower and Lee White refuted him? Well, MWR and the rest of the Toyota teams, including their pals a JTG Daugherty, remain 30-35 hp down. Hamlin made enough noise that JGR went to work -- and they get their engines shipped to them in different pieces than the rest, so they can work on their own. JGR has Toyota horsepower, the rest claim they're hurting.
Since NASCAR seems to be reversing the non-safety changes made in switching to the COT (the wing, the splitter), how long until we ditch the common template in favor of silhouette bodies like the 80s and 90s, only over the safer COT chassis?
I think you're right that a series of rethinking and recanting is going on. True silhouettes, though -- which went away when Ford fielded a non-Taurus Taurus about '97 -- may be a long way off in this regression.
hi ed, do you think denny hamlin will beat richard petty and jeff gordon's wins in a season mark? its 13 but seeing as how were not even halfway through the season and hamlin has 5 of the last 10, that's looking good
I think he's got a decent shot, but in order for me to consider him a legit candidate for 13-plus, he'd have to win Daytona in July -- that is, show plate-race capability there, and for Dega in the fall.
Had a tech glitch there. Hamlin might have a shot at 13 plus, but I'd like to see him win Daytona in July, and show some plate strength, before calling him a legit contender for the record.
The Drivers have it too good. Do they really deserve Multi Million Dollar contracts for working 3 days a week 9 months a year?
Well, they work a lot harder than that for the sponsors for three or even four more days a week. And it's more like 11 1/2 months a year, all appearances considered. But, it's a matter of what the market will bear as to salaries.
Do you watch World Championship soccer?
Do you think Reed Sorensen will do any better than Mears in the 83?
Ed, Do you expect to see see Dale Jr. near the front this weekend, with a good car can he run up front?
Don't think his Michigan run will translate to a road course.
Who reaches 5 championships first: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, or Denny Hamlin?
Well, since Hamlin has four to go to tie the others, I'll say . . . Gordon.
A friend of mine says Dale Earnhardt was all Chevrolet after switching to RCR in the early 80s. I seem to recall him him running Busch series races in Pontiacs up to the 90's? Any idea who is correct?
Don't think it was all the way to the '90s -- although for a lot of years he had his own Busch team independent from RCR.
Hey, Ed. How much should we pay attention to the speed charts this weekend? I would think the average times would mean more than the fastest lap. The average times would show consistency, right? Or are all lap times pointless to look at during Infinion practice? Thanks.
I never pay attention to speed charts on a road course, except to report the pole speed. Time is the main indicator (as it is, by the way, within the teams even on ovals -- they never talk in mph). Also, you're talking six of one, half a dozen of the other. Whoever has the fastest time is also going to have the fastest speed -- unless you're talking about trap speeds on straightaways, etc.
Is the 83's lack of success lately due to change in drivers or are they falling off equipment-wise?
As I mentioned earlier, all Toyota teams except JGR seem to be way down on horsepower.
Do you see Jeff Gordon getting a win soon, with the road course this weekend and Daytona coming up in a few weeks? Both I see as strong chances for a victory..
woops, y'all can see I'm not going by names but questions. Didn't mean to overload with Cody. But I'll answer this one more -- both races are crapshoots in their way, so yes, he's got good shots.
Ed, Guys like Eliot Sadler and David Regan seem to be in trouble. Will we see them with a good team next year?
Roush seems pretty supportive of Ragan. I wonder about Sadler's situation, though.
Will Junior make the chase? He has Daytona coming up, maybe a win there could help?
Daytona would help him in the points . . .but to make the Chase, he HAS to follow up with decent runs, such as Michigan last Sunday, on the intermediate tracks.
Hi Ed, what do you think of the phantom debris cautions? And is it your son that's a big Denny fan? If so, I'm sure he's happy. I am too. GO DENNY GO!!!!!
First part -- they're something I've just learned to live with. Second part, my son goes in phases on NASCAR and is currently in a no-watch phase, as he enters law school.
If Earnhardt continues to struggle through the 2011 season, do you see any chance that he parts ways with Hendrick?
Not as long as the big sponsorship bucks continue. And they will continue as long as there's mass interest in Junior, win or not.
We disagree that Denny will win 13 or more races. Kyle will win the rest of them all year long!
Oh, please. Every time I try to defend Kyle Nation, y'all come up with radical stuff.
Do you regret writing "Attitude for Sale" about Dale Sr.? While you were writing it, did you think that piece would strain your relationship with him as much as it did?
I do not regret writing it. It was and is the truth. BTW, I'm told he carried a laminated copy of that story in his briefcase very late into his life. Don't know why. I figured it wouldn't help the relationship, but was surprised it upset him as MUCH as it did.
Any thoughts about the Budweiser sponsorship landing on Kevin Harvick's ride next year?
Would be a real good fit, I think, both driver and team.
earlier this week McGee said "even if it was phantom caution, i am ok witht it because it saved the day" about the last caution at MI. Do you agree with that? do you feel drivers feel that stuff like that made to make a good finish for the fans is ok because they need the fans? I think it further cheats real racing
I do not agree with Ryan at all. Even Hamlin said it was OK for the sake of the fans. But it's insulting the intelligence of the fans, if you ask me.
Is Kevin Harvick really a title contender? I know he is leading the points, but I just don't see him beating Kyle, Kurt, Denny, Jimmie or Jeff.
He doesn't have to beat K, K, D, J or J. He just has to run consistently better. Then in the Chase, he'll win some. Count on it.
Is the Road America Nationwide race any sort of pretense to adding another road course to the Cup Schedule? It needs more.
I agree with you. But doubt R.A. is the place. Think they're just dabbling with the Chicago market in another way.
Mr. Newton said little dales 2 Busch Championships and his 18 cup wins will get him into the Hall of Fame. We believe those two championships shouldn't get him in because the talent was not that tough back then. Today you have great Champions like Kyle and Carl in the series. What are your thoughts?
Well, he had some pretty good contemporaries such as Matt Kenseth back then. Another one was Casey Atwood, who didn't make it in Cup for apparent personal reasons.
Is there a rehab program that can help me with my constant obsession with Dale Jr?
Don't know, but if someone invents one they'll make a bundle.
hi Ed, i was wondering if you think matt kenseth will win a race this season and if so where do you think he might get that win.
Probably. Texas in the fall is as good a place as any.
hi ed, when jeff gordon's and jimmie johnson's careers are over, who has more wins and more chmpionships?
The finish of this year, and then next season, will tell us. If JJ skids, Gordon could end up with the best totals after all.
How far off is Roush? Do you think the new engines will make a difference, or is it deeper than that?
The new engines have come along slowly. Their biggest problem seems to be their computer-driven simulators. It's no longer a matter of who has the best crew chief to straighten out chassis and aero, but who has the best seven-post shaker.
Who's the next superstar to come out of nowhere like JJ did?
No way of knowing. JJ was so deep in nowhere that you couldn't spot him on the horizon. Nobody but Jeff Gordon did, at a test at Darlington, and the rest is history. If Gordon spots another one I'll let you know.
How often do you think Jack Roush kicks himself for not taking on Evernham to get Gordon?
Jack's not the type to look over his shoulder. Especially that far. Even when the Jeff/Ray combo was rockin', I doubt Jack's pride let him second guess himself.
Ed, will Dale Jr. get a win soon?
Probably not, frankly. But maybe, at, say, Daytona.
Will people ever stop asking the same Jr questions every week?
Do you eventually see Earnhardt Ganassi Racing splitting back up into seperate halves or is this a marriage built to last? Also, what are Jamie Mac's chances of making the Chase?
I can see Chip buying out Teresa entirely, but that's about the only change. If Jamie puts a string of those strong runs together, he could contend.
Do you think JG will say anything if he sees another talent considering the direction his career went after JJ showed up?
Probably more likely to than ever, considering he's edging closer and closer to a major management role with HMS.
do you think mark martin will retire after his contract is up with hendrick or will he find a new team?
I'm beginning to think Mark is one of those guys who's just not ever going to bring himself to quit entirely . . .until he runs out of options, and that's years down the road.
Here it is Ed..Too all Jr. fans. There's nothing wrong with the cars, with the team, with the crew chief, or the pit crew....the problem is between his ears! He's lost the edge, just like cougar in top gun. He will forever be an ok driver, but never a championship one...ever!! That's life jr fans, good day.
Agree as to where the problem lies. Don't necessarily agree that it's permanent.
Why are Roush and JR Motorsports searching for talents so bad. Why don't they have solid development programs or just spot a talent and give him a chance. Now they just rolate without any idea behind it.
Development programs are very expensive, and usually the first cuts made in a bad economy.
If "Sideways" Sam Hornish continues to struggle keeping his car straight, should we expect to see Justin Allgaier in the 77 car next season?
I think that's entirely possible, and maybe Hornish back to IndyCar.
Hey Ed! Love all your articles, my favorite NASCAR ones to read. Will we see an openly gay NASCAR driver for us in the LGBT to look up to in the near future?
That might not be as far into the future as some might think -- although all these guys stonewall their private lives, regardless, for the sake of sponsorships.
Ah...someone said "IndyCar" - thanks for the segway: Did Danica-mania die down (a little) or will it get ramped up to Defcon 5 here pretty soon?
Mr. Hinton, I will be observing the drivers meeting on Sunday. Any tips?
Take a cup of coffee. Most of the meeting will be a snoozer.
What's up Ed, why has it taken so long for Walmart to finally enter the sport? They have the dollars and most of their customers are no doubt NASCAR fans. Any chance Wally sponsors Gibbs fourth team if he ever starts one?
I think they're probably going for the overall merchandising thing, considering the failure of Motorsports Authentics. But Walmart has a history of demanding the moon, and so does NASCAR, so I think they're pretty scared of each other right now.
Who is the worst driver for the media to interview, either by being a massive jerk or just by being the world's most boring interview?
Up until about 10 days ago I'd have said Joey Logano, for just being too golly gee politically correct. But that all blew up at Pocono, huh?
Thanks, Ed, but I sort of lost you on your answer regarding speed charts. I meant more like how we all know practice times mean nothing at restrictor plate tracks in race trim, but they probably do on intermediate and short tracks. How much do they (the times) mean on road courses? Sorry for my confusion.
Oh, you mean practice times? Well, I don't think you'll see a lot of concealment there. They need to get in the rhythms of the road course, so they need to show their true times. What you see in practice should be what you get in the race.
When you come on Mr. Hinton, the naysayers and extreme rudeness follows regarding Dale Jr. but you are no exception. Dale Sr. took offense to your article, have you ever considered that Dale Jr. takes offense to your criticism or do you care? You aren't rude to the other drivers.
Junior fans always think I'm mean to him; Junior haters always think I suck up to him. It's all in the eye of the beholder. I just try to tell the truth as best I see it, and then the chips have to fall where they may. Senior was a lot more ornery than Junior. I've never had a cross word with Junior that I can recall.
Any insigths into potential changes NASCAR is considering?
If you mean to the Chase, I hope they don't add more drivers. It's too easy to make the field already. If you mean the changes to the front bumper, I'm glad they're beginning to phase out the splitter and show more brand identity.
Why do the same drivers do the same start and park crap every year? Shouldnt they just move on?
That only happens in a bad economy. And even then it's NASCAR's fault. They should cut the fields to 36, maybe even 30, which would be plenty for a good race. When times are flush, believe me, the backmarkers will be racing again.
what do think of junior driving his dad's car wrangler at daytona?
Well, frankly, I think it's a promotion, and I don't like commercial promotions that pose as honor and nostalgia.
Are there any chances Martinsville loses one of its Cup Dates to either Kentucky or Vegas? That would be an absolute crime.
Don't think that will happen. But it would be a crime.
Ed, I know you've answered some Kahne questions but I'm late to the party....Don't you think that Kasey going to Phoenix Racing is a demotion of some sort. I wrote this season off back in March when he announced that he'd be joining HMS in 2012, but now 2 wash seasons just to get into the 5?
It's a function of Rick not looking before leaping -- and of Kasey not looking before leaping. But if you ask me, getting to drive for James Finch is the most fun a driver-in-waiting could possibly have. So, no, it's not a demotion.
I figure if it is between Start and Parkers or half a dozen slow cars screwing things up, I'll take the Start and Parkers.
Frankly, I'll take smaller fields, period. 32 cars max if you ask me.
When did race cars start to have radios in them?
Hmmm . . .probably late '60s, early '70s. They had them when I came in in '74.
do you think denny hamlin was seeing in the crystal ball when he told johnson last year " im coming after you" at the nascar awards show...since he is doing so well as of late?
I think Denny has believed strongly in his own ability all along. But yes, last off season, he had plenty of reason to believe in his support package.
Going off of Taylor's comment, isn't this James Finch deal (demotion or no demotion) making a total mockery of the 4 team rule in every way possible? What's NASCAR's response expected to be?
Finch wouldn't make it five de facto Hendrick teams. He'd make it seven, counting the two SHR cars.
Well, folks, gotta go. Thanks to everyone for stopping by.