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June 24, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Good to be back after a week of cross-country travel. Lots to talk about, from Jeff Gordon ticking Martin Truex Jr. and others to Bobby Labonte leaving the 71 to the unbelievable Wimbledon match. Yeah, that was exciting as well. Have at it.

Drew (Bloomington, IN)

Which of the upcoming races do you consider Jeff Gordon's best chances at a win?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Honestly, Gordon is good everywhere. It could be at Daytona in two weeks or Chicago the next week or Indianapolis after that. As long as Truex and company aren't taking him out, that is.

Drew (Bloomington, IN)

Would you consider the Brickyard 400 the second-biggest race on the Sprint Cup schedule? I know it's the one I'd want to win other than the Daytona 500.

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Probably so, although it doesn't have the long, historic significance of a win at Darlington. It only gets this attention because it's at Indianapolis. From a pure stock car perspective I'd go with the Lady in Black.

Drew (Bloomington, IN)

It will be interesting to see how the Hendrick lineup shakes up in the next two years. Obviously, Kasey Kahne is going to hop on board no later than 2012 (hopefully 2011), but where will that leave Mark Martin?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Martin will be fine. Hendrick will help set him up with some organization that is capable of doing well. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out though. Hearing lots of things but nothing I can nail down.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Since you Cover NASCAR which Speedway have you been to as a Race Car Driver?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

The same ones you've been to as a journalist.

carl raleigh nc [via mobile]

will bobby labonte be able to finish races now that he s not with trg and where will he go after his 2 race deal with james finch

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

He'll be in good equipment with Robby Gordon and Phoenix Racing. After that there is speculation he could replace Reed Sorenson in the 83 at Red Bull Racing.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which NASCAR Nationwide Series Race do you think that Danica Patrick will finish in the top 10?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

The same one I get a top 10 at.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will win the New England 200 & the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

I'll go with Logano in the Nationwide race and Jeff Burton in the Cup race.

Doug (Maumee, Ohio)

Hey David, What the heck is going on with the Ford drivers? Did they miss the set-up with the new spoilers?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

They've struggled long before the switch to spoilers. The folks at Roush claim they got some bad testing data that threw them off. Teams get off from time to time. RCR went through a couple of spells after Earnhardt's death where it struggled.

Fred (Al) [via mobile]

So is JGR still tryin ta put Justin Allgaier in a fourth car

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Penske says he's going to keep the option on Allgaier for next year. I really am not sure Justin is ready for Cup until he gets one more solid season in Nationwide under him.

Fred (Al) [via mobile]

So wats the latest with Kasey k for next year-and jeff G sponsorship

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Not sure with Kasey, although I hear UPS may be the sponsor for 2012. As for Gordon, all roads point to Mobil One.

Chad (Illinois)

A lot of people complain that the start and park teams hurt the sport. Do you think NASCAR will consider lowering the number of cars to make a full field from the current 43?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

NASCAR has given no indication it'll cut back on the number of entries. As for hurting the sport that is open to argument. Maybe hurts the integrity of the sport, but don't think it impact the quality of racing.

Chad (Illinois)

Do you think Danica will be able to keep the 7 car in the top 30 in owner points in the NW series?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

If she doesn't then she might want to consider staying in Indy Cars. She's in great equipment.

Tracy (CT)

Why do people cry so much about Danica? At least she is racing in the NW series to develop (I could have sworn that is what the series is for), unlike Kyle, Carl, Brad, and Kevin.

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Not sure people cry about Danica as much as she's just the popular target right now because of her popularity. But I agree she is doing it the right way.

Ben K (Minneapolis)

Road America takes Sonoma's June Cup date, Sonoma gets moved to the Chase on Fontana's date, and Fontana's date kicks Watkins Glen off the schedule.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Like it all except kicking Watkins Glen off the schedule. Simply remove California.

Todd (Ga)

How do you think Dale Sr. would have faired if he were racing against today's competators in today's cars?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Interesting question. If he were in his prime I believe he'd still be a threat every week. As we see even today, great talent and great equipment usually results in great finishes.

dz (phx, az)

hey newt. i never knew the 17 has gone through so many crew chiefs? typically switching cc's would be about finding chemistry. but after so many switches is it still about chemistry?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Chemistry is what it's all about. Matt just hasn't found the person he gels with like he and Reiser did.

Mark (Kansas City)

Hi David!Can you please tell me why Mark Martin is struggling every week now? Are they having trouble since the spoiler came back? I thought Mark would be one of the first racers to want the spoiler back.

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

They're off a tad, but he's still in the top 12 so he's not horrible. If you remember JJ is the only Hendrick driver that has scratched Victory Lane this year. What this shows me as much as anything is how tough it is to win today. Martin got on a roll last year and won a few he maybe shouldn't have.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

The 88 team literally unloaded a broken car right off the hauler for Sonoma, waisting a practice session fixing it, is anyone at the 5/88 shop being held accountable? It seems to me these kind of shenanigans would be dealt with swiftly if it were the 24/48 shop. What is going on at the 5/88 shop?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

They knew they had the setup from last year they could turn to, so they were exploring other things to improve. The problem with switching setups last weekend was it took a long time to make the switch and they didn't want to waste practice time doing it. Hey, he finished 11th. It all worked out.

steve (northcarolina)

with scott riggs runs in the 21 care do u riggs getting a shot in nationwide with a good team since hes tested with jgr and then with the runs with rcr...thanks and have a great weekend

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Haven't heard anything definite on Riggs, but will check. Would be good to see him get another chance with a decent team.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Are Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch good teammates? I just can't picture them getting along, I often wonder if JGRs shop is big enough for both of their egos.

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

They are friends and work together as teammates. I can't necessarily say that makes them good teammates after what I've seen the last month.

Chuck (Cleveland)

I know that there are some IRL racers that have made the transition to NASCAR very well (Stewart, Montoya, Allmandigger), but you think that they should what Danica is doing in order to become successful (unlike Francitti and the always struggling Hornish)?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

The problem is the successful IRL drivers who want to make it in Cup don't want to spend several years in a lower series getting up to speed. Montoya has made the jump nicely so I can't say there is one right or wrong way to do it. It takes time either way.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Do you think that Logano will pay Harvick and/or Montoya back this weekend? I think he needs to start putting some of these guys who are bullying him into the turn 3 wall ASAP!

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

I'm more interested to see what Truex Jr. does with Jeff Gordon. Not sure Logano wants to bite off anymore with Harvick and Montoya. He made his point at Pocono.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Do you honestly believe the Mr H is gonna let Kasey Kahne waste a season with Phoenix Racing next year?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

I've said all along I believe Kasey will wind up in the 5 even though Mark Martin says he's not going anywhere. The longer it drags out the more I wonder if that will happen. But I agree unless done just right it will be a waste.

Patrick O'Shea (Lyndon, KY)

Whats the deal with the Fords this year? The 17 is burning through crew chiefs faster than Mears loses a ride. So who's to blame here?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Jack Roush will pay handsomely for the answer. He believes it is linked to bad testing data, but gotta believe it's more.

TG (PA)

So I read that Junior won the race against Shaq. What was Shaq's part of the bargain he has to do?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Push Junior around the track in a pink bikini or something like that. Do we really want to see that?

Jenny (Elizabeth Town)

Have you ever been in a Nascar???

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

As a competitor, no.

RAY GORDON REID ( CONCORD NH 03301)

QUESTION TO DAVID NEWTON AT 2.25PM HI DAVID WHO DO YOU HAVE FOR LOUDON SUNDAY

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Jeff Burton.

Stephen (CA)

Nascar history in the 90s for safety was pretty bad. I remember a series of stories from the Orlando Sentinel in 1994 and more stories in 2000 right before Dale sr. died recommending all the things Nascar has implemented. Both stories recommended the Hans device witch was out in 94, soft walls and energy adsorbent bumbers and doors. The stories from 94 even had a diagram of what the car should have, and it looks pretty close to what we have today minus the wing. So does nascar deserve the credit for really making the sport safer or was it just a knee jerk reaction for killing the biggist star in the sport.?A list of some of the drivers killed before any action was taken.Dale EarnhardtJ.D. McDuffieNeil Bonnet Rodney OrrKenny Irwin Adam pettyTony RoperJohn NemechekClifford Allison

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

The short answer is Earnhardt's death did advance the safety initiative.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC)

Hey David! The timing of Bobby Labonte driving for Robby Gordon is puzzling to me. Robby gets a great finish at Sonoma, is solidly in the Top-35 in points, and he steps aside for Bobby Labonte, who can use the past-champion provisional. Maybe it is time to revisit some of these rules.

Sherrie (NC)

What is wrong with Tony Stewart??? He seems miserable. Even when he comes in the top 5 or 10 he still seems mad.

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Tony doesn't like to lose in case you haven't noticed.

Mel (Michigan)

Why is Ganassi lacking so much consistancy? They always have a lot of speed, but the 1 and 42 either finish 5th or 35th.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Some of it is bad luck, being caught up in other people's mess. It happens, but you're right they have had a lot of speed.

Rick (Philly)

David - Thanks for the blog on Labonte. He has earned the respect of everyone on and off the track and this is just the latest example. Forward bite was critical at Sonoma and the 48 car had it. I read that it is also essential at Loudon. Knaus mentioned they brought new product to Sonoma, but it was an older car. By product does he mean setup and will this translate to the New Hampshire track for the 48?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

He doe mean setup. If you look at what the Gibbs group has done it's been with last year's cars for the most part but, as Hamlin said last week, the right setup.

David (Newton, IA)

Should NASCAR take a cue from tennis? The race isn't over unless the margin of victory is less than 1 second, unless every car has crashed except for one.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Thought that was what they were doing with the green-white-checkered finishes. Glad they limited to 3. Can you imagine if it was like the Wimbledon tiebreak and they went 70 g-w-c?

TG (PA)

Missed your chat last week. Hope you had a good vacation. What did you bring back for Ernie?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

The trip was wonderful. I recommend anybody wanting to see the country do it by car. Just take off and explore. Ernie would have loved it, but over 2000 miles with Ernie might have been a bit much. My mom spoiled him to death. The dog had more toys when I returned than I did as a kid.

justin (durham nc)

do u see riggs in nwide or cup next year and with a decent ride giving his good runs lately

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

He could do better than a lot of drivers out there now in my humble opinion. Will he get the opportunity is anothers story.

Jeremy (Philadelphia)

Great article on Labonte, it's great to see that a champion like himself isn't satisfied with starting and parking.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Thanks. My thoughts exactly.

Tom (Maine)

I don't understand the 17 crew chief switch. He's some 150 points inside the chase and has run consistently all year...what gives?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

It's like a marriage. Things may seem OK on the outside but behind closed doors they're not.

kevin (new jersey)

dave i think the only reason bobby left the 83 was because he knew the 83 ride would be open

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

You mean the 71....and I can tell you he had conversations with the folks at Red Bull, but not to the point he left guaranteed a job.

Carter (Providence)

I have a challenge for you David. Find me one other person other than Bruton Smith that wants to see two races at Vegas.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

You'd lose that one Carter. Afraid many fans, and yes even media, that would like to see a second race in Vegas just because of the destination. If you're not going to have great racing you better have a place fans love.

4xLeft (Low Groove)

What do you think the realistic odds of the 88 making the chase are? How about winning a race this year? Multiple races?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

For Junior to be this close after what he's gone through the past month or two has to make his team confident of the odds. I believe he'll make it and win a race somewhere.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

David - Everyone is talking about Truex and Gordon but does Heff really need to worry about Kurt Bush? Kurt went almost the whJle way and finished in the 30's when JG got into him and cut his tire.

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Like I said, Jeff has more than one driver to worry about this weekend. You make good points though.

Eric (Ohio)

How is it that Matt Kenseth can change crew chiefs (this being his 3rd crew chief this year) and not catch the flack Jr cathes for changing 1 crew chief in 3 years..

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Because he's not NASCAR's most popular driver and under intense fan scrutiny.

David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr, Elliot Sadler, Kurt

So jeff gordon ruined all of our days and said after the race people were racing him to hard yet he finished 5th? that doesnt seem fair?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Too funny.

Joe Mc (Bartlett, Illinois)

Hey David, I was wondering if Kasey Kahne still has a shot at making the Sprint Cup Chase following back to back top 5s?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

He's got a long road to get there, but the way this season has done I wouldn't rule out anything.

kevin (new jersey)

Why did jimmie johnson have to be behind ambrose when he stalled? the first thing i thought when that happened was now im going to have to listen to people say nascar fixed the race for johnson

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

People forget Jimmie dominated the first half of the race. He was able to check out almost every time he started in front. At least the race was one by one of the two drivers that deserved it.

Doug (Maumee, Ohio)

Hey David, isnt it about that time that Tony Stewart gets on a roll?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

I'm sure he think so.

Donnie (Indy)

Would it be fair to consider JPM the favorite for the 400 considering his performance last year?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

I wouldn't go that far. I'd still say JJ is the favorite.

Eric (Harrisonburg)

Enjoyed the article today. Did they used to put drivers on probation back in the day? I wonder whether you might see consistent more aggressive driving if driver didn't get shut down for a few weeks after a spin out. For example if Carl and Brad weren't put on probation don't you think intimidation might have had a chance to manifest its self?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Thanks, but from what the drivers say the reason nobody is intimidated today is the cars are so equal and so are the drivers.

Brian (Richmond, Ky.)

So, was Bobby Labonte leaving the 71 a case of his realizing he was still too good to be start-and-parking, or was there more to the story?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

In his mind I'd say that is exactly it as far as I've learned.

Todd (Ga)

Who is going to crew cheif Jr in the 3 car at daytona?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Will have to check on that one. Want to see Eury Jr?

Brian (Richmond, Ky.)

Robin Miller says Jimmie and Kasey have told Randy Bernard they're in for the Indy 500-Coke 600 double. Think that's a legit statement?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Only if the time of one of the races is moved to allow it to happen without the drivers being penalized on the Cup side.

Ryan (Ventura CA)

Heard anything about Smoke's sponsor search.? Mobil one With Newman again?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Hearing Mobile One with Gordon. Hearing Smoke folks are talking to several sponsors, including Citi Financial and Stanley which are tied to other teams.

Adam (SC)

David,Do you expect Kahne in a Chevy or do you think he could he drive something else.

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Chevy.

Donnie (Indy)

Who would get your votes for the Hall of Fame's second class?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Davis Pearson, Raymond Parks, Dale Inman, Cale Yarborough and Lee Petty. Yours?

Tracy (CT)

Bruton is bonkers if he takes a date away from Louden. It sells out. Take one from ATL. It's a snooze fest and never sells out!!!

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

You just realized he is bonkers? He's just playing games. Don't pay it much attention.

John (CA)

Where do you think Sadler drives next year? For Jr. in nationwide?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Know this sounds crazy, but RPM needs to hang onto him. That company is in trouble. Could be down to two cars. Could be down to none if some of what I'm hearing is true.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

This what I think will happen for Danica in the next couple of year. 1. Danica does indycar ovals only in 2011, 2. Danica does 25+ Nationwide Series races nex year, 3 Danica leaves indycar at the end of 2011 season, 4. Danica does another season with JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series in 2012 full time, 5. Danica will go to Sprint Cup Series in 2013 full time

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Here's what I think. Danica will be in Cup in 2012 at JR Motorsports after it expands or Stewart-Haas Racing.

Marion (SC)

Hey Dave.What are the real possible options for Kahne you are hearing about?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

The 5, Stewart-Haas Racing or another team with Hendrick support. Hearing SHR isn't on the A or B plan. Hendrick says he has lots more options than he first expected. We'll see, but I believe he already knows the outcome of this one. Ultimately I see Kahne in the 5 with UPS as a sponsor, albeit that could be 2012.

Martin Truex (New Jersey)

Being that I'm not a factor from week to week, not to mention the chase, do you really feel it is necessary for me to get revenge on Gordon? I mean, I just feel fortunate to even have a ride in the Cup Series.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Yes I feel it's necessary. Show you're a man. Stand up and fight.

Chad (GA)

What is the deal with the Daytona race being Broadcast in 3D

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

So the big wrecks will jump out at you?

4xLeft (Low Groove)

Any word on possible testing scenarios for 2011 and beyond after the "Town Hall Meeting"?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

I expect you'll see limited testing, but nothing like what it was.

Bill (Winchester, VA)

What's up Newton, glad to be a part of your chat this afternoon! Who ya got this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Glad you're here. I've got Jeff Burton. You?

Brian (Woodbridge, VA)

Who wins a race first this season, the 88 or 5, and where do you see the win coming at

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Mark Martin at Pocono. Heck, I don't know. Do you?

lucas (dover,delware)

Any updates on who/what sponsors my man Harvick next season?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Hearing Budweiser deal in final stages.

Stephen (Kansas)

Hey David your the best of all the chatters on ESPN, is there any chance Bill Elliott pulls a Mark Martin and comes back for a full season? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Why thanks. Just here to serve. As for Elliott I can't see that. He's enjoying the part-time role and is involved with his son's racing future. Had Martin's son not given up racing Mark likely wouldn't be driving fulltime.

ryan mcgee (espn studios)

so newt help me here, im trying to figure out who sponsors the 29 next year help me please

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

See previous answer. Then go drink a Budweiser.

Stephen (Ca)

Thanks for answering my question. Do you think nascar is playing with fire with have at boys mentality? Where do you think safety would be at now if dale sr. was never killed?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

As for playing with fire, they have opened the doors and it'll be interesting to see how far drivers push it before being slapped on the wrist. Still think many safety devices would have been implemented without Dale Sr.'s death, but that did speed things up.

Mark (OH)

Does being broadcast in 3D mean we will have a better chance of seeing "debris" when a caution is called by Nascar?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Had to post this because it's the funniest comment I've seen today.

RacingDmp (Charlotte)

Anty truth to the statement PEPSI has sole rights to HMS and Budweiser is not an option?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Nope. Pepsi had exclusive rights to several HMS cars but not all of them. Rick Hendrick told me that himself.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Having said that, Budweiser appears headed for Harvick.

Jolt (KC)

Do you feel that Martin Truex Jr. will ever totally live up to the potential that he showed for Chance 2 while running in the Busch Series? I thought that he would be the next big thing but he seems to be settling into a Jamie Mac type of driver. :(

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

He did make the Chase one year and is close this year. Whether he truly makes it to championship level I can't say. So much depends on so many different things, from team chemistry to management.

4xLeft (Low Groove)

With a new baby, why would JJ want to take the risk of running an Indy car that he isn't familiar with and isn't exactly the safest car for inexperienced drivers. I get that he's a racer and it's Indy, but it seems a little foolish to me.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Having a new baby on the way has nothing to do with it. I'll believe this one when it happens.

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

That's it for me today. Thanks for all the questions. If I missed you and you are dying for my input ask me on Twitter at DNewtonespn and I'll try to get to it. Later.