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July 15, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ken (VA)

I'm headed to Bristol for the first time on August 21st, anything special I need to do or check out?

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

Typical duh me, I hit "post" rather than "queue" on this question and therefore put the cart before the horse.So let me welcome everyone, thank you for stopping by, and go ahead with the answer to this one.Ken, all you've really gotta do is show up and the whole Bristol mood will engulf you. You might check out the hauler parade a couple nights before the race, and if you're staying in Johnson City the Peerless Restaurant is a must . . . but basically, just drift in and let Bristol consume you. It will.

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

We're going to do something a little different here -- start off with some IndyCar discussion. We've got several comments.

Cale (Boston)

While I'm probably more optimistic about the IndyCar strategy than you are, I do think your concerns are valid. But, if it works out the way they say they expect, it could be a boon to the sport. My only real reservation is whether the safety cell shown can really prompt varied aero designs. The shown design of the radiator ductwork and underwing would to me seem to limit the aero packages too much. Is this car still going to be over-influenced by Dallara?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

That's what bothers me too -- that we'll have to wait and see about the aero packages, but there doesn't appear to be anything like the freedom they were hinting at when they were displaying all the car designs.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

Did the IRL screw up or what? With the same chassis who is going to want to 'develop' a body just to go with it? Whoever is making the bodies now will just keep on making them and there will be no change at all. BORING! They are really going to fall behind NASCAR now.

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Exactly. I'm concerned that this is a very complicated, dancing around version of sticking with a spec series, which clearly won't work.

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

BTW, the posts I have here on IndyCar are from people who largely agree with me, or at least politely disagree. Here and now, I'm inviting all of you who post those vicious, nasty, vulgar things on the Conversation to chime right in, and say your piece right up front while I can answer you directly.

Chris (Watkins Glen)

Ed, the IRL is crazy. You don't pick a spec car when it just sucked the life out of the series and the Indy 500. Especially if it's the cause of it's car. Randy's done a good job, bit the "ICONIC" commitee screwed up big time. I wanted to see deltawing choosen because it's innovative, will get people to watch and look, and is a new design. To top it off all of the owners ( ganassi, penske, Andretti) [power owners] wanted the deltawing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

You nailed it, Chris. Just wish some of those die-hards in the Midwest who won't acknowledge the war is over and the damage is done could see the truth as well as IndyCar fans in the East and West can. Again, Hinton detractors, now's your chance.

Dan (NJ)

Hypothetically, if drivers had to turn right, would different drivers dominate the sport if they made the change today? (my friends and I have argued this for years)

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

You mean if they had to road race? Yes, I think you'd see several come to the fore, and we all know who they are: Stewart, Kahne, Gordon, now Johnson . . . and probably, over time, Scott Speed would be there. If you just mean turning right on ovals, I saw that happen in Australia once. And I'd say once the right-hand turns are adjusted to, the same oval drivers would prevail. But yes, road racing would change the pecking order some.

JD (Boston)

I would have felt about teh Indy plan better if Dallara already had a approved skin to show and market.

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

Another valid observation. Why are we getting all the SMART people from IndyCar racing today, instead of all the nasty ones?

Ken (VA)

Hypothetically, if you could take any driver and any crew chief, what 2 people would you bring together to win? Any certain car?

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

No hypothetical needed. I'd pair Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus in the 48. Even hypothetically, you couldn't get a better pair. As for shuffling them around, Chad once told me he could never work with Jeff Gordon, and Jeff said the same about Chad.

Ken (VA)

What are your predictions on where Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin will end up next season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Mark keeps insisting he'll be in the 5 car. With Kelley Earnhardt saying JR motorsports won't go cup next year, and Tony Stewart saying he won't add a third car, I see only one way out: Hendrick backs James Finch and the 09 car for Kasey. They've both denied talking about it, but this game of musical chairs is now so tight that the 09 is all I can see -- unless they make a nasty public display of pushing Mark out. Bottom line, I think Rick Hendrick looked before he leapt this time, too big a hurry to sign Kasey, and now is in a jam.

Ken (VA)

Does Stewart-Haas racing have anyone lined up to take over for Old Spice at the end of the season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Not the last I heard. Tony claims he has some really good prospects, but hasn't named them that I've heard.

Ken (VA)

Predictions for Indy in two weeks? Can Smoke and Juan Pablo get back to the top?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

JPM yes. Smoke I wonder about. I think JG could have a big rebound . . .and JJ's always gotta be counted at Indy.

Tracy (CT)

What do you make of Arics shot to drive the 88 JRM car? If he does well do you see him getting the ride next season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

They seem to have been all over the place with the JR rides this year. What I've seen from Aric in Trucks makes me think he could wow JR. But as erratic as they've been, who knows?

Zack (Tennessee)

Do you think that carl edwards will win one or more races this season? If so how many races?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

My best bet would be he wins a fuel mileage race, say, Michigan in August.

YAR8pack (Candor)

Good day, Mr Hinton. Not sure if you ever peruse the boards of David Newton articles, but, his latest article about possible changes has provoked some good blogging. An overwhelming majority of posters want no changes made, and, if any change is to be made, a lot of folks want the old Latford system back, myself included. Other than not changing anything, do you think there is any "good" ending to Chase changes? Or should we longtime fans just pack up our bags and leave? Take care.

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

I'm not for the old Latford system, and, may he rest in peace, I even argued with Bob about his system before the Chase came out. If they let me decide, I would cut it to five races max, cut the field to 10 drivers, have a knockout elimination system . . . and reset the points for the final race. Why? If a wild card team makes it to the super bowl, it doesn't get handicapped a bunch of points. The score is 0-0 when the game starts. Anything short of all that, I'd leave the chase the way it is. And NO, DW, if you're out there, I didn't steal your cut it to five races idea. We both started thinking about it at about the same time, and you know it.

Ryan (Ventura CA)

Nascar wants drama and excitement add a figure 8 race!

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

Best idea I've heard in ages! Talk about have at it, boys!

Bobby (Midland Park Nj )

Hi Ed if Nascar wants to change the chase give the chase drivers there own point system for the final ten. How does that sound?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

Absolutely agree with that one, Bobby, whether they leave the rest the same as it is or adopt all my radical proposals. Absolutely, positively, the Chase drivers should have their own point system.

john (michigan)

Ed, with "have at it" in public, has NASCAR hinted or said anything in private about not wrecking a bunch of "innocent" cars if a driver is going to initiate payback? or do drivers realize they may become the one getting payback if they take out one car which then accidentally collects innocent cars?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Innocent bystanders have always been a part of it. Remember that time Robby Gordon, non Chaser, was trying to get at Biffle in New Hampshire and ended up taking out Smoke -- and snuffing Smoke's chances at the championship?

Jolt (KC)

Ed, now that the ice has melted between Jr. and Teresa, do you ever expect to see him driving the 8 again?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

I don't think so. The ice may have melted -- a little -- but the money issues remain. 8, to her, is money. Pay her price and you can have it, and Hendrick refuses to be gouged.

Alan (Columbus, OH)

Hey Ed. Not sure if you watched the ESPY's last night, but how much of a slap in the face was it to the entire sport of NASCAR and every full-time Sprint and Nationwide driver when Danica Patrick was introduced as "NASCAR's own"...ESPN is really going downhill fast, eh?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

I thought that was a tongue in cheek remark.

Drew (Bloomington, IN)

Ed, I read somewhere that the long-term future of the Brickyard 400 is in doubt because of attendance concerns. Is there any truth to that rumor?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

No telling what the George family will do with Tony out of power, but even if the place is half full they make a whole lot of money. NASCAR wants to be there for gravitas. Only way the 400 could go under is if the sisters decide they want the Indy 500 to stand alone again . . .which is a very risky proposition at this point in history.

jesse (iowa)

except nascar, whats your favorite sports and teams???????

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

College football mainly, and just about every SEC team. Who I'm for on any given Saturday depends on who's playing whom. (Disclaimer: my son just graduated from Auburn and I went to Ole Miss.)

JD (Boston)

A whole lot of tatoos will need to be reworked if Jr. did switch back to the 8...

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

Yeah, and it would be a lot harder than JJ's formula for those fans in the 88 move -- just add another 8. This time they'd have to take one off. Ouch!

Jolt (KC)

Are you hearing anything about when the announcement of JG's sponsorship for next season will take place? Or even if there's anyone who's close to committing?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

Last word I got from Hendrick was the old, we'll announce it when it's solid line. My best guess is, there's still a lot of fluidity with regard to what Wal-Mart is going to do -- whole sport, individual cars, or combination.

Jeff (SC)

Would Junior let you touch his beard?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

I wouldn't ask.

ely (state college, pa)

did jeff gordon or chad knaus elaborate on why they couldn't work with each other?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Yep. Chad said Gordon wants to have too much input in the car when there's no way he knows all they know in the pits. Gordon thinks Chad is entirely too dictatorial from the pits, without enough input from the driver. You think Junior and Junior argued back in their day? Just put JG and CN together, turn on your radio scanner, and sit back.

Del (NC)

Do you think Mark Martin would be a good fit at JGR to help start the 4th car and help mentor Logano considering he is not getting much love at HMS with Kahne coming in and resources moved to support the 88?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

Uhhhhhh, not so sure about that. Not so sure Hamlin and Kyle are as self-confident as JJ and JG were about Mark coming in at Hendrick.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

If Danica Patrick races in a couple of Sprint Cup Series races later this year which I doubt What team will she Be with?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

I doubt that too. Seriously. But if she does, it would be some sort of Hendrick satellite deal. Just guessing: how bout an SHR car at Phoenix? But I doubt that seriously, unless she makes some big progress in NW before then.

JESSE (IOWA)

who do think will drive the #19 car next season in 2011?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

I'm still not sure Sadler is totally out of that picture. . .

Richie Mikemond (French Island, Wi.)

Randy Bernard is the right man for the job but the patient never makes a full recovery Your thought?

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

To be hones, I'm still not positive Randy is the absolute right man for the job. I am positive the patient will never recover fully.

Mike (Ohio)

It was just this week the anniversary of Davey Allison's passing. Would things be different in the sport if he hadn't died?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Somewhat. I'm going to make a lot of people mad here, but I doubt Earnhardt would have totaled seven titles. I think Davey would have gotten at least one or two of those, maybe three before it was over.

Juniors Beard (Face)

You can touch me Ed....No need to ask.

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Are you one of those mean Indy car fans in disguise? That's about their level of comment.

John (New Jersey)

why did people give reuitimann a lot of crud for winning a rain shortened race, but nascars little golden boy loganos first and only win has also been that? no one has said joey has to prove himself?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Frankly I just think it was Reuti's guilt feelings more than people giving him static.

Norris (CT)

Do you think Logano has lived up to expectations so far or do you think this is where he probably should be after a couple of years into his cup career?

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

He's about where he should be in realistic terms. But expectations are a different matter. My guess is he hasn't lived up to JGR's or Home Depot's expectations when they signed him.

Ironhead Forever (New York)

Has anyone-NA$CAR or Irrelevant Racing League- ever thought about running two 125 mile/lap races to prevent "mileage races" and count down of viewers drifting away in the middle? By the way..I got to drive a Ferrari 430 last week. Wow! I noticed they had a plague by glove compartment saying Ferrari has won 26 F1 championships. The Scuderia sure lets you know how good they are.

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

Indy car racing tried the "twins" format years ago and it didn't help much. NASCAR has the "duals" or "duels" or however they say it, and if they thought that worked they'd bring it out more often.

Kaleb (New Jersey)

when will we see a first time winner? and who would it be? id say dinger is the favorite but ambrose wud probaly win at the glen but then again anyone can win on a roadcourse or at dega

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

you named 'em. Dinger on an oval, Marcos at the Glen.

Daz (PA)

Are you a Harvick hater? You seem to ignore most of the questions about him. Do you think he has a shot at the championship this year? I think he needs to win 1 or 2 of the 9 remaining races to the chase. But if he can do that and be solid thru the last 10, I think he's got a very legit chance of winning it.

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

Are you a Hinton hater? You seem to ignore the dozens of questions I've answered about Harvick on these chats. I'll say to you what I've said at least 20 times here: YES, I think he is a serious contender for the Chase, but he's got to get his act together on intermediate tracks to close the deal.

Leo (CT)

So do Gordon and Knaus hate eachother or just embrace thier differences in philosophy?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

the latter. Gordon still admits opposing Knaus as crew chief for the 48 when the name was first brought up.

Lenny (Clemson)

Hey Ed Do you dislike Indycar fans? I sense some hostility. What was your thoughts on Chicagoland? I dont know if I can watch that race again next year.

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

I don't dislike Indy car fans. A lot of them dislike me, the intelligent ones who have posted here excepted. Goes back to another time, other publications, the Indy car war and all their messes, etc.

Mean Indy Fans (with torches and pitchforks)

We want Hinton! We want Hinton! We want Hinton!

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Fake Mean Indy Car fans, you're not even close to as vicious and nasty as they are. You gotta do a lot better than that if you want to fool me.

Ken (Va)

What are your thoughts on Danica being refered to as "Nascar's Own, Danica Patrick" last night at the ESPY's? DW was pissed, I was pissed, were you pissed?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Again, I thought it was a tongue in cheek remark.

Rich (TX)

is rick hendrick the steinbrenner of nascar?

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

I wouldn't say that to his face. A lot of us have -- and if you don't think Rick Hendrick can get angry, just compare him with Steinbrenner. He really, really doesn't like it.

Matt Griffin (Lakeland)

Which track do you think, when it comes to the quality of racing, is more deserving of being awarded a Cup date?Iowa, Kentucky, Montreal, Kansas(2nd date), or Las Vegas(2nd)?

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Iowa, hands down. They need a lot more tracks like that. As for Montreal, I've said for 20 years that Canadian fans deserve a Cup race of their own.

EJ (Ohio)

i have a feeling this bristol race will be the best race of the year so far ( not named dega or daytona) based on the way this year has gone, beatin and banging, good racing and good ol' green white checkers, do u agree?

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

Well, there is that issue of Bristol having been widened, so as to reduce the rubbing. We'll just have to see.

John (CA)

Ed, what do you think of the reunited Sadler and Parrott combo?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

I think Todd is a great troubleshooter, IF he listens to his driver. Todd can be one of those "no, let me show you the setup you need" guys, and if he goes that route, they may not make much progress.

ely (state college, pa)

during yesterday's randy bernard chat someone asked him about a potential series name change. his response was that he hopes to have that in place by jan 1. do you have any additional info on this? i think dumping the irl/indycar name would be a great idea.

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

I understand they're trying to transition out of the Indy Racing League name -- understandable, with all the bad connotations -- but don't know that they're going away from IndyCar. If they did, it would be because there's no competitor out there to usurp the term anymore. Izod is a huge player in current planning, so guess it could end up just as the Izod Series.

Howes (VA)

What do you think of the new "people's team" - America's Racing Team (or ART) in which people can put money into and have a say in? Is it a scam?

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

I've seen that tried for 30 years in one variation or another, and it has never worked.

Tyler (PA)

Hi Ed. Have you seen ESPN's huge NASCAR promo for the upcoming races? The cars still have the splitter on them. Leave it to the Worldwide Leader in Sports to ruin their coverage before it even started.

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

Haven't seen those, but will check them out. The only thing I could guess would be that they're trying to use our own footage from last year, and not stuff borrowed from the other networks.

Drew (Philly)

How is Hendrick the Steinbrenner of Nascar? He took a chance on two kids named Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson and they panned out. Took on a washed up mark Martin and Dale jr. that just wanted to win a championship or a least get equipment that he could try to do it in.

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Lot longer story than that, Drew. Longer than can be explained here.

Adam (CT)

Is Bruton serious about taking a date from Loudon, or is he just trying to put pressure on the town to meet his price for the security for the races...

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

I'd say the latter. But with Bruton you never know. Thing is, Atlanta is the place he should take a race from. New Hampshire is a solid place.

Ed (Fort Worth)

The problem, Ed, as I mentioned this week to McGee, is that you call it like you see it and don't care what others think. Which is kind of nice actually, considering I thought that's what journalism and reporting was supposed to be about.

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Thank you.

Howes (VA)

So then how do fans get involved with donating money or helping out with an up and coming team? Putting a little money in and seeing development made in a team? Basically investing in a team?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

Like I've said, I've never seen a "fan owned" team work. It just doesn't. Basically, if you want to go racing and make a small fortune, you start with a big fortune. Sorry, but $5 and $10 and $20 here and there have been, from what I've seen, money down a hole -- although sometimes they let you sign the car.

Todd (Ga)

Do you think that Lance McGrew believes in Dale Jr as a driver and vise versa do you think that JR believes in McGrew as a CC?

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Excellent question, and we'll never know -- regardless of how much lip service they pay each other.

dz (phx, az)

how did pir ever pull off having 2 races? i'm for having 2 races in az. but it's hard to imagine because some tracks in the east & southeast only have 1 race a year.

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

It has to do with the Frances wanting to lock in the southwestern market, BEFORE they acquired California but AFTER Bruton acquired Vegas.

Matt Griffin (Lakeland)

On Las Vegas, the question was posed recently to Steve O'Donnell about the possibility of Vegas becoming the season finale and Homestead moving to the week after the Daytona 500. He said that it wouldnt be a good idea to have consecutive races in the same state and that Homestead has developed an identity as the finale. Do you buy this? Or is it because the NASCAR brass wants the finale at an ISC track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

No, I don't buy it. Just ask all the poor Homestead executives who've struggled mightily to sell tickets down there and ended up losing their jobs because they couldn't perform an impossible task.

Indycar Fan (INdianapolis)

You Smell

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Now that's a little more like it from Hoosierland. But it's usually a lot worse than that.

Justin (NC)

Are you planning to release a tell all book after you're retired and no longer have to worry about having your credentials pulled? I'd buy it!

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

I've already written one wide-open book, in 2001, and I never worry about my credentials being pulled. Either they will or they won't, but I always have to tell the truth as I see it. And, yes, I'll probably write another book or two or three . . .

Rick Mears (Indy)

Is there an official I hate Ed Hinton page?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Now, Fake Rick, you were one of the guys I took up for to make them hate me.

Gordon Smiley (Indy)

Are you mad just because Tony George put you in your place?

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Now THAT's the kind of folks I was talking about. Not just cowardly with an anonymous name, but wicked and blasphemous by hiding behind a dead man's name.

Ed Carpenter (Indy)

What makes the current Indy Car more a spec series? I see this as nothing but as positive and a step towards innovation.

Ed Hinton
  (3:03 PM)

Well, Fake Ed, maybe the "aero kits" will provide some diversity, but looks to me like they're limited. We shall see. For the record, I hope Indy car racing rebounds mightily. I don't think this should be a monolithic (NASCAR) motorsports nation.

Ed Hinton
  (3:04 PM)

With that, we've run into green-white-checkered, time, folks. Gotta go. Field frozen until next time.