Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 18, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Greetings from Miami, and the NASCAR media headquarters hotel. The three contenders have all been in for interviews, etc. I'm back up in my hotel room for this chat, so, boys and girls, let's have at it.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Greetings from Miami, and the NASCAR media headquarters hotel. The three contenders have all been in for interviews, etc. I'm back up in my hotel room for this chat, so, boys and girls, let's have at it.

Ricky (Denton, TX)

Hey Ed, 2004-09, #48 was unbeatable. 2010 has proven that Jimmie and Chad can be beaten. Do you see this being the end of an era with Joe Gibbs Racing stepping up and being the best for the next 5 years?

Ed Hinton
  (3:02 PM)

Not necessarily. And we're not done proving Jimmie and Chad can be beaten over the long haul yet. I think JGR has pulled alongside HMS, but not passed. Both teams have one really, really good branch right now, 48 and 11. Yes, 18 wins races, but they haven't shown enough consistency yet.

sam (UT)

Do you think JJ will get #5 and denny will let the pressure get to him?

Ed Hinton
  (3:02 PM)

I'm about to opine in a column that will post later this evening. But, yes, the body language today tells me JJ is in control of the mind games.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Hi Ed, we saw the interview with Dale Jr where he says that Jimmie and Kyle are the 2 best drivers in NASCAR. Question: would Pearson, Dale Sr. Cale, DW, Rusty or any of those guys ever say that another driver was better than them?

Ed Hinton
  (3:04 PM)

Richard Petty was always quick to acknowledge that David Pearson was better. It didn't come up with the others, but Rusty pretty much acknowledged with body language and general deference that Dale Sr. was better than him.

Emily (NJ)

Ed, a lot of drivers and fans are wanting shorter races. Is the reason why NASCAR won't oblige because of sponsor/commercial money that would be lost?

Ed Hinton
  (3:05 PM)

Jimmie Johnson was just downstairs lobbying for shorter races, but got some blank stares from the NASCAR officials on hand. I think they'll be slow to shorten races. It may take several years. But eventually they'll figure out what F1 did: that two-hour races are about all you can expect from the attention span of the masses.

Richie (Henderson, NV)

With Danica getting lapped 3-4 times every race and all the guys roughing her up, how long before Dale Kelly, Eury jr and Henricks admit that she's an embarassment to Jr motorsports?

Ed Hinton
  (3:06 PM)

She's just had more attention focused on her than many learning-process drivers have had. I remember Dale Jr. was just terrible his first Busch race or so. She's not an embarrassment.

Jimmy (STL)

Hey Ed, with so much attention focused on the Big 3 at Homestead, who's your darkhorse?

Ed Hinton
  (3:06 PM)

Maybe Tony Stewart or Jamie McMurray, either of whom could be a dark horse on a 1.5 mile track.

jason (mississippi)

watching press conf. drivers seem to want shorter seasons. will it stay 36 races or would they consider going to tracks like only once instead of twice?

Ed Hinton
  (3:07 PM)

It'll stay 36 races for a while, just because NASCAR has yet to break out of the greed mode. Drivers will do whatever they're told to do by NASCAR, as far as the schedule.

Dave (NJ)

Which has Juan Pablo Montoya found harder; F1 or Nascar?

Ed Hinton
  (3:08 PM)

He hasn't said, and that's a difficult call. F1 is much harder to learn starting cold, but he was trained from childhood for single-seaters. F1 was a much longer learning process than NASCAR, so I would say F1 was harder.

Jeff (SC)

Not that I condone violence but lets say JJ , KH and DH were to step into the squared circle for a no hold barred cage match. Who wins and why?

Ed Hinton
  (3:10 PM)

Harvick for sure. A sportswriter in SoCal who knows the area he came from once told me the kids around Oildale are carrying pipe in the oilfields by age 12, and by high school they're so tough the football coaches can barely control them.

scott (denton'tx)

why are you so late today usely you do this about around like about 2 o'clock or so what's up with it ha ha ha!!!!!!!

Ed Hinton
  (3:10 PM)

Had a major set of interviews to do today with the three contenders from 1 p.m-2:45. Other than that, I've just been twiddling my thumbs.

Ed Hinton
  (3:10 PM)

Had a major set of interviews to do today with the three contenders from 1 p.m-2:45. Other than that, I've just been twiddling my thumbs.

Mark (Kansas City Mo.)

Ed, a forgotten story that is not being talked about is Hamlin called RCR a bunch of cheaters when Bowyer got penalized after the New Hampshire race. Harvick vowed to get back at Hamlin but nothing was ever done about it. Do you think this is still in the back of Harvick's mind and he could possibly do something to keep Hamlin from winning the championship? Or do you think it's all water under the bridge?

Ed Hinton
  (3:12 PM)

I don't think he called 'em cheaters outright. And I think Harvick took care of his point with that rub during practice. Harvick was just downstairs saying he'll do "whatever I have to do" to win this championship. But I don't think he'd mess with Hamlin just as an aside -- certainly not over that little flap a few weeks ago.

Barb (Ft. Myers, FL)

Hello Mr. Hinton, 2010 has to be a disappointment for Rowdy, Dave, Coach and JD so what changes can they make to insure that #18 challenges for the Sprint Cup in '11?

Ed Hinton
  (3:14 PM)

I don't think they'll change much. Except maybe Rowdy will be a little more careful about roughing up non-contenders who'd come back to haunt him, like Reutimann. If it hadn't been for that incident, and the 18 team pressing ever since, you might see 18 in contention right now.

longtimeracefan (Taylorsville, KY)

Watching the presser online was a treat. Was it me, or was there real tension in the air at the beginning of the session? Hamlin seemed eat up with nerves in the beginning, while JJ and Harvick seemed a little more at ease. Do you think Denny can take this thing on Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (3:14 PM)

It appeared the same way live and in person. My thought is, when Denny gets inside the car, all may be well with him.

tommy (maine)

how surprised were you that vettel and not fernando won the championship. not many saw that one coming!

Ed Hinton
  (3:15 PM)

surprised but not shocked. Red Bull is getting to be a force to be reckoned with in F1, and may soon be in NASCAR as well.

scott (denton'tx)

i know that it is the end of the season but coming in the 2011 daytona 500 and they repave it what kind of race do you thing we will see a much better race then we have in the past or will we just see the same old racing 3and 4 wide all day long.....

Ed Hinton
  (3:17 PM)

New surfaces tend to let cars run better around the bottom than anywhere else. But we'll see how quickly they can run middle and high.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

Hey Ed, it was mentioned in last week's chat about how religious everyone is in the garage. I was wondering which would cause more of an uproar in the garage. An open agnostic driver or an openly gay driver?

Ed Hinton
  (3:18 PM)

I have a friend who is a professor of pop culture at a university. She told me some years ago that she felt an openly gay driver would get less hassle from the fans than an openly agnostic driver. Just her opinion, but she's studied the NASCAR culture pretty well.

PJ (Muncie, IN)

Hi Ed, I sure hope you can fit an honest review of Indycar's new-again multiple engine manfacturers into an article after this weekend and before Daytona. Seems like positive news, but I would like a critical review, which you can deliver. Thanks.

Ed Hinton
  (3:19 PM)

Well, it's certainly evidence that IndyCar is following through on its plans. But the new engine packages remain to be proven. And I'm still unimpressed with this variety of custom aero packages, as opposed to having each manufacturer have its own car.

Butch (MS)

Mr. Hinton, I just wanted to thank you for your weekly insights. I certainly enjoy the in depth knowledge about what is going on currently, the historical perspectives, the humor and your no holds barred journalism. For us fanatics it adds a great deal to the entertainment surrounding NASCAR. Thanks again for a season of your time.

Ed Hinton
  (3:20 PM)

Butch, you aren't in Leland, MS, by any chance, are you? If so, I know who you are and as you know, I admired your father as a driver.

scott (denton'tx)

i was asking one of your buddies this about travis pastrana coming to the nationwide he said that it will be BIG for nascar next year i was wondering will it be like when danica came to nascar for this year or will he just be another driver for the nationwide series.....

Ed Hinton
  (3:21 PM)

He certainly won't be just another driver, but there'll be far less hoopla than for Danica's arrival, if only for the demographics. Danica is followed by women all over the world. Pastrana has a big audience, but a youthful one.

spady Atlanta GA [via mobile]

do u think fans are ready to see a new champ or do u think people are enjoying what JJ is doing?

Ed Hinton
  (3:22 PM)

Oh, they're grumbling and griping that they want to see a new one, but I'll bet the majority would be disappointed if the string were open.

James (NJ)

Didn't NASCAR already accept a gay driver and substance abuser with Tim Richmond?

Ed Hinton
  (3:22 PM)

Richmond contracted AIDS heterosexually according to his doctors and his family. Never any mention of his being gay.

RAY GORDON REID (SWEETWATER FLORIDA 33174)

QUESTION TO ED HINTON AT 3.15 PM HI ED WHO DO YOU HAVE HAVE FOR HOMESTEAD SUNDAY

Ed Hinton
  (3:23 PM)

Now Ray Gordon, you shoulda took up camp at Hialeah, the old home base of the Allison. I got JJ in an outright win.

scott (denton'tx)

at least for once this year we have a point battle on our hands what kind of ratings do you see when the race is on espn this weekand in maimi homestead......

Ed Hinton
  (3:24 PM)

I'm thinking they'll be up, in that all three contenders really have to race for this one.

Matthew (NC)

Do you believe the points champion really matches up to the points champions of the 1980's. I mean how many points titles would Jimmie Johnson have really won. Harvick won have won easily this year don't you believe so.

Ed Hinton
  (3:25 PM)

All of us, drivers included, have said all along there is no comparison between winning a championship the old way, and winning one the new way. But it is what it is.

Bristol (Alaska)

When did NASCAR name Rowdy Busch's favorite track after me?

Ed Hinton
  (3:25 PM)

cute

scott (denton'tx)

since that chevy is coming to the indy racing league next year you thing that danica patrick will go drive for chevy or do you thing she willstick with the honda engine and that since she drive for jr motorsports and he drive for what is your take out that......

Ed Hinton
  (3:26 PM)

Her contract for next year is with Michael Andretti, so she'll have to drive with the engines he contracts for.

Emily (NJ)

Ed, had NASCAR given a 50 point bonus to the regular season champ...Harv would be up by 4 points, with three drivers within 20 points. That would have been a much more suspenseful chase scenario.

Ed Hinton
  (3:27 PM)

I'm all in favor of giving something for winning the regular season championship. I might even say 100.

Todd (GA)

Ed do you think we will ever see another 7 time champion? Or i guess i should ask do you think Jimmie will win 7 cup chapionships?

Ed Hinton
  (3:27 PM)

I think he very well might, though not seven in a row.

Travis (New Mexico)

Where do you think McMurray will end up this weekend? After he hit the wall last week it looked like he was climbing back up, he didnt have the car to win but I think he had the car to be in the top 5.

Ed Hinton
  (3:28 PM)

he's good on the mile and a halfs. he could be a dark horse here.

Daryl (Iowa)

If a female driver like Danica Patrick or Ashley Force became pregnant, would they have to stop racing immediately? I can't imagine that they would be allowed to continue.

Ed Hinton
  (3:29 PM)

Uncharted territory there. I would imagine the sanctioning bodies would leave it up to them. But I also think they'd plan such a thing very carefully, away from their racing careers.

kira (Connecticut)

hey ed, you sizzling down in miami while everyone up here freezing? do you see JPM being a contender Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (3:29 PM)

Not sizzling. It's just muggy and cloudy. And yes, JPM could be a contender.

Travis (New Mexico)

Does the #1 car have a shot at the chase next year and if so do they have enough to make a run at winning the whole thing?

Ed Hinton
  (3:29 PM)

yes and yes.

Keith H (Seattle)

Good afternoon Ed. Long time reader and first time poster. My question is this: Many references are made about the differences between the Nationwide and Cup cars. What are they in terms of size, weight, horsepower, etc. Thanks very much and keep up the outstanding work.

Ed Hinton
  (3:31 PM)

Don't have the exact numbers handy, but they're a shorter wheel base, different body regs, and horsepower is restricted more by compression ratios, etc.

Ray (CT)

Would NASCAR have a phantom debris caution at Homestead to make sure it is not a gas mileage race for the cup?

Ed Hinton
  (3:33 PM)

Haven't you heard? They give out $50,000 fines for talking about phantom cautions. Actually, I think a gas mileage race would be dramatic enough in its own right.

Mike (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

Am I right if I say that if Denny Hamlin is crowned our Cup champion he is the first Cup champion from "the south" this century (since Dale Jarrett in 1999). Who would have thought that 2 decades ago, we would need to say that now?

Ed Hinton
  (3:33 PM)

Well, Bobby Labonte (2000) was born in Texas but grew up in North Carolina. Other than that, you're right.

Bill (Charlote)

Hey Ed,If you owned a racing series who would you want as your CEO, Brian France or Randy Bernard?

Ed Hinton
  (3:34 PM)

If I owned it, I'd run it myself.

Andrew (NJ)

As a Paul Menard fan, please tell me I have the right to be excited about next year?

Ed Hinton
  (3:35 PM)

Somewhat. He's certainly going to have the team behind him. We'll see just how good he is.

Greg (NY)

Will Nascar be forced to start the season sooner say in January due to the NFL expanding its regualar season to 18 games?

Ed Hinton
  (3:36 PM)

That still wouldn't do them any good as far as the Daytona 500 going up against the Super Bowl. I've thought for a long time they should start in January and end in September. No rumblings that NASCAR is going to budge, one way or the other.

Joe (LA)

Do you think Kurt Busch or the Penske cars will be strong on sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (3:37 PM)

Kurt should be in the top five at least for a while.

dw (Ark)

Hey Ed. With NASCAR supposedly switching to fuel injection in the not too distant future, what will take the place of the restrictor plates at the superspeedways to keep the speeds down?

Ed Hinton
  (3:37 PM)

From what I understand, it'll just be a matter of adjusting the injectors.

Buddy (Philippines)

Ed I want to be Jrs CC and I will work for free

Ed Hinton
  (3:38 PM)

Yeah, and after two races on the radio with him, you'd be tearing your hair out and demanding $1 million a race to put up with it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion?

Ed Hinton
  (3:38 PM)

I think JJ five-peats.

Roman (Ft. Smith, AK)

What's the big deal about NASCAR going head-to-head with the NFL and college football? MLB, NBA have being doing it for years.

Ed Hinton
  (3:39 PM)

College football and the NFL are far more overwhelming forces among the masses than the others.

Benny (Monroe, LA)

Have you heard anything about Brendan Gaughan running a Kyle Busch Motorsport Tundra in trucks next year?

Ed Hinton
  (3:41 PM)

Have not. But that would shock me, in that Gaughan is such an overbearing personality that I'm not sure he and Kyle could get along. But, I've been shocked before.

Emily (NJ)

Ed, there was a rumor from inside the RFR shop that Drew Blickensderfer would take over as Carl's cup crew chief. Does the win this past Sunday nullify that rumor?

Ed Hinton
  (3:41 PM)

I can't imagine Roush breaking up Carl and Osborne, unless Osborne is bound for bigger things.

scott (denton'tx)

will we see a ten race chase in the nationwide series and if when do you thing that they will start looking into in the near future your thoughts.......

Ed Hinton
  (3:42 PM)

Brian france has said they don't want to take away from their top series by having big playoffs in the others. Don't think that'll change anytme soon.

steve (texas)

What kind of car do you drive. Not looking for model just make.

Ed Hinton
  (3:42 PM)

Mercedes.

Joe (LA)

Do you think Nascar will add the new road cousre in Austin,TX? The one for F1 U.S grand prix!

Ed Hinton
  (3:43 PM)

IF that thing actually gets built, then F1-capable doesn't at all mean NASCAR capable, what with the bigger, clumsier cars. Look at Montreal -- yes, Nationwide, but no Cup racing there.

Mike (AZ)

Ed, do you find it strange that Kenseth and Jr have been linked so closely through their careers? Battle for Busch championships, similar career numbers, both have struggled lately, both have to be questioning their abilities with this new crop of drivers, both have some crew chief "issues". A bit odd isn't it?

Ed Hinton
  (3:44 PM)

Not so surprising. They were very close friends while in Busch, and remain that way.

longtimeracefan (Taylorsville, KY)

Ed, who's more fun to have a drink with and tell stories: Terry Blount, David Newton, Marty Smith or Jenna Fryer?

Ed Hinton
  (3:44 PM)

depends on what you're drinking and what stories are being told.

Greg (NY)

Ed, if you had to make a prediction, how many Cup wins and championships will Kyle Busch end up with when his career is over?

Ed Hinton
  (3:45 PM)

maybe 85 wins and 2 or 3 championships.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Danica Patrick when she goes full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that she will ever be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion?

Ed Hinton
  (3:45 PM)

Hmmm. Doubtful.

Mike (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

After Danica Patrick ran a ARCA race in Daytona you argued she was the driver who made the best impression on you from open wheel that came to NASCAR since Jeff Gordon. Now that the season has almost come to a conclusion, looking back at Danica's performance and results in NNS do you still have the same opinion as back in February?

Ed Hinton
  (3:47 PM)

You've got me confused with another writer. I never would have said she made a bigger impression than Tony Stewart at moving from open wheel to NASCAR.

YAR8packX2 (Candor)

Good afternoon, Mr Hinton. May you be well. Having once again encountered the overwhelming pain of passing kidney stones this week, I got to thinking about being tough and how much I failed at it. I can take a lot, but passing those spurs is a might too rigorous for me. Anyways. I know the story about Ricky Rudd duct taping his eyes open and Sr racing with a cracked sternum and messed up leg, but could you share a quick story about tough guys sticking behind the wheel when us normal folks wouldn't have? Take care. Also, GO 29!!!

Ed Hinton
  (3:48 PM)

Richard Petty once drove with a broken neck for several races after a crash at Pocono. Didn't even tell NASCAR because they wouldn't have let him run.

Roscoe (Cali)

Who is the best CC you have seen in your time covering nascar? What makes/made them the best CC. Thanks.

Ed Hinton
  (3:49 PM)

Ray Evernham in his prime, tied with Chad Knaus the past few years. Attention to detail going into the race is one major factor. But the biggest is calling the race, in the heat of battle, from on top of the box.

Tammy (Orlando,FL)

What kind of shot does harvick have.

Ed Hinton
  (3:50 PM)

A decent one. We know he'll go all out, won't pay attention to the others much. I'd say about 20 percent shot of winning it all.

Sean (West Palm Beach, FL)

Do you expect a sellout this weekend?

Ed Hinton
  (3:51 PM)

Unfortunately, no.

Layne (Kockelman)

I respected fully disagreed with your 100 points to the regular season points leader...in what other sport is a team rewarded with that kind of advantage?

Ed Hinton
  (3:51 PM)

disagreement noted.

Joe (LA)

Do you think JPM could become a Nascar cup series champion soon?

Ed Hinton
  (3:52 PM)

I think it's possible. I thought he had a shot last year, going into the Chase, but by Charlotte he was pretty well done.

dps (satx)

Any idea who new indy engine supplier is going be?

Ed Hinton
  (3:53 PM)

Well, Chevrolet is in, talk here today was that Lotus will "badge" a Cosworth. Then Ford may be in.

scott (denton'tx)

what do you thing about bobby labonte driving the #47 car for bdr racing in 2011 season and do you thing that is a good fit for him....

Ed Hinton
  (3:54 PM)

Think it'll be a good fit. A team that knows its limitations and will go for the rare opportunities to win. Bobby's input will be accepted and appreciated there.

Turk (Mich.)

Since Mark Martin is a lame duck do you see Mr. H parking him for the final 6 races next year to get Kasey jump started with the #5 team?

Ed Hinton
  (3:55 PM)

Don't think he would, and don't think he'd have to. You can have more than four cars under special circumstances in late season. Also: What if Kasey's in the Chase for Red Bull? Certainly not out of the question.

David (Tucson, AZ)

With the roll joey logano has been on, do you see him as a favorite to win homestead on sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (3:56 PM)

Roll? Well, I think he's come up with some strong finishes . . . but hasn't been a strong factor to win races.

Travis (New Mexico)

Should we worry about all the toyota drivers making it hard for everyone but the 11 this week. I know toyota would like to win and they may do anything for it.

Ed Hinton
  (3:56 PM)

I don't think so. Those teams aren't that tight. And NASCAR would be watching for such things.

Ryan (NC)

With Chevy funding the Indy-Ilmor Chevy turbo V-6 will Chevy NASCAR budget get cut?

Ed Hinton
  (3:57 PM)

Hendrick and Childress would never put up with that. Besides, NASCAR's a better forum for Chevrolet.

Turk (Mich.)

If Denny doesn't win the cup for Toyota is Reuitman in hot water for what he did to Rowdy at Kansas?

Ed Hinton
  (3:58 PM)

If he hasn't been in hot water already, he won't be after the season.

Emily (NJ)

Ed, the Race of Champions is next weekend. Do you think it would get more attention if it was held in the States?

Ed Hinton
  (3:59 PM)

Maybe. But that thing's a bit too circusy for me.

Andrew (LA)

Red Bull in NASCAR going to be competitive next year like their F1 compatriots?

Ed Hinton
  (4:00 PM)

Maybe not AS competitive. But more competitive than they have been.

Ed Hinton
  (4:00 PM)

Well, time's up. Thanks to everyone for stopping by.