From somewhere on Interstate I-95 driving to Daytona. Hey, Ernie the dog, keep it under 80 mph. Sorry, out of control canine behind the wheel. Anyway, Speedweeks is upon us and I'm sure there are lots of questions to be answered, so fire away.
how come fans didn't blast Darien Grubb and call for his head when Stewart ran out of gas at Loudon while leading? If that would have been Dale Junior, the nation would still be calling for Lance's execution.
Best I can remember it was as much Tony's decision as it was Darian's. Are we already on Lance McGrew?
Hi Newt, how will the new qualifying procudures work without a draw? will the start and parkers qualify first, then the slowest in practice with the fastest going out last?
You anwwered your own question. Love it. Particularly when it comes to rainouts so practice times matter.
David im in a fantasy league that has you pick drivers from last years point standings. Since you helped me win my league last year please give me a driver for 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, and 26-30 based on last years final points. Maybe I can arrange for a little something extra in your check next week!
I don't have the top 35 in front of me since I am driving down I-95. I'll be glad to answer later if you send the question to my twitter account at DNewtonespn. Hey, where's my share of the winnings since I helped you win.
My friends and I are thinking about heading to Las Vegas and attending the race over Spring Break. Do tracks allow you to buy tickets at the gate like any other sporting event? Or would you recommend buying them in advance?
They sure do as long as they last, and last I looked there are plenty good seats available.
I've seen some reallly nasty stuff written about Michael Annett. Do you think that's anti-Rusty Wallace stuff because nobody jumped on Allmendinger when he got arrested for DUI last year or Waltrip when he rolled that SUV?
Hard to tell. I would just be guessing as to why it has gotten that way other than the blood alcohol content was so high that people might think he should be suspended.
At 28 years old, Danica is already 3 years older than Kyle Busch. In today's world where guys like Rowdy and Joey got started in their teens, isn't that way too late to just be getting started in NASCAR
It would be if she had no experience in motorsports, but she's been at so many different levesl of open wheel she has a leg up on most 28-year-olds. And remember, Dale Jarrett and Greg Biffle got a late start in Cup as well and did pretty good.
Is Mark Martin Danica's "official" drivers coach and why don't people pin the blame for Danica's lack of success on Jr Motorsports or the crew chief Eury Jr?
Mark helps, but there's no official coach. She gets most of her coaching from Eury Jr. and others at JRM. By the way, she's running a limited schedule and the learning curve is way too steep to blame anyone.
Do you think sons of champions like Steve Wallace, Dale Jr and Kyle Petty have never done much because they didn't have to work as hard as their fathers?
I wouldn't say that at all. Richard Petty was the son of a great driver and he turned out all right. Same with Dale Earnhardt.
What can you learn from media day tomorrow that you didn't learn during the media tour back in Charlotte?
What insanity feels like.
no matter how Mark Martin tries to paint it, by being a lame duck and Lance knowing that his crew chiefing days are numbered, isn't #5 season already doomed?
Not at all. In fact the more I talk to Lance and Mark the more I believe they will be a super combination.
Why do the old NASCAR fans get mad when Kyle Busch fans say he races just like Dale sr used to race?
Kyle doesn't say that. The media and fans do.
Gordon is a few years from retirement and Kurt has an extension at Penske. No worries.
In Blount's article this week he says the CoT is incredibly ugly. This is a superficial discussion and I may be in the minority but I think its much better looking than the older model. Obviously, I'd prefer something resembling what I can find on a dealer's lot, but I'll take this for now. What's your take?
Gordon is a few years from retirement and Kurt has an extension at Penske. No worries.
I agree. I thought the old twisted up car looked unnatural. The new car is much closer than the old model.
Hey Newt, snow on the ground, again, here in the Big D. Other than Letarte, what else has #88 done in the offseason to improve Dale's performance?
Swapping crews and buildings is a pretty big deal. He says he's not ready to run 10 miles, so I am assuming he isn't working out a great deal more.
If Biffle doesn't re-sign with Roush Fenway, where is he likely to wind up at?
Tough call. There are eight or so free agents this year and not that many spots for drivers to go. Biffle fits the Roush mold, so I look for him to re-sign there.
David, got to get this question in before intramural b-ball tonight. Look into your crystal ball, who do you think drives the 6 next yr and does Edwards re-sign?
Wishfully thinking I'd like to see Martin return for a swan song in the 6. As for Edwards, he is pretty loyal so I would assume he re-signs, but there will be a few enticing offers.
whos ur breakout driver for the year
Spelling and grammar lesson for all fans! It's "NASCAR", not "Nascar" or "nascar". Also, his name is "Rick Hendrick", not "Hendricks", or "Hendrix".
Thank you for NASCAR 101 today.
So is Ernie driving while you are chatting? This whole argument about shortening the races irritates me. I doubt they would cut down prices for tickets, hotels, drinks etc. So in the long run shortening the races will hurt NASCARS wallets more. I won't go to a race that is shortened unless they cut prices.
Right now he is in the McDonadl's drive thru. I disagree on shortening. Three hours is plenty long for any sporting event.
COMMEMNT TO DAVID NEWTON AT 2.10 DALE EARNHARDT DEATH 2001 WORST SUNDAY IN NASCAR HISTORY
Can't think of a worse one.
How fast does Ernie drive
David - I broke the news to my wife, last weekend was the last no Nascar weekend until Thanksgiving. She was depressed. Anyway, I was wondering if you could explain the Hendrick pit testing at Charlotte. Quite a bit has been written but no one has offered an explanation as to why it did not violate Nascar's no testing policy.
They weren't on the track to test the setups of the cars. They just used pit road to get a good feel for the over-the-wall group. The new gas can will shake things up quite a bit. Pretty smart move by HMS if you ask me.
Newt, will media day be on ESPN3.com un-interupted from 12-3 tomorrow?
Should know that but don't. Will check in with the boss later and try to post answer on twitter.
David, your picks for the Shootout and the 500 pole?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. unless they approve Ernie, which is about the only person or dog without a ride in the Shootout. Pole? Jeff Gordon.
Hey! The season is almost here! Yea! So any how, what are JPM42's expectation for Daytona, and the year as a whole? It seems like for the last 2-3 years he has been on the cusp.
What is the latest on Fuel Injection in NASCAR?
First, sorry for moving slowly. internet on I-95 not the greatest. As for fuel injection, they initially hoped to role it out midway through this year. Now they are talking next year. Lots of things to iron out to prevent cheating.
what kind of a dog is Ernie and does he have a favorite driver other than you@firecracker427
He is a Shepherd-Lab mixture. Not very smart. He doesn't have a favorite driver. He just likes the black cars since he is jet black.
Hi Dave, I was just wondering if you like this new Saturday qualifying schedule? Also, what is the reasoning behind the change from Friday to Saturday for Qualifying?
I'd like it more if they eliminated Friday practice and made it a two-day show. The tracks are trying to provide more beef to the Saturday ticket. We'll see.
What's the motivation behind turning Phoenix into "Iowa Southwest"? Was there something wrong with the racing at Phoenix I wasn't aware of?
If you hadn't noticed Phoenix is a track where one driver gets out front and leads a ton of laps. Drivers like Iowa Speedway, so maybe this will be a good move.
do you thing that dale jr will win a couple of races this and if when and how do you thing he will win with he's new crew chief.
I do. Daytona 500 will be the first one. I really like Dale Jr. and Letarte. Great mix of personalities if Dale Jr. can get used to Letarte's taste in music.
How will those outside the top 35 in points be decided if there is a tie?
You mean in practice to set qualifying. Don't follow.
Newton, what do you think of Travis Pastana? If I'm NASCAR, I'm crossing my fingers, rubbing rabbits feet and jumping over cracks in the sidewalk hoping that he shows promise and makes it to Cup. Besides, doesn't Pastrana in a Red Bull Cup car make too much sense?
He'll be great for the sport and bring in a much younger and needed demographic if he can succeed.
with all the technology why cant they make the older cars safer and get away from cars of tomorrow. go jr!!!!
They could have made them safer if you ask most crew chiefs and team owners.
I know it's early, but who in your opinion will be in the Red Bull ride next year? Big name or an up and comer??
If Kasey has a big year and proves it is a championship-caliber team don't be surprised to see Carl Edwards at least give it a look.
Hey Newt, who goes through more crew chiefs this year Kenseth or Junior?
Neither. They'll both finish with what they came with. But if you make me pick I'll go with Kenseth. He did pull the drigger fast after the 500 a year ago.
i am getting excited about tomorrow because it is the start of the daytona speedway weeks really how the cars react on the new pavement this year at the daytona 500 in a about a week or so what is you take on the new pavment and do you see a better race this than the year past.
Not sure it'll be better. I liked what they had. It will be crazier with three and four wide in the corners. You'll likely see a totally unknown win because tire wear will be minimal and somebody will risk none on the last stop.
There's a lot of optimism from Jr this year. Last year was much of the same. Have you noticed anything from Jr away from the camera this year that would give his fans reason to believe this won't be another dysmal let down?
Just the way he talks, plus I like him with Letarte a lot.
who do u think r the best drafters and pushers in nascar today
Dale Jr., Gordon, Biffle, Hamlin, Busch ... the usual suspects.
What is the reasoning behind the shift to Saturday qualifying for many of the tracks this season?
Think I answered this earlier, but tracks want to give more bang for the buck on Saturday. In my opinion make it a two-day show and forget Fridays.
if you injected truth serum into mr hendrick and asked him would he prefer to see jj win championship #6 this year, gordon's 5th, or martin or dale jr's 1st?
Good question. You got any truth serum handy? I'll go with Jr. because that is his biggest challenge.
i am so excited about the daytona 500 this year with the new pavement on the track and do you see a betterrace this year than year past and how many times do you thing we will see a 4 wide racing.
Until there is a major pile up and drivers get conservative.
with i thing the bud shootout is this saturady night what kind of racing do you thing that we will see at the gatorade duel and the daytona 500 next week..
The Shootout will be wild, the qualifying races not so much and the 500 crazy at the end.
do u see gibbs changing drivers in the future
I see him adding another team before changing what he's got.
I read an article where Tony Gibson praised Dale Jr and Steve Letarte. This isn't the first time Tony has stepped up and backed Dale Jr as a driver. Do others in the garage feel that Jr is snake bitten or do most feel he is overrated?
Most believe he has talent, and don't know why he isn't doing better with the equipment and support he has.
Would Nascar ever consider a match-play racing event for the worlds best drivers go 1-on-1 in a seeded feild?
Don't tell Bruton Smith. He might like the idea.
after danica patrick finish this season do you thing that she will answer her question about rather she will go back to indy or stick with the nascar racing.
I think she already is committed to NASCAR in 2012.
Who is going to crew chief Jr in the nationwide race?
Since Eury Jr. has Patrick I am guessing Eury Sr. Haven't checked entry list though.
Pick for Saturday night?
With all the talk about the new 43-1 points system, I havent heard how or if any bonus points for regular season wins are applied to the drivers points once they are reset for the Chase. Do you know how that works now??? Thanks!
Drivers will be seeded on 3 bonus points for each win when we get to the Chase. Personally, I'd like to see more. Plus I'd like to see the regular-season champ get a bonus.
A.J. Allmendinger got caught w/ a .08, Annett had .32! That's why people are more upset at Annett. It has nothing to do with who their owners are or who they are!
Think that is what I suggested.
Does everyone with a NASCAR (thanks Sam) hardcard get tested prior to the season? If there was a problem with Annett wouldn't they have found it then? What are the chances that he is a random driver selected over the next few weeks?
Everyone does get tested before the season, not only by NASCAR but most teams have their own test. Then it is random throughout the year. Alcohol however doesn't stay in the system long so I doubt he would have been caught for that preseason.
You catch Bill Elliott on Larry the Cable Guy last night?
I didn't. I am guessing Elliott's Southern accent was harder to understand.
Can RCR and Kevin Harvick take that next step up this season and seal the deal for the Championship? I think the pit crew changes should be a major improvement.
They seem to think so. I have no reason to doubt them. Really like where Harvick is these days.
How many Dale Sr questions do you think Jr will have to answer tomorrow?
About 15 minutes worth. That's about how much time we'll get with him.
You seem to be over run with octo questions.
We do what we can do with what we have.
Any great places you would recommend to eat while I'm in Daytona...yippee get to go for entire speed weeks...plus few days after...Will KK fare well in Daytona....
A few. Great sushi spot on the main drag about three miles between the track and the coast. Can't remember the name. Sorry. And glad you mentioned Kasey, really believe he'll show us something this season.
Hey David, According to my calculations there are less than 35 full time teams running Cup this season. So does this mean some of the start and parkers and part time teams will get in the fields despite where they qualify?????
You got it.
What's going to be the big news item from tomorrow's Media Day?
I'd be stunned if anything big came out of it to be honest. They've already answered all there is.
Carl Edwards is the most fan friendly driver by creating the back flips and now going into the stands with the fans. Why don't more drivers do things like that instead of the same old burnouts or copying Helio's climbing the fence?
Jeff Gordon would like to climb fences. He just can't get to Victory Lane.
Didnt say the races were not in need of being shortened. I jsut said that if they shorten them then I want cheaper tickets.
Honestly, that won't happen. I believe you'll get a better show for your value if they are shortened though.
If Steve Wallace wasn't driving for his father, would he still have his ride?
Maybe not that ride, but he might have another.
What kind of dog is Ernie and does he have a favorite driver. Since I probably didn't win, how can I get an autographed photo???
Shepherd-Lab rescue. Loves black cars. And I will have to re-calculate the top 5 here. Been having issues going through the countryside.
Do you think Dancia will break into the top 15 this year in NNS?
If she does, Daytona might be the place. She was pretty good there last year before crashing.
The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year yet we have 35 drivers that are guaranteed to make the race. That doesn't make sense at all. Especially when some of the 35 have never raced in Sprint Cup. Another dumb NASCAR rule.
Can't say I totally disagree here.
I noticed your comment about Mark Martin and Lance being super together....Didn't Lance and Dale have us convinced they were going to be a contender in January/February last year?? I'm sorry, call me bi-est...But I just don't think Lance is all that talented.
It all comes down to chemistry, and I see it with Lance and Mark. It never really was there with Dale Jr. no matter what they said.
David - Hope Ernie did not get pulled over for speeding. Have you heard if the 48/88 combo has had any impact on Jr. yet? Just curious if he has been insulated from Knaus or are the drivers and crew chiefs attempting to bond together
Too early to tell, but I know he's already showing up for team meetings on command better.
Who appointed Larry Mac the media police?
Isn't Dale jr's biggest problem the fact that there are at least 20 drivers equal to or better them him as race car drivers and all of them are way more hungry for success?
You could say that about a lot of drivers.
when hendrick decided to make some off season changes, do you think splitting up johnson and knaus at least "crossed his mind" ?
The changing of the point system was one step forward (simplicity) and two steps back (more points racing and even less emphasis on winning).
Do you think everyone is so hopeful that Martin and McGrew do well so they can have one more reason to kick Junior while he is down?
Do people like kicking Junior. I never would.
Do you think Baine might need a full season or 2 in NW before racing in Sprint Cup?
Couldn't hurt, but like that the Wood Brothers are moving on beyond Bill Elliott.
Is Dover switching it's qualifying to saturday a sign of things to come?
Most of the ISC tracks have gone to Saturday. Look back at other answers for why.
what kind of muic does Letarte like. lol!!!
Don't think he's a Three Doors Down guy like Dale Jr.
What's your take on Michael Annett's DUI? Do you think he should drive Daytona and if he does how does this make the sport look. Seems like today the sport is all about money and if Michael's dad owns the sponsor it tough to pull him out.
My personal opinion is he should not drive. If NASCAR would adjust its rule to say anybody without a lisence can't drive in the top 3 series that would take the heat off the governing body making the call. Annett lost his lisence for 30 days.
Look into your crystal ball - what's going to be the BIG story this year?
Other than the Hendrick swap, keep an eye on how the new gas can impacts races. I think it'll be big.
Teresa Earnhardt is listed as car owner for Jamie's #1 and she has more experience in NASCAR than even Rick Hendricks. When will she start to get some credit from the fans for all she has contributed to NASCAR?
I won't say she has more experience in the sport than Hendrick, but she does deserve credit, particularly in the marketing and diecast world.
Do you think Hamlin has put last year behind? Can he challenge this year?
He has, but I still believe he'll slip a bit.
So Junior has a slump of 1 win in 3 seasons and everyone is so quick to call him mediocre and that he has no talent. Isn't it ignorant of people to only use the past 3 years to evaluate his talent/career?
If you go by that standard Jeff Gordon is pretty mediocre. He has only one win in the last three years.
With the Labontes, Elliott and others using past champions provisionals doesn't that make it harder for Mikey Waltrip to qualify for the 500?
He is pretty good on plate tracks.
how man races do u see j logano winning this year
Not so much winning a lot, but being consistent enough to make the Chase.
Do you think they will ever eliminate the restrictor plates on the super speedways
Not until they find another way to slow them down.
Why no love for Stewart for best drafters ? Minus the 500, dude is money at that track.
You are so right. Can't believe I forgot Smoke.
So if Danica drives in Sprint Cup full time in 2012 isn't the only ride available at HMS the #88?
Dale Jr. has another year on his deal and Rick is looking to extend that longterm. I don't see her in a Hendrick car unless it is with Stewart-Haas or JRM.
Cant be Eury Sr. he will have Almirola.
You're right. Rusty in the preseason. will have to look that one up.
how come you your so late today was it because of this wether we are having or did you have to do something else.
I am driving to Daytona. Give me props for chatting and driving.
Where will McGrew end up in 2012 after Kahen and Francis come on board? If Martin has a horrible season, which most lame ducks do, you think Rick will let him go?
Good question. If McGrew and Martin have great success I'm not so sure Hendrick will kick him out of a job for Francis.
If the 88-24 swap was truly just a driver change, won't all the cars be set up/built wrong? I am assuming McGrew built cars how Jr liked them and Letarte how Gordon liked them, how can they just swap drivers and expect either to perform well right away?
Actually, Junior and Johnson are a closer match for the same car than Johnson and Gordon were.
Ernie's pick for the 500?
He's going with one of the so-called dogs in the field.
How can Harvick get any pit crew willing to work with him when he constantly throws every crew under the bus for all of his driving mistakes?
Think you're listening to the wrong channel.
How many "New/Maturing" Kyle Busch articles are we going to have to suffer thru this season? It been about 2-3 a season for the last 3 seasons...maybe he isnt maturing lol
At least one in my preseason prediction for him.
I like the top 10 plus 2 w/most wins making the chase but i think they should've gone farther. I'd say top 6 in points make it plus next 6 with most wins or atleast a win. That would've put Gordon, Burton and Kenseth on the outside looking in last season. Can you imagine how great races 24, 25, 26 would be with drivers of this caliber not having to worry about "points racing" and knowing that winning a race is the only way they will make the chase?
I like the 6-6 breakdown as well. Even suggested it.
with mark martin maybe being see final season this year do you see him on maybe winning the datyona 500 for the final time this year.
Oh, he'll be driving somewhere next year.
Carl Edwards. Is this year the best chance he has ever had to win the Championship?
In my mind, yes. Anybody that vacations in Vietnam is mentally prepared to win a title.
Why hasn't Scott Speed announce Nationwide or truck plans for Daytona??
Cause he hasn't nailed anything down yet.
So if the 48 fails to win a 6th title this season how many are going to blame that on Junior due to him moving to the 48 shop?
I'm sure a few of you will, but that would be too easy don't you think?
With a strong finish (or lucky win) at Dega to close out the Chase, what do you see in the crystal ball for Boywer at Daytona and then for the season.Thanks Newt!
I didn't pick him to make the Chase, which looking back may be a mistake. He doesn't get enough credit.
If driver-crew chief chemistry is so important how come guys like Rowdy just go out and win races no matter who his crew chief is?
How many Cup titles does Kyle Busch have?
Denny seemed to really have his game face on during the ESPN NASCAR Now interview with Massaro especially in his comments about cc Mike Ford. Do you see Denny and Kyle working as a team to knock of #48?
They each individually want to. Teammates go out the window in this matter.
This is probably an obvious question but if the Gatorade duels were rained out would NASCAR set the field by practice speeds therefore not allowing drivers to race there way into the 500
They'll find a time to work those races in. They won't be rained out.
Hey, Ernie is tired of driving so I have to take the wheel. Thanks for making my trip to Daytona go a little faster. See you at Speedweeks.