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March 11, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Marty Smith

Marty Smith
  (3:02 PM)

Happy Friday everybody! Thanks for hanging out! First, I want to offer my thoughts and prayers to those directly impacted by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The footage is harrowing. Now, let's chat!

Brenda (TX)

Hi Marty,I think that Kasey Kahne is one of the most underrated drivers in NASCAR. Who do you think is the most underrated drivers ?

Marty Smith
  (3:05 PM)

Hey Brenda! I agree with Kahne. He, in fact, is atop my underrated list. Believe it or not, I think Johnson is, too. I don't think, because he's on such a great team, he gets credit for his feedback, his ability to verbally break down a corner to Chad Knaus, so that Knaus can make proper adjustments to the 48. I think Robby Gordon is underrated. There are others, I just can't think of them right off-hand. Maybe JPM.

Tyler (ATL)

Marty why can't Jr just win a championship already?

Marty Smith
  (3:07 PM)

You act like it's an easy accomplishment, Tyler! Come on, bud! it's extremely, extremely difficult! Think about all the great ones who've never won the title. (Mark Martin, for example).

Andrew (Kettering Ohio)

It gets old hearing the drivers and announcers saying how good Danica or Dale runnign well is for the sport. When a driver says it to me I hear "I don't mind losing". You don't hear Kobe saying that Lebron winning is good for basketball. It makes NASCAR feel like the WWE when that is said, why even run the race, why not decide who wins beforehand.....

Marty Smith
  (3:09 PM)

You can't compare auto racing to stick-and-ball in that regard, Andrew. Stick-and-ball competition is one entity vs. one entity. Auto racing is one entity vs. 42 other entities. The odds of winning vs. losing are very different.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Hey Marty, interesting story on Brad but why is he whining about ESPN interviewing Danica? ESPN's Jamie Little was right there in the #22 pit inteviewing the crew chief because Brad was running back to his hauler to cry.

Marty Smith
  (3:11 PM)

Brad felt slighted. In the aftermath he was frustrated. He told me he probably could have used better judgment in how he disseminated his opinion. My bosses and colleagues said they tried and tried to locate him. Brad freely admits that Danica's run into history is a great story and deserves coverage.

Karen (Santa Barbara, CA)

Thoughts & prayers are with everyone in Japan. So far, CA not affected by tsunami waves.Now, Marty, what's with all the vanity of "male" TV analysts? Seriously. using hair color to cover the grey? (Rusty, DW, Kenny W, Jeff H to name a few. Kenny's obsessed about it.) John Roberts did it last season, but came to his senses this year and looks awesome w/grey hair. It doesn't make them look younger -- just like a prune wearing a hair piece! Nothing wrong with aging. It beats the alternative!

Marty Smith
  (3:13 PM)

Intersting note, Karen. I took a poll of my friends on my personal Facebook page about whether I should color my hair when it turns gray, or if I should "Go Anderson Cooper." Invariably, my friends all said Go Cooper. Cooper it is, for me.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Hi Marty, a couple things about Brad crying on twitter about Danica. First, ESPN's Jamie Little tried to interview him and got his crew chief instead because Brad was hiding back in his hauler. Second, where does Brad get the idea that he is anywhere even close to Danica in terms of fan interest?

Marty Smith
  (3:14 PM)

Not trying to be a cop-out, Joanne, but that is absolutely a question only he can answer.

Nick (Cocoa Beach, FL)

Hey Marty, here comes another Jr question for ya. What do you think are the odds that he'll make a late career comeback at some point, and do you think a championship... ever, is within the realm of realistic hope.

Marty Smith
  (3:16 PM)

This year, Nick. I believe that. He has more vigor this season than I've seen in a while. Much of that is due to the fact that his feedback, and his relationship with Steve Letarte is working. He is getting faster throughout races. In recent years he's rarely finished where he ran. He did that at Las Vegas.

Ron (Sparks, NV)

Interesting read on Brad, although not sure he deserves a story. Personally, we think Brad will turn out to be another 1-win Dega wonder like Phil Parsons. Your thoughts?

Marty Smith
  (3:18 PM)

I disagree, Ron. He has excellent talent and is quite driven. Once he settles into how to negotiate -- as he calls it -- all the "crap," i.e. politics, he'll truly show it.

Ron (Sparks, NV)

Do you think Rowdy has forgotten what Brad said about him at Bristol or what Reuitman did to him at Kansas or what Harvick did to him at Homestead and will Rowdy use the opportunity of Bristol to settle those scores?

Marty Smith
  (3:20 PM)

Drivers never forget, Ron. They log every single occurence they deem and on track injustice and file them away. Trust me.

Norm (Upstate NY)

Seems like Kyle Busch has scores to settle with Harvick for Homestead, Reuitmann for Kansas and Brad for Bristol. Do you expect Rowdy to get his revenge at Bristol or just focus on winning the race?

Marty Smith
  (3:21 PM)

The latter, Norm. Absolutely. It's about winning for him.

Bonnie (Naples, Fl)

As Kurt Busch fans, we are amazed after Martinsville in Oct. when Kurt still held a gruge against Gordon for things he did when Kurt drove the Roush #97 and for what Gordon did to Rusty in the #2. Question: do The Busch Brothers never forget when they've been wronged and do they always get even?

Marty Smith
  (3:23 PM)

See my previous answer on this, Bonnie: They all remember. None of them forget. They file everything away for later.

Rhonda (Deltona, FL)

Hi Marty, most of us Dale fans want him to leave HMS and make Jr Motorsports a Sprint Cup team with Tony Jr and Pops for him and Danica so why did Dale say that would be "racing into oblivion"?

Marty Smith
  (3:27 PM)

Because in his estimation he's better off at Hendrick than he would be in his own program. And he's absolutely right. I agree with him. Hendrick is the best organization in the sport. He just needs to find the proper chemistry there. Letarte is willing to put aside his own pride in the name of propping up Dale. That is crucial. And it's working.

Jorge (Orlando)

Will Rowdy and the #18 team be able to come back from the devasating engine blow up at Vegas at Bristol especially since Rowdy would have been still leading in points without that engine problem?

Marty Smith
  (3:29 PM)

Absolutely. He'll be in contention to win Bristol. Always is.

doug (orlando fl)

great piece on bad brad

Marty Smith
  (3:29 PM)

Thanks, Doug. I appreciate the note.

Ronnie Campbell (Nashville Music City )

Marty, when you speak to these Country Music artists can you ask why they have been silent while the MARE of Nashville is pushing ahead with plans to DEMOLISH the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway...Brad Paisley took the words right out of my mouth in Daytona....As he looks into the crowd at a NASCAR event it's the exact same demographic as Country Music...Why the Hell aint these guys standing up for us !!!!!!!!!!!

Marty Smith
  (3:32 PM)

There is absolutely no question it's the same demographic. NASCAR tried hard to steer away from country music, but there were too many of us in the game that love country too much. Country music fans and NASCAR fans are, were, and always will be the same people. Both are southern-born and southern-proud. I'll ask that question of my buddies for you, Ronnie. My guess is many of them don't even know about that issue.

Jeff Gluck (Charlotte, NC)

Marty, what's the best way to unwind and relax on a NASCAR off-weekend?

Marty Smith
  (3:34 PM)

Grab a cold one. Turn on some country music. Call up your buddies. Hit play.

Marty Smith
  (3:34 PM)

Thanks for the shoutout, Gluck!

Nick (Marietta, GA)

Marty, if older drivers like Burton, Harvick, Dale, Biff, Newman and especially Martin were gonna be Sprint Cup champs wouldn't they have made it before now?

Marty Smith
  (3:36 PM)

Not in my opinion, Nick. They just all happened to race through their prime against the 48 -- the best team ever. They're all still very competitive. That's the barometer. It's not like they're out there running 28th every weekend. They're fast. They contend for wins.

Gene (Ohio)

Favorite for the truck race tomorrow? I'm think Bodnine or Crafton.

Marty Smith
  (3:37 PM)

Kahne, in the 18. Or Hornaday.

Submarine Mike (Jax Fl)

Marty, I saw you tweeted on the most significant #24's in history. Why include Kobe in that. He hasn't worn 24 for very long

Marty Smith
  (3:38 PM)

So? He's No. 24 right now. That, to me, means he's No. 24. If you wear No. 24, you're No. 24.

Jeremy (Port Angles, WA)

What did you think of Danica's perforance in the nationwide series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?

Marty Smith
  (3:42 PM)

I was extremely impressed. So impressed. And it had nothing to do with the fourth-place finish. I was impressed most with her pass of Trevor Bayne for, I think, 10th. She dove under the 16 car, got loose, backed off and did't wreck herself or Trevor, gathered it up, used patience and passed underneath him. She's come so far. That pass was pretty darn impressive for someone with no more experience than she has. She proved a lot to me, there.

Sarah D. (Newburgh, Indiana)

How bout that Jimmie on Twitter?

Marty Smith
  (3:43 PM)

Hahaha... He's hilarious... He feels so cool...

Gene (Ohio)

What do you think of the Atlanta pre race show? Talk about redneck heaven.

Marty Smith
  (3:43 PM)

FREEEEEEEEEEE BIRRRDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!

Taylor (VA)

Who do you have tomorrow at Darlington in the CWTS? If you ever go back to Radford, go play 9 holes at Loch Lomund golf course. It's in someone's backyard close to the Motor Mile (you can hear the stock cars practicing in the background), convertible golf carts, banking around the greens like Talladega where shirts are not encouraged and keg stands are found in abundance. Best $11 you'll spend down there.

Marty Smith
  (3:45 PM)

Hilarious... I've been there. Ohhhhh yeah, I've been there...

doug (orlando fl)

hey marty i was just watching a video and it showed you getting ready to do a story and the military was shooting blanks and doing a fly over with helicopters man you did not look happy

Marty Smith
  (3:46 PM)

That, sir, is a YouTube classic these days... I get Tweets about it all the time... Ol' Humpy Wheeler used to recreate the bombing of Grenada every Memorial Day. Well, they

Marty Smith
  (3:47 PM)

Oops... hit send too early... Anyway, Humpy used to recreate the bombing of Grenada every Memorial Day. Well, they chose to land a Blackhawk helicopter in the infield like 40 yards away from our live shot for NASCAR Now. And yes, you're right. I was none-too-pleased...

Karen (CA)

You're wrong, Marty! Not all Nascar & Country music fans are born in the south! I'm native Californian and been long time fan of both. Hmmm. Perhaps it's that attitude/opinion that keeps Nascar from attracting more fans in rest of the US. (as they say they want to do)

Marty Smith
  (3:48 PM)

I didn't say that. I never said all fans were born in the South. I said both NASCAR and country music were born in the south. Which, they were.

Jeffrey (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)

Guitar Song or In Color??

Marty Smith
  (3:50 PM)

In Color. Greatest song of the past decade. Period. The Greatest Generation, man. We owe them everything.

Virginia (Tx)

I don't think Steve "has to put aside his pride" for Dale Jr. He talks over the radio the same way with Jr that he did with Jeff. Exactly what did you mean by that?

Marty Smith
  (3:51 PM)

Sure he does. You made my point for me, Virginia. Jeff used to cuss Stevie blue, and Stevie just says, okay, bud, we'll fix it, go get em. He never lashes out when criticized. That's what I mean, Virginia. And that is correct analysis.

Marty Smith
  (3:52 PM)

Okay, guys. That's my time. I'm hanging out in Richmond with my grandparents. Y'all be good. Thanks for hanging out!