Greetings from Central Park in New York. A slight detour before I head to Talladega for a wild weekend. Let's get right to it. Fire away.
What is up with the constant start and parkers? Are they truly there for the 75K to 80k payouts? I know they have some trouble fielding 43 starters, but can and will NASCAR do anything about the watering down of this type of competition?
Is it really such a problem? Focus on the guys in the top 30 and just forget about those guys. Yes, they are there to collect paychecks. But maybe one day it'll turn into a team that can afford to race the entire way. It's not something new. Nothing much NASCAR can do, either. They don't actually go to the track and declare to be a start and parker.
What team do you think that Danica Patrick will drive for in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012?
Something associated with Hendrick Motorsports, either JR Motorsports or Stewart-Haas Racing would be my guess.
Who was the Last two Open wheel Race Car Drivers to race in the Sprint Cup Series as Rookies in the Same Year?
I am assuming you know that asnswer. Did Dario Franchitti come in with Juan Pablo Montoya? I'd have to look it up.
do you expect the two car tango at talladega this weekend?
Read my column and watch my video and I can assure you I expect the same.
Whos your darkhorse sunday at talladega.
Be cool to see Regan Smith get the win he had taken away from him a few years ago.
What is your favorite talladega memories from the past 10 years (2001-2010)?
Since we're on the subject of Regan Smith, I like that one. It was controversial and I believe wrong to take the win away and give it to Tony Stewart. Controversy makes for a good story, and I'm all about a good story. The Keselowski-Edwards finish wasn't so bad, either, unless you were near the catchfence where car parts were flying.
Have you played nascar 2011 the game yet? if so how is it?
I tinkered with it for a few minutes, but they had the track set on Bristol and I can't get around that place. You should try it.
can there be a darkhorse at talladega or is everyone that runs the whole race considered a favorite since talladega is a crapshoot?
Good point. It's one of the few races where it's hard to pick a favorite, although RCR cars swept last year.
Whos your pick to win the races in both nationwide and sprintcup sereies this weekend? i know its hard to pick restrictor plate track but give it try?
How about a Dale Earnhardt Jr. sweep?
What Race did we see three drivers with the last name of Earnhardt in one Sprint Cup Series Race?
Did Earnhardt, Junior and Kerry run in one at Daytona or Dega? Good quesiton. Do you know the answer?
Who do you think will win the Aaron's 312 & the Aaron's 499 at Talledega?
I'm going to stick with my Earnhardt pick. Just got a feeling.
Do you think getting married over the off season helped Kyle Busch with the maturity process and is he a threat to win the Cup title this season?
What's the saying, behind every great man is a great woman? Maybe it applies to drivers as well. I believe it's a combination of Samantha, age and owning his own team. You realize more than ever you can't be a jerk when you're a team owner.
Dave, Last year I said I'd bake you an apple pie if you told us where Junior lives...ha, ha. Just had our apple tree trimmed and it looks pitiful. Won't be getting any apples this year.
Mooresville, N.C. Now where's my pie. And you're not getting any more specfic than that out of me. Unless maybe you put vanilla ice cream on the pie.
Whos the favorite in the next race?
Haven't checked Vegas odds, but would assume Kevin Harvick would be right up there.
Your thoughts on Junior being a contender all season (since he is 6th in the standings right now)?
It's still early, but I like what I've seen so far. The test will come in mid-summer after a few bad runs. Can the team keep it together then?
david, being a 42 fan and wanting a chase berth, should i be happy with the solid pts at texas with a junk car or worried that they struggled at a 1.5 mile track!
I'd take the solid pts. and be happy. Starting to sound like a driver, right?
David, with Biffle allegedly re-signing, when does Edwards? Also, do you know what Vickers' other "options" are besides Red Bull?
Edwards has said he doesn't want to push things now and mess up his great start. As for Vickers, there aren't a lot of options better than what he has unless Carl were to go somewhere else and open a spot. Or maybe RPM gets solid enough to go there. That would be ironic since Kahne left there.
Hey Dave!! Weather is awesome today 86 degrees, no wind, gonna go play golf at 12:00, Same question different week, who's your top five this weekend?
Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.
Why isn't Talladega Nationwide practice (at least final practice) being televised by ESPN (or SPEED)?
Thursday is an unusual day for practice, so I'm sure that has something to do with it.
What do you think about JPM performance so far this year and how about his chances to win on sunday ?
Looks like the Juan that made the Chase a few years ago. Like it.
How about JPM chances to win on Sunday ?
I've always thought if it wasn't Indy his best shot at an over was Talladega. He can run full throttle with the best of them.
Hey Newt, have you heard anything lately about if Dale Jr is going to sign an extension with HMS or move JRM up to Cup?
Hendrick has told me several times he wants to re-sign Dale Jr. to a long-term deal. Dale Jr. has said he wants to stay at Hendrick as long as he can. Neither has anything to do with bringing JRM up to Cup. His dad drove for one team and owned another if you remember.
Who are your top five drivers to win this Sunday? And how do you think Trevor Bayne will do?
See previos for top 5. As for Bayne, he'll be popular again because he is willing to push all day and has that Roush-Yates Ford engine that can handle it.
Do you think Rick would consider moving Jeff back to his old shop and giving him back Steve?
Whats the chances of that 88 car Winning some races this year ?
Like this weekend, maybe. Very good. He was a bump away from winning at Martinsville.
Taking away Daytona for everyone, Jr is second in points and has ran well on a variety of tracks, some of which are in the chase. Assuming he and Letarte improve as they get to know each other better, can we consider Jr a legit title contender?
Too early to say contender for the title, but definitely a Chase contender and potential top 5 threat. I still believe it will take a win or two in the Chase to win the title, and until they start winning they'll be on the outside looking in.
I enjoy the pack racing at Talladega more than any other kind of racing on the NASCAR circuit. What are the chances the two by two racing we saw at Daytona was more a condition of the resurfaced track as opposed to the changes in the restrictor plates?
I enjoy pack racing at Dega as well, but I'm afraid it'll be the tandem dancing I described in my column.
What rule change is required to break up these two car tandems?
NASCAR changed about all it could. Dale Jr. suggests bigger plate holes because it would be tougher to stay together at higher speeds. It also would be more dangerous to try.
Who do you think is going to win it?
NASCAR's most popular.
David, can the Nascar media please make a pact to ban the usage of the following terms or any derivations of the following terms this race weekend: "Talladega Two Step", "Talladega Tango", "Two Car Mambo", "Dega Duos", "Dega Dance Partners", "Talladega Two Car Shuffle". Thank you for your cooperation.
Whew. Thought you were going to outlaw my Dancing with the Cars there for a minute.
Do you think Samantha has helped Kyle Busch mature? Is he now ready to possibly win the title this year, and if not when do you think Kyle will break through and win the Cup Championship?
As I said earlier, she has been a factor. But it goes beyond a ring.
Jr started really well his first season at Hendrick, then tailed off down the stretch. Do you think he has better staying power this season? He seems to be running well at all different types of tracks.
He's definitely the most determined I've seen him. How that translates depends on how he handles the tough summer months.
How many wins do you think junior will get this year? If any at all.
12. OK, maybe 2.
Little E's chances this weekend?
I'm picking him to make the masses happy.
Is Kyle Busch finally "mature enough" to win the Cup title this year? please say yes.
Re: The last time 3 Earnhardts raced in the same event was the 2000 in the Pepsi 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Dale,Junior and Kerry Earnhardt all in one race
That's right. Thanks. Good trivia question.
do you see the military reducing ther sponsorship next year.
They're fighting to stay in the game, and those invovled in the racing program believe it is important. I tend to agree. Would be a shame to see it go.
who is the best driver right now
Since we're going to Dega I'll say Ricky Bobby. Or I could just go with five-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.
The reason fans are upset about start and parkers is that part of their money that went to buy the ticket is paying people to not race. To not entertain them. The fans get nothing for that part of their ticket. The media doesn't care because they don't buy tickets.
Does that mean the NFL shouldn't allow the third-stringers on the sideline because fans paid to see everyone compete, not just the first- and second- stringers? I just don't buy that fans spend time looking at the back of the pack and saying, "Darn, I just wasted $10 cause that guy parked."
Hey Newt, how come the only father-son Sprint Cup champs in NASCAR history, Ned and Dale Jarrett, don't get more media attention and all we hear about is Earnharts and Petty's?
Well, Ned is going into the Hall of Fame this year, so he'll get props there. But neither is competing now and neither accomplished what the Earnhardts and Pettys did.
Will it be less likely that Cup drivers will dominate the NW race?
Probably not. Again, another issue like the two-car tandems. It is what it is.
When will we know about Danica's plans for 2012? Do you believe it will be after the Indy 500?
I suspect not until late in the season. She doesn't want to tick off her IndyCar sponsors when and if she announces the move to NASCAR fulltime.
Seems like Matt Kenseth might be the Rousch driver to watch this season. Matt's one of the best, most respected (yet underrated) drivers -- perhaps because he's more reserved and races everyone clean.
He is all that. He's also sneaky funny. Wish more could see that.
Who are the most unapproachable drivers in nascar?
Nothing against Tony Stewart. He can be one of the funniest guys around. But if he has something else on his mind, like we all do at times, no need approaching.
I may be a Kyle Busch fan but of these drivers, which is most likley to win the Cup title this season: Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, or Dale Earnhardt Jr.?
I've been picking Kyle Busch all sesaon, but love what I'm seeing from Carl and Kevin right now. How's that for a waffle?
Every driver we've seen interviewed has been positive about the 2 car hook-up's for Dega, except Dale Jr who said he doesn't like to be responsible for another driver. Why can't Dale get with the program and be more positive?
He's not the only one against it. He's just one of the few willing to take a stand regardless of what the governing body thinks.
For the top moments at Talladega in the past ten years, you have to include that Nationwide/Busch Series race where the one driver (I cannot remember who) came out of the pits and pulled right up in front of the pack going 100 mph slower, starting a huge wreck with Carl Edwards getting the worst of it. And then, that driver acted like he did nothing wrong in the post-wreck interview. Incredible!
Thanks for the reminder.
Was Stewart penalized by NASCAR for refusing to attend the Texas, mandatory post race media sessions and why has Stewart been acting like such a jerk?
No penalty. And Tony is very competitive, so when he sees good finishes and possible wins slip away it doesn't sit well.
Isn't the tandem racing safer than one big pack because there is less chance of "The Big One"? I like it because it requires more strategy.
It is, and it does require more strategy. Having said that, there still were a lot of wrecked cars at Daytona and the two-car tandem did cause Edwards to go into the catch fence at Dega in '09.
Will Red Bull fold next year or do you think they will find two quality drivers to race for their team? I bet they are kicking themselves for letting AJ go.
AJ being let go was sort of forced on Red Bull, and as for the future they are trying to go from mid-major to major, so to speak. Maybe they'll leave Toyota and form an alliance with Hendrick. I honestly don't know.
Can we start blaming Dale Jr for JJ's slow start to the season? We blame Jr for everything else.
Have you looked at where Jimmie is in the standings? And need I remind he could have won California were it not for a last-turn pass by Harvick and Martinsville were it not for a late speeding penalty? They're thrilled with the start.
Is there no way they can adjust the back bumper for just the plate races? Make them able to take a bump draft, but not stay stable if they get locked together?
They could make them so they crumble in at the slightest tough, but nobody other than a few crew chiefs have suggested that.
Will JGR allow other drivers to get on their radios. I believe they were the only ones to not allow that at Daytona.
I'm betting it's a free for all. Find your best partner and dance off.
Do you think Dale jr is most proud of his Zero wins in his last 100 races, 1 win in 115 races for Hendricks or 1 win in his last 177 Sprint Cup races?
No sarcasm here, right? Hey, I believe Harvick had lost like 115 in a row before winning at Dega last year. Kenseth had gone 76 without a win before last week. It happens.
Whats the sponsorship situation with Ryan Newman the rest of the season?
Same as it has been, pieced together with Army, Tornados and Haas Automotive.
Hey David, any word on the terms of the deal with Biffle staying at Roush?
No details, but likely a three-year deal. That is pretty much the standard these days, and with Biffle's age can't imagine a longer commitment.
If Danica makes a Sprint Cup start this season what track will it be on? I do not beleive it will be at Phoenix since short tracking racing is not her strong suit so far in Nationwide series.
How about her home track of Phoenix?
David, the midwest, old school style of Kenseth and Fenning seems to be paying off at the moment. I know one win doesn't assure a challenge for the cup, but from your perspective does that team seem like a contender?
I never count Matt out. Even with bad equipment he seems to keep the car in contention for a decent finish.
With everyone from fans to race teams feeling the poor economy, why does Nascar race schedule go such long distances (i.e., East to West coast) between races? Obviously, weather factors in, but still think they could make more cost efficient.
Weather factors in. Tracks committed to certain dates does as well. They have tweaked to keep teams on the West Coast for a few weeks like the Phoenix-Vegas swing, but these things aren't as simple as we might think sometimes.
No matter what the Rowdy hating trolls say, isn't #18 team the backbone, foundation Championship winning, team leader team at Joe Gibbs Racing/
I'd bet Hamlin would have something to say about that, but my pick of the JGR group before the season was Busch.
With the recent allegation of players involved in a bribery during basketball games at the university of san diego, have any nascar drivers in the past been accused of similar type issues in racing?
They're accusations of cheating all the time in NASCAR, but haven't heard bribery as one.
Hey Newton, with five 1.5 mile racetracks in the Chase, do you think Gordon and Gus will get the new nose figured out and find some speed at the intermediate tracks?
Was talking to Jeff a short while ago today. He said he's glad they're headed to Dega because their 1.5-mile program is off. But he's optimistic they'll find it.
This is a response to Jeremy's point: That bonehead move was courtesy of Kevin LePage, who didn't blend into the pack coming off of 2 (which he should have done), but instead just turned right into an oncoming pack going into turn 1. Carl went straight up into the air.
Because of the problems with reliability and mileage of the JGR engines I doubt that Kyle or Denny are serious contenders this year.
Hey, maybe they're getting issues out of the way early.
Is JGR serious about giving KBM equipment to help Kimmi in the series since he decided he wishes to move to NW and Cup racing?
J.D. Gibbs said it is possible but woudl be tough. That doesn't sound like it's past the thinking stage.
Why does Stewart get a pass for "being very competitive" but when Rowdy behaves exactly the same way, the Rowdy hating trolls come out of the woodwork?
For some reason fans came to adore the way Tony treated the media and others early in his career.
This isn't a question about Dale Jr or Kyle Busch so it probably won't get answered. Is Mark happy with the 5 team this year? He doesn't seem to be very happy when talking about them this year, he was asked on Race Hub if they could win and contend for the championship and he said no. That's no the Mark Martin I know.
He's very happy. He likes Lance and they're working well together. Did he want to leave Gustafson? No. But he's been competitive, just not much to show for it yet.
is nascar satisfied with the road courses in New York and California? do see them moving different venues? Would you like to see a different road course venue?
They love Sonoma. Think it has something to do with wine country. Watkins Glen gives them a present in a NY market, although I oculd see that one disappear first.
Biffle said the he, Edwards and all the other free agents will be taking pay cuts, so seeing Red Bull's and Vickers poor results do you think RB might be considering getting out of NASCAR, especially since they are winning every race in F1?
Last I talked to those guys they were committed, hoping Kahne could make the 4 car attractive enough to attract a big-name driver.
What does Nascar need beside Dale Jr winning for the sport to take off again?
Dale Jr. winning would be a big boost. Maybe for somebody else to win the title beyond Jimmie, although I kind of like watching history being made.
I'm crackn' up at your chat today! Way to keep the smart asses in check. I don't understand why people need to hate on Dale Jr so much?
Thanks. Maybe it's the pain medication for the back problems I'm having.
When Jr. breaks his streak, what tracks fan would be craziest, I'd have to think Talladega would be right up there.
Definitely Dega. Duck so cans don't hit you in the head.
To try to avoid any early wrecks, think we'll see any cars drop half a lap behind the leaders for much of the race? There's no big pack so no risk of losing the draft (as long as you have a partner), and there will almost certainly be a caution late to bunch the field back up.
Track probably too big to see cars drop too far back unless somebody finds himself without a partner.
What is up with the #78 car? They are starting T-10 EVERY race, yet 32nd in owners points. Also they have been caught cheating with the weight distribution in the car during practice 1 or 2 times this year. What gives, Regan or Rondeau?
Yeah, just the opposite of Harvick and a few others that start back and wind up near the front. It's still a second- or even third-tier team, so you have to keep expectations in check. It's easier to put together a fast lap for qualifying than an entire race.
Hello David, With Penske being the only Dodge team in serious contention, does this help them or hurt them in your opinion?? Great article by the way.
Thanks on article, and Penske does have advantages when it comes to tests because as the only Dodge team it is always invited. Not having partners to share will take its toll.
Kevin and DeLana Harvick on twitter are the best "reality" show not being televised. Actually, they were on the "Nascar 360" reality series about 10 yrs ago along with about 5 other drivers. Like to see an updated version. Amazing how much they accomplished -- Truck and Nationwide teams and maybe eventually, Cup? They are great ambassadors for Nascar.
I agree. A fun pair to follow. You never know what you'll get, such as Delana talking about her dog pooping in the house during the storm the other day and Kevin sleeping through it.
Next time you get to interview Jack Roush, will you please ask him for a technical explanation of what he expects from the change to fuel injection?
Will do. Not sure I can share in one post here, though. Have you seen how long his answers are sometimes?
How many Sprint cup drivers do you think will enter the Nationwide race at Kentucky this year to get a feel for a track that's never been run before in the Sprint Series?
No more than normal. There is an open test the day before the track officially is open and most drivers will be there to get a feel.
It feels like NASCAR is back this year...the races to me have all been interesting and im excited each week for the next one...is it just cause im a junior fan...or does it feel that way for other people too?
I thought it was pretty dang good last year.
I could be Mark Martins Crew chief and he would say how much he loved me and how good the team was. But I watch them during the race to see how that team is doing. And it looks no different than the 88 did last year. They have started off a couple races running very well...Just to fade to 20th place. They have also had races like Texas where they were junk the whole race. Then get caught up in a wreck
Like I said earlier, it happens. Few drivers can sustain as Johnson has.
With only 1:45 of practice scheduled before cup qualifying, will NASCAR be making any plate changes like they did at Daytona?
They've already shrunk the plate smaller than Daytona, and are hopeful that will take care of it all.
Why do you answer the same dumb question if "will Dale win this weekend" from the same people, chat after chat? They could ask that question, 38 times a year and the answer will still be no.
Because I'm just a friendly guy I guess.
No Offense David, BUT the #78 has ALL RCR equipment & 100% technical support from them. SO, that makes them definitely a top tier team. They also want to add another team in the next year or 2. So as for perspective, look at it from that way. They should be able to get a race trim down by now.....
Just because they have the same equipment and support doesn't mean they have the same quality of engineers, pit crew members, etc. A lot figures into it. They're still a satellite team.
Ever since Carl took care of business at Atlanta, Brad has seemed to have lost his edge. Has getting roughed up by Carl and Rowdy caused Brad to lose his nerve?
I beg to differ. He hasn't backed down at all. He just hasn't had great setups for whatever reason. Kurt has complained a lot about his cars being junk as well.
Is Rusty doing NW races going to continue? I like him better than DJ.
He recently signed an extension,so I'd say yes.
Who could be a dark horse at Talladega, I like Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Bobby Labonte, and even Michael Waltrip?
Menard is a good pick. I'm going with Smith, though.
With so many cup drivers, including Jr, Stewart, Harvick etc. running in the NW race Sat. do you expect to see loads of complaints about the cup drivers dominanting the NW series?
No more than the normal. But maybe fewer with Junior running.
people ask the same dumb dale and Kyle questions every chat....but we all know whose those "people" are.
You guys are funny. No question is too dumb.
True bud, thanks. But, they want to be contenders. And they have SHR pit crew
Wanting and being are two different things. But I get your point.
That's it for me guys and gals. Have to get in a NYC taxi that will be scarier than a ride around Talladega and head for Alabama. See you on the other side.