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May 12, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all. Thanks for visiting. Let's get rolling.

Barb (Clearwater, Fl)

Didn't you say the Bobby Allison way of settling on-track disputes was immediate retaliaton? So wasn't Kyle only respecting old school Allison traditions?

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

Yep. Bobby and Richard Petty used to beat on each other on a per-lap basis, sometimes multiple times per lap. And Kyle is a huge admirer of Bobby. Kyle came and sat down with Bobby and me in the media center at Daytona last February, and he was just mesmerized by Bobby's stories.

Troy (Henderson, NV)

Hi Ed, I've read where Mark Martin said Kyle has been very respectful by inviting him to victory lane when he breaks Mark's NW record and also with what Kyle did for Sam Ard. Isn't it about time the Kyle haters stop with the negativity and start giving him some credit for being a very great, NASCAR race car driver?

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Sure it's time. It's past time. Kyle Busch does way more good stuff than bad. But some people wouldn't like him if he deposited a cashier's check for $1 million in their own personal bank account.

Ryan (Ventura CA)

Hi Ed, When did Smoke get castrated? All this drama and he's not involved in any of it!

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

No surgery, but Smoke has been a changed man since he became a team owner. I have to figure it's because he has to deal with sponsors face to face now.

Vern (NJ)

Have you ever seen a NASCAR race where 1 driver put the same driver into the fence 2 times within 5 minutes like Kyle did to the #29 at Darlington? Was that a NASCAR record?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

You never checked out Earnhardt v. Rudd or Allison v. Waltrip, did you?

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Hi Ed, were you at all surprised at Junior's comments the other day about how he's not running good enough to be feuding with anyone, how bad he would look racing aggressive etc.?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

Not at all. He has always been a more considerate driver than his old man was -- and I think that's intentional.

Bart (East Bay)

Personally, I'm sick and tired of all the Kyle v. Harvick talk. Doesn't it really come down to being a Kyle fan or a Kyle hater?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

Exactly.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Hey Ed T! Awesome class of 2011 story today, especially the Davey Allison tribute. Do you have journals with all these stories and are you planning on putting these stories into another NASCAR book?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

I keep a lot of records and files, and I'll probably do another NASCAR book within a few years. But not right now. The Honorable K. Lee Davis and Co. at ESPN.com keep me plenty occupied in this job.

Drew (Bloomington, Ind.)

Ed, we unfortunately have not gotten the change we wanted out of the sign-up-for-one-series rule. Despite their not earning points, Cup regulars are still dominating all the Nationwide races. Might further change be on the way?

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

We tried to pin Brian France down on that a couple of weeks ago on Monday Roundtable, but he wriggled out of it. I think they've definitely got to do more, and I'll post another question right now where somebody has a good idea.

Ron (OH)

Would it change anything if NASCAR quit giving owners points to owners in NW if they have a cup driver in the car?

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

It would be a heckuva start, Ron. Edwards was saying openly before the season started that a lot of his motivation in NW would be winning the owner's title for Roush. Sponsorship commitments have a great deal to do with it, though. That's what drives the Cup guys into NW.

Emily (NJ)

Ed, great article today! My stomach still churns and my blood still boils that Pearson did not go in with the first class...

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

Agree 100 percent, Emily.

Sam (UT)

Think there will be a duel/fireworks between KHI and KBM?? in the trucks and nationwide??

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

Na, I think they'll cool it.

Clint (IL)

What do you think the future holds for Dover Motorsports and their two tracks?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

My educated conjecture is it'll change ownership. Some in Nashville, especially supporters of the old Nashville Fairgrounds track, are thinking Nashville Superspeedway possibly could close in the future.

Glen (Fla)

Ed. if you only had the chance to sit down and have a conversation with only one driver from any era who would you pick?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

No doubt about it: Lloyd Seay, the Georgia moonshiner who won more than half of the 60-odd major races he ran before World War II. He would have been NASCAR's first superstar, but he was shot and killed in a bootlegger quarrel in 1941, after winning three straight -- on the beach at Daytona, at High Point, NC, and at Atlanta.

Jules (NJ)

Does NASCAR media ever call you guys after appearances on NASCAR Now to talk about comments, opinions etc.?

Ed Hinton
  (2:16 PM)

Don't recall one after NASCAR Now. But my editors sometimes get an earful from them after one of us had written a particularly forceful column.

Matt (Charlotte)

Hey Ed, don't really care that Harvick and Busch got into it, that was fine by me, but have either of made a gesture to Regan Smith as an apology for taking away from his win? Would seem like a classy thing to do.

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Well, I think they both did that, in their way, after the race -- trying to direct the media to pay attention to Smith's win. Didn't Harvick say something like, "I wish you were talking to Regan Smith right now instead of me"?

Gage (NC)

Hey Ed. Great Article! I know there are plenty of willing people on the lists but who would you say got the most raw deal getting left out of this class?

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

The pioneer car owner and biological father of NASCAR, Raymond Parks. I also hated to see Cale and DW have to wait.

David (Tucson, AZ)

Nobody talking about the fact that BK made the same decision on pit road as smith did, he ended up finishing 3rd, so what did you think of BK's performance at darlington?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

Nice job considering . . .Smith was in decent position to do a fabulous job on old tires holding off Edwards. BK had it a little tougher back there.

Avery (Port Angeles, WA)

When will the Cup series have a solid rookie again?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

Been slim lately, hasn't it? Maybe if one of the Ford hopefuls gets promoted up fulltime to Roush -- say, Bayne or Stenhouse.

Cole Trickle (Eagle Rock, CA)

Does the 11 get in the Chase on wins, points or not at all?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

It's beginning to look like he'll need to do it on wins. But points is not yet out of the question.

Rick ma [via mobile]

Ed!! why no fine or probation for newman throwing a punch at jpm, in there meeting with nascar? Was that a false rumor?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

I kinda doubt it happened. If it did, then somebody at NASCAR really chickened out on what I thought was a hard line rule. After Tony Stewart roughed up Brian Vickers several years ago but didn't punch him, Brian France told me something close to this: "If he'd actually struck him, I'd have had no choice but to suspend him (Smoke)."

Bart (East Bay)

I have become a real Trevor fan and like what I see. Read he is going to come back for the All-Star race. Does that mean the doctor's know what caused this condition?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

My understanding is that at least they've narrowed it down to something non-life-threatening, but don't know if they've put a name on it -- if there is a name for it.

JD (Gainesville, FL)

Hi, Ed. I'm making the trip to Charlotte for the All Star race and the 600. Can't wait to see that giant TV. Do you think that TV will be used for the fans' benefit, or just commercials with little racing shown?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

Oh, I think you'll see plenty of racing on that screen. that's what it's there for. The good news is, it's so big drivers will be able to watch replays as they pass by under caution -- and perhaps get an idea whether the latest guy to hit them did it accidentally or no. Bad news is, there's some concern that drivers may watch themselves on TV as they fly down the backstretch.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Ed, will the 16 team be among the contenders to win this weekend?

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

In my book, the Biff is always a contender on the 1 to 2-mile tracks, until proven otherwise with something like a hopelessly handling car. I think he'll be near the front, at least for a good while.

Sam (UT)

Whos ur pick to win and the top 5 to be there at the end? think the 11 will do good or will the slump get em and the monster?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

No offense, Sam, but this is the kind of question we get static about not answering on these chats. Thing is, these chats move so fast that questions where we'd have to stop and think for a minute slow it down prohibitively.

Adam (Vermont)

Million Dollar Question: Is Regan Smith 12th in points when the chase starts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

As consistently strong as he's been all season, barring bad luck, he could be there -- and the sentimental favorite among his peers at that.

Richie Mikemond (French Island Wi.)

You like the idea of a $25,000 bounty on Ganassi's Grand Am team?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

I think it's silly. Teams spend a whole lot of money on trying to win. You think 25K is going to make any difference? It's just a gimmick to try to draw some fan interest. But they're barking up entirely the wrong tree. Bounties are an old short-track, backwoods gimmick. Sports cars have a waaaaay different audience.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

Here's an idea to get rid of non-regulars in trucks and nationwide but it could also really hurt the series since they depend so much now on the Cup drivers coming over. If you're not getting points you don't get any of the money from your finishing position.

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Yeah, that's pretty radical surgery. And not sure it would work anyway. Sponsorship is the name of the game, and sponsorship begets winning, and winning begets sponsorship. Endless cycle.

Anthony (PA)

Ed, One note I must point out. A lot of people now think all of the smaller teams can compete to win. Truth is, will NOT happen. Unless you have billionaire investors. Look at FRR & RPM. Only reason why they can compete is because they have the billions, not millions. FRM has only millions, not billions. A millionaire asks what it costs. A billionaire just gets it done. With that said congrats to Regan Smith. Long overdue with a team that has ALL RCR support

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

I don't think anybody thinks the little guys will win consistently. We're all saying it's nice to see that they still can win occasionally. And I tell you what, that 78 team is visible nearly every week.

Fran (Atlanta)

Can you imagine the uproar if NASCAR put a bounty on the #48 team?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Again, wouldn't matter. They could put a $10 million bounty on the 48, and that wouldn't make the 99 or the 18 want the championship a bit more.

Kyle (NC)

Howdy Ed. The 22 has been awful to say the least in recent weeks. He swept the 2 May Charlotte races last year...Will coming back here next week get this team back on track or is that team in trouble?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

A lot of teams rebound at Charlotte, if for no other reason than sleeping in their own beds at night. I think the Charlotte events are the key -- if they don't bounce back there, they ARE in trouble.

Brian (Woodbridge, VA) [via mobile]

With rain being in the forcast Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday what will nascar do if they can't get the race in any of those days and what's the last day they would try to get it in?

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

That's something of a reach, in that the forecasts are for SCATTERED thunderstorms. Common almost everywhere when the weather gets warm. They'll get it in. But, to take your conjecture to the limit, with Charlotte coming up, right back down the road and home base for the teams, they might try it as late as Wednesday.

Steven (Kingsport)

uh, back to that Bobby Allison analogy, I doubt Bobby ever wrecked anyone, then risked serious injury to innocent bystanders to avoid "getting punched in the face". Oh that's right, he was thinking of his sponsors.

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

I think that deal about bumping Harvick's car is WAAAAAAAY overblown. 18 knew what he was doing. he wasn't going to hurt anybody.

Renee (MI)

What is up with BV? Does he have to get used to driving again or is he just being too agressive. I have noticed that he puts himself in bad positions almost every week. But I don't think he wanted to return and end up 28th in points.

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

Oh, that's pretty much same ol same ol for BV.

Shawn (RedneckVille)

Do you think Nascar could ever be an elite sport? and how can you even consider it a sport since i could get training and be a driver next week???

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

Never be an elite sport as long as completely out-to-lunch characters such as yourself go blindly trolling onto chats just being pests.

Iceman (ALa)

Ed: all this talk about respect and who likes who is nuts. I have always been taught you earn respect. some of these younger drivers think they desire to be there and they think the older ones should respect them when they arrive. When Dale Earnhart came in he was treated the same but he have the media like it is know. Everyone needs to let these drivers be themselves. What is racing without fueds and alittle roughness. Just let them be Drivers. They will settle the fueds in time like everyone elses does. Either talk it out or fight it out. Off the track not in the cars.Dale E Rest in Peace

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

When Earnhardt came in he was laughed at for his recklessness. "With Earnhardt, every lap is a controlled crash," DW said at the time.

Jack (San Diego)

Any chance or rumors that NASCAR is looking at running another road course on the new Texas track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

No way, no how. Eddie (Two Gun) Gossage would not allow a race in Austin. Besides, even the finest F1 tracks aren't wide enough for Cup -- see, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.

Ron (OH)

I lost some respect for NASCAR when they let a 76 year old in a race.

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Yeah, likeable a guy as Hylton has always been, I hate to see him out there messing around.

Jules (NJ)

What are your thoughs about NASCAR broadcasting the truck race tomorrow tape delayed?

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Think that's a Speed Channel call, isn't it? Probably because there are no lights at Dover, and they'll start in late afternoon, when the potential audience is commuting home from work.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

How hard would it be for NASCAR to run a street race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Too hard, apparently. They considered that in the '80s, when CART was doing it. They gave the series the working title "LR," for Left and Right. It never got off the ground because they realized 3,400 pound stock cars couldn't negotiate city street corners like CART cars did. Heck, they'd have torn down every light post in Manhattan.

Saul (San Diego)

Ed, Followin up on Brian question...If it rains that they cannot get the race in before the next scheduled race, do they cancel or re-schedule for a later date?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

They'll reschedule. After 9/11, for example, they moved the New Hampshire race all the way to after Thanksgiving.

Walt (Ocean City, NJ)

Will the fuel injected engines deliver significant fuel mileage gains? Will NASCAR have to reduce the size of the fuel cells?

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Doubt the mileage will change significantly. But NASCAR's fuel cells are already too small anyway, to increase pit stops. Used to be 22 gallons. Injection would have to increase mileage a whole lot to get back to what used to be standard pit stop range.

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

By the way, so everyone will know, I'm not posting any more of the rants about the Harvick-Busch deal. enough.

Tek (Madison)

What are the odds we see AJ get another 6 second lead at Dover and be able to keep it this time?

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

Don't know if he'll get one that big, but he's due to get a lead and keep it -- i. e., due for a win.

Sam (UT)

Any word on if Ragan is gonna have a ride next year??

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

I think he'll have something. Too nice a guy, too good for sponsors . . .and could break through with a win this year.

Layne (Minnesota)

No Octo today?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Unless you're him, I've learned to catch him and am deleting his posts because he bragged so much last week. If he hadn't bragged, I'd have posted and answered some of his questions.

Carlos (Orlando)

If Danica to NASCAR for 2012 is a done deal, what cup car do you see her driving?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Likeliest place is a third SHR car. Hendrick's people like her, and they've got GoDaddy, but the Kahne deal closed the door on Hendrick per se.

Christine (Jasper,In)

I think it was great that Regan won. It was after midnight when the race was over,but I still cheered when he won. Too bad his mother wasn't there. I'm sure he's a really nice guy in person also.

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Jefinitely a feel-good win all around -- even for the combatants, 18 and 29.

Dan (Charlotte nc)

hi. Ed. who you got this weekend at Dover? and top 5?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

As I pointed out, going through a top five slows this chat down too much. But my pick to win is 48.

Sam (UT)

watch out dan i got nailed for that one lol

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

No offense meant at all to you guys. But if I have to sit here and think about it, in order, it takes a minute or so.

Saul (San Diego)

Does Danica or Andretti have the equipment to win the indy 500?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Maybe. But it sure looks to me like two kinds of cars at Indy this year, Ganassi's and all the rest.

Ryan (West Chester)

I think a movie needs to be made depicting Lloyd Seay, Roy Hall, Red Byron, and the like. I think it would be a fascinating movie depicting the origins of NASCAR.

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

I've tried for some years to get my film rights agent in L.A. to shop a Lloyd Seay treatment. He claims producers just won't by "period pieces" like that anymore. I haven't given up, but those people out there have blinkers on. If it's not vampires or futuristic, they can't sell it to their mouth-breather audiences.

Larry (MI)

Ed, I am curious to know how the owners feel about the Harvick/Busch deal. Childress seems like a guy that would have his driver's back and be in favor of Kevin's actions. Gibbs seems like the total opposite.

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Gibbs may chew out his drivers in the haulers, but everywhere else, he's got their backs 100 percent.

Sam (UT)

They should make a movie about Junior Johnson, now thats an origin story!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

Absolutely. They did one back in the '70s that was badly fictionalized, "The Last American Hero" starring Beau Bridges and Valerie Perrine.

Carlos (Orlando)

What does it say when Roger and Chip are always on the Indy car pit box instead of the Sprint cup box when the races overlap?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Tells you Indy cars are their first love and their greatest love -- and rightfully so.

Tracy (CT)

Who is Kevin Swindel? He is driving for Bayne this weekend.

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Son of Sammy Swindel, one of the greatest sprint car drivers ever. Sammy all these years has been the David Pearson to Steve Kinser's Richard Petty in the World of Outlaws.

Mark (Mount Airy, MD)

Hey Ed, If they won't do a movie idea about the early pioneers of NASCAR, how about a documentary series???? I've read a lot but still find out fascinating stuff about these guys all the time.

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, we did one at ESPN three or four years ago, a 10-part series called "Ultimate NASCAR." But it mainly dealt with after NASCAR was formed. I've always wanted to do something on the pre-World War II days of stock car racing, long before NASCAR, when it was incredibly cool and colorful.

Ed Hinton
  (3:02 PM)

Oh, dangit, we were just getting wound up. But rules are rules, and we gotta go at 3:00. Thanks to all for a very lively chat today.