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May 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

Hi, all. I'm at Indy, but I see we have mostly NASCAR questions so far. All open-wheel enthusiasts are welcome too today -- even those who hate me for my reporting on Indy over the years.

Rick ma [via mobile]

Ed not a good start to the weekend for jpm, who needs a great finish this week. jpm said yesterday they need to get better fast. Can you see jpm getting another ride? He ain't happy!

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

Oh, he and Chip have been bickering off and on since their CART days together in the 1990s. This'll blow over.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think the Official Announcement that Danica Patrick will race in NASCAR full-time in 2012 will take place in Chicagoland preparing for the STP 300 since she is scheduled to race that event?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Knowing her people as I do, they're going to make sure her deal is completely like they want it before they worry about a venue to announce it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Where do you think that Danica Patrick will race in 2012?

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

I think she'll have a Happy car owner, in partnership with a Smoke mentor.

Travis (Billings, MT)

Ed- What are thoughts on the appropriate punishment for Kyle with his ticket?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

I think that's up to the local authorities in Iredell County, since that's where the thing took place. Yes, it made nascar look bad, but it's a law enforcement matter. You wonder how Toyota/Lexus moguls feel. I remember one time some drivers got caught speeding in Porsches, and the Porsche company was some kind of miffed.

Mark (Akron, OH)

When my grandfather died at Old Dominion Speedway in the late 60's, Curtis Turner was one of the first to offer condolences to my dad. Knowing that he tried to unionize Nascar, what do you think his chances are of making it to the HoF? He deserves to be in there....thanks for taking my question and for a great weekly chat.

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

Oh, I think Turner will definitely make it in, maybe eight or 10 years down the road. They probably will try to ignore his attempt to unionize the drivers with the Teamsters. But I won't let 'em ignore it. I'll bring it up for all to see -- because it was a very interesting story.

JD (wishing I was in Indy)

Are you going to the Last Row Party? It still exists, you know.

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

It does? Where and in what form? Robin Miller is sitting right in front of me in the media center, but he just took off to the garage to do TV. I'll ask him when he gets back. Meanwhile, tell me what version of it still exists.

Rick Mirrors (Indianapolis, IN)

Frank Lockhart on your front row? Really? Also, how do you include Tony Kanaan, but not Michael Andretti, Tom Sneva or Bobby Rahal?

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

Michael Andretti is in my 33. Look again. I told everyone at the outset that stats didn't count for everything. I knew Sneva and Rahal well during their careers. But I had to leave out a whole bunch of one-time winners.

Ted (Cali)

Do you think NASCAR should do what they are talking about at INDY and make it mandatory that the driver qualifies and not the car?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

They may be talking about it here, but Foyt is profiting from renting out a qualified car. What Foyt wants happens at this place. If he doesn't want to change the rule, the rule won't change.

Red (NC)

I hope Danica retires a filthy rich women. More power to her for marketing herself and seizing the opportunities presented to her. That being said, it just kills me that she is an average at best driver who can demand to be in Hendrick equipment. I know the sport is driven by sponserships, but where is the line between sponsor money vs racing ability drawn?Don'tget me wrong, she can wheel a car better than most of us out here. But Cup series? Come one now.

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

Oh, stop. Money and the image to pitch products took priority over talent decades ago. It is what it is.

lee (atlanta)

KHI has a chance to sign Danica?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

I think the deal will go under the SHR umbrella, which doesn't field NW cars or Trucks, and would contract out to KHI to supply equipment. Not a direct signing with KHI.

JD (wishing I was in Indy)

Ed, it's run by the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation. Google it. 39th year. Not sure where you heard it had stopped but it is still very much alive.

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

Yeah, but could it possibly be as good as when Robin emceed it?

Ed Hinton
  (2:16 PM)

BTW, ran into an IU journalism professor I know a little while ago. Maybe he'll know how the Last Row Party works now.

Rick Mirrors (Indianapolis, IN)

If there was one NASCAR driver that would make the switch to Indycar, who would it be? JPM?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Well, him, of course. But I think guys like Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman have enough open-wheel background that they could make the transition.

Rick Mirrors (Indianapolis, IN)

Last Row party hosted by my man JMV, tonight 5:30. FYI

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

OK, I stand corrected. Everybody in the media center confirms it still exists.

Lane (AZ)

you think the double file restarts are gonna be a problem Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

You better believe it. I'm hearing that every driver in the field is against it.

Zach (Ohio)

Ed, I'm not trying to pile on Kyle here, because I'm sure you'll get enough of that, but what do you think the chances are that his speeding ticket this week just happened to be the first time he got caught doing something like this, versus this being the first time he actually did it?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

I have no idea. But I'll tell you one thing, I rode with Dale Earnhardt Sr. at 100 mph-plus many a time in pickup trucks, station wagons, etc. And the only time I remember him getting ticketed was for driving up on a sand dune on Daytona Beach. The beach patrol nailed him.

Travis (New Mexico)

Was the season the #1 team had last year a fluke, it kind of seems that way because they have been aweful this year. Also what do you think about NASCAR having a race at a higher elevation, maybe Denver. I would love one here in Albuquerque but we dont have the people to support it.

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

The higher elevations would affect them currently, with carburetors, but should be OK with fuel injection. But, I don't see a NASCAR Cup race coming to NM or CO anytime soon, what with Phoenix, L.A. and Texas markets surrounding that area.

Owen (PA)

Why all the short memories on Kyle? Stewart, AJ all have had recent problems with the law but the haters only remember Kyle?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Oh, that's just the nature of things. In two weeks, they'll have forgotten about Kyle.

Ned (Indy)

Didn't AJ Foyt Jr. already go from NASCAR to Indy cars or was it the other way around?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

A.J. Foyt Jr. is THE A.J. And no, he didn't start out in NASCAR. He started in midgets and sprints, came to Indy in '58, then went into USAC stock cars, and then part-time into NASCAR.

William (NJ)

With the cold temps could there be problem getting heat in the tires like it happened back in the day when 1 of Penske's studs wrecked out Foyt on the warm up lap?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

It's gonna be hot on Sunday. today's carb day practice was the last cool weather they'll see. But with the double file restarts on a hot, slick, track, we could see the same terrible restarts we saw here in '92, but for the opposite reasons -- hot weather instead of cold tires.

William (NJ)

Was the dude who wrecked out Foyt on the warm up lap at Indy, Kevin "harvick" Cogan?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Yeah, and I can't repeat on a family web site what A.J. said about "Coogan," as he called him, on the track p.a. system that day.

Tim (AZ)

This may be an ignorant question, but is nascar the only major racing series that has drivers from so many diverse backgrounds? Open wheel, dirt tracks, midwest short tracks, offroad, etc.. Without knowing, it would seem to me that the open wheel series drivers would have been groomed for that style of racing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

you're pretty much right. And over in F1, that is REALLY a straight and narrow path up.

Ben (Circleville, Ohio)

Is AJ Foyt still tossing laptop computers and mad at Rahal for bad mouthing AJ in his hometown, Houston?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

No computers, but I was sitting in his coach Wednesday when he slapped his cell phone shut so hard I thought he was going to crush it.

Rick Mirrors (Indianapolis, IN)

That GD Coogan!

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

. . .lost his GD mind!"You got it.

Cody (NE)

Why do the drivers not need a driver's license? seems like a strange rule to me..

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

That's a little oversimplified. NASCAR drivers don't need a state-issued driver's license to drive in NASCAR. But they DO need a state issued driver's license to drive on the streets and roads. A NASCAR driver does NOT cover driving on the public roads of, say, North Carolina.

Travis (New Mexico)

Who here has sped and if you have did your place of buisness fine you? I know he was going at an excessive speed but dont you think this is being blown up a bit much?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

So let's hear some responses to this.

Joseph Sorensen (Portland, OR)

I have a question...Do you think Nascar will ever come to Portland?

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

Somebody asked me that last week, about the Portland road circuit. A) NASCAR already has a road race practically right down the road at Sonoma. B) I think NASCAR got a bad taste for the Northwest when the politicians insulted them on the Seattle effort a few years ago.

Brad (Crossville, TN)

Do you see Jack Roush geting rid of David Ragan and replacing him with Trevor or Ricky anytime soon? I feel like David has the talent, just some back luck like Ricky and Colin Bruan were having last year in the Nationwide Series.

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

The circumstantial evidence has pointed that way for some time, with the Wood Brothers acting as a de facto farm team for Roush. But think about it: How long have we thought now that Ragan was on his way out? And he's still there. Jack likes him.

Rick Mirrors (Indianapolis, IN)

What is your favorite Indy 500?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

Hard to pick a favorite. My most memorable -- although it was so crash-filled I can't call it a favorite -- was '92. It was like covering a war zone.

James (Al)

Isn't all this negative stuff about Kyle just because it was Kyle? If it had been Joey having the fun wouldn't everyone just give him a pass?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Oh, I don't think they'd give him a pass on 128 mph. But the outcry probably wouldn't be as vicious.

Gordie (Merika)

How does Jeff Burton look for Sunday starting from the inside of row 3?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Six hundred miles, a mature guy has an advantage of experience -- just like in an endurance road race.

Troy (MI)

Does Foyt say why he only hires foreign drivers now? Is it a money deal or can't AJ find good enough Americans?

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

I think it's the latter. And I think it bothers him that he can't find guys like himself, Tony Stewart, etc.

Troy (MI)

You picking Dixon for Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Yawn, well, guess you gotta, under the circumstances. But here's my darkhorse: Vitor Meira in Foyt's car.

John (Michigan)

Since Roush-Fenway seems to have a load of talented, young drivers do you think he might get another satelite team like he's got with RPM?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

Well, he already has another one, the Wood Brothers. That three-team package seems to be about all Ford is interested in handling right now.

Gordie (Merika)

With ratings down so much, what is the Indy 500 doing to reach to the younger fans who don't care about tradition like us old guys?

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

IZOD has a marketing plan aimed at youth, but I haven't seen it rolled out fully yet.

Clint (Phoenix)

Ed, This was the first year since 95 where Bump Day actually meant something, and the first year since then where it was not a guarantee the big boys were going to get into the show as more one race owners took shots.... With the new specs for next year, are we going to see even more teams, drivers, and bumping?

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

It all depends on sponsorship. Also, I'm not sure how the new "skins" -- they're really all going to be Dallara chassis with cosmetics added -- are going to stack up financially as far as creating what they call a lower threshold of entry for new owners.

Shane (St. Louis)

Mr. Hinton, How long after probation is up do you give K. Harvick before he plants K.B. in the wall? Over/ under 3 races?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Oh, come on. I bet you believe rasslin' is real too. You don't buy that probation stuff do you? And besides, nobody talks more trash without actually getting rough than Happy.

Travis (New Mexico)

"James (Al)Isn't all this negative stuff about Kyle just because it was Kyle? If it had been Joey having the fun wouldn't everyone just give him a pass?"I agree if it was JJ they would probably give him some type of award for setting a speed record!

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

Now, Travis . . .that last line is completely out of the ballpark. Besides, JJ's too careful of his image to pull such a stunt.

Layne (Minnesota)

Can you see Iowa getting a Cup race within the next 5 years?...I wouldn't mind seeing a Dover, Pocono, or Michigan date being moved there

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

I agree completely. Iowa would be a great venue for a Cup race, and the action would be good for TV. But changing the NASCAR schedule right now is about like trying to turn an aircraft carrier with a boat paddle.

Rick Mirrors (Indianapolis, IN)

Who's your pick to win the race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

To chicken out, Dixon. For fun, how bout Meira in Foyt's car, or even Danica pulls a miracle in the Andretti stuff.

Shane (St. Louis)

haha, I know all about rasslin', but do you really think it's over?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Oh, it'll flare up from time to time. But nothing will come directly off their latest run-in.

Troy (MI)

Who's you pick for the highest finishing female at Indy?

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

Danica, if only because Simona may get pretty uncomfortable in the late going with the burns on her hands.

Clint (Phoenix)

Ed, do you see some of the more established drivers who start toward the back on Sunday (Tracy, Briscoe, Andretti, Danica) having a real chance to win the race, or will traffic and/or bad cars do them in?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Oh, yeah, this place often produces a late front-runner from back there somewhere.

Ron (OH)

Harvick doesn't get rough? What about last year when he punted Kyle at Homestead.

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Oh, that was a rasslin' move.

Justin (NC)

Do you think that minority populations will ever gain mainstream interest in the sport? It is a wonderful, exciting sport to follow, and I know people would enjoy it if they give it a chance?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

I think minority groups have to get used to the idea that they're welcome at NASCAR -- and IndyCar-- races. All you have to do is see the groups of African American fans at Talladega to know that the bad-old image of Talladega is all wrong now.

Shane (St. Louis)

Just for the record Ed, I love the on track paybacks, but the pit road stuff has to be stopped before someone gets hurt.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Yeah, it's much more dangerous when it happens on the pit road -- but i think in that latest incident, there was no one standing nearby and I think Kyle knew it before he pushed Harvick's car.

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

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