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September 8, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Back from my visit to the White House. Nice place, but I'll stick with my home in Charlotte. Lots of questions already up, so let's get right to them. Fire away.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Tony Stewart will run Danica Patrick at Talledega on Sunday October 23,2011 to Prepare for the 54th Daytona 500?

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

I don't. I am told she probably won't run a Cup race this year. She's already run Daytona in ARCA and Nationwide, by the way. Not much of an adjustment going to Cup there.

Rick (North Carolina)

Will Jeff pass David Pearson before he retires?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Probably not. He's 40 and wins in this era don't come in the bunches he collected in the mid-1990s. He'd have to average four wins for five years to catch Pearson, and if you look he hasn't come close to averaging that the past few years.

Dos (LA)

With Kyle's horrible inconsistency and a Houdini act on the horizon once the chase starts, could we all agree that the favorites for the championship are the 24 48 17 99 and 2?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Don't overlook Kyle Busch. Brother Kurt, either. I believe this will be the most competitive Chase so far.

Dos (LA)

"Rowdy" Keselowski has gone from bad boy to consistent top 5 competitor and winner much like Harvick has done throughout his career. Is this lack of maturity and composure holding guys like Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch back from coming through in the clutch?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Not Kyle. In case you haven't noticed he is second in points with a series-leading four wins. As for Juan, I'd call it stubborness more than lack of maturity.

Logan (MA)

Do u see the Chase turning into a 24-48 battle, somewhat like 07? Maybe with a different outcome? LOL

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Wouldn't that be fun? Unfortunately, I believe Kyle Busch and several others will figure into this.

christ yoder (reedsville pa )

hey david i barrley made it home from work to watch my driver win on tueday what do u think his changes are on sat. night he's my pick thanks

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

He is on a roll, and when you are on a roll you have a chance to win every week. Don't forget Denny Hamlin has won the past two September races at Richmond and Kyle's not bad there, either.

Tyler (Minnesota)

How many career wins do you see Kyle ending up with?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

In Cup, I'd say somewhere between 50 and 70. He's young, remember.

Andrew Ford (KY)

Do you think Kyle wins the truck race at the Rock next year?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Let me look into next year's crystal ball. Nope, I see Harvick.

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

By the way, glad to see The Rock get a NASCAR event back. I grew up near there and love the place.

ThePhoenix (FSU)

How big of a margin do you see Kyle winning the Cup this year?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

You must remember I picked him to win it all. I wouldn't say a big margin. I see this going down to the wire.

Andy (MD)

Thinking of giving up on Smoke and becoming a Kyle fan. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

Fans don't typically give up on their team or driver just because of an off year. Got to be some dedication there. But if you're interested in wins, Busch isn't a bad place to land.

Toni Stert (The buffet)

Does all this Octo talk make any sense to you?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

Never.

Jay (Virginia)

I heard rumors that Childress was buying out KHI or at the very least, running a joint Nationwide program. Do you have any details?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Check yesterday's news. They have merged with RCR running the Nationwide program. Still not sure how the Truck program will look.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Speedway has the Most NASCAR Races Postponed Due to Rain or Bad Weather in NASCAR History?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

You do ask tough questions. I have no idea, but if I were to guess it would be somewhere like Pocono or Atlanta where weather always seems to be a factor. I know I've seen a few Monday _ or Tuesday _ Atlanta races.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

So Jr. needs a top 20 this weekend, although a top 25 would probably work, of which he has one in his past 5 Richmond starts. As they aren't running that well right now, he would seem to be in trouble.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

The numbers at Richmond don't look all that great, do they. I think his average is 26.5 over the last five races there.

Jim (West Sunbury, PA) [via mobile]

Will we see another three-way battle for the cup? I feel if that happens again Brad Keselowski, Kyle Bush, and Jimmie Johnson will be the three with Jeff Gordon looking from the outside yet again.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

I like the way Gordon is running a lot. I'd almost have to say he's the favorite based on momentum heading into the Chase.

Kristin (Anchorage)

Mr. Newton, I want to take my husband to a race in the South. Which track offers the best fan experience and racing? Thx-

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Depends on what you're looking for. If you want to experience history I'd go to Darlington, but it's pretty rustic there. I love Martinsville for the pure racing. You can't go wrong at Bristol, either. If you want to experience all the bells and whistles, the Daytona 500 is hard to beat.

Bart (East Bay)

After seeing Kyle smack the wall at Atlanta, I have some concernes about his ability to wheel a car on tracks requiring finesse. Should I be?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Nope. I'd put more faith in him than most. A lot of drivers hit the wall at Atlanta. Gordon and Johnson almost bought the farm on the last two laps. Amazing finish, don't you think?

Bart (East Bay)

As a closet Jr fan, I have so say, I am concerned about him holding out and staying in the top 10 after Richmond. Should I be? It would be devastating to me if he missed the Chase I might add.

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

I'd be concerned. And it would be devastating for a lot of folks, including Junior, if he failed to make the Chase after such a strong run early in the season.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Who do you think Clint Bowyer will race for in 2012?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Hearing lots of rumors. I've said all along he would be back in the 33, but RPM and Michael Waltrip Racing keep creeping into conversations. I honestly don't know.

Don Juan (TX)

David what do you think of my fantasy team for Richmond? I have the 21, 7, 37, 50 and 87

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

I think you must have dipped into the cabinet before making those picks.

Tony (Hampton Ga.)

Who are your top five this weekend at Richmond? Who is your darkhorse?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

11, 24, 18, 48 and 14. Darkhorse, 56.

Bart (East Bay)

Oh, and great driving by the 24 at Atlanta. Have not seen any other driver capable of driving like Gordo did.

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Really. Johnson, Edwards and the Busch Brothers do it all the time.

Dane (NJ)

What are the chances of getting a K&N East/Trucks double at Rockingham next year?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Makes sense. Not sure about the odds, but it makes sense.

Dane (NJ)

Does Penske have any interest in going to a third team next year? With Clint and Brian available, the talent to fill the seat is out there.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

If he had sponsorship to offer, but that is the key for everyone interested in Bowyer.

Ron (MD)

David, what is going on with KHI? Is this leading to running Dillion and TY in NW and then CUP under a KHI umbrella as a satallite team?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

It definitely is leading to Ty running a Truck next year and Austin in Nationwide, with Cup only a year or so away. Kevin has been pretty adamant about not wanting to move to Cup right now, but things are changing all the time. I look at the moves more as economical as anything.

Johninatlanta (Atlanta, GA)

How detrimental was the postponement of the AdvoCare 500 until Tuesday to Ed Clark & AMS? Imagine the walkup sales were heavily impacted, and they are down to one race a year. Good racing, shame most fans that wanted to be there missed it.

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

They had no choice but to postpone till Tuesday. I would think the great finish and great racing was a plus for Ed and the track in selling for next year.

baseballman387 (Leavenworth)

Newt, Dale said HMS isn't making all 4 cars equal and everyone knows Chad and Alan are the best crew chiefs so why does Mr. H continue to make Junior race in old, reject cars with lousy crew chiefs?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Are you kidding? Can't say I agree with any of what you say. Mr. H is doing all he can to get Junior in championship form, from personnel to cars.

Gene (Ohio)

Newt, when Gordon won Atlanta I couldn't help thinking that was Junior's car and if only he had Alan as his crew chief it would have been Jr. won won 3 races this year. Do you think Mr. H will assign Alan or even Chad to be Jr.'s crew chief for 2012? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

No and no. Gordon has 85 wins and four titles. Are you honestly saying if a driver with no titles and 18 wins was behind the wheel he would have won? What is going on here?

Vernie (NJ)

Did you notice that President Obama stopped to talk with and paid special attention to Gordon and Jimmie but only shook hands with The Busch Brothers and the others? Does the POTUS favor HMS like NASCAR does too?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Hey, Jimmie is the five-time champion and Gordon is a four-time champ coming off an h istorical win. I would say he divided his handshakes and time up wisely if that's the way it really was.

Smity (Florence, SC)

Do you think Hendrick gives #88 and #5 the old cars and engines that Chad and Gusfafson don't want for Jimmie and Jeff and is that why Jr. can't win and runs 20th all the time?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Ah, somebody from my brithplace. And no, i don't agree with any of these conspiracy theories.

Lois (Huntington, WV)

Hi David, now that Jr. has all the Danica business settled and he has his contract until he's 43 do you think Jr can now focus with all the distractions gone and win the Sprint Cup and a bunch of races?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

I don't think he was distracted by any of that stuff to be honest.

Jon (VA)

with KHI "merging" with RCR didn't Harvick basically put up the white flag, quit and announce his departure from NASCAR team ownership?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Didn't read that into it at all.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

Sending this bit early since we have a flood evacutation going on. Once again JJ seems to be peaking at the right time but I have to ask a media related question. It was clear many of the stories about JG's 85th victory were pre-written. Do most writers have a draft of a story about the end of the 48 streak? BTW having worked in DC it is a royal pain to get credentials to get into the bathroom let alone the White House. Glad you stuck it out

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Sorry about the floods. I heard it was pretty bad heading for the airport in Baltimore this morning. Roads were flooded there. Yes, Jimmie is peaking as usual. As for JG's 85th win, most of mine was pre-written. I rewrote the lead to use an Atlanta moment I thought was fitting, but having stories ready to go like that is a common pracdtice. We don't, though, have one for Johnson's streak ending. And it was a pain. Thanks

Sam (UT)

For Kahne and Martin, 2011 is over so do you think it makes sense for Kasey and Kenny Francis to start running the #5 at Chicago and jump start 2012?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Only if Martin had a place to move for the rest of the year, which he doesn't at the moment. And they are not done. Either could make the Chase with a win and Brad Keselowski moving into the top 10.

Lynn (Mich.)

Hi Newt, do you think Kyle, Dave and the #18 guys are over the devasation of getting wrecked by Kenseth and suffering that disappointing 23rd at Atlanta and can they come back to win or at least get a top 5 at Richmond?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

I do. Don't think they were devastated, either.

Thomas (Indianapolis)

After Atlanta, Montoya said Bowyer was crying because he's looking for a ride. Since EGR gets engines/chassis from RCR does JP have some inside knowledge that RCR has already told Bowyer he can look for a new ride?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

I doubt it. Juan doesn't pay that much attention to the inside politics.

Seth (Omaha)

Do you think Danica will be sharing the #14 /#39 with Stewart and Newman and that Brian Vickers, Bowyer and Martin will be racing in Nationwide or maybe trucks next year?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Sharing? No, she'll have her own parttime Cup ride at SHR. Perhaps Vickers could be forced to drop down to NW, but I see Bowyer and Martin in Cup rides. Stewart has said that Martin is his top choice to split a ride with Patrick.

Baseballman387 (Flooding MD)

How did Smoke get to 3rd? He was 7th or 8th a few laps ago before the end. Did the other drivers, who got passed by Smoke, kinda gave up or Smoke had a powerful car?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

He pedaled hard at the end. I was pretty amazed as well. Good sign that perhaps he woke up.

The Godfather (Troll Land)

Okay, so with Darlington off the Truck schedule for 2012, and The Rock getting a date, who's getting the still vacant dates? At this rate, I'm thinking a second Pocono date isn't that far off for them.

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

I still see the short track in Indianapolis getting a race. Montreal I hear is coming back as well.

Ted (Titusville, FL)

Hi Newt, do you expect Danica to run the Daytona 500 and do you think she can win it like the newcomer Bayne did?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Yes and no, although with this two-car dancing you never know for sure.

Baseballman387 (Flooding MD)

Why did Kyle Busch chat lasted 19 minutes? I thought it could go to about half an hour.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Would have been more appropriate had it gone 18 minutes, don't you think? He has a busy schedule and isn't under contract to chat like me, although I'd do this for free. Just don't tell anybody that.

Ashley (Lake Norman)

when does the Samantha and Kyle, "Ridin' Shotgun with Rowdy" show start on ESPN?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Haven't seen any details of the sequel.

Ron (NC)

Should I jump on a different bandwagon because Kyle hasn't won the last two races?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Only if you like jumping.

Ray (NC)

If Dale Jr won at Richmond, would the media become two-faced and start kissing up to him?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Not sure what you are insinuating, but you won't see any of that from me or others I respect in the media center.

Samantha Busch (Feels like Hell)

How much longer do I have to stay married?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

I'm still wondering what you had to do with Kyle's hair at the White House.

The Godfather (Troll Land)

What special paint scheme this weekend is your favorite?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

I'm a traditionalist. I like the Mountain Dew scheme Junior runs.

The Godfather (Troll Land)

If Bowyer wins, all he needs is to gain 12 points on Hamlin and he makes the Chase over Denny. What are the odds of that happening this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

He'd have to win, probably. This is one of Hamlin's best tracks.

Turk (Michigan)

Why did people whine about the timing lines at Bristol? My man Kyle has been using them to his advantage for years.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Jimmie Johnson has been using them to his advantage everywhere. I think because Gordon was the whiner people paid more attention.

Robert (Spring, TX)

Newt, at the White House Rowdy Busch looked just like that big, tall, lanky Richard Petty. Does Rowdy remind you of Petty too?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

In that he likes to run every race he can and wins a lot, yes. Personality wise, not at all.

Ryan (Reynoldsburg,Ohio)

Agree or disagree with alan bestwick and why "When Jeff Gordon is at his worst he is amoung the best, When Jeff Gordon is at his best he is quite simply the best"

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

I do. Give Jeff average equipment and he'll still be competitive. Give him really good equipment and few if any can drive better.

belibrady (espn)

Should the chase field be cut down to 6 or 8. Stewart, Newman, Jr, Hamlin etc. aren't real chase contenders, and Keselowski doesn't necessarily even deserve a chance to beat the guys who ran well all year.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Not at all, and Keselowski certainly deserves a shot. He has to be among the favorites the way that team is running. It's no different than any other sport when a team starts slow and then peaks at the right time. We've seen wild cards win it all in the NFL and Major League Baseball, too, and you don't hear complaints.

Tom (Aurora, IL)

David, I beleive that Jeff has had enough of Jimmie's winning championships and understand that they are teammates but the time has come for Jeff to be the taker and not the takee, letting it all go for broke this season, your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Can't agree more. He is ready to prove he still is a champion as well.

Saul (San Diego)

If Danica wins the Daytona 500...will she have more fans or haters...

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Fans.

Tom (Orlando,Florida)

Where will gordon and johnson rank all time at the end of there carrers. I say gordon because he raced in my opion the 2 toughest eras of the sport earnhardt and waltip and johnson, stweart and bush

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

I get what you're saying about Gordon and the era, but this era has more drivers capable of winning than they did 20 years ago. It all depends on the final scorecard. If Johnson wins seven or eight titles that will be hard to ignore. But right now I'd say Gordon is ahead.

Saul (San Diego)

Sir Newton?.as painful as it for us Jr Fans?.what is worse for the Enigma 88 Team? Making the chase and continue middle-of-the-road finishes or not making the chase and continue middle-of-the-road finishes.

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Not making the Chase. You've got to start somewhere.

Saul (San Diego)

Packers or Saints? you make the call...

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Tough call. I'm really hoping Brees throws three touchdowns to his and my tight end. But if you make me pick a winner, I'm going Saints, although the defending Super Bowl champion I read has won 11 straight openers the following year.

Vic (PA)

Newt, do you think maybe Jr. has entered the "Bobby Labonte" phase of career and he might never win another Sprint Cup race?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Not there yet. He has better equipment and personnel than Labonte.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

What tracks you can't wait for Danica to make her 1st nascar start at that she hasn't raced there yet in nascar for 2012?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Hmm. She's raced at most of the hard ones. I suppose Darlington or Martinsville. If she can get around Darlington and do well she will earn a ton of respect.

Andi John (KY)

Could I possibly get K. Lee's number from you?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

He won't even give it to me. What's up with that?

Tim (Clarksville,IN)

did Mark Martin really dump Regan Smith on purpose? Regan tweeted he thinks...yes!

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Nah, Regan is one of Martin's favorite drivers.

Kaylee (Burger King)

Will Smoke be a factor in the chase?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Hard to think so at this point, but I've seen drivers struggle to get in the Chase and then catch fire. Montoya did it a few years ago.

Gibbs Fan (VA)

JGR Toyota's have won the last 5 Richmond races. Do you expect Coach will be holding the trophy again Sat. night?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Hard to bet against them, right? Denny sounded pretty confident at the White House.

Octo (TheBasement)

Some payback coming to the 42? And what was your take on the incident?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

At some point, if Bowyer is not a factor for the win and making the Chase, I could see that for sure.

Gibbs Fan (VA)

AJ Almendinger said the JGR could "easily" add a 4th team so what are Coach and JD waiting for?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

A sponsor, money....just the small things.

Jesse (Huntersville, NC)

I think Brad has the desire it takes to win a championship, but Jimmie and Jeff have the experience.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

I agree, but Jimme and Jeff also have the desire.

Mark (Mount Airy, MD)

David, what are Jack's plans for Bayne and Stenhouse next season???? Have you heard anything?????

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Looks like Bayne will return to the 21 part-time in Cup and Nationwide fulltime for RFR. I look for Stenhouse to get some Cup experience, maybe for a third team at RPM. I know I sound like a broken record, but everything at this point depends on sponsorship.

Douglas (Victorville, CA)

Isn't it true that back in the 90's when Gordon was winning 13 races a year the competiton wasn't anywhere near as tough as it is today?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

I wouldn't totally agree with that. I'd say the overall depth is better today, but there was plenty of talent in the mid- to late-90s.

octo (moms house)

We love ESPN and we love how you are the biggest Kyle fan there is! Thank you!

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Now I get why people get so riled at the octos.

KK (FL)

Think any of the locked-in drivers push it too hard this week for those bonus points? i.e. Kyle?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Nothing to lose at this point.

DRC (my desk)

Will Danicas first race be one giant party? We all know NASCAR fans will come to see her

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I suppose you mean her first Cup race? If her first Nationwide race is an indication, it'll be a huge party.

Jeff (Georgia)

David, have you seen anybody more snake bitten than Kahne this year?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

It would be tough to find anymore with worse luck among really good drivers. Halfway expected him to win on Tuesday.

Barack Obama (DC)

Vernie is right, I had to put away all of my HMS memorabilia before all the drivers showed up so they wouldn't see it... I can keep many things secret, but my NASCAR allegiance has been outed!

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

It had to happen one day.

Todd (GA)

What's up with all the give Jr another crew chief questions? I think Letarte has done a great job and if not for some bad luck at Michigan and Sonoma they would have a spot locked up for the chase? I think next year will be an even better year for the 88. What are your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Wish I knew. I agree Letarte has been great for Junior. They're still ninth in points, which is a big jump from a year ago.

Emily (Flooded North Jersey (again))

David, it seems that since the contract drama has ended, Carl and his team have slowly come back to life. Does this trend continue into the chase?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Slowly is a good word for it. He's still not a serious contender for wins.

Mark (Mount Airy, MD)

David, You mentioned that Bowyer could end up at MWR. Would that be in a third car or replacing someone??????

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Replacing someone, and not Truex Jr.

zack (sc)

who do you think will win the championship?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

I've said Kyle Busch since the start of the year, but that 48 team really is coming on.

greg (louisiana)

do u think joey logano belongs in cup

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

I do. Who knows, Brad K slips into the top 10 and Logano wins at Richmond and he's in the Chase.

belibrady (espn)

Is the chase set up to only let a vanilla driver win the championship every year as the sport continues to try and become more mainstream?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Not at all. It was set up this wasy before the driver you are referring to won his first title. I think it is more demanding to win under this format than before.

Saul (San Diego)

Which look: The Diet Mountain Dew or the Regular Mountain Dew.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Both, although I am partial do Diet Dew from a drinking standpoint.

Terry Blount (NC)

If I asked you if I have a tan, would that be a "good question"?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Good try, but TV lives in Seattle.

Johnny (SC)

What did Denny say at the White House?

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

That he and crew chief Mike Ford have worked out their communication problems and are ready to surge.

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

That's it for me, folks. Lots of great questions, and a few strange ones as well. See you on the other side of the Chase.