Finally, we are to the Chase. I know some fans don't like it, but I love the drama it adds to the sport. And no, I'm not crazy for saying Dale Jr. still has a shot as I did in my column. On that note, fire away.
List of nascar chase drivers
Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhart Jr., Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman.
Is That True That Tony Stewart wants Danica Patrick to Race in the Southern 500 at Darlington on May 12?
I hope so. If you really want to test your skills that's the place to do it. Hope he brings lots of paints and bondo to the track.
Do you expect Brad K. to stay hot? and who are your top five this weekend and do you have a darkhorse?
I do. He's been consistent for three months now. No need to change now. As for top five, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Dale Jr. Yep, I believe he'll surprise. Darkhorse, Martin Truex Jr.
Are the top 12 drivers that made the Chase the top 12 drivers talent wise in the series?
I wouldn't say that anymore than I'd say the teams that make the NBA or NFL or any playoffs are the best. But they are the ones that have performed the best this season and that's all you can ask.
What are your thoughts on Talladega being in the Chase?
Love it. Wish it was this weekend instead of Chicago.
I am leading the Panthers to the SuperBowl! I am way better than Tim Tebow!
You might need a better defense.
Obviously, losing KHI is not a good sign for the Trucks. How long do you see the series staying around? It provides good racing, but there just doesn't seem to be enough money to support it
I agree the racing is great, but the financial formula just doesn't work. It wouldnt' surprise me to see it disappear by 2013.
Any news on potential buyers for Red Bull?
None, other than they continue to talk to people.
newt, this season is reminding of the 2001 season more and more as we get closer to nameing the champ. the racing has been close to how it was in 2001, the youth movement is just like 2001. i also think we se jeff gordon do exactly what he did in 2001, win the title.
You may be right about Jeff. He's the one I keep leaning to. Since t here was no Chase in 2001 hard to compare seasons, but you're right it has been drama filled.
Give me a non-chase driver who can steal a race win, and some of the thunder from the chase drivers by his finishes.
Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, Joey Logano . . . that enough. Several strong drivers that didn't make the Chase. More than I mentioned.
hey david as a gordon fan i want him 2 win it all this year but if he cant it go 48 why would little kurt busch even pick a fight with him get real man
Kurt really needs to get JJ out of his head if he expects to compete for a title.
Hi DavidDo you think Clint Bowyer will end up at MWR?
I do. In a third car.
Hi DavidIs Justin Allgaier leaving Turner next year? I heard that he may not be back.
Lots of shuffling to come in the Nationwide Series. Not sure about Allgaier, but not sure there are a lot of good options otherwise.
With the new points, how many guys do you see still having a shot going into Homestead?
I'm going to go with four to six I believe there are more teams capable of winning it all this year than ever and it will stay tight throughout. JJ is not as dominant as we've seen and nobody else has been, either.
How much of an impact do you think KHI leaving will have on the Truck series? (sponsorship, competition etc)
Can't be good when one of the top programs in the series gets out. I believe it's the beginning of the end.
Hi Newt, not sure if you caught Jimmy Spencer's piece on Race Hub about Menard possibly purposely bringing out a caution at the end when the 24 was pulling away from the 29 but wanted to get your thoughts if you did. Listening to the audio from lap 60 or so when the spotter told Menard "we don't want a caution now" and Menard replying "so no caution right now" seems like something may have been up, especially when the spotter was giving constant updates at the end as to the position of the 24 and 29.
Jeff certainly felt something was up there. Will explore it with Jeff this weekend.
Newt, what is behind the Power of Kyle Busch getting most media interviews and mentions all season?
It happens when you win in three series all the time.
Sorry I slowed for a second. A source on the Clint Bowyer situation called and I was multi-tasking.
How would you react if a driver grabbed papers from your hands, ripped them in half and threw them down, then walked away?
I'd confront him for sure. Actually, had a similar run-in with Kevin Greene years ago when covering the Carolina Panthers. Funny story I don't have time to get into, but he ultimately apologized just like Kurt did to the person involved here.
Am I the only one who thinks Harvicks scheme this weekend is way better than the black one he runs normally, the standard scheme is terrible!
I actually like the black scheme.
I totally don't see what Stewart or Busch did wrong this weekend, my god there are like 100 NASCAR shows and they all sell this stupid boys have at it crap, someone crashes and a reporter asks the driver if they are mad at the wall. Jenna Fryer asks the same dumb questions every week!
There is a line of professionalism and I believe both crossed it. If you want to show your behind, the last place you need to do it is in the media. You usually come out looking like a behind if you know what i mean. Specifically for Tony suggesting bad questions are being asked, we don't tell him he took a bad line into Turn 1 or 2, so for him to be critical of valid questions is not right.
If I get asked one more time how I want my whopper I am going to tear up their menu when they hand it to me like Curt!
So how is the whopper?
Do you think Kyle Busch will fall apart in the Chase just like back in 2008?
I don't. I actually picked him to win it all preseason. Think he has his act together finally, but you never know. He didn't fall apart in 2008 as much as his cars did. Hard for a driver to control that.
Hey who is your darkhorse for sunday
Martin Truex Jr.
David, hope all is well. Got a lot of questions for you.1) Did Bowyer's offer from RPM really get rescinded and are they officially not going after him anymore?2) What does this mean for Bowyer and RPM's quest for a 3rd car in'12?3) Who wins Saturday: Tennessee or Florida? (Go Gators!)
Yes on the offer being pulled. MWR looks like best and maybe only option. And I'll go with the Gators even though my wife who went to Alabama is from Knoxville.
Someone named ThePhoenix2012.. has a crush on me??? Aww, that cute!
Heard Bowter was touring MWR last week. If he ends up there, how does that affect the current lineup? Do you think having a driver at Bowyer's talent level helps Truex reach the next level? When he had a talented teammate at DEI, he made the Chase...
Don't forget Truex made the Chase a few years ago and his cars have performed well since the crew chief change. Having another drive perform well on the same team does help. Look at Penske today.
Hi David. Who you have winning to start the chase? And top 5?
I have Kyle Busch winning the Chase. My top five is mentioned earlier in the chat. Check it out.
Have Smoke talked to Robby Gordon about the #7 for Danica yet?
Robby has said emphatically no way will Danica get his number.
Don't you read ESPN.com? Wrote that at Bristol.
Howdy Newt. Heard that RPM has stopped talks with Clint Bowyer. Whats the skinny on him and where will he end up for 2012?
That is true. Looks like MWR is the best bet. Third car there.
Newt, with #18 team being most consistent in Top 5's this year and leading by 12 points do you think Rowdy can win the Sprint Cup without winning a chase race?
He could. He said yesterday he'd take 10 top-5s over three wins and a DNF. He's learned the value of consistency in NASCAR.
Would it be a smart strategy for Kyle and Dave to run the chase races like they did Richmond of just hanging back all race then running hard at the end of the race?
Not sure they hung back as much as they were forced back. Kyle's may be somewhat conservative, but if he has a car capable of leading and winning he'll do so.
2011 is the first year Chicagoland has been a race in the Chase, do you think that change will favor any drivers, or will there be any difference?
JJ's average finish there still is strong even though he hasn't won. Not sure it'll favor any one driver. Most of those in the Chase have been solid at mile and a half tracks.
Kyle said to win the Sprint Cup, the #18 team only needs to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's crossed, then Harvick said exactly the same thing. Do you thing #18 is better prepared than #29 this year?
Waiting to get their diploma showing they have graduated with a major in English before answering that.
David, did you think NASCAR should have docked Tony Stewart points for the way he verbally abused that female reporter at Richmond?
Not really. He's verbally abused lots of us before. I have been in his headlights a few times. As for Busch having to be physically kept away from another reporter, I think that needed to be addressed, but not with points.
After Richmond, ABC showed Mr. Helton talking to Rowdy and Gordon. Did you see that as a symbolic, "out with the old and in with the new" statement?
Didn't read that into it to be honest. I actually think the old may beat the new. That 24 team is strong.
When the 2012 NASCAR schedule will be released???
Maybe by the end of the week. If not within two weeks.
Hey David,Now that it looks like RPM has gotten out of the Bowyer business, It seems like the front runner for him is Michael Waltrip Racing. I know that both Gibbs and Roush have been talking with him, but they now seem like somewhat unlikely landing spots. Do you know if there are any other teams making some kind of move for him?Thanks
MWR definitely is the front runner. Shame Clint didn't take the offer from RCR months ago and has put himself in this position.
Any update on Mark Martin's plans for 2012?
It all hinges on sponsorship. First choice is to drive part-time at SHR opposite Danica Patrick.
Newt, why don't you tell NASCAR Now to start the show after your chat ends?
No control over the show, but do like that it is earlier in the day.
Do you think Travis will go looking for #88 on the track at Chicago?
Jr. has the best average among chase drivers at the chase tracks raced at this year. Why are you the only one who touts him as a true contender?
Guess I'm just crazy. But you're right, take away Chicagoland and Homestead where they haven't raced this year and his average on the other eight tracks is better than anybody's for his last time on those tracks.
Does Kyle Busch lead in NASCAR fantasy too?
If he doesn't he should be close.
Should i be worried about a ride for Clint next year? Per Jayski, RPM is out... Wheres he gonna land? Thanks
Do you think Rowdy should calls it quits if he doesn't win a title in few years and work for Interstate Batteries as sweeping the floor in a garage?
Without a doubt. Everybody loves a smarty.
So with KHI shutting down and it seems Germain could loose a truck or two, maybe even Turner if one of those guys goes to NW....where do you see the truck series ending up? Seeing Shrub win every race would be the death of the series.
As I said on Pit Reporters taping yesterday, I don't see the Truck Series surviving. Manybe NASCAR will look at grand-am or sportaman cars.
Is Sadler going to be out of a ride with the 2 car or will he run under RCR and Austin be the 3rd team?
Harvick says Sadler will stay when RCR takes over the NW program. Have to trust him on that. As for Austin, he very likely could be in a third team with the 33 Cup team moving downn.
Kurt Busch ended Gordon's chase last year at Martinsville and Kurt has warned Johnson too. When are these HMS driver gonna learn not to mess with Kurt Busch?
Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Even though Dale Jr has improved a lot from last year. What do you think he needs to accomplish for this year to be a success?I think if he could finish top 10 in points and win a race you could cosider 2011 a success and something that team could build on going into 2012.
A win would be a big step. Two would be huge. That and top-5 in points.
Why doesn't NASCAR have a Night Race at Chicagoland Speedway for the first Chase Race in September probably in 2012?
No idea why they didn't schedule it at night. I love night races. Particularly Saturday night races, although that would conflict with college football.
do you think Junior's 118 race losing streak is good for NASCAR to keep the fans in anticipation?
That's certainly looking at it glass half full, I suppose. Actually, NASCAR needs for its most popular driver to win.
David, I've said it before, no one this year has worse luck than Kahne. Getting taken out by your teammate with an assist from Ambrose. Unbelievable.
Yeah, but sometimes we bring bad luck on us. Not sure which it is with Kahne, but he needs to get it out of his system.
Who among the Non-Chase drivers do you expect to shake things up and steal a little thunder from the Chase guys?
As I said earlier, Truex, perhaps Biffle, maybe Logano. Lots of potential winners out there that didn't make the Chase.
What a time to rile up Jimmy Johnson. He's got to be the favorite. Now, call me crazy, but I like the lower seeds, like the 18 and the 2. Am I wrong as an oil slick?
The 18 is the top seed. The 2 is a lower seed that I like. I also would not be surprised to see Denny Hamlin make a run at this. Too early to rule anybody out.
While there is no doubt Kurt is a racer, his reputation and antics on and off the track cannot be pleasing to Shell. Is Roger Penske just about fed up with him? It would seem someone like Clint Bowyer would be a much better representative
Outside the few instances that bring Kurt embarrasment, he's a model citizen and standup guy for Penske. Sure they have run-ins, but no tmuch different than most drivrs and owners.
Do you think last week's race at Richmond was the best overall race of the year so far?
I wouldn't go that far. Hard to top the finish the previous week at Atlanta. There are several others that stand out as well.
One good thing about trucks next year is Johhny Benson! Okay two good things, Ty Dillon.
There you go.
What 10 tracks do you think Danica will race in the Sprint Cup Series for Stewart Haas Racing next year?
I'd just be guessing, but Daytona, Phoenix, California, Darlington, Charlotte, Kentucky, Talladega. Heck, I don't know.
Would Jimmy Johnson get more respect if he wore a Richard Petty style cowboy hat?
He'd get a lot of funny looks for sure. I'm thinking the belt buckle would do him more good.
Is Kyle Busch Motorsports the factory backed Toyota Tundra team?
They are backed by Toyota.
Last 2 times Jimmie messed with Kurt Busch he came up on the losing end of the stick. When do you think Jimmie learns not to mess with Kurt?
When Kurt stops messing with him. Jimmie is fed up.
Which two drivers finish 11th and 12th and get snubbed from the banquet stage?
Stewart and Kurt Busch.
since KBM got Rich Ren from KHI and now wants to sign Hornaday do you think Rowdy will hire Delana too?
You're on a roll today.
Geico 400= dale jrs chance to win. im feelin newt. my senses are tellin me to get ready for the 88 to be strong and a contender at chicagoland
Better go to Vegas.
Newt, what did you think about Harvick whining about Rowdy hooking him at Darlington then Harvick hooking Bayne in the Richmond NW race?
Don't think Harvick intentionally hooked Bayne. That's the big difference. PLus there is bad blood between Kevin and Kyle. Not Kevin and Bayne.
Mr. Newton,I was wondering if the announcement that Chicago will host the start of the chase in 2012 means ticket sales are strong for this weekend? I would love to see a big crowd this weekend to support our home track. Thanks.
Haven't seen sales, but it is football season and it is Chicago. I wasn't a big fan of moving the opener there.
Saturday night's racing at Richmond is proof that NASCAR needs more short tracks on the schedule.
Do you see similiarities between '08 and this year where Junior entered the chase dead last and finished dead last?
Not really. He is much stronger now than he was then.
Any rumors who Jr.s sponsors are for the new contract? I have not seen anything.
Pretty sure Amp will be back. Remind me to ask this weekend.
Will NASCAR do anything about the 27 intentionally spinning to bring out a late caution so his teammate could have a chance at winning?
Hard to prove that, although Gordon threw it out there. No plans from NASCAR, although I wouldn't be surrpised if Helton gave a friendly reminder not to let that happen at the driver's meeting Sunday.
Do you think there is any possibility of Elliott Sadler moving back to Cup racing at RCR if he secured the necessary sponsorship?
Not at RCR.
Do you think Clint will win one more race for RCR this year and how do you think he will do at MWR if he goes? I doubt he will make the chase or win a race
Clint definitley could win one of the final 10. Forgot to mention him earlier as non-Chasers who could be spoilers. MWR has under performed the past two years, so I suspect you'll see more changes than a driver there. Hard to say what that will mean for Clint if he goes there. Hard to beat where he is.
If Clint leaves RCR will they keep a 4th or stay with 3 teams.
I'm here go go three teams and move the 33 to Nationwide for Austin Dillon.
In your opinion is Kurt in Jimmy's head or is Jimmy in Kurt's head?
Jimmy's definitely in Kurt's head.
Why would Smoke sign someone like Danica, when there are much better drivers out there like Scott Speed?
To words: Go Daddy. Hard not to take a driver with those kind of sponsor dollars.
Mr. Newton -Any lead on what Vickers will be doing next year? Anything at all coming from his current team on their future plans? Thanks!
No idea. He's really in a bad spot with no sponsor and a record that is less than sterling.
SO think the drivers are worried that JJ has flipped the switch on since kurt decided to poke the bear with the stick?
They're always worried about JJ. And you're right, no need to give him more amunition or reason to fire him up.
What about Clint taking over the 20 from Logano. I don't think he is going to leave RCR for MWR.
I think you're wrong. Joey isn't going anywhere.
Newt, knowing that the 27 purposely brought out a caution to dictate then end of a race, even Mike Dillon was involved asking Slugger to switch over to a private channel, isn't that about the biggest cheat a team can pull?......using one of it's own cars out of the race to help it's own win!
Didn't hear anything about a private channel, but I wasn't at the race. Harvick still had to beat Gordon at the finish.
Is it legal to intentionally bring out a caution to benefit a teammate? If it isn't, why don't we see it more?
Let's call it unethical. Hard to prove it wsa done intentional.
Let me take that one Baseballman387....Kyle Bush is a joke....Yes he will if I have anything to do about it.
do you think Danica will win a NASCAR race before Junior does?
Why no love for Harvick???? He is the closer after all.
But can he close out a championship run?
do you think bass pro shops will follow austin dillion to nationwide and do you think he will keep the #3
Yes and yes.
Do you see anyone not in the chase taking out anyone in the chase from old run ins?
Juan Pablo Montoya might have issue with a few guys.
does anybody have a chance to knock of jj and who do you thing is the dark horse to do it annd why
Definitely. I really like Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. Matt Kenseth would be my darkhorse. He's quietly had a great year.
David, any idea on why the offer was pulled? Thought Bowyer would end up at RPM. Any chance he ends up at Roush?FYI, what did your Bowyer source say?
Not 100 percent sure. Bowyer did say making the Chase could be a factor. Wouldn't rule out Roush, either, because they need a sponsor for the 6 car if UPS goes to Edwards as expected. As for my source, he thinks it could be MWR as well.
That's it for me everybody. Have to iron and pack for Chicago. Big weekend ahead. Any storylines you want me to follow for a column, let me konw on Twitter at @Dnewtonespn or email me. Have a great week.