Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 22, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Welcome to a wet Wednesday chat. Good day to hang out and talk to you guys. Fire away.

Adam (Fort Wayne, IN)

Hey Newt. What do you think of Chad Johnston's willingness to gamble to get track position since he's taken over as crew chief for Truex? Do you see it paying off and Martin winning a race? Or can Martin win one of the next nine without the gambles?

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

If you recall Truex was my darkhorse last week. LIke the gamble, although not so much a gamble with the importance of track position and good tire wear. Wouldn't surprise at all if he won.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the 2011 Sprint Cup Series Champion?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Well, I picked Kyle Busch before the season and said him or Jeff Gordon before the Chase started. I suppose I need to stick with them, but my brain keeps saying 48.

Turk (Michigan)

With Kyle falling out of the top 10 and running out of gas do you see Kyle giving up and fading out of contention like he did in 2008?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Not at all. There's a mental toughness about Kyle that he hasn't shown before. He'll be back. Count on it.

jesse (iowa)

do you know if there will be a nascar 2012: the game video game?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Prety sure there will be. Not sure what driver is on the cover yet, though.

Bart (Eastbay)

In 2008 Kyle went from first to 8th after the first Chase race. This year he goes from first to 9th. Are we seeing the same old Kyle? Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

As I said in the previous answer, no. The 2008 was because of a broken part. He let that get to him and it happened again the next week. This time he simply ran out of fuel and didn't get the finish he deserved.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Hi DavidDo you know any driver contracts up after 2012?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Dale Jr.'s was, but he signed an extension. Reutimann's might be. Honestly, haven't looked that far ahead yet.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

David, hope all is well buddy. Bought my brother a Crown Royal hat since he's a Kenseth/Ford fan. Have been hearing some buzz about Kenseth/Home Depot next yr, will I be buying him a Home Depot hat nexy yr?Seems like way more a fit than Logano, plus he can compete with the 48.

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

I really can't see that happening. KNow there have been rumors out there, but many of them have been false as we've seen.

Shayne - NY [via mobile]

Mr. Newton... What's the latest news on possible investors for RBR? Thanks!

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Was told today they have some new interests coming in, but nothing definite. Starting to wonder if anything will get done to be honest.

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

I read that NASCAR is finally moving to fuel injection. What took so long for NASCAR to enter the 21st century?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Well, first there was nothing wrong with the carburetor they are running. Fans won't be able to tell the difference from the stands, so no rush on that. The only real reason they're making the move is because manufacturers want them to be more like the street cars.

Jamerson (Georgia)

I like Turner Motorsports for being the only Nationwide team without strong Cup ties to win races. Do you expect their driver/sponsor lineup to change at all next year?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Probably so. Could be a few Cup guys that don't get rides that they could get into the seat.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC USA)

Do you think the addition of fuel injectors will change these fuel mileage races any? The tires still wear down just the same.

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Brad Keselowski seems to think it will change. Me, I believe it has more to do with the tires and how teams can afford to push it to the limit more than it does miles per gallon.

Bart Busch (NV)

We think Kyle is in store for another chase meltdown.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

I don't. See below.

Tim (New York)

David......who ya got to win? The past experience and success of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon or the hotter drivers like Keselowski, Busch and most recently Smoke!

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

I'm going with Johnson this week, even though Newman and STewart finished 1-2 in the first New Hampshire race. I believe you'll see the top of the field heavy with Chase drivers like this past week as well.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC USA)

Hey David! It is almost as if people actually listen to Tony Stewart now he has to carefully choose his words. Though his ratio of wins to media outbursts seems to line up.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Tony never has chosen his words carefully. He says drivers don't care on the track if they make others mad. He doesn't care if he makes the media mad.

Baseballman387 (MD)

What does it take to be an ESPN Moderator?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

A laptop and somebody who trusts you with it.

John (VA)

I noticed Jr. is unloading a new chassis this weekend. This is the first weekend I have seen them unload something that wasn?t from last year. I am taking this a good thing, one built for Jr. and not Gordon. Do you agree Dave?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Not true. He's had new Chassis before now. People read too much into this. Hendrick is giving each of his drivers in the Chase the equipment they most need to win.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hey Newt, any word from the 24/18/17 teams on their chances this weekend? I'm pretty shocked they're so far down in points right now, esp. Gordon.

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

They each called me and guaranteed a victory. Kidding. Don't read too much into last weekend. All 3 had cars capable of running in the top 10. Kenseth had one capable of winning. They just got bitten by fuel mileage. Well, Gordon did have that speeding penalty late as well.

scott (N.Y)

What up with the 6 and 17 in 2012

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

Not looking good for the 6 from what I hear. No sponsorship. They're still working on things for Kenseth. It wouldn't surprise me if Roush shrank to three teams until the sponsorship economy turns around.

Baseballman387 (MD)

Do a NASCAR team, like #14, have one or two haulers? After the race at Daytona, do they have to get back to NC quickly, then go to Phoenix with only one hauler?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

They have a main painted up hauler they take to the track each week. Sometimes if there's a West Coast swing another hauler not all fancied up will meet them on the road and swap cars.

Gage (Charlotte)

David, with how mediocre the 11 team was all year and now what looks to be a near impossible climb in the chase rankings, do you see Denny Hamlin with a new guy on his pit box next year?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Tough call there. He and Mike Ford were one race for winning it all last year. Not sure they should break up because of one down year. Remember, Jimmie and Chad almost broke up after JJ came close and didn't win it all in 2005. They did the smart thing and stayed togther. Now look at them.

Jason Taylor (St Paul Minnesota)

When do you except the IOWA speedway to get its own CUP DATE???

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

I hope within a couple of years. The problem is a date has to open up.

rick (NC)

What is the scoop on Joey?Is JGR sticking with him? nNo real improvement this year and high bucks sponsors like the depot are hard to get , they want results

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

They do want results, but they've invested too much in Joey to give up now. And as I say almost every week, remember Joey was thrown into this situation a year or two early because of Smoke's decision to leave.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC USA)

Hey David! I'd be interested in seeing what the points would look like the past few years without the start-and-park drivers in the equation. For instance, instead of 38-43 being occupied by S&P's, if you wrecked early you would be 43rd, rather than 37th. I'd be interested in seeing if anyone different missed the chase or made the chase in those theoretical situations or possibly a championship swing.

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Haven't done that math. Why don't you work on it and send me a copy to look at.

Matt (Charlotte)

Hey Newt, do you know if NASCAR has access to the mysterious Channel 2 radio communications between Menard and the RCR folks? or just the open channel communications?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

NASCAR has access to everything one way or the other, whether it is direct or acquired later. Listen, I have talked to all parties. Listen to the audio and where Menard was wanting to wreck. He wanted to wreck Kenseth as payback, not give Harvick a shot. When he first asked about doing something it was when Kenseth was in the lead. That's why they were told no caution was needed. Too much has been made of this.

Bart (Eastbay)

When Kurt was passed by jr late in the race he went on one of his "potty mouth" rants again. Is part of this due to his secretly wishing he was at HMS running Hendrick equipment? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

No, I think it has more to do with he has a potty mouth behind the wheel.

KB (Florida)

Do you see any of the Nationwide or truck guys like Stenhouse, Almirola, etc. moving up to cup this year at say RPM or RCR?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

I can see Stenhouse getting into a few Cup races, but not full. Almirola I suppose could figure into the third car at Stewart-Haas Racing with Patrick and others. They still want Mark Martin, though.

Daryl (Iowa)

Would JTG aligning with RPM really help the 47 or the 43 and 9. Or will it make no difference whatsoever.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

It'll help Roush because he gets the check for chassis and engines if that happens. Don't rule out RCR, either.

LeBron Earnhardt Jr. (South Beach, NC)

Who even drinks diet Mountain Dew these days?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Me.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

What's the buzz around Vickers? Have heard anywhere from RPM to RCR? Also, that he might have more sponsorship $$$ than Bowyer?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Talked to him the other day and he says there are a few options. Didn't say if they were good options or not. It probably depends on what sponsorship he can help bring.

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

Nothing wrong with the carburetor? Ancient technology. Production cars started switching over to fuel injection in the 80's. They are far less efficient than fuel injection and can be easily altered for different tracks.....You know, getting away from the archaic concept of restrictor plates.This kind of mindset is why I gave up on NASCAR many many years ago.

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Yes, it is ancient technology. But the switch is somewhat costly and it's not as simple as slapping fuel injection onto the old engine. I agree it should help fuel mileage some, but we don't know how much yet. Bottom line, if I put two cars on the track and had one with fuel injection and one with a carburetor I bet you couldn't tell me which was which.

Bill (Winchester, VA)

What's up David! With NASCAR's new point system, the chasers still don't have their own points system. Yeah, the points are reset after Richmond with the top 12 having a shot at the championship. But why can't NASCAR score the chasers separately from the rest of the field? For example: the highest finishing chaser receiving 12 points and the lowest with 1. This would make for a tight chase all the way to Homestead. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

This has been talked about from the beginning of the Chase. It would keep things tighter, but don't you think a bad finish should be penalized a bit more. If they go to their own points system then they'd have to go to an elimination system as well in my mind.

Bart (Eastbay)

Any chance scooty speed will get rides other than start and parkers next year?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Not really. I like Scott but it's a tough market to crack when you don't have performance to back you up.

Daniel Gurney (California)

Is Dale Earnhardt the biggest fraud in NASCAR? Top shelf equipment, sponsors and fan support, but he does not win any races.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Was Dan Marino a fraud because he didn't win a Super Bowl? LeBron James a fraud because he hasn't won an NBA title? Was Jeff Gordon a fraud when he didn't win a race for about a year? Was Tony Stewart a fraud when he went the first 26 races this year without a win? My answer is no.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

Who ever is Danica Sprint Cup Crew Chief at SHR. Do you think the crew chief needs to be patient with her?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

She would like it to be Tony Eury Jr. Still no announcement, though.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

Won't fuel injection penalize a team more for running out of gas, since you can't prime the system like a carburetor?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

I'm not expert on the mechanical side, but you could be right.

Patrick (City of Angels and Smog)

How much of a Godsend has Steve Letarte been for the 88? The call this past weekend was incredible, but even just the little things. Feels like Jr had 700 speeding penalties last year, and he's almost completely cut those out.

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Wouldn't say a Godsend, but it was a smart business move by Rick Hendrick. Steve is just the confidence boost Jr. needed.

Ron (Hovanec)

I don't think the changes for Dega will mean much. When the tandem racing started they said they would have to switch after a few laps. That didn't last long.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

I agree. Teams will figure out how to get around the changes.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC USA)

Theoretical scenario - say someone with a ton of money wants to build an awesome race track and configure it completely different than any of the tracks NASCAR runs on, but wants NASCAR. What does the track look like and where does he put it?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Good question. How about a Figure 8 and put it in San Diego. Actually, I'd build something along the lines of a Richmond and put it somewhere like Denver.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC USA)

Hey David! Matt Kenseth got scored a lap down for being pushed on the last lap. Is that rule different at plate tracks or is it a unwritten rule?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

The rule has him going to the spot behind the last car on the lead lap, or the first spot of cars a lap down.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

It's the same everywhere.

Steve Addington (Ex-Crew Chief for Kyle Busch)

I agree to those people who think Kyle will have another meltdown. 2008 Chase was horrific to us.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

I disagree. You'll see this week.

Ron (OH)

JGR badly choked for the first chase race. They just don't look like champions yet.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Wouldn't call it a choke. Busch ran out of gas like many did. Hamlin had tire issues. Bad luck more than choking.

Adam (Portland, OR)

Why are guys like Busch and Edwards (and other Cup drivers) allowed to race so many Nationwide races? Seems like they bring some name recognition to the races, but, also seems like they ruin the series b/c they're not in the championship running.

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Because NASCAR allows it,that's why they do it. I don't have a big problem with it. And if they want to run for the title I think they should be allowed to.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Danica Patrick will win a Sprint Cup Series race either in 2012 or 2013?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

As Brad Keselowski said when asked if she will succeed, "NO."

Gage (Charlotte)

As a loyal member of Junior Nation, tell me that 3rd wasnt a fluke and we can expect more strong showings in the chase! Please!

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Third was somewhat of a fluke because of fuel mileage, but he had a legit top 10 car at the end. Moved there before fuel became the issue. He had a good showing at New Hampshire the first time around, so no reason to think he can't duplicate.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Sorry for the short delay. Dog knocked over my drink. I"m back, though.

Rob (FL)

Any insight on sponsors next year for the 14 and 39? I thought the Army deal was yr to yr and haven't heard if Office Depot has or will re-up?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Army will stick with the 39, as well as Haas Automotive and I believe Tornadoe's. Haven't heard the second sponsor for the 14 yet.

Ron (OH)

RCR cheated last year with Bowyer's car. They cheated this year with the Menard spin. They have lost my respect.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

You can make a case on Bowyer's car, but I see nothing was done wrong with Menard's.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Will the move to fuel injection have any impact on the high number of fuel mileage races we have?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

As I said earlier, I believe they have more to do with extended tire wear and teams pushing the limit than fuel mileage.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Scratch my last question, I am still reading to get caught up.

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Too late.

greg (la)

WAT was up with gibbs last wooking logano was horrible AGAIN hamilin was bad

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

I mentioned earlier that Hamlin had tire issues, but even before that he wasn't running great. Not sure what the problem was. If I knew they might hire me.

CJ Huber (Nebraska)

What are the chances Jeff Gordon comes back to win the championship?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

He was pretty optimistic coming in, and he's strong at most of the tracks, so I suspect he'll bounce back and make a run at it. A lot depends on this week's race.

Ron (OH)

I see that Kyle is still bullying the guys in the minors. He hit a car after the checker flag in NW. He still hasn't matured.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Seems the Cup guys believe they can get away with more in the lower series because they have nothing to lose. Not just Kyle, either.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

Wasn't Kurt Busch's father his crew chief growing up? Do you think he disrespected him like he does Addington and Penske?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

He worked on Busch's car, for sure. I suspect he lost his cool with Tom just like most of us lose our cool with our parents from time to time. We're quick to be called in line, though.

Jeff (SC)

Tony should hire Scott Speed to fill in for non Danica races. Someone should give him a chance. When you tell people to "see below" its actually see above. Just thought I would let you know

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Thanks on the above and below thing. I have a different view from up or down here. As for Speed, I believe Danica would benefit more from an experienced veteran like Mark Martin than Speed.

Tom (Aurora, IL)

David, now that Jeff Gordon has used his one mulligan, do you think they are back on track for the next 9 weeks to dump the 48 from the head table this year?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

First, I believe the definition of mulligan will be different this year. Instead of 38-43 it'll be like 20-25. Much further back really penalizes a driver more severely. As for Gordon and the next nine races, it's going to be tough. I don't see the 48 falling off.

ThePhoenix (FSU)

Does your dog have a favorite driver?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

He barks at Kyle Busch a lot.

Ron (OH)

I'm guessing you have never looked at ESPN Chats on the websites. Because if you had you would know that your answers are above not below the question you are currently answering.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

You're right, I type in my answers from a moderator room that apparently is different than what you are viewing. I don't usually go back and read them again because I know what I said, but I'll keep this information in mind the next time I tell somebody to go back and read.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

If Kyle does have another meltdown this season will we have to endure another season of "He's ready, he's more mature" articles by the media in 2012? Does he risk being labeled a choker if he collapses again?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

I hope not. As I wrote last week, a story that was mistaken for a Kyle is More Mature story when it was not, if Kyle doesn't win it all this year then I believe he could be one of those that never wins the title. A Marino type deal.

Dog Drink (In line)

Whatcha drinkin?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Iced Team. It's early here.

Tyler Greenfield (Minnesota)

Has there been any updates recently on the status of the NNS race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

I'm told Montreal likely will keep its date, but haen't heard anything official. I hope the series stays there.

Shawn (Gastonia, NC USA)

If you were to make a small trivial not-already-discussed change to the car today, either to make it look cooler or to make the races better (or both), what change would you make?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Small? I'd use the Nationwide cars in the Cup series and make Chevy use the Camaro.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

No that Junior is getting rid of the green car, which many in racing feels is a bad luck color, will he start having even better results next year?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

I am not superstitious.

Ron (OH)

Why is it the writers are the only ones that think Menard didn't spin on purpose? I'm guessing you didn't see Carl's reaction on Sunday when he heard to radio chatter.

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Because we have looked into all the facts. Carl hadn't done that yet.

Tyler Greenfield (Minnesota)

When will we see more Canadian drivers competing full-time in NASCAR? Do you think Villeneuve, Ranger, and Fitzpatrick have what it takes to compete?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Villeneuve had his shot. The others should win a road course race as subs to get some attention. Owners don't ignore talent.

Tank (New Jersey)

i love nascar

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Where ya been, Tank. Missed you.

Todd (Ga)

I think Jr might suprise a few folks this year in the chase. Not the champion but, i think he might be on the stage in Vegas. Thats more than morst people expect.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

You must have read my column last Wednesday. I agree, A top five is not out of the question with his past success on the rest of the tracks.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

Why do these haters come in here and try to rip people? First, his name is Dale Jr. Second, do these people even have the facts about Dale Jr.? Do they think he has never won a race before? Please give them stats Newt! That is so annoying. He is a man just like all of us! We have slumps in life. When he does win again, they will say it is fixed. ERRR

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

People love to complain. It's human nature. The problem arguing with them is Junior hasn't won since 2008 and he hasn't won a title and they can always throw that back at you.

Baseballman387 (MD)

Who has a more realistic shot of winning the championship, the Yankees or Jimmie Johnson?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Johnson.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

Don't know about your Dad, but I wouldn't be alive if I ever talked to mine like that.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Good point. I never went into a Kurt tirade with my father, who by the way is a retired minister, but I did go into a tirade from time to time. Remember those wooden paddles with holes in them. Ouch. I was addressing more of the disrespect factor than the actual words.

Ron (OH)

My guess is that Stewart and Newman will have good races at NH because of how they did there the last couple of races. But then they will fade.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

That wouldn't surprise me.

Aj (Indy )

After your article, do you really wonder why Stewart hates the media ? HAHA. I would hate you guys to. He is doing the same thing you just did. Giving his opinion. Just like you will tell me....If you don't like it, don't listen to it".

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

We're paid to offer our opinion. He is paid to drive and win races. Because we disagree with something doesn't mean we don't like or disrespect the driver. I have a ton of respect for Tony. I just happened to disagree with him on this one. Seems Carl Edwards did, too.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Heard that Kurt Busch has gone to all 30 MLB parks and has tickets to the Bama-UT game after qualifying at Dega. When you head to the track, do you ever get a chance to attend other sporting events in town as well?

David Newton
  (3:03 PM)

Read my blog on Kurt and the baseball. And I do get to other events while at the track. Was going to the Cubs game with Kurt before the race moved to Monday. Went to a Yankees game last year before Pocono. I covered college football, the NFL and other sports for a long time before moving fulltime to NASCAR.

David Newton
  (3:04 PM)

It appears my time has run out. Enjoy the race at New Hampshire. Hope to see you on the ESPN.com race chat.