Sorry to be a minute or so late. Got tied up talking to Joe Gibbs. Now I'm all yours for an hour. Fire away.
How does NASCAR see the Grand Am Series fitting in with its other top series?
They love it to be honest. Brings in a younger demographic that loves the cars. There has been speculation that the series could replace Trucks in a year or two. Stay tuned on that one.
Is a return to the road courses a step in the right direction for the truck series?
It can't hurt. They are trying everyting to stir up more interest.
Do you think Ryan Newman is right about Talladega being a single-file freight train till the very end?
It's happened before, but I believe the drivers will do their best not to let it happen this time, understanding how it could turn fans off.
Jimmie Johnson is 2% of the grid but has won 100% of the titles the past five years. OCCUPY GASOLINE ALLEY!
Hey, you could say the same thing about the Bulls when they dominated the NBA, the Patriots when they dominated the NFL. It happens. Appreciate it.
Congrats, Newt! I think your article today was the first one ever written about Kenseth during a Chase! In all seriousness his quietness part of the reason he flies under the radar, and do you think he will still be in the title hunt at Homestead?
Thanks, and I wish I could have written more on him. He's a very deep thinker as well as funny. And I do believe he'll be there at the end. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see him win it all.
THANK YOU for writing a story about Matt Kenseth!! He's the real deal. I hope he wins the championship. How's Ernie doing (post anger management training)?
Thanks, and Ernie is doing very well. Perhaps we could send a few drivers to the Dog Wizard.
Hi David. Who you got winning on Sat? And top 5?
I can't go against the driver that has finished second and first the last two weeks, who has won six times here. Yep, Jimmie Johnson. After that, I like Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon.
After Kulwicki's death, why hasn't Hooters sponsor anyone in Sprint Cup or Nationwide? I know Hooters used to sponsor a NASCAR division series.
Good question. Never thought to ask so I don't have a good answer for you.
At this point in the chase who do you think will be biggest threat to Jimmie?
I like Edwards, Harvick, Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Can't say just one.
If Jimmie can eventually win an 8th Cup title... Do you think he would be widely considered the greatest NASCAR driver of all-time?
He might already be there. What he's done is unparalleled.
Aside from Chase Elliott, has Hendrick given up on his development driver program? Or is that being outsourced to JRM and Stewart-Haas now?
You nailed it. You have to consider Danica Patrick a part of the HMS program as well as Aric Almirola.
How could NASCAR change the Chase schedule to "Jimmie-proof" it? Lots of races at Infineon?
Not sure there's a fool proof way to do that to be honest. JJ is good almost everywhere. Even the tracks he struggled at in the past he's right up there. Maybe the only way would be to run 10 times at Watkins Glen.
I know I have been asking too many Danica questions. I have a huge crush on her and I hope Danica will break up with her husband and I want marry her sooo bad. <3 <3 <3
Yes you have, and shame on you for wanting her marriage to break up.
Big Kenseth fan -- awesome article today. It's nice that world gets to see the real Matt. One best of Kenseth moments you didn't list is Katie Kenseth wearing the shirt "What's his name is so good to me" during the championship year. Classic Kenseth!!
Thanks again. Pleasure writing it. Forgot the Katie moment. That would have been perfect. There were so many stories I had to cut out because . . . you know . . . editors. They say you guys stop reading after 1,000 words.
Hey Newt, Do you think Kyle Busch is just another average driver who probably won't ever win the Sprint Cup like Harvick, Burton, Newman, Jr, Martin, Biffle and those guys?
No. And I wouldn't rule him out this year.
How did Kyle Busch/#18 team manage to lead 3X more laps than anyone during the first 26 races and now he's stuck around 10th in the chase races?
Good question. Think part of it was a survival mentality. He just wanted to make it through the first four or five races and have a chance at the end.
Since it doesn't seem like Kyle Busch will ever win the Sprint Cup do you think Rowdy will turn into 1 of these drivers who makes the chase year after but never wins the cup?
It's happened before, but I don't see it. I asked a lot of drivers that question a few weeks ago and all agreed KB would win one or more titles. He's only like 26 people.
Newt, should JJ's win at Kansas signal everyone to be prepared for Cup title No. 6?
No. His second the week before at Dover signaled that. Did you really think he would be out of it by now?
Where would you put Bobby Labonte as an all time driver? Take away recent memory, he used to run up front all the time I would compare him to a career like Ricky Rudd or Kurt Busch. thoughts?
I'd rank Kurt Busch ahead of him, but Ricky Rudd comparison is fair.
Hi David, for Jr's next crew chief do you think Mr. H will be able to get Pops Eury to come back and work with Jr? thank you.
Ah, just give him Chad Knaus. Seriously, I believe he and Letarte will be together another year.
It looks like Dave Rogers is letting down JGR just like Steve Addington did in '08 so do you think Coach will be making a crew chief change on the #18 anytime soon?
I just asked Coach that and he said he wasn't even going to go there. "We don't need to go down thar road at all" were his exact words.
And I asked him specifically about Zippy going to the 11 to replace Mike Ford.
Are you at the track? How's the weather?
I am, and it's spotty. They are practicing now, but more rain in store. Last practice was interrupted briefly. Rest of weekend is great, though.
Is it fair to say ratings will decrese though out the rest of the chase if the commenters keep the majority of the talk on the 48 and not the other 11 drivers?
First, commenters won't keep the majority of the questions on JJ. He's still in third place, you know. Ratings have been up so far and I expect them to stay there.
Didn't Stewart make the cover of SI twice ?
If he did it wsa a big cover.
Do you expect Tony Eury Jr. to be Danica's crew chief in Sprint Cup since she works so well with him in Nationwide?
Possibly. She said she liked the idea because she was comfortable with Eury. All depends on what Stewart wants.
Who do you think has better hair? Kenseth, Jimmy Spencer or Sterling Marlin?
You're being mean.
Any word on where Hornaday could end up? I think it would be a shame if he wasn't racing competitively next year.
No idea. Part of the tough world we live in. Good guys get left behind.
Regardless of how good Bowyer is, I think it was a mistake to go to MWR. I think he would have been better served going to RFR. MWR is at leat 2 years away from even getting into the Chase, let alone a championship. What say you ?
Kind of on the fence on that one. If you look Truex Jr. has run well the last month or so with a few exceptions. And RFR wasn't an option, so you can't add that.
Newt, how do you suppose Bruton and Gossage liked hearing Brian France say NASCAR is talking to the Austin GP folks about possibily running a NW, trucks or Grand Am race at the Austin GP track?
I doubt they lost any sleep over it.
Does Kyle Busch Motorsports get all of the Dollar General budget for Camping World Truck series?
Just 10 races.
Since Newman is out of championship contention do you expect SHR to run Danica in the #39 at the Phoenix race since that is Danica's and GoDaddy's home track?
Nope. I don't expect to see her in a Cup car this year.
Do you think it is possible that Jr. might never win another Sprint Cup race?
Anything is possible, but I still believe he has a few wins left in him.
Do you think maybe Jr's cup performance would improve if he ran more Nationwide races the way Edwards and Kesolawski do?
Not really. He might win a few of those, though.
Who's your frontrunner in qualifying tonight?
I'll go with Rocketman Ryan Newman.
Do you think if dario wins yet another championship this weekend it would be bad for indy car racing?Minus the historic fact kinda like jimmie the past 5 yrs.
Not at all. Why is everybody so against drivers repeating but not against teams in other sports doing that?
Come on David, you've never rooted for a celebrity to ditch the man so you can have a shot?
Only on Dancing with the Stars.
Would another championship for Five-Time ruin some of the good faith NASCAR has built with it's fans this year? I'm a JJ (more Hendrick) fan and even I am getting turned off to NASCAR with the dominance he's displayed.
Really? NASCAR never promised anybody that JJ wouldn't win the title this year. I actually thought there were more people cheering for JJ to win it this year. Am I wrong?
Who ya got for the Better Half Dash?
I had Katie Kenseth till she crashed. I won't break down that field until Friday.
Do you think Tony choked on that last pit stop at Kansas because Rowdy was right behind him or just chase pressure?
Think it was a silly mistake where he hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. It happens.
Who do you have today, Detroit or Texas?
Does KK carry how he is running into next year?
Heck yeah. Didn't you see how he ran last week? He wants to win badly for Red Bull before moving on to Hendrick.
Hey Newt, watch it! That weight is dead to me.
Wish I'd said that.
I don't agree with Brad K that his NW team wouldn't have jobs if he wasn't there. If there weren't any cup drivers in NW then Discount Tire would be on another car. They wouldn't leave the series.
What he wsa saying is he committed to Discount Tire before he knew he would be in the Chase, and that the company wasn't looking to sponsor another driver at Penske for that series, so yes, people could be out of jobs.
What are your thoughts on the fan base abandoning NASCAR because of Jimmie Johnson? I know that it is sad that fans will leave a sport because someone wins so much, but it is really getting ridiculous how much better his equipment and crew chief are (because he is not even the best driver in the sport). Also, Go Tigers!
From what I saw with the fans and Johnson at the Hall of Fame on Tuesday a lot of fans are pulling for him. And your Tigers were lucky to get past my Wofford Terriers. I was in the stands, btw.
Where will Ragan, Martin and Vickers be next year? Any other surprises of a driver being dumped? Logano?
Ragan could be splitting an unsponsored Cup car with Stenhouse Jr. at Roush or out of a job. The hope at Stewart-Haas remains to get Martin in the car when Danica Patrick isn't in it. As for Vickers, how about Nationwide? Logano is not getting dumped.
What's the latest word on RedBull and Vickers?
Red Bull is talking to investors, some new ones lately. Kahne's run had to help last week. Not much chance the organization would keep Vickers. He has to be real nervous
Gordon was running really well heading into the Chase before a couple mishaps ruined his title hopes this season. Is it safe to say that he's back to championship form though? Not 11 wins form, but at least title contender?
A couple of early mishaps seem to spoil the Chase for at least one hot driver every year. Hamlin and Kyle Busch have been through that several times. But I still believe Gordon has what it takes to win another title.
How do you feel about the $100,000 bonus for Talladega? I think it needs to be in the summer race. What if a chaser gets taken out because David Ragan is wrecked trying to swap the lead with Kasey Kahne so they can win the money? Just seems contrived and silly to be in a chase race where there is so much on the line.
I think they set the number so high that it won't be reached. Eighty-eight has been the top number. I don't think drivers will be swapping spots to get that amount. Now if it were a million. As for the wreck scenario, just seems contrived and silly.
Are some of the NASCAR "experts" making way too big a deal about Junior asking about Football scores and him talking about fantasy football? Can't the guy have a life?
Yep. I check my scores during a race but I don't lose focus on my job.
I know I ask every week but what's the fastest with mark martin is it still looking like he's going to SHR next year
You mean latest? Mark is the driver I keep hearing, but if another driver brings a sponsor he would have a leg up.
You don't think that baseball fans hate it when the Yankees make the playoffs every year?
The Red Sox fans do. Baseball fans in general seem to appreciate the legacy they are building.
Is the season a failure for the 88 team if they don't win a race? Or was making the chase the main goal? Its gotta sting a little being the only team in the top 12 that hasn't won.
Junior said his goal before the end of the year is to win a race and that would make it a success. Personally, the strides they made and making the Chase seems like a victory to me.
How has the 24 fallen so far from grace? Is it just a lack of a 24 horse shoe?
Fuel mileage at one race, a blown engine at another. It's not that difficult to figure out.
What is Jack Roush gonna do with Ragan, Stenhouse and Bayne?
Ragan unsure. STenhouse will be in a Nationwide or Cup car, perhaps sharing the latter with a Ragan. Bayne expected back in the 21 on a limited basis.
Since Mr. Penske said Sam Hornish will run full Nationwide series in '12 does that mean Kesolawski will be out?
Looks that way. Don't see Penske running two NW cars.
You must not watch SPEED and hear the fans boo when a reporter picks JJ to win the race.
I watch ESPN.
who do you think is prettier. danica patrick or kasey kahne
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
David, after last weekend's engine failure at Kansas for my buddy JG, is it a concern at Hendrick Motorsports that it could happend again, not that I wouldn't want to wish any bad luck on JJ???
They're working to make sure that doesn't happen, but yes when that happens to one car it always causes anxiety for others.
How long until we start seeing the negative effects of Sprint Cup drivers hogging all trhe sponsors and trophies in Nationwide? Its gotta be hurting the long term development of young drivers "coming down the pipe." Is the young talent getting enough quality seat time to be able to step in when some of these older drivers retire?
Problem is, it's the sponsors that want to see the Cup drivers in the NW series. I look at the KN East Series as being more for development.
what is your costume gonna be for Hallowdega
Still up in the air. May be Elvis. Depends on how much weight I can lose between now and then. Prefer to be the early Elvis.
who do you believe has the momentum as of right now? i am your biggest fan. i made a poster of you.
Have to be Johnson. He's led the most laps in the last two races and has finished second and first. Thanks for being a fan. A poster? Really?
How does Regan Smith win a race and then totally disappear?
He was around 28th in points when he won a race, so it wasn't like he was totally visible before then. Where he's disappeared is qualifying. He was bad fast early this year.
Do you think it was the sponsors and Gibbs that killed "old Rowdy" and now all we get is a Jimmie Johnson clone?
To a degree they did want him to tone down. He does sponsor a candy kids eat. I also believe he was looking to find a balance that allowed him to be more like JJ on the track.
Anywhere we can watch this Better Half Dash? Would be really fun to see them race.
Not sure. Won't be on ESPN.
If Kurt Busch gets another Charlotte win or top 3, is he considered a legitimate title threat?
Isn't he already?
terry, i'm stuck at work in my chair in my office. the 48 will win sataurday night.
I am not Terry, so you need to get out of your office.
Is RCR still looking for a sponsor for the 33 even though Clint is gone? If they are who are the possible sponsors, and drivers?
They were, but think they are settled into having three cars and working to bring Austin Dillon up.
What are your thoughts on Kurt Busch from here?
I wouldn't rule him out, but I don't put him in my top four favorites to be there at Homestead.
Who would win at a sarcasm war: Newman or Kenseth?
Both are pretty good at it. Might make a good pay-for-view show. If you make me pick, I'll go with Kenseth. I believe Newman would crack.
And you guys wonder why Stewart doesn't like the media. HA.
Hey, can't I have a little fun. I like Tony.
Who would deliver the best victory lane quotes after winning a title this year, Kenseth, Kyle Busch, or Tony Stewart?
Stewart would be the most emotional.
Is the Sprint Cup min. sponsorship around 100K per race?
You are way too low.
Kurt Busch got made the All Star/600 sweep last year, can he get a win this weekend?
Sure. He's in my top 5 picks.
Did you catch any of the V8 Supercar race last weekend? DW said it was the best road race he'd ever seen.
I didn't, sorry to say. If DW says that then it's probably true. He's seen a lot.
Referring to your remark about people wanting another JJ championship, you're wrong, in fact Super Wrong!
Not the first time.
Hey Newt, Do Jimmie's detractors want him to pull over and give their driver the win? I don't understand the argument. If their driver is gonna win a championship, you got to beat the man, if he can't, stop crying.
I don't know what Yankee fans you are talking to other than NY fans but the rest of the country is tired of them. You are out of touch with the fans in racing and baseball.
Aren't we beating a dead horse in the Yankees. Last I looked they were done. I'm just saying the casual baseball fan likes seeing traditional teams compete for titles.
chad & jj need to pass out some extra horse shoes to the rest of the hms teams.
Uh, no. They are good without good luck.
Where do you think Reed Sorenson will end up for 2012?
Not sure. Still waiting to see if he files suit against Turner Motorsports.
DavidWhat is JTGD going to do next year. Stay with MWR or move on. Also, how would you rate the job Bobby Labonte has done this year in that car.
They plan to stick with MWR but operate out of their own shop. As for Labonte, he hasn't run up front enough to rate very high no matter how you look at it.
Is kentucky going to have a sprint cup race next year?
Yes. And a better traffic flow.
So for Jr. beating a 52 year old and being the 5th best on the 6 car HMS team is considered a success?
Last I looked he was ahead of Newman and Gordon, too.
Which Harvick will show up this weekend, the good ,the bad or the lucky?
Although he won here in the spring, his average finish at Charlotte is around 19.3. Tough call.
What is with all of the so called ESPN MLB "experts"? None of them picked the Cards to make it out of the first round, and now they are up 2-1 over the Brewers!
Fan earlier said I was out of touch with baseball, so I'll no comment that one.
Hey, David! Will you be able to stay and chat for another fifteen minutes?
I wish, but I have to get ready for a 345 SportsCenter hit. Catch me there. Will try to answer questions on Twitter throughout the day. Just follow me on @Dnewtonespn and ask. Thanks for a great chat.