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October 26, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Welcome to Wonderful Wednesday. Can't wait to get to Martinsville or to your questions. Fire away.

Rita Jean (California)

I am sending this question 2 days early because I know that fans, blogs. Twitter and tv shows will not stop talking about it. My take is I saw the 21 & 24 were drafting on the last lap of Talladega ... and then they weren't anymore. Issue over. Bowyer wins. Did I get that wrong?

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

You have all the facts. What bothers people is that Trevor left Gordon for Ford teammate Matt Kenseth. Personally, I think he did nothing wrong.

Shannon (Houston Texas)

Who are your top five at Martinsville this weekend and a darkhorse?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

You have to start with Johnson who has seven wins there. Then I'd go with Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth. Darkhorse, Jr.

Tony (Hampton Georgia)

Who are your top five or six this weekend and who would be your darkhorse?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

See previous question and answer. Thanks.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will Danica Patrick be the only Woman ever to race in Both the Indianapolis 500 & the Daytona 500?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Not in 2012.

jesse (ia)

when will trucks schedule be released?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Starting to wonder about this. Would have thought easily by now. Not sure what the problem is, but Ill ask this weekend.

jesse (ia)

what a run by dave blaney! great for him and tommy baldwin!

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

It was great for them, but in that kind of racing you find guys who don't normally run up front with good finishes. Seven of the top 10 were not Chase drivers.

Thomas (MN)

Realistically, the championship battle is down to the top 5. If it's a 2 man duel going into Homestead, which pairing would be the best story?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Best story? Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, the two best drivers without a title. I believe it will be Edwards and Kenseth, though.

Eric S (Saint Petersburg, FL)

Do you see this tandem racing continuing at plate races? I go to the Daytona 500 every year and I am thinking of not going in the future if this continues. This is not racing.

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Read my column. I believe it needs fixing. I'm just not sure what they can do to fix it. Talked to Jack Roush. He's of the same opinion. And I agree as you'll read, not racing.

James (Durham, North Carolina)

The ten most important races of the Nascar season collide right smack in the middle of the NFL season and the MLB playoffs. Have the ratings, attendance, and coverage of the sport decreased since football season? What would it take to get nascar to shorten the regular season to 20 races and have the season end at race 30?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Ratings actually have held even or increased for the most part. Twenty might be too short. I'd settle for 30 to 32, start and week or two earlier and end early September. What would it take? A miracle. Tracks aren't willing to give up races and NASCAR isn't willing to elminate them.

Ritchie (Lakeland)

Newt, so now Tony Stewart is whining that Richard Childress gave team orders to Menard not to push the #14 in front of 31/33?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Sounds like it. Really, what is he to expect in this team racing?

Ritchie (Lakeland)

Are you hearing that Rowdy Busch will be putting Nelson Piquet in his KBM Nationwide car for '12?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

There have been rumors. But you can bet that Kyle will be in the car for quite a few races. Sponsors want him in the car. He says he'll do what he can as long as it doesn't impact his Gibbs NW schedule.

Vernie (NJ)

Newt, do you think the empty seats at Dega will finally spur NASCAR into making drastic changes to improve the racing on the plate tracks?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

There are empty seats everywhere in every sport. Don't think the empty seats will impact any decision NASCAR makes on that front. But I do think it needs fixing. As I said earlier, I'm not sure how.

Andrew (Kettering, Ohio)

During the Dega truck race Austin Dillon clearly "improved his postion" passing under the yelloe 2 times and was never penalized and now leads pts. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

I was at a function and missed the race, but NASCAR keeps a close eye on that. They must have felt he either was forced down or didn't improve his position. Will have to go back and look at it.

Camview (Stark, Fl)

It looks like the HMS drivers swap only helped Jr. at the expense of Johnson, Gordon and especially Martin so what changes do you expect at HMS for 2012?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Disagree. Gordon had a good run and was on the verge of a really good season until the Chase began and things went awry. Martin struggled last year, too, so can't blame his struggles on that. Johnson statistically in many ways had a better year than others. He's just had a few things go wrong in the Chase to take him out of contention.

Joe (Ohio)

Is Kyle Busch could win Texas and Phoenix does he have an outside chance to go into Homestead with a shot at winning the cup?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Definitely as long as Edwards and others in front of him have at least one bad day. Remember, Edwards hasn't done well at Martinsville. Key weekend for him.

Joe (Ohio)

Since it looks like Jr. is likely to finish 2011 winless and on a 129 race losing streak, what is next for #88 team?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

2012. Don't see a lot of changes. Time to build on the chemistry he began by making the Chase.

Depotsmoke14 (Key West)

Newt, Tony said Richard Childress ordered Menard not to push #14 in front of Burton/Bowyer so do you think NASCAR will penalize RCR for illegal team orders?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

There's nothing in the rulebook that says a driver has to help another. So no.

Depotsmoke14 (Key West)

When Tony was drafting with Joey, #20 pitted costing Tony his drafting partner and we know that Childress and Roush also hurt Tony. How come all the team owners are ganging up on Tony?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Logano pitted because he had to. He was ready to push Tony all the way. Roush didn't hurt Tony at all as far as I could see. If Menard was told not to push Smoke, you can't blame RC for doing so. This isn't a war on Tony.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you expect to be named as Danica's cup crew chief?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Somebody already inside the SHR organization who has been a Cup crew chief.

texastechmacattack (lubbock)

David Ragan has a Daytona win just like Bayne plus Stenhouse might with the NW championship so why does Roush even need someone like Bayne on the team next year?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Well, because Ragan hasn't made the Chase, his Daytona win was in July and not the 500 and sponsors aren't lining up for him. Roush believes the future is with Stenhouse and Bayne, with Stenhouse getting the nod as the better driver. Bayne gets the nod from sponsors because he won the 500.

baseballman387 (florida)

newt, i don't understand all this trevor bayne was put in a terrible postion talk. does bayne work for roush/ford or gordon/chevy?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Exactly. I'm with you.

Rick (Texas)

How does NJ put on their F1 race with Zero public $$ but Austin needs $25 million a year from Texas taxpayers to pay the sanctioning fee?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Good question. Not familiar with the tax laws in NJ so can't say if that is a factor. Perhaps you should start a petition against taxpayers paying if you feel strongy about it.

Rick (Texas)

yesterday, NJ Gov. Christie said NASCAR is next-2 times-during F1 press conference. Do you seen cup cars or Nationwide racing at NJ?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

NASCAR definitely wants to move into that market. It's been trying for years to build a track in that area. My guess is it would start with a NW race first. The problem with Cup is where do you get a date? NASCAR likely would have to take one from Pocono or Watkins Glen if NJ went there since they basically represent that area now.

Gene (Ohio)

Do you think we might see Kurt Busch running some Nationwide races for Kyle Busch Motorsports next year?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Doubtful. Don't think Dodge would want Kurt in a Toyota.

Sam (Myrtle Beach)

What would happen if the rear spoiler were lowered to almost nothing in plate races? Drivers would have to "lift" in the turns to keep it on the track like at other ovals, maybe even do away with restrictor plates if they become un-driveable enough at 200+.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Edwards suggested taking off the spoiler for a lot of the races to put the driving more in the hands of the driver. Not sure what it would do aerodynamically to impact two-car tandems if you shrunk the spoiler. Slower speeds seem to increase the need for it.

Flaco (Orlando)

Dale Jr. always has some excuse for finishing 25th. Do you think Jr. will probably only win another race if it's some lucky fuel mileage gamble deal?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

I"m not hearing the excuses you are. And yes, I do believe he'll win more races, and not based on fuel mileage.

Ron (Ohio)

Now i see that Tony Stewart is claiming that RCR had team orders against him. Is that just Stewart trying to get himself involved in the team orders controversy?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Think it's his way of saying he doesn't like that style of racing.

Ron (Ohio)

Do you think Edwards winning the Sprint cup with his positive image, popularity and back flips could be the boost needed to help NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

He is much of what you say, but that's for the fans to decide. What do you think guys and gals? Would Edwards be a popular champion?

Adam (Fort Wayne, IN)

Newt, what's your take on Chad Johnston as Martin Truex Jr's crew chief? Seems to me that they found their stride in August with a series of top 5s, and have since hit a wall. Do you think MWR goes after Addington and take another one of Kurt Busch's former crew chiefs for Martin? Or would Addington end up with Bowyer? I think Addington would be a great addtion for MWR with his knowledge of Toyotas from JGR.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Well, Martin won't have Johnston for the rest of this season after penalties imposed on Tuesday. But I believe he's had a positive impact. AS for Addington, I asked Michael about and he denied interest. Had heard a few other names for Bowyer, but so far none have panned out.

Brian (Middletown, PA)

Richard Petty has the most wins at Martinsville! Besides that, is the 48 done for this year?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Right you are. Do you want the tickets to Martinsville. If you do, go to the email address on the bottom of my column and contact me. Congrats. As for the 48, yep, toast. Done. Title hopes over.

Neil (New York)

hey daivid, the most wins at Martinsville is richard petty with 15. Was I the first?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

You were second by a nose. If first doesn't contact me, you are eligible for the tickets to Martinsville if you want them. As I told the first, go to the end of my column and get my email address and contact me.

Brian Smith (Greencastle, PA)

Richard Petty has the most wins at Martinsville!

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Yep, you are No. 3. See previous answers for more info.

Ron (OH)

Are you finally done writing articles (till next Feb) telling us how Kyle is going to win the championship?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

I am. Guess I jinxed him. Really thought he would be a factor.

Travis (Lewisville, Texas)

I hope Stewart Haas racing has Danica race at Tallladega next year in October. That weekend is an open date for the Nationwide series. I would think this race and others with open Nationwide dates (Kansas in April, Pocono, Martinsville) would be good for Danica to learn.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Talking to Tony Eury Jr. he definitely wants Danica to run at one of the Dega races. He wants her to run at tracks where she hasn't before. He's not convinced the Daytona 500 is a smart move.

Ron (OH)

Any idea what Johnson was talking about in his chat about NASCAR making big changes for Daytona to stop tandem racing?Here is his answer "They're working on some big changes for Daytona. I haven't driven it myself, but I think they have a direction they're working on."

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I don't know the answer but will look into it. Something has to be done. My guess is it will have something to do with the bumpers.

Juan Maldonado (Raleigh, NC)

Richard Petty has the most wins with 15. Does this count or have to wait until 2pm?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

It counts, but you are fourth. If 1, 2 and 3 don't want the tickets, do what I asked them to do and go to the end of my column, get my email address and send me your contact info. You're the closest within driving distances so you may get lucky.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

David - Well for us JJ fans the fat lady is warming up. Cannot say I am upset since it has been an unbelievable ride. Do you think that privately there are two goals for the remainder of the year? 1. Get the third win and keep their streak of at least 3 wins in cup alive;2. get within the top 5 so they can still say they have never finished below 5th. BTW - Can't wait for next year when the 48 team comes back with a vengance.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

I think the lady has sung to be honest. And you're probably right, they'll be driven more than ever next year.

johninatl (Atlanta, GA)

Even though NASCAR streamlined its' points system, is it time for a change or even an overhaul? One DNF or a tough wreck will ruin your Chase. Just seems still like race winners aren't rewarded enough, and circumstance is rewarded over talent.

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Agreed.I've said all along the race winners deserve more points. Would keep some of these drivers 50 points and more down in contention. Also could allow somebody to run away with it, but so what. If the win they deserve it.

Ritchie (Welcome, NC)

After his Dega win, Clint said he's locked out of RCR team meetings. Does this kind of treatment by RCR give Clint extra satisfaction in beating Burton?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Locked is a pretty strong word. But it's typical when drivers are leaving, particularly for another manufacturer, to be restrcited from certain information given out in meetings.

Ron (Ohio)

now we see that Knaus ordered Johnson to "crack the back end" to really damage the rear of the #48 if they won Dega to destroy evidence of HMS aero tricks. your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Knaus did admit he asked that, but he insists it was over concern that all the bump drafting would knock the car past NASCAR's tolerances. The car did pass three inspections prior to the race, so not much there.

Stu (Powhatan, Va.)

Don't know if you're taking early submissions, or if I'd even be first, but Richard Petty has the most wins at Martinsville! And I didn't have to look that up!

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Taking them, but you were the fifth person I believe to get it right. Check what I told the others and we'll see if you get lucky and they can't go.

Ron (OH)

Two race reporters, that were in the pits before the race, said that there were Ford team orders to not tandem with non-Ford cars. Roush is lying.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

First, Roush isn't one that typically lies. He did talk to his drivers about working with other Ford as I would expect any owner to do in support of its manufacturer. He did not come on the radio at the end and tell Trevor to dump Gordon.

Vern (NJ)

Alright Nexton, why didn't JGR get anywhere near what MWR got for oil pan gate. Same exact idea going on yet JGR doesn't get the huge points hit. And they wonder why us fans hate them so much at times?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Because NASCAR frowns more heavily on messing with aerodynamic cheating, particularly in a plate race. It's not that complicated.

JOEB (CANADA)

Hey David with KK4 running so well in the red bull equipment do you think when he gets in HMS 5 car and runs up front on a consistent basis he may put some pressure on the #88 and maybe the rest of the HMS guy's to pick it up?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

I don't think the 88 needs any more pressure than it already has. But you're right, Kahne is running well and can expect to be a contender next year.

Sue B. (Seattle, WA)

Dave, I was surprised to see so many people screaming about team orders. Hasn't it always existed? Maybe social media just puts it out there more vocally now? I was far more angry at the drivers who stated before the race that they had no intention of actually racing until the end. Why should I watch the first 450 miles if half the field doesn't plan to compete until the last 20 laps? Major kudos to Bowyer, Burton, Cassill, Mears, and the few others who worked their butts off all 500 miles.

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Agree on all of your points. I think the team orders deal was way overblown and social media is a big reason why. Trevor caused as much of it as anybody with his comments on Twitter. As for skipping the first 450 miles, you're not alone. Others feel the same way. It's a product of what plate racing has become, unfortunately.

Andy (Michigan)

Isn't all this Bayne/Gordon stuff being blown way out of proportion? We all know if Jr's engine had blown, Jeff would have left Trevor out to dry to help the 48.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

YES. AGREED.

Sue B. (Seattle, WA)

I have always liked Jeff Burton, but I would like to state for the record I am a brand new Bowyer fan. I have huge respect for him and Burton. Their 1-2 finish was so well deserved after doing work all 500 miles. As a long time fan, I could not appreciate that more.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Both are great guys.

Shayne - NY [via mobile]

Any news on possible investors for Red Bull or is too late now?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Only that there is interest. Remember, the Pettys didn't get a deal until the last race a year ago.

scott (denton,tx)

so what did you think about the outcome of the race last weekand in talledega and did you thing that it was smart on jr part to race at the back of the pack all race long and not get a top 5 or 10 finish.

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

The strategy wasn't flawed as much as the timing of the late cautions hurt them in the end. Having said that, Junior wanted to run up front more and I personally like that strategy. The other isn't racing.

Turk (Michigan)

Now that Rowdy is out of the Chase, when is the next new "Kyle is Maturing" article going to be printed?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Next year.

Bart (East Bay)

Bad Brad has run well over the last half of the season. Think Urt can learn something from him like how to get along with your Cc?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

If you're taklng about Kurt he could learn a lot from Brad on a lot of fronts.

Connie (Yahoo MI)

Why did Kyle drive his truck this past weekend when he had no sponsor? Trying to save money by not having to pay a driver?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Could be. Or maybe he just wanted to drive it.

scott (denton,tx)

who do you think has the best chance on coming out of martinsville this weekand what is it like going to a 2.55 mile track one of the longest track to the short like martinsville and then turn right around to go to a another fast track like texas motor speedway the next following weekand after that

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Jimmie Johnson has to be the favorite. He's won seven times there and hasn't finished outside the top 10 since his first race there, I believe. As for the different tracks, they adjust with practice on Friday and by Sunday it's no big deal.

scott (denton,tx)

so what did you think about what jr and jimmie said after the race and not be there towards the in of the race and finish like about 25th and the 26th position at the end of the race

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Not totally following you here. Bottom line, the cautions killed their chances.

scott (denton,tx)

i was just wondering do you like this two car draft or not because i do not like it one bit but i did like the outcome of the race thow

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Read my column. http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/7151011/nascar-martinsville-speedway-return-normalcy

Jason Dickess (Ironton, OH)

Richard Petty has the most Martinsville wins with 15.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Yep, See what I told previous correct answers.

Brian Smith (Greencastle, PA)

Richard Petty has the most wins at Martinsville! 15!Yes, I really want to go to Martinsville, can you tell???

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Again, right. But see what I told the previous correct answers about contacting me.

Neil (NEW YORK)

RICHARD PETTY WIUTH 15

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Yep, see previous.

Turk (Mich)

You take of Knaus ordering Jimmie to bust up #48 rear end if they won?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Precautious. Strange.

Brian Smith (Greencastle, PA)

How many Martinsville hot dogs have you eaten at one time before?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

LOL. They're awfully good but I've never eaten more than two at one sitting. Not that I couldn't eat more.

Niles (UT)

Why does Stewart feel like he always has to stick his nose into every NASCAR issue?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Not sure he does every issue, only the ones he feels strongly about.

Jason Dickess (Ironton, OH)

Richard Petty has the most Martinsville wins with 15.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Yep, see previous answers.

Dumindu (Vista,California)

What is your reaction to Dollar General moving to Joe Gibbs racing?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Rich get richer. Good for Dollar General, though. Lots of exposure.

Vinnie (ATL)

How far back in the standing can we look for this year's champion? Harvick? I like Jimmie, but am ready for someone new to hold up the trophy at the end of the year.

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Hard to picture anybody further back than Harvick winning this. Personally, I'd say nobody outside the top 3.

Stu (Powhatan, Va.)

Richard Petty!

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Yes, see previous correct answers.

Juan Maldonado (Raleigh, NC)

What do you expect of Harvick this Sunday. Even though he won there earlier this year his car wasn't that good until he banged it a couple of times.

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

He struggled much of the first race before getting it together and winning. I suspect whatever they found that worked they'll stick with and be a contender this time around.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Do you expect David Ragan to drive for TRD and Brian Vickers driving for Turner and Mark to drive for Stewart Haas next year?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

All those are possibilities, but two of them depend on a sponsor.

Sandy (NY)

David, I'm confused, was it not a race at 'Dega, don't drivers "dump" other drivers and help teammates win. Aren't they suppose to be loyal to their manufacturers. I don't get what people are complaining about. Also I can't believe that Trevor Bayne was calling people to explain. I read that if someone left a number on his fan page he called them. I know he's young but come on.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Not sure drivers dump other drivers to help teammates, at least not very often. But I saw that Trevor did nothing wrong except stirring the pot by thinking he did.

U Fan (USA)

wasn't Bowyer's "slingshot" move to beat Burton just the classic Datyona-Dega race winning move like they've been doing since the beginning?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Close. The difference in the old slingshot the momentum usually takes the trailing car past faster. The new cars tend to stall once they get a nose in front, which allowed Burton to keep it close.

Greg (South Bend)

Hey David, What advantage did the illegal windshields give MWR teams? I don't understand.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

We'll never know. They didn't get on the track. But the windshield in a plate race in particular can give a huge advantage if you change the flow of air slightly to provide more downforce. Remember a few years ago at Daytona when the 48 was penalized becuase they had a device that changed the angle of the window.

Jake (Las Vegas)

No Indy 500 for Danica in 2012? Damn........

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Very doubtful. Hear she wants to run at Charlotte.

Ron (OH)

What do you think Rowdy Brad's chances are?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

3-1.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, that's it for me. Thanks for all the questions. Those that got the Petty trivia answer right please email me (address on bottom of my column) and I'll give the first person that got it correct and emailed me the tickets. If you have more questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter at @Dnewtonespn