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October 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all. The JJ-Knaus detractors have arrived in the room, but let's start with some F1.

Greg (Rutgers University)

Mr. Hinton, what is your take on F1 coming to the NYC market? Will the race be a longterm success and does the announcement give NASCAR more incentive to aggresively pursue a race in NYC?

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

I think it would be a spectacular show, IF it happens. Based on F1's shenanigans in the U.S. over the years, I will believe they'll race in Austin in 2012 and Jersey in 2013 only when I see the light go green on the start.

Roscoe (Chino, CA)

Ed, why does Harvick seem to choke every year in the chase and do you think if he was gonna be champ he would have done it by now?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

I think mainly his aggressive style is what has cost him a championship so far. I don't think he's done for the future, or even for this year necessarily.

basefallman387 (florida)

Hey Ed, why didn't Knaus tell Johnson to "crack the back end" on an encryted channel 2 like Childress did when they ordered Menard to bring out the caution at Richmond?

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

It wasn't a radio conversation. It was while Knaus was leaning into the car before the race, and apparently he didn't know he was being recorded via an in-car camera mic that is part of NASCAR's RaceBuddy system.

Ron (OH)

seems like Rowdy and Edwards are gobbling up all the sponsors. what the hecks goin' on?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

Personalities, man. Personalities. I'll go into more detail in a minute. Kyle is a charmer to sponsors and their guests.

Rita Jean (California)

Good morning Mr. Hinton. Being that listening to radio chatter is part of the "attraction" for the Nascar fan, I would suspect by now that teams would want all their communications within the team only. Meaning, not splattered in the headlines during the following week. Would this ever change?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

I think the FCC rules say that whatever is put on the air waves, the public is entitled to receive. some teams used to begin by saying this broadcast was the property of so-and-so racing, etc. . . some even used to issue warnings about possible coarse language and that listener discretion was advised. I don't think it'll ever change. It's too much a part of the program now.

Ron (OH)

you think Gov. Christie's F1 race or Gov. Perry's has the best long term chance of success?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

I think one's chances are slim, the other none. I just can't tell you in which order.

Zach (Ohio)

Hey Ed, the UPS sponsorship is the NASCAR sponsor version of the SI cover jinx. It ended Dale Jarrett's career, and it's kept David Regan's from getting off the ground. Can you please talk Carl out of this huge mistake?

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

It wasn't a radio conversation. It was caught via an in-car camera that was part of NASCAR's RaceBuddy coverage. It occurred before the race, while Knaus was leaning into the car, so he likely didn't know he was being recorded.

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

I don't think the brown cars had to do with the situations. The SI cover jinx is in a different league. When I worked there, I actually participated in two weird cover situations: Deion Sanders' batting average dropped from .439 to below .300 in about a week. The New Orleans Saints started 5-0 and then lost their next five.

Ron (OH)

Gov. Christie said, 2 times, "NASCAR is next". Does he know what he's talking about putting NASCAR cars on the NJ street circuit?

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

If Gov. Christie said that, unfortunately it shows how realistic he is about racing . . .No way I see NASCAR going to the streets, which are way tighter than road courses.

Teri (Burbank)

Do you think Kenseth has a shot at overtaking Edwards for the championship?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

I sure do.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

Ed, how has Martinsville been able to stay on the cup schedule through out the years? At this point is it important for NASCAR to keep it on the schedule for two races instead of taking away one of the race dates to say Vegas?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Because it's fantastic racing, if you ask me, probably the best of the short tracks. Still slam-bang. I think it's VERY important for NASCAR to keep it on the schedule.

Daryl (Iowa)

Ed, A couple years ago you wrote a great article about the hard times of the late 70s and how NASCAR survived? Do you think that we are looking at something similar now? It seems as though NASCAR is pricing themselves out of sponsorships.

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

I think those sponsorship deals are coming down considerably over what they were, say, five years ago. One thing that's different between now and the '70s, though, is that teams are waaaaaaaay more addicted to big money than they were then.

Mark (Iowa)

Ed, Over the course of your career, who has been your favorite person to interview?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

Hard to pick one, but for consistently being a character, I'd have to say A.J. Foyt. Mario Andretti and Richard Petty in their primes rank right up there.

Trent (Indy)

Danica will run in the 2012 Indy 500, yes or no?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

very likely

Danik (Charlotte)

Im a 48 fan and now know they are finished. Who do you see winning this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:16 PM)

I think you've got four, maybe five, with a chance. My picks in order of likelihood are 1) Edwards, 2) Kenseth, 3)Brad K, 4)Stewart and maybe 5) Harvick coming from way back.

Danik (Charlotte)

Hi Ed. Who do you have winning on Sunday? And top 5?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

How bout Hamlin, JJ, Gordon, Bad Brad, Kurt Busch?

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Unless Harvick wins the Sprint Cup, RCR will have not won a cup since 1994, 17 years ago. Do you think RCR is basically another Petty Enterprises?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

No way. RCR continues to keep itself pretty well funded and do the R&D.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Hey Ed, do you think Dale Jr will be Danica's "dancing partner" at Daytona?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Doubt it. BTW, lost a few questions and answers due to some tech glitch. sorry, folks.

Ryan (Florence, AZ)

Hey Ed, nice article on Richard Childress.....What changes do you think NASCAR will make to start to eliminate the 2x2 racing at the plate tracks?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

I'm not sure there's anything else they can do until the track surfaces age. They've tried just about everything. What it's going to take is for the grip to lessen through the corners, and that may take a few years.

Vern (NJ)

If Kyle is so good at sponsors why goes he truck barely have any?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

consider the series strength . . .

Ron (OH)

Do you see Kyle Busch Motorsports moving into Sprint Cup ownership and track ownership like Tony Stewart has done?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

I do, eventually. Kyle, away from the track, say in front of an audience or group of business people, is a very pleasant guy indeed and they instantly like him.

Donald (North Carolina)

Ed, if JJ doesn't win the championship this year do you think Rick will break them up and move Chad to another of his teams?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

I think that would take a couple of years, but it may be growing possible.

Camview (Florida)

How does Kyle Busch expand KBM into Nationwide racing and keep his truck team while Harvick failed and closed down?

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

I don't think KH failed so much as he got tired of trying to support it with all the sponsorship work, etc. Kyle is fresh at that task.

Joseph (Seattle, WA )

Do you think Kyle can make a run at the championship? He has become much better at Martinsville, good at Phoenix and equally good at Texas.

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

Not this year. He'd be a very long shot.

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

K has about a 40 percent chance of winning the Cup in my book. ESPN originally stood for "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network," but the official trademark is now ESPN.

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

ooh, did i answer before posting? lemme post the one i just answered.

David (Dover)

2 questions 1 is keselowski gonna win the cup2 what does espn mean or stand for

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

ok, that should clear it up. but again, espn originally stood for "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network."

Joseph LaCross (Cedar, MI)

If the 48 hadn't overheated, and the swap between JR and Jimmie didn't have to happen, would the 48-88 train have made it to the front with the help of Chad's "cheating"? Making the "crack the back of the car" move necessary? Or were there just to many cars in front of them to make a charge that late?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

I think both they and the 99-16 tandem waited way too late, period.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will Stewart-Haas Racing put Ron Fellows in Danica's Sprint Cup Series Car at Sonoma & Watkins Glen in 2012?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

I think it remains to be seen how well she tests in a Cup car on a road course. I think she'll get that chance. And she has one heckuva teacher in Smoke.

Vern (NJ)

Bad Brad is on a role. Why don't the reporters gave him the credit he is due. People still don't see him as one of the guys to beat.

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

I've been giving him credit right here and now. I think he's got a heckuva shot at making a run at the Cup.

ThePhoenix (FSU)

In your opinion, should there be a road course in the Chase?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

I'd like to see it, but don't think it'll ever happen. too many naysayers. How about a season finale at Sonoma? Great weather, etc.

18fan2hater (md)

do you expect Rowdy and Kurt to use the last 4 races to settle old scores with Harvick, Johnson, what's his name in the #2 and those guys?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

no way.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will Danica Patrick be the first Woman to Race in the Indianapolis 500 & the Daytona 500 in History?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Yes indeed. It's just a matter of when. Indy will work with NASCAR however they need to to get her into such a situation.

Donald (North Carolina)

With Dan Weldon's death in indy car do you think that some of the indy drivers might try to move to nascar where it is safer?

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

I think there's long been a movement toward NASCAR where it is RICHER.

ThePhoenix (FSU)

When are we going to see you in the pit studio on NASCAR Countdown with Nicole, Rusty, and Brad?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

The producers know I'd talk too much. I scare them to death at production meetings for NASCAR Now etc.

Miller (UT)

If Edwards wins it all with only winning one race, do you think people will complain as much as when Kenseth did the same thing, or will having the Chase change that?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Oh, there'll be complaints.

Marty (Pine Valley)

Janet Guthrie already competed in an Indy 500 and Daytona 500

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

But not on the same day. I think that's what the earlier chatter meant.

Andy (Orlando, FL)

Janet Guthrie has already raced in both the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, not surprised Fiegler didn't know that though.

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

again, the implication was, on the same day. Janet certainly never did that.

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

Ooooh! My bad! I was thinking Indy and CHARLOTTE! My bad, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Bart (Eastbay)

Since NASCAR Champions Darrell Waltrip, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte have been or are presently Toyota drivers/owners, why do old NASCAR fans still bash Toyota?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

Because they don't understand that Toyota makes the street versions of what they race right here in the U.S., while Fords and Chevys are made in Canada and Mexico.

Steven (Kingsport)

I listened to the 48/88 radio on RacePass and I am shocked we didn't have one of Jr's legendary meltdowns. He HATED the hang around in the back strategy.

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

His meltdowns usually occur when the rug gets pulled out from under his chances. He probably thought he had a chance, at least for most of the day, even though he did hate riding around at the back.

Vinnie (ATL)

Why are you so down on F1 in the US? Watkins Glen was very successful with an F1 event. I went to Indy every year for the US Grand Prix this decade. I know the last race was a debacle, but I believe F1 can work in the US. One reason is because of our growing population in the form of South Americans and Asians who love open wheel racing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

I'm not down on F1 in the U.S. I'm down on the way F1 has treated the U.S. They treated Watkins Glen terribly, broke them, and that's why that race went under. They pillaged Indy for money. and just ask the city fathers from places like Phoenix, Detroit and Long Beach.

Hogie (Nevada)

Why wouldn't HMS listen to Dale Jr. about racing up front when he has had so much success in plate races in the past? Was he overruled by everyone else?

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

48's needs and wishes prevailed.

Kevin (Wisconsin)

Will the 2012 Daytona 500 be a 2 car tandem race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

for better or worse, yes

Ryan (Reynoldsburg,Ohio)

What would be the diffrences in carreers if tony stewart had jimmy johnsons equitement and Johnson has stewarts equitement for there whole career?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Who knows whether Knaus and Stewart could have gotten along? Who knows that WHOEVER as a crew chief could have taken that equipment and gotten it right for Stewart?

Andrew (Kettering Ohio)

Do you think that a big team would pay a start and park team to be on standby to push should a partner be iliminated on the plate tracks? (aka, Gibbs pays the 66 team to push a car or come back on the track to push a car). I for one like the 2x2 racing....

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

That's be mighty expensive. To keep a start-and-parker in the race, all race, you'd need to guarantee the guy about $300,000, which is the minimum pre-race cost of running the whole thing.

greg (la)

do u think next year is a make or brake it year for logano

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

you know, it could be . . .

Andrew (Kettering Ohio)

To follow up Ryan's question, equipment means alot, remember that Chad Knaus was Stacy Compton's crew chief and they missed races and couldn't race themselves out of a paper bag!

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

He was also a very inexperienced crew chief back then, and who knows what the driver feedback was.

Vinnie (ATL)

Point taken on F1 in the US. They do have an enormous ego. Do you think Bernie can fix F1's US relations? Max is gone.

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Bernie is the one who has CAUSED the U.S. relations. Max was a Bernie puppett. Todt may not be, but it's not the FIA boss who makes these deals. It's Bernie. When they see how much of the money he wants, from everything down to concessions, we'll see whether these deals stick.

Henry (NC)

Before people again take Dale Jr. seriously do you think he has to win races and run up front?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

I think that situation speaks for itself.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

Do you think Daytona 500, Darlington, Coca Cola 600, Brickyard 400 & Talladega will be part of Danica Sprint Cup schedule for stewart haas racing?

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

I think all of those should be locks except for maybe Darlington . . that would depend on how she tests there.

Bill Ontario (ESPN Websight)

Kyle Busch will not win more than 2 Cups.FACT

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Facts are things that are in existence. The future cannot provide a fact.

Ron (OH)

reported today that Bernie said Korea is asking for a sanctioning fee reduction so that race is in doubt for 2012 after only 2 races on the new circuit........just sayin'

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

precisely. Those F1 747s aren't big enough to haul all the cash they take out of the sucker venues like Korea, Bahrain, now supposedly Austin and Jersey. Nobody is ever happy with the end result of hosting F1.

Matt (Virginia)

Does the UPS announcement officially put Ragan out of a ride next year? It seemed like he was starting to get it going this year.

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

I think it puts him waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Bart (East Bay)

Rowdy Brad is proving people wrong every week. What else does he have to do to prove he is for real?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

I honestly don't think he has many detractors now. Indeed, he's probably the most popular and promising up and coming driver out there.

Tyler (Minnesota)

Why are teams like Roush Fenway Racing struggling to find sponsorship for really good drivers and lesser teams have been able to get sponsorship for lesser drivers?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

It has to do with the money they want. Roush obviously has a bigger need for money, for R&D, etc., than the lesser teams.

Vinnie (ATL)

I bet Monaco is just fine with hosting F1 which BTW was the best weekend event I ever attended.

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Monaco and F1 have bickered off and on for decades. I can remember years when F1 announced Monaco was off the calendar and then they didn't agree till the last minute. Monza has been in the same boat. The traditional venues have had their headaches from F1. The upstart ones nearly always have migraines, IF their races ever get off the ground in the first place.

Toni Stert (Burger King)

Which Busch Brother will go down as the better driver?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

Kyle

Carol (NY)

How come young fans like my kids love Kyle Busch and it seems like it's the older people who try to find fault with everything he does?

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

The kids watch for the pure driving performance. AND, those M&M's logos don't hurt, either.

Keith H (Seattle)

Ed, with the difficulties in getting sponsorships, shouldn't teams start to think in terms of dialing back? i.e., If you can't afford the r&d due to lack of sponsorship, maybe it's time to forsake the r

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

It's sort of like the nuclear arms race used to be. One dares not dial back for fear of being overwhelmed by the others. What they're doing is getting less money from each sponsor, but more different sponsors to pitch into the pot.

Jolt (KCMO)

Ed, what will be the long term effects on competitiveness at Gibbs after shutting down the engine dept?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

A lot of years they made their own horsepower while TRD was sputtering. So long haul, they may fall more in line with the other TRD teams. Thing is, engine departments cost HUGE amounts of money, especially if you don't have customers like Hendrick, Earnhardt-Childress and Roush-Yates do.

Pedro (Mexico)

I see Kasey Kahne being successful at HMS next year. So who becomes the "4th car" that lags behind? Gordon or Junior?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

A former driver for "the 25 team" -- the one that was always jinxed at Hendrick -- and I were talking not long ago. We agreed they may number it 88, but that unit is in fact the old, forever snakebit 25 team.

Jeff (Georgia)

Ed, what do you think about Kahne's chances in the #5 car next year? Thanks

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Oh, I think he'll run well.

Teri (Burbank)

It would be a shame for a championship driver like Matt not land a sponsor. It's rather sad.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Oh, he'll get sponsorship. What's happening is that they're thrashing trying to find the best deal.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Well, the clock on the wall says . . . thanks for stopping by, everyone.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Well, the clock on the wall says . . . thanks for stopping by, everyone.