Good afternoon, all, from Miami Beach. It's like a sauna out here, even in a supposedly air conditioned tent. But lots to talk about today, of course.
First thing, I'd like to address all the F1 enthusiasts who were so sure the Austin race would come off. Guess you've heard by now that Ecclestone has dropped the event. Surprise, surprise! I'm not just saying I told you so; I'm saying I told you so from Day One.
What have you heard about Addington coming over next season to CC for Smoke since Grubb will be promoted?
I've heard Zippy is the prime choice, but that Gibbs won't let Zippy out of his contract. Addington is definitely in the gossip mix down here, though whether for Smoke or Newman isn't clear.
Will Homestead be a sellout on Sunday? It was nice to see it packed last Sunday.
Barring a miracle walkup it won't be a sellout.
I've read some comparisons of this year's championship to the one in 1979. Do you have any memories of that battle between DW and the King?
It was very close, was Waltrip's to lose. He started the season very hot, wouldn't slow down, crashed at Darlington on Labor Day, still wouldn't slow down, but was still leading the points going into the finale at Riverside. He choked, and the King squeaked in as a surprise.
What happens if there is a tie between carl and toni
Tiebreaker is most wins, and no way Carl can tie Tony's four at this point.
I cannot stand fuel mileage races. Will nascar ever expand the size of the fuel tanks to help the drivers win based on racing instead of who had the most gas?
NASCAR says they won't go back to 22 gallon cells, and drivers claim that wouldn't help anyway. I'm all for bigger cells. But looks like fuel mileage races are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
In my opinion Ricky Craven is the best NASCAR analyst at this moment. Why doesn't ESPN let him be at the track and be in the booth or do the pre race show? Last year Craven and Evernham did some NNS races in the booth together. That was the best duo I have heard, maybe ever.
You are by no means alone in your appreciation of Ricky's talents in the booth. I've encouraged him to do more. Even the great Ken Squier has encouraged him to do more. But Ricky's a laid-back, together guy who isn't particularly interested in more travel. He'd rather be home with his family. Evernham of course is magnificent too.
Hey Ed. I thought you made some very compelling arguments for Carl being the "better" champion for NASCAR. I totally agree that Carl would absolutely be a great ambassador, especially in the PR field. I will be happy with either driver taking the Championship, but Carl, for my money, would be better long-term, in advancing the sport and gaining more fans.
There you go. A lot of you seem to be getting my point pretty well.
Do you expect another tandem race in next year's Daytona 500, or do you think NASCAR can find a solution by then?
They're working on it so hard that they may break up the tandems, but I predict the law of unintended consequences will lead to some other mess we haven't even thought of yet.
Who you got for the title? Smoke or Carl? Who wins at Homestead?
Believe it or not I got Smoke, even as much as I think Carl would be better for NASCAR at this point in history.
Auto-Update is not turned on. Please help! Any word on a CC for the #15 in 2012?
Oh, hi, Octo. We mentioned you in a team meeting -- actually lunch -- yesterday. We decided that until and unless the other chatters or our techs can tell us how to recognize you, we're going to give you a general amnesty.
Do you think the season has been a success for the 88 team?
For them, maybe, relatively speaking. In general, no.
Any chance of Homestead losing the finale if the crowd keeps looking like a high school baseball game?
I wish. Warm weather aside this is not the place for this race. Great for Orange Bowl, Super Bowl, etc., but not for NASCAR. But this is a France-owned track so the France-owned NASCAR will keep on coming.
I was curious what your opinion is on comparing stewart (if he wins) to kulwicki. I don't think they are even remotely similar except for stewart writing the checks. kulwicki wasn't getting equipment and notes from hendrick.
I don't think Stewart even writes the checks. Think he just signs them after his Harvard MBA business manager has written them.
Ed,why would Smoke even consider splitting with Darian Grubb after this recent hot streak and possible Championship? Or is it Darian who is thinking about leaving?
It seems to be Smoke's idea. I'm beginning to wonder if he's beginning to take himself too seriously as upper management.
Who will be the inevitable "4th car" at HMS next season?
You mean the worst car? Put it this way: Ricky Craven and Kenny Schrader, both of whom drove the 25, and I all agreed that the 25 team by any other name is still the snakebit 25 team, even if it has 88 on the side.
Ed, do you expect Kyle to have a quiet season next year maybe winning 1-2 races and laying low, not making waves and focusing on building KBM?
Won't be quiet, though it might not be as rowdy. And he'll win more than 1 or 2.
Since Stewart says he will wreck out Carl to win the championship, doesn't that give Jack Roush the green light to use all the Ford teams, especially AJ and Ambrose, to do the same to #14?
I think you took Stewart too literally. He said he'd wreck his grandmother to win a championship, but he was speaking in metaphors. They were talking about the last lap anyway and if it comes down to the two of them.
Hey Ed, The King raced in cup for almost 30 years and I was wondering if you think Rowdy Busch will be racing for another 25 plus year or even until he's 70 years old , like Morgan Sheppard?
I doubt it. These younger guys will probably burn out sooner, with their more hectic lives and schedules. Rowdy could go 20 more, though.
I believe that the close race for the championship has been good for NASCAR. What are your reaasons for picking Edw3ds over Stewart? I like both drivers so it's win win for me.
I didn't pick Edwards, I just said he would be the better champion for NASCAR's image and growth. Actually I figure Smoke will win this thing.
Hey Ed, agree with your story today. Edwards wins but I'm concerned about people referring to Stewart as the owner of SHR. Why doesn't the media report on his partner, Gene Haas and his past criminal history?
Well, every time JJ won a championship, there were those who wanted to know why we didn't report on Rick Hendrick's past troubles. For openers, I don't think Haas is much of an active part of this picture.
I totally agree with your story about Carl and Stewart never was and never will be an Alan Kulwicki!
Not even close to Kulwicki's situation. Kulwicki did virtually everything himself, and beat the top teams, that were well financed -- Junior Johnson, Robert Yates, et al. -- on his shoestring budget.
Ed what is your 2012 prediction for Dale Junior's season?
Same ol' same ol'.
What do the Cup drivers think of Dale Earnhardt Junior? Is there a sense of jealousy among them for the attention he gets?
Actually most of them would love to see him winning again, because they figure it would be good for NASCAR and therefore good for their bankrolls.
i have heard some scenarios, but if tony wins.. And carl second even if both leads a lap and someone else leads the most tony would be champ, right?
If Ton wins the race outright, he wins the title, regardless of what Carl does. And don't think Smoke wasn't crowing and reminding me of that a few minutes ago, in trying to convince me that he doesn't care in the least what Carl does Sunday.
What is your prediction for Danica in the nationwide series for 2012?
I think she'll actually win a race somewhere along the line. But she'll still have enough mediocre runs to keep drawing static from her detractors.
Will Hornaday race for KBM next year?
Rumor is that Kyle has offered him the ride.
How do you think Austin Dillon will do in Nationwide next season? Championship contender or does he need a season to get used to the cars before he can with the title in that series?
I think he'll do fine, maybe win a race or two -- depending on how many Cup drivers come down to cherry pick -- and contend for the championship. But you know what? I think his little brother, Ty, just might be even better.
On an A-F scale, where would you rate this NASCAR season relative to the efforts of the powers that be to breathe new life into the sport, and what can they do next year to make it even better in your opinion? I would give them a B+
Breathe new life? Eh, I'd say B minus at best. They've shaken up a lot of staff and managed only to bring in a lot of inexperienced people who are overly enthusiastic about something they haven't learned yet.
hey... curious... who are Jr's fans? They can't be new people to the sport, because he hasn't had a competitive year in like 7 years. Why is he the most popular driver year after year? His dad was never as popular as he is now, and he won 7 championships!
Who knows? Junior certainly doesn't know.
If you could be a France for one day; what would you do to bring back the Nascar from 5 years ago?
I wouldn't stop at five years ago. I'd go back at least 25. For openers I would bring back the rule that any manufacturer has to race the silhouette, at least, of a production car. If your production model is bad aero, tough. Go find another model. But you have to race the silhouette of a mass production car.
Ecclestone hasn't dropped anything yet, just a deadline of 11/27 to sign a contract with new leadership. Looks to me like they've made way to much progress on that track to screw it up at this late date.
Bet you also pull for Dale Jr. in NASCAR. No way Austin ever turns an F1 wheel.
Can you tell me what the controversy is with OCTO? Somebody got mad about a post that OCTO made in another chat this week.
They claim he's using other chatters' names. Which of course is not nice.
Is the Truck series an endangered species?
A year ago I'd have said yes. But it's become such a developmental series for young drivers that I think it'll hold on and maybe even have an uptick.
Who plays the spoiler and steals some thunder from Smoke and Cuz this weekend?
Fear the Biff.
Do you think Grubb will be the 48 crew chief next year? Rumor is Knaus is getting promoted to director of comp at HMS
Or Grubb could be competition director at SHR. That's why they call this silly season. Because none of the contracts are close to done.
Whats with your beef with Junior, you never have a positive thing to say about him, just smart a$$ remarks!
No beef at all. I just don't think he's ready to win again yet, and I say so. I'm just amazed by people who think every week he's going to break out . . . that's all.
Will the 24 team do better or worse than in 2011?
As close as they came this year . . . they may not see many more seasons like that.
Will Rowdy be sitting on the pit box overseeing Denny in his KBM #18 Tundra tomorrow night?
He likes the pit box.
I agree comparing Stewart and Kulwicki is fun, but inaccurate, but I don't think it's something to write off. To say he is "Hands off" is a little bit harsh, but he still put that team together and he still signs off on everything that happens. It's still a pretty cool accomplishment and I don't think it deserves to be written off. Rick, Gibbs, Roush those guys don't do everything either and also have people in place to run the everyday stuff. Give Tony some credit.
You wouldn't grumble if you'd been around to see what Kulwicki accomplished with so little. I was there. Two different worlds, believe me.
After Carl flipped or crashed Brad K twice there is no way that he is a good ambassador for NASCAR. The ESPN poll has Tony leading as the best new champion by a 56-44 margin.
Read the column again, for comprehension this time. I said clearly that Smoke is the people's choice. And mainstream America doesn't know all that background stuff, so it matters zilch when Carl goes on the Today show or Good Morning America.
Seems like the payday each weekend... hardly covers the cost of showing up in all three series... why is that?
Sponsors cover the costs. Purses haven't covered the costs since . . . oh, back in the '70s, maybe.
Hi Ed. If the championship ended up being decided on the last lap with either Carl or Tony wrecking the other to do it, can you imagine how polarized Nascar fans would be? Some would call it dirty while others would call it legit. Either way, imagine what kind of publicity Nascar would get from that. Go #99!
The hoopla would be big. Polarizing? I don't think so. Neither Carl nor Smoke is a polarizing driver. Nobody's fanatically behind one or the other, and nobody's fanatically against one or the other.
What I am saying is that Tony is still a team owner and could win the championship. That's a pretty cool deal and not something to be written off. It's not Kulwicki I agree, but it's not just another driver winning a championship.
I haven't written it off. I'm just saying comparison to Kulwicki are absurd. The better comparison would be Richard Petty, back in the '70s, winning for himself as a well-financed team owner while his daddy did all the paperwork.
Do you think Brad K with his 3 wins will have a similiar let down in 2012 like Jamie did from 2010 to this year?
Nossir. Brad K is coming on fast, and is here to stay. No letdowns.
Is there any way ESPN could change the chat, and have people log in to send a question, that way you could see the user posting the question. Octo really doesn't bother me, I find it funny, but it does bother most.
our motorsports chieftain, K. Lee Davis, is aware of the situation. our techs, like NASCAR always says, "continue to monitor the situation."
Is there any way ESPN can have all Dale Jr. chats and not allow discussion of other drivers?
i'll ask k. lee.
You said, "I'm certain Edwards would be the most polished and sophisticated champion ever to represent NASCAR to mainstream America" Wasn't JJ polished and sophisticated?
Yes, but not in the clear-as-a-bell way Carl is. JJ was a little too soft spoken. Even when he said something profound it was almost a whisper.
Would you agree that it doesn't matter what Junior does it will never be good enough for the haters or some in the media?
Don't agree. We'll all give him credit when and if it's due.
Who has been the most disappointing driver this season?
Well, relatively speaking, it might just be JJ, in comparison to his past performances.
I think NASCAR at times succeeds despite their actions, not because of them. Between cars that resemble jellybeans, no Southern 500 on Labor Day anymore and ending the season at Homestead, I'm not so much worried about not having their finger on the pulse, I wonder if they can find the hand.
Oh, I agree all along. A lot of things have happened to NASCAR, for the past 35 years, that weren't necessarily attributable to anything they did.
HMS has been testing the new fuel injection alot more than everyone else. Does that mean they have a dominating year as an organization next season like whne the CoT first came out?
They very well might. They've got some really good ex-GM engineers, such as Doug Douchart, with lots of injection savvy from production cars.
It would be crazy if Tony and Carl wrecked with 50 laps to go and the chase was decided by who could get their car back on the track sooner.
Now that's an interesting thought . . .
Why doesnt nascar "get it"? Hardly anything theyve done has been popular... and it sure seems broke but they dont wanna fix it?
Because they've said "if it ain't broke don't fix it" for so long that they're brainwashed by their own mantra.
Good one Ed, but seriously, have you seen the progress made in Austin? I never thought it was a good idea myself, but they're going to have to do something with that track, even if it's delayed by a year.
Listen: You been around Ecclestone as long as I have, you know he'll let a multi-million dollar project die on the vine in a heartbeat. No problem. No mercy toward any track in the world, not even Monaco or Monza. First big butchery he did after taking over as czar was to destroy Watkins Glen. What does that tell you?
I will give NASCAR credit for the double wide restarts. Best rule change lately.
Yeah, but a gazillion people had been recommending that before nascar finally decided to do it.
So are you for consistency winning the title or more emphasis on wins?
wins, absolutely. I've always said the points system should be, one win, one point. period.
Do you ever chat in your underwear, Ed? I do.
Actually, no. Especially out in a public place like Miami Beach. Gym shorts, yes, sometimes when I'm chatting from home.
Safe or not... I totally miss racing back to the caution. The lucky dog is lame.
Lucky dog is lame, but racing back to the caution -- exciting as it was -- was barbaric.
Which series is more healthier, the truck series or the nationwide series
Probably nationwide, but trucks are coming out of their downturn.
Were you disappointed in the comments of the Rowdy Busch haters after Texas?
Nothing the Rowdy haters say ever surprises or disappoints me. They are what they are.
Things to drop or fix. Dump Lucky Dog. Give some points to reg season champ. Cut way back on cup guys in NW and truck. No tandem racing.
how would any of that fix lucky dog?
"I've always said the points system should be, one win, one point. period." So, no points for anyone else?
you got it. nascar always laughs. and i keep on saying it.
Do u think tony is automatic for the NHOF or will it take the third championship or more wins?
Oh, he'll get there. Just a matter of when.
Do you think Tony's attempts at playing head games on Carl have backfired?
not backfired, but they haven't had much impact, either.
So you favor the F1 points system for NASCAR?
I would actually favor the OLD f1 point system: 10-6-4-3-2-1, and you can throw out one race at the end of the season.
I've always wanted to see a point for the guy that gets the poll.
I was against that for years, but have since come around to it. I agree with you.
Ed, how would you feel about Nascar adding a "historic" track to the Chase? Whether it be the Rock, North Wilkesboro, another Darlington race, or something along those lines, I think it would be cool if they switched the historic track around every year so the fans got to see something different. Of course, it would probably be a no-go because Nascar would likely have to put a little money into these tracks to help them be Cup-ready.
It would be an issue with promoters and ticket sales. Not a bad idea, just too much trouble for NASCAR to execute.
Do you think Rowdy's yellow, LEXUS LFA should be inducted into the NASCAR HOF?
It sure got NASCAR a lot of attention. But I think it was just a loaner.
Since Ron Hornaday seems to have turned down Rowdy Busch's offer of the best ride in the Truck Series, do you think we'll see Rowdy offer the #18 KBM Tundra to another wily veteran like Mark Martin?
I don't think Martin would take that at this point in his life. Part time Cup would be about it.
As a chicago based nascar fan, i still don't understand why they started the chase in windy city. I would like to see a race track like darlington back or bring back the rock. When is nascar going to stop going to other markets and stick to the good old southern tacks?
And you know how Chicago is at that point of the year, with the Bears cranking up. NASCAR just took a blind stab at a big market.
Street circuit Nascar road race. Make it happen Ed!!
It won't. They thought about it some 20-odd years ago but realized the cars would be entirely too clumsy, slipping and sliding all over the place.
Why is Kyle Busch nicknamed Rowdy? 'Specially after Childress put a whuppin on him
Hi, Oct. You know as well as I do he got that nickname before he ever got to Cup. From Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder.
How does Childress like the taste of crow after guaranteeing that RCR would unseat #48 and win the 2011 Sprint Cup?
He didn't guarantee it. But crow is a dish he has tasted before anyway.
Instead of street circuit how about a race at an airport? Indy cars were at Cleveland and that was a great race to watch.
Ha! They've got full-fledged race tracks climbing all over each other for dates. They're not going to an airport. CART went there because they needed a venue and a market.
What do you think about Dale Jr. getting a drivers coach?
His old man got some coaching a couple of times, on road racing and running IMS. Terrible student. Earnhardt's are not big listeners to teachers.
Do you think tony would be leading the points right now if they had a road course in the chase?
He very well might.
With that, folks, time to go. See y'all next time.