Welcome to my first chat of 2012. Sure you have lots of energy stored from the holidays. Didn't get much of a break myself between driver changes, Christmas and my son's wedding. Let's get right to it. Fire away.
Newt, do you think Kurt and Newman will be drafting partners in their HMS cars because of the way they won the '08 Daytona 500 for Penske?
Hard to say. Kurt worked pretty well with Regan Smith last year and Tony may have some allegiance to his boss.
Who do you think Rowdy will have driving the 2 KBM Tundras and the new NW car?
I suspect you might see Kurt in a few races. I know he was looking at driving a lot in NW before he signed the Phoenix Racing deal. Kyle will be behind the wheel a good bit, too.
Sorry to Blake. Mistakenly deleted his question about why JRM develops drivers like Brad K and Almirola and then lets them go to other teams. The answer is simple. Developing drivers is why Dale Jr. formed JRM.
Junior had only 4 T5's in 2011 and 3 of those were before June so isn't some of this talk about Junior challenging for wins and the cup a little optimistic?
Perhaps. The most alarming stat to me is he led only 52 laps. You can't win races unless you're leading. But hey, it is a time of optimism.
Hi Newt, how much of a backlash do you expect against Kahne from our women NASCAR fans over his anti breast feeding rant?
It'll die down. I've written a column on what happened to Kahne and social media in general that will run on Monday. Stay tuned.
Are you hearing that Kurt will be running the full NW series for KBM like how Edwards and Brad do the double duty? Thanks.
Not sure about full, but he is expected to be in the seat some from what I'm hearing.
Newt, do you think Cole Witt will do 1 year at JRM with Pops, then jump to Penske, Roush or Gibbs just like Brad and Almirola have done?
Hi David and Happy New Year! with the tight economy and sponsor pressure do you think "Rowdy" is history and Kyle Busch will behave like Jimmie and Edwards?
Happy to you as well. And Kyle never will behave like Jimmie and Edwards all the time. Not in his nature. I'm not saying he's out of control, though. You seldom hear of him ticking anybody off in Cup, Kevin Harvick aside.
will the merging of JGR engines and TRD solve the reliability issues that plagued Kyle and Denny all last year?
That is the hope. If it doesn't then they have problems.
Last year during media tours Childress guaranteed that RCR would win the '11 Sprint Cup. Do you think he will be making that prediction again this year?
Not sure he guaranteed as much as he strongly said they would challenge for you. I may be wrong, but that is how I interpreted it. And if you aren't willing to put yourself out there then you're probably not going to challenge, so I see no reason they won't talk big.
do fewer competitive cars on the track make it easier for Junior to break his 0-129 race losing streak or does it clear the way for the better drivers to shine and not get caught up in others mistakes?
Me thinks the Dale Jr. bashing already has begun. First, there may be fewer cars but not fewer competitive cars, at least by enough to notice. And Dale Jr. will snap his streak.
during daytona testing and the 500 do you see the 8 hms cars teaming up for tandem drafting like maybe kurt-newman, jeff-kasey, toni-danica and jimmie-junior?
Interesting. The point of the testing is to break up the two-car draft and all I'm getting are suggestions for how they'll pair up. Your pairings are nice, though.
You know how we've seen pics in the garage of HMS teammates and Sprint Cup champs Jimmie, Tony and Jeff all debriefing and talking. Do you expect Kurt to join that elite group of cup champions sharing information and notes?
Um, not really. Different dynamics with Phoenix Racing.
do you expect Kahne or Junior to have more wins and finish higher in final points?
My guess is it'll be close. Kahne may have a few more wins but I suspect Jr. to be more consistent.
Who will be First Time Winners in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012?
Disappointed you weren't first in line for the new year. Kidding. As for first-time winners, maybe AJ Allmendinger.
If you were to compare drivers to cities, would you compare the Busch Brothers to a great sports town like New York, and Jr to somewhere like Cleveland? Thanks!
I'd go with Miami for the Busch Brothers and Vegas for Junior. You guess why.
Any word on who will be driving Rowdy's Camry and Tundra's next year?
Kyle part of the time and I'm hearing Kurt some.
How many wins do you see Kurt with next year?
A couple. He'll be out to prove a lot of people wrong.
With Aric Almirola Going to RPM in the 43 Ford in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012 After 1 Season with JR Motorsports Do you think that Danica Patrick will Copy Almirloa in 2013?
In case you missed it, Danica already is in line to drive a fulltime Cup car for SHR in 2013.
With Rowdy focusing more on Sprint Cup now, is he the clear favorite to win the title?
I like his chances, and not because he's focusing on Cup. He's just that good.
Cole Whitt. 2012 Nationwide Champion?
He'll have to go through the defending champion, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
How many races do you think that Kirk will last before he loses it?
Depends on what you mean by lose it. I suspect he's been humbled enough that you'll see a different person.
Don't you think Hendrick should punish Kahne for his tweeting?
Nope. Kahne was just tweeting what he thought, which is what Twitter is for. He just went too far with the hashtag and reply.
Ty Dillon. 2012 Camping World Truck Champion?
How many races will Dale Jr win this year?
More than he did last year. Heck, I don't know. I predicted he would win a few times last year and he didn't.
If kryle doesn't get his head on straight, would Gibbs fire him?
I don't think he has many, if any, more chances.
Do you expect that JRM will severely slump next year with Danica and Whitt as their drivers?
All depends if you think Danica will have a worse year than last year and if you believe Almirola is better than Whitt. I believe Danica will show improvement and Whitt will hold his own.
If you want to look for octo, look for any questions that calls Kyle "Rowdy".
If Joey Logano doesn't get it together this year is he out at Gibbs?
In my opinion, yes. This is a make or break year for him. That Kurt Busch is sitting in the wings and there was interest there before Christmas tells me the Gibbs are preparing just in case.
People really blew what Kasey said out of proportion, thoughts?
Yes and no. Had Kasey not added the hashtag #nasty and then replied inappropraitely to a person that commented he would have been OK.
Both of the brothers have burned bridges, if they burn another one what options do they have?
There are always options for talented people. Read my column a few weeks ago.
Is silly season over now, T-Mose is ready for some racing.
I hope so. I"m ready for a break.
So with TRG supposedly leaving NASCAR and Front Row trying to keep their driver lineup from 2011 in tact, what is left for David Ragan in Cup? The 46?
Not sure. He told me yesterday he wasn't close on anything.
As of now, I count 39 full-time Cup teams for this season. Are short fields in the Cup events going to happen or will we get lucky and see 43 starters in every event?
I thought it would happen last year to be honest. And really, does it matter if there are 42 or 39 cars? It's happened in the past.
Would you consider Hendrick Motorsports to be a NASCAR dynasty?
I would. Maybe one of the best in all of sports. Hard to top what I believe was nine titles in 13 or 14 years before this past season.
With all active champion drivers except Kenseth, and the two highest profile drivers in Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., would you call Hendrick Motorsports a dynast or a monopoly?
Will we ever see a Former Open wheel Race Car Driver whether it is from IndyCar or F1 to be a Nationwide Series Champion?
Sam Hornish Jr. could do it this year.
Well, it looks like SHR won't be able to find a sponsorship for the #10 car in races that Danica don't run this year.
Pretty much. And that is not a bad thing except had Stewart put a deal together for the entire year he could have guaranteed Danica a starting position in 2013 if that car stayed in the top 35.
Sorry to go off-topic, but who you got for all 4 NFL playoffs games this weekend?
Saints and Giants in NFC, Steelers and Houston in the AFC. Although I do think the Steelers are suspect with all their injuries.
Is Urt running a bunch of NW races to help his brother out with expenses or to offset some of the money he will not be making this year running for Finch?
I suspect it'll work out well for both sides. Kyle will have an easier time selling races for a former Cup champion and Kurt will get to work with more people and find that balance he is looking for.
Has scooty settled his lawsuit with Red Bull? Did he make "bank" or have to settle for "pennies on the dollar" like Evernham did?
He did settle. Didn't see what he got, but I would guess more along the lines of the Evernham deal.
Will the first stages of testing at Daytona be televised?
Don't believe so unless Speed shows it.
Is Roush going to let Ricky Stenhouse or Trevor Bayne run in Daytona (or the first 5 races) in the 6 or is that all still TBA?
The initial plan was to run the 6 with either or both of those drivers for the first 5 races and hope sponsors take note and keep it going. Bayne will be in the 21 for the 500, so it's Stenhouse's ride for that race.
Why would MWR want to buy both Red Bull cars' points when they are only planning 3 cars for the 500 and only need one teams' points to lock Bowyer in? Or is Mikey really going to run a 4th MWR car in the 500?
My guess is he'll enter for in the 500. No reason to buy both points otherwise.
If Kyle makes the Chase, do you think he will win his first Chase race this year? If so, which track?
No ifs. He will make it. Can't predict which track he might win at in the Chase. He'd take anyone with his past record in the final 10.
A team member said Finch would not put up with the "attitude" Urt showed at Penske and would have a meeting with Urt on pitroad. Think Finch might have a "Childress" moment with Urt this season?
I suspect Kurt has a good understanding of what's expected and will behave.
Who finishes higher in points - Kurt Busch or Allmendinger?
Good question. I will go with Kurt. Talent.
Who do you think will have a break out year? I feel bad for Kahne, guess he now knows the power (or should I say wrath) of Twitter.
Kahne would be as good a pick as any for a breakout year. You're right, I think he gets it now.
How big of a transition will Danica have in a Cup car at Daytona. She seems to run well there.
Not much of a transition. At Daytona you just hold the gas down and go. As Dale Jr. says, his grandmother could drive Daytona. Having been in the simulators I can tell you he's probably right. The transition for Danica will come when she gets to a mile and a half track.
I think what JR motorsports is doing in the NW series is what that series was built on. Do you think they run their program that way because that basically how Dale JR got into cup by moving up through the series?
Yessir. Said that earlier.
When/If Dale Jr gets back to victory lane how crazy will it be?
Fourth of July and Happy New Year all wrapped up into one.
What are Jeff Gordon's chances to finally get that 5th championship and how many races will he win?
I liked his chances going into the Chase last year before things went South. He's pretty determined, and I believe he still has one championship run left in him. As for race wins, who knows. I'd say at least two.
Give me you prediction David, where will Danica finish in the Daytona 500?
David, you think all 3 Roush drivers make the Chase?
No reason to think otherwise. They're all championship caliber and have great equipment.
Could we get an update on any changes theyre making to the cars to try and break up the tango? Any of them actually having any effects?
Smaller spoiler, smaller radiator are the two big ones. Not sure either will work.
Happy New Year, David!Has RFR been able to secure additional sponsors for the #17 other than Best Buy?
Not yet. But they are optimistic on a few things.
Do you have any news on Mark Martin?
He's pretty set with splitting his ride at MWR.
does logano win a race this year
He better. His future may depend on it.
Do you see Danica doing well on any other tracks that aren't plate races??
Not really. Way to early and a steep learning curve.
Any word on sponsorship for Almirola in the 43?
Air Force and Smithfield Foods I am hearing.
How come Steven Wallace wasn't considered for the 43 cup ride?
Same reason you weren't.
Do you think Smoke will slump next year, and Kurt will have more wins than him?
Anything is possible. I do believe it will take Stewart time to develop a chemistry with Addington.
Has Office Depot and USArmy re-upped with SHR for 2012? My understanding is that Quicken Loans, Outback, and Mobil are signed for partial schedules.
You are correct.
Did you see Greg Biffle on the "surfing dog" float? It was kind of odd, but cool at the same time.Do you think he will have a better year?
Missed that, but makes sense knowing him. I do believe he'll have a resurgance this year. He's much better than we saw last season.
Who gets Hendrick his 200th win?
Jimmie Johnson in the Daytona 500.
Does Iowa get a cup race in the next 5 years?
It should. The issue is who loses a race.
What's up Newt?! Nice to see Almirola get a fair shot after being screwed at Gibbs . In your opinion what would be a realistic goal?
Top 18 in points would be a success in my book. And it is good to see him get a chance. Nice kid as I wrote today. But Kurt would have been better for getting the 43 back in Victory Lane.
Is Travis Pastrana still going to compete in Nationwide this season?
If he can stay healthy.
Whitt and Patrick combo at JRM is a good combination. Will Patrick participate in the Sprint Cup test at Daytona? Have you heard whether or not she has already tested some in the Sprint Cup car/
Believe she is scheduled to test, but need to double check that. I've been off on wedding duty for my son and haven't checked to see if she's tested, but can't imagine she hasn't.
Out of curiosity, do all drivers work out or have personal trainers? Drivers do endure a lot during the season. Do they train in the off season or train for Daytona?
Most do, although some like Mark Martin have been doing this long enough that they don't need a trainer. I believe Stewart's trainer is stuck in revolving door.
What are you hearing about Front Row's driver lineup this year? Are they "field fillers" again or can they compete?
Don't think they plan to change from last year.
Are there any "good" rides in Cup or NW left to be had?
Not unless one of the major teams starts another team, and that isn't happening.
It seems that every 10 years a dominant driver appears on the scene that most people weren't expecting like JJ in '02 and JG in '92. Who do you think would fit in that category if it were to happen in '12?
Maybe Brad Keselowski. We saw glimpses last year.
When is the media weekend? Looking forward to seeing all the new paint schemes
Third week this month I believe. Don't remind me of how close it is.
Do you think NASCAR needs someone to drive the 3 car again?
I do. It was driven by others before Earnhardt drove it and should be again. Glad Petty kept the 43 in the sport.
Do you think more drivers will be more aggressive with there driving this coming chase considering how Tony drove to win?
Hardly. Tony was aggressive but not out of control.
David Newton you are great, but Rickey say that Cam is the greatest Newton of all-time (yes, greater than Isaac now)
Thanks. But can Cam write?
Are you hearing that Mark Martin might be running some truck or NW races for Rowdy at Kyle Busch Motorsports?
That was the rumor last month.
That's it for me folks. Glad to get back in the saddle. I'll be at testing next week in Daytona. Keep warm.