Hello from lovely Daytona Beach, Fla. I can see the track from my hotel window. Much warmer today than yesterday, and things really will heat up on the track tomorrow. Let's get to the questions.
Who do you see as the underdog, this season ? I would like to see a repeat of last year in that there were so many first-time winners. that just shows that there is so much incredible talent in NASCAR. What an exciting sport this is !
I doubt you'll see that many first-time winners again this year, mainly because there aren't that many teams left capable of first-time wins after last season. Perhaps AJ Allmendinger. Maybe Aric Almirola. As for underdog, I'll go with Kurt Busch. Many don't expect much with him on an inferior team, but I expect him to make noise.
Do you think Rowdy's Shootout win will carryover momentum similar to Kurt's last year?
Hard to say. I just believe the style of racing we saw on Saturday fits Kyle's style of driving more. We already know how good he is everywhere else.
Did Rowdy's shootout win help him build confidence for the championship this year?
Nah. It's no different than winning the all-star race. A good feeling for the night, but in the end it means little.
Is there a Busch Series(Nationwide Series) Museum Since that division is 30 Years Old & there is A Winston Cup Museum in Winston-Salem,NC?
Not specifically per se. But the NASCAR Hall of Fame is full of plenty of stuff on the second-tier series.
Will the trucks or Nationwide race in packs or will the two-car tandems still exist in Daytona?
That is the hope, particularly for the Nationwide Series. NASCAR implemented many of the same changes for those cars.
Between 500 qualifying and Gatorade Duels, what did the drivers do? Did they stay at Daytona or they went back in NC?
Most headed home. Matt Kenseth and his family went to Disney World.
so what do you thing they are going to do to clint bowyer's car are they going to fine the car owner micheal waltrip after the daytona 500 like they are going to do or just when ever they diecide to fine before the race on thursday or what do you thing they are going to do with clint car.
I don't think anything, but I could be wrong. They found something and fixed it and went back through tech and all was well.
Good article about Awesome Bill, but won't he just be a start and park in the 500 like the #97 was last year?
He's not planning on it. Don't think he would have showed up for that.
How does Stremme's team approach Thursday's Duel race? They're in the field on speed and have no backup car, so do they pull in early or go out and try to win?
Interesting scenario. Since they're in I would suspect he'll drive around the back of the pack and see what happens. Maybe they'll park early. Would make sense from a business standpoint.
What do you reckon we'll see in the truck and Nationwide races? All tandems, or a little pack racing as well?
A lot of the same as Cup.
will therebe a nascar 2012 the video game
As far as I know.
what should the fined be for jj and for chad knaus and how manny race should chad knaus sit out for from the c post that was ilegal for the car and why do they have to wait after the daytona 500 why can they just do it know instead of waiting after the daytona 500 i thing that is stupid.
Typically, this is a four-race suspension. If nothing comes out today they'll probably wait until next week. They had a lot of other things going on today and may not have had time to meet on it. I'm still confused on how that car went through tech 16 times last year and never failed, and now all of a sudden is illegal.
Hi David, I asked this question of Ryan yesterday but he blew me off. Big Jeff Gordon fan. He seems to have a MUCH more positive outlook for his changes at the Cup this year than maybe any year I can remember. Why? Also, I have always heard from NASCAR guys that money buys speed. If that is true why wouldn't a guy like Jeff say "ok, I got $20 Million from sponsors to run this year....to ensure I win the Cup I am going to spend $5 Million additional money of my own to get it done"? Thanks
First, I don't believe Jeff has quite $20 million in sponsor money. And there's no magic number for what will buy wins as you say. I do believe his outlook is positive, but it was right up there lat year as well. It would be fun to see him make one last run. I believe he's still got it in him.
I see Danica out qualified your fave, Kurt Busch. I guess Kurt isn't a miracle worker after all like you believe.
It was one qualifying run. We don't know whether Kurt got a bad gust of win _ and it was very windy _ or missed his line. Qualifying doesn't matter at Daytona anyway. Kyle came from the back twice to win the Shootout. I'll tell you what. I'll take Kurt and you Danica in the 500. We can bet an ice cream cone on it.
Do you agree with McGee's rankings from yesterday? Smoke is ranked waaaaay too low. He should be 3rd, 4th, or 5th.
I barely have Stewart making the Chase, so I guess I agree with Ryan. Wait. What's wrong with me?
Newt, do you think Rowdy's 1 race suspension at Texas last year will help him the way it did when NASCAR parked Harvick at Marinsville?
Seems to have made a pretty big impression, don't you think?
Is there any better way for Rowdy to put the tragedy of last year behind him than to start the season by winning the first race of the year like he did Sat. night?
He certainly took advantage to give M&Ms props after the win. If you look at Kyle's statistics at Daytona they're right at the top of the list. He'll win here soon.
Hi David, why does Dale Jr. seem to run okay in the first 9 races of the season and then seems to fade and rarely scores even a top 10? Is it age or fitness?
He's always struggled in the summer months, even when he was on top of his game. Hard to put a finger on it. I know fitness has been questioned before, but he's working out more now than ever.
Newt, what's your take on the Kyle Larson signing for EGR? Quite a talent, obviously, but are his sights set on NASCAR for sure? I understand he has several interests as far as a racing career.
Good move to get his name inked, but honestly can't tell you what will happen three and four years from now. Chip owns a lot of cars in a lot of forms of motorsports, so maybe he was looking at that to keep options open
Did Johnson and Gordon apologize to Rowdy for spinning him in the shootout?
Kyle cut across Johnson to start his almost first wreck. What happened with Gordon happened to a lot of guys. Heard of no apology.
Hey Newt, with Gordon putting himself on his roof for the first time in his career, do you think he will be gun-shy in the packs?
you see that jr break his race winless streak on sunday and winng the biggest race of the year and start things what does he have to do an order to win the biggest race of the year.
He has a better chance now that they're back to pack racing than he did in the dancing, at least in his mind. That he's more optimistic is a good sign.
I know I asked you who was you pick to win the 500, but who are you picks for the Duels race and the Nationwide race?
Joey Logano in the 500. Junior in one qualifying race and Johnson in the other.
With the performance Rowdy put on in the shootout do you think fans should be thankful that they are privileged to be witnessing Rowdy making history?
I was after the saves he made.
After Stewart wrecked Kurt in practice, I saw Jimmie, Kurt and Tony all working on the #14 in the garage and wondered if this is an example of the teamwork Mr. H expects from all of his teams?
Pretty much. They all know the information they get from others can help them win. Getting that level of cooperation may be Hendrick's greatest talent.
After practice there was a video of a gang of engineers in Hendrick Motorsports jackets and shirts installing a new engine in Kurt's #51 and I was wondering if this shows Mr. Hendrick's level of commitment to Kurt Busch?
It shows his level of commitment to getting the 51 in position to helping HMS.
David, give me a darkhouse at Daytona.
My winner, Joey Logano.
With the beat down, Rowdy put on the field in the shootout do you think Rowdy was making a statement about his intentions for 2012?
No. His intentions every race and every year are to win all he can.
With all the sponsorship questions in play will Nascar ever lift the ban on booze and tobacco products or Sprint competitors (Verizon, At&T)?? Seems limiting who can sponsor is limiting the drivers also.
I doubt it, particularly the tobacco. Not sure if you heard, but Daytona is going smokeless in the stands beginning with the July race.
Roush Fords swept the tops spots in the 2011 Daytona 500 and now they won the front row this year. Have Jack's Fords found something that they are keeping quiet about?
Not at all. Roush Yates engines had the most horsepower all of last season. Nobody should be surprised to see them on the front row. The Fords consistently were among the fastest in practice. Wait till we see drafting practice to pick your winner, though.
Have you been impressed with the behaviors of the new, mature Rowdy Busch and the sponsor-fan friendly Kurt Busch?
I'd like to keep an open mind on both of these. Been burnt before.
If Jr. is still winless by Charlotte in May do you think Mr. H will pull the plug and get a new crew chief for the #88?
Not unless they are buried in the points. If they are top 12 he will be happy.
I heard Tony take 100% responsibility for wrecking Kurt in practice and he said he was trying to help Kurt. Do you see this as a sign that the guys are rallying around Kurt and want to see Kurt succeed?
No, it just means Stewart felt responsible. He doesn't want any enemies in the 500. But if you look back at it both drivers made mistakes.
It is really nice to know how people discovered the sport. I accidentally stumbled upon it during the 09' Daytona 500 for the final 10 laps. That pack racing really did it for me, and ever since I follow this sport like a religion. How did you find out of the sport?
I was born in Darlington, S.C., and snuck into the track at an early age in my Cubs Scout uniform. Loved it from the outset.
During the shootout Danica did an amazing analyst job. When did Danica become a NASCAR Daytona expert?
Funny. Had the volume down on the TV to listen to scanner so I can't comment. But it would be better to drive a good game than talk one.
Newt, when Stewert and Harvick were young they were penailzed, parked and fined by NASCAR and the fans liked them for the behavior so why the double-standard when it comes to Rowdy? Thanks!
Don't believe Stewart was parked, but get your point. Just goes to personality I guess. Stewart is an old-school racer and Harvick stepped into Dale Earnhardt's car, so they have things in their favor from the outset. Many simply looked at Busch as a punk from Vegas. You're right, though, doesn't seem fair.
Newt: Do you expect Biffle and Edwards to take it easy in the 150's to avoid wrecking their race cars so they don't start at the rear of the Daytona 500?
Nah. Once you start driving defensively you usually end up in a wreck.
So no truck racing for Ricky Carmichael this season? Do you see him returning to any of the series in 2013?
Haven't heard, but I don't believe he is ready to give up racing.
We give Stewart credit for taking his beating like a man but after the shootout Harvick and Junior where whining about the pack racing. They don't like tandems and now they cry about the packs. What do they want?
First, I didn't hear Junior or Harvick whining as you say. Junior actually said it gives him a better chance to win. The same Stewart who praised the racing on Saturday said in 2006 after finishing third that "somebody is going to kill someone." Go figure.
HMS doesn't seem to be very happy with the #48 team so do you think there could be internal HMS and Lowe's penalties for Knaus and the car chief?
To the contrary, Rick Hendrick said he will appeal any penalty. He completely defended the team, saying the same car went through tech 16 times last year and passed every time. Read this and you'll get the full picture for where Hendrick is. http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/7590472/rick-hendrick-says-jimmie-johnson-car-same-one-restrictor-plate-races-last-season
Howdy David. Great piece on awesome Bill.I didn't get to watch the Shootout, but from what I've seen of highlights and such, there wasn't a whole lot of (if any) tandem racing to be found. Is that just an aberration, or is pack racing truly and completely back for the Duels and 500?
Thanks. Think the Shootout is a pretty good indication of where things are. The engines get too hot too fast to dance for more than a lap or lap and a half. But the race still will come down to a two-car breakaway at the end. Count on it.
With Pocono, Kansas, and Michigan are repaved, is there going to be any differences?
There always are. Hard to predict exactly what. Maybe Pocono will create tandem racing.
Do you expect NASCAR to open up the air intake and increase radiator pressure since Rowdy, Denny and Joey indicated that Toyota's were running hot in the shootout?
I do for at least one of those options. It's going to be a lot warmer in day races than the Shootout. The last thing NASCAR wants is a lot of blown engines.
If gas prices hit $4.00/gal. do you think we will see more empty seats again?
Hey, people only have so much money. It'll empty seats in all sports.
David, are you concerned about the future of the truck series with superstars like Rowdy Busch not racing in that series any longer?
I hope it continues to thrive. The racing is some of the best we see. It should be fun to watch future stars develop there.
Do the experienced drivers trust Danica enough to run in the packs with her?
They won't have much choice. Honestly, I look for Danica and a lot of people to drop back and watch early in the 500.
Do you think the reason Trevor Bayne can't find sponsorship to run the full season is because of what he did to Jeff Gordon at Dega last fall?
Are you kidding? That has nothing to do with it. Just hard times.
so what did you thing that you thing big pack racing do see that maybe we will see it on thursday and on sunday for the daytona 500 on sunday and maybe on saturday nationwide series race to.
I loved it and hope we see more of it. 86 percent of you, according to our poll, agreed.
How do you see the Duels playing out on Thursday and who are you predicting to win the Daytona 500 and who are some longshots that could win the 500?
I think the duels will be wild. Only six spots open to four drivers, so nothing to lose for most ... except their Daytona 500 car. My underdog and winner are the same. Joey Logano.
I noticed that Reuitmann had Tony's BK sponsorship on the car and wondered if that is part of the Danica-Baldwin-SHR points swapping deal?
I haven't asked, but that's a good guess.
Hey did anybody notice how strong Jr was in the first segment of the shoot out? He was the only driver all night who was able to hold the lead for more the one lap. He led the first 8 without being pushed to the lead. He has to be at least in the top 5 picks for the 500.
I did. I thought he and Logano may hook up at the end and make a run for the win.
I had to leave the house and couldn't finish watching Daytona Qualifying but when I did stop Jr was 3rd he was the fastest chevy. Did that maintain throught qualifying??
Do you like Harvick and the Bud teams chances of breaking through and winning a championship after the changes at RCR?
He wasn't my pick to be honest, but I like the changes at RCR. They had to shake things up after only one car made the Chase.
With the Indy win and 1 year working together do you expect Menard and Slugger to win again and finish ahead of Burton in points?
Tough one. I'll go with no. I look for Burton to have one more solid season before he decides to hang it up.
With Rowdy winning the shootout with a wrecked race car does that show you how scary good that #18 bunch could be this season?
It shows how scary good Busch is.
Kyle's win this weekend was all the more impressive due to the adversity he overcame. Do you know if he and other racers like the 99/24/17 etc. are focusing more on the final 10 races this year to be more competitive during The Chase? Kyle in particular has been a let down every year.
That Kyle hasn't been a factor in the Chase is one of the great mysteries of the past few years. He talked about all the things out of his control that have happened. It's a long list. Maybe all of his bad luck is behind him. If it is, watch out.
Where will I be racing this year?
Are you the real Brian L. Vickers? I can't tell you where you'll be racing because you won't return my phone calls. LOL. I'm sure you will let me know on Facebook soon.
As a huge Mark Martin fan do you think we can be optimistic that Mark will win a race in his Waltrip Toyota?
He has a better chance than David Reutimann.
Nice article on Bill Elliot...nice to see guys like him at the track and racing again.
Thanks. Loved hanging with Bill.
I would imagine that every team locked into the 500 has one goal in mind: make it through Thursday with their primary car intact. How crazy do you think the Duels will end up becoming?
As I said earlier, very. Nothing to lose and the backups for most are as good as the primaries. Heck, Kyle won the Shootout in a backup and then wrecked it.
Any word on penalties for the 48 team?
Nothing yet. I half expected or expect something today, but am told probably next week. I'll let you know if the end of my day gets very busy.
Is it just me, or was the ability to pass, and the inability to just drive away from the pack the best it's been since maybe 2000/2001?
Is this season the first time 4 Sprint Cup champs-Kurt, Johnson, Gordon and Stewart-are all racing on the same team?
Under your formula, it is. Love the way you think.
What's the latest on the re-re-re-re-tweeks from the front office?
Probably nothing until tomorrow's practice to see how it goes.
Does Jeff Gordon have a shot this weekend? Where do u think are his best places to win this season and can he win another Cup?? Thanks!
Heck yeah he has a chance. Were it not for the late wreck he probably was going to win. As for best places, Daytona, road course, Darlington...not many places he's not really good.
Has NASCAR considered letting multiple cars on the track at once for Cup qualifying? They let the NW and Trucks do it at bigger tracks, and it seems like it would really speed up the boring plate race qualifying sessions.
There have been rumblings, especially at road courses. Nothing they have done, though.
NASCAR ? Page 2, Grantland?.Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal. David, ever thought of doing a Monday PODCAST with Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal? I can hear it now?. ?And now NASCAR Beat Writer David Newton, with Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal breakdown what happen in the ? Southern 500,??. The we download the PODCAST and catch up on opinions, thoughts?
I love it. Why don't you start a petition and send it to ESPN and/or Simmons. I also want to go toe-to-toe with Skip Bayless on First Take.
How long until you think the Dillon boys are racing in Cup?
Next year for Austin if all goes well in Nationwide this year. Ty's three or four years out.
Hey David, Guess I am confused on something. Kyle qualified in the same car that won the shootout the night before? Even with the front end damage? I thought they used different cars from the shootout to the 500? How many cars to teams typically take to Daytona?
They do use different cars. Most teams that are in both races take four, two for the Shootout and two for the 500. The larger teams have been known to rush in another if one wrecks
Everybody is talking about how Zippy will help Stewart Hass as a director of competition! What does a Director of Competion do for a NASCAR Team?
Oversees everything on the competition side, hel;s coordinate the crew chiefs and what they do, helps sharing information with Hendrick Motorsports. Zippy should be a natural.
Is Junebug racing in the Daytona Nationwide as teammate to Danica and Cole Witt?
do you think that nascar will address in the metting on the morning of the 500 and tell them not to push the car's on the left of the car and not to push going into the corners you thoughts
I'm told they will not, that they simply will say use common sense.
Hey David, Enjoy Daytona!!!! Who do you think will fill out the field for the 500???? There are only 4 spots left, correct????
Four spots for six drivers. Hard to say which four because so much of what happens here is Lady Luck. I wouldn't bet against Elliott.
Scott Eggleston said: "43 cars here, but only about 12 real drivers. [Elliot's] one of them." - Who are some of the other "real drivers" in your opinion?
Afraid somebody might pin me down on that. Think Scott meant guys who not only can drive the cars, but work on them. He's right, there's not a lot of those guys out there. Brad Keselowski is one.
Doesn't Danica stand a legitimate chance of winning the NW race? She has 2 JR Motorsports teammates and Tony Stewart in the field to help her.
Who would you pick, Danica, Dale Jr. or Tony Stewart. Teammates aside, my answer is no.
What do you think of Harvicks title chances with the changes at RCR?
He seems to like them. He's been one of the most consistent drivers the last two seasons. I suspect he'll be in position again.
is the Shoot out pack racing is what we are going to see in the 500 and especially at DEGA?
Not quite as much. I suspect there will be more single file racing, big names dropping back. But the last 100 miles I suspect will be worth the price of admission.
FOX news just showed a guy getting pepper-sprayed at Disney World. Looked a lot like 17.
Matt and his family are there.
If the 99 (Pole Sitter) wrecks in the 150?s and goes to a backup car for the 500, will he have to start at the rear?
If he goes to a backup car, yes. If he simply changes engines, which they all do, no.
How can you not take the Honey Badger? She doesn't give a crap, she just takes what she wants.
Well, there is that.
who do you thing will win the 500 any why and who do you thing will be the dark horse of the 500 on sunday
As I've said repeatedly, Joe Logano for both.
Why do you think such a big deal was made about staying off the car in front's left rear? The problem may have been intensified by the shrinking of the spoiler and lack of radio communication, but it has always been understood, especially with the tandem racing the past couple seasons, that you stay off that side of the bumper. People are acting like its something new..
The problem is that with the smaller opening drivers have to get further out on the corner to get air to the engine, so that increases the risk of turning somebody. Some of the incidents we have seen have been left corner because the driver in back didn't know where the driver in front was going. It is an issue, new or not.
man i am watching the daytona 500 from like 20 years ago and it is a lot differant from like todays 500 it is on espn classic lol
What do you expect for the duels on Thursday. Saturday was exciting, except for my driver getting in the wreck. I've got a half day vacation so I am looking forward to watching them.
Much more of the same since it's another short race, only a little calmer. I also expect you'll see hotter engine temps.
Why is what happened with Bowyer different than what happened with Knaus and JJ? Didn't they find both issues ahead of qualifying and fix them?
Not quite the same. JJ's was considered a modification of the chassis to create an aerodynamic advantage. Not tollerated
Who has a better season: Montoya or Burton?
Will Vickers get back into Cup this year or will he have to settle on Nationwide or Camping World?
Here you go. http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/7598095/brian-vickers-vows-2012-sprint-cup-ride
Is it safe to say that no one is going to convince Jr. to ride around the back during the 500?
Pretty safe to say. He hates that.
What do you think of Penske's new line up?
Like it, but think the loss of Kurt's experience wil be felt.
How many "big one" wrecks are we going to see on Sunday?
How do you see MWR performing this season with the addition of Martin and Boyer? Any chance of a Daytona victory?
Nice article on Bill Elliot. Do you think he and Terry Labonte are Hall worthy? Who would you rate higher and why?
Thanks. I'll go with Bill. He was 12th last year.
David: Do you expect Matt Kenseth to work with Trevor Bayne since Biffle and Edwards will try and help each other out?
Or Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
What's the deal with Trevor Bayne? Will he get a full-time ride this year? In the future?
Part-time with Wood Brothers in Cup. Part-time with Roush in Nationwide. It's a shame.
I was hoping the change to fuel-injected engines would help NASCAR figure out a way to eliminate the need for restrictor plates, thus eliminating pack racing. Guess not.
That part of the equation doesn't change at all.
David, thanks for doing a great article on my favorite driver, Bill Elliott.
Thanks. For anybody who missed it catch it on ESPN.com. Appreciate all the great questions. Remember to follow me on twitter at @Dnewtonespn and ask some more. Have a great week and enjoy the 500