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March 7, 12:30 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

Michael (Flower Mound)

Hey Newt, Biffle seems to be back to contention this season. Now that he backed up his run at Daytona do you think he is for real?

David Newton
  (12:30 PM)

He's never not been for real. He just had a bad season last year. When his equipment and team are up to par Biffle is a top 10 driver for sure. They made lots of changes at Roush this year to make sure he has what he needs.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that David Reutimann should have been in the #10 for the Whole entire 2012 Season & Danica Patrick should have made her Sprint Cup Series Debut at Daytona in 2013?

David Newton
  (12:31 PM)

Reutimann deserves a fulltime ride, but what he has wouldn't be available without Danica. So no. I do think Danica should have limited herself to 7 races so she could have been eligible for rookie of the year in 2013.

Capt. Hindsight (ColorAHdo)

If you were going to pick JJ to win at Phoenix you should have known they would have trouble in the pits.

David Newton
  (12:32 PM)

Still a pretty good finish for having trouble. He had the best car for most of the race. He'll be a contender almost every week.

jesse (iowa)

Is Rick Santorum sponsoring the front row cars good for nascar? and do you know where i could get a diecast of that car

David Newton
  (12:33 PM)

His money is as green as anybody else's. Would be better for him if electoral votes came with it. As for the diecast, I haven't heard. Hard to imagine there isn't one floating around out there.

jesse (iowa)

Bowyer and Kahne have had terrible luck to start off 2012. Which one is more likly to turn it around in vegas

David Newton
  (12:33 PM)

Kahne. Track fits him well.

Scott M. (Iowa)

How do you see the hometown boys (Kyle and Kurt) doing this weekend?

David Newton
  (12:35 PM)

Few places they'd rather win, but Kyle has the upper hand just because of JGR over Phoenix Racing. Kurt doesn't have the best of everything at Hendrick. I look for Kyle to have a shot at winning, Kurt top 10.

Todd (Ga.)

Hi Newt, were you disappointed in Newman's threats to Carl Edwards especially since Carl has so much integrity and honesty?

David Newton
  (12:35 PM)

Disappointed? Anything to spice things up I love.

JrGuard (Florida)

Hey Newt, with the huge improvements Rowdy and Dave made to their intermediate track program do you expect a break out victory for Rowdy at Vegas? Thanks!

David Newton
  (12:37 PM)

So many people calling me Newt I should run for office. I could probably carry my neighborhood at least. Kyle already has a win at Vegas in 2009, so a win there wouldn't be a breakout ... except for this season. I do expect him to be a top contender.

Sarge (Statesboro)

Mr. Newton, The Busch Brothers have won 10 of the last 20 Bristol races for a .500 batting average. What makes The Busch Brother, Bristol Masters?

David Newton
  (12:38 PM)

They grew up short track racers in the Vegas area. They have a great feel for the cars, which you need at Bristol.

Lois ((WVA))

Urt seemed to fade at the end this past weekend. Was this due more to him using up his equipment early or to the quality of HMS equipment they can afford. Thanks.

David Newton
  (12:39 PM)

Believe that was an R&D car he had. Or maybe that is the Vegas car. Keep your expectations rea.

Gene (Southern Ohio)

Hi Newt, are you impressed with the teamwork at JGR by the way Rowdy roughed up Harvick, when he realized the #18 wasn't a race winning car so that Denny could win the race?

David Newton
  (12:40 PM)

I thought just the opposite, that Busch backed off Harvick. I was hoping for more from those two.

Lois ((WVA))

I thought after last year and how Kevin/Childress put Kyle in place he would steer clear of the 29. Did Kevin send Kyle a reminder at Phoenix?

David Newton
  (12:40 PM)

No reminder needed. NASCAR sent that to both drivers last year.

Tyler (Greenfield,NY)

Newt, I saw an interview with Kurt where he said his plan is to make the chase as a wildcard by winning Bristol and a plate race. Do you think this is a winning strategy for Kurt Busch?

David Newton
  (12:41 PM)

Two wins would get him in likely. And he's good at both. He also has the plan for an average finish of around 14 that should get him in. Look at my column on him in January or early February and it explains better.

Burt (TN) [via mobile]

Since this is the first major race at LVMS since the Dan Wheldon tragedy are any tributes being planned for Sunday?

David Newton
  (12:42 PM)

Two different series, so I can't see it. Going to be interesting how Danica Patrick views the return.

Ron (Ohio)

After the NW race during Rowdy's ESPN interview he compared the growing pains at KBM to those that Dale Sr and Jr. experienced at DEI and I was wondering if you are impressed with Rowdy's maturity in running his new NW team?

David Newton
  (12:43 PM)

Definitely. My dream scenario would be for Dodge to offer a boatload of money to Kyle so he could move that team up to Cup and put Kurt in the car. Maybe start Busch Brothers Motorsports and let both drive. That would save Dodge.

Steve Greene (Memphis, Tennesseee) [via mobile]

I am going to my first Cup race next weekend in Bristol. Will my favorite driver (and fellow Teennessean) Trevor Bayne be racing?

David Newton
  (12:44 PM)

In the Nationwide Series, I believe. Not Cup. Wood Brothers are focused on the 1.5 mile tracks and superspeedways.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Newt: This is the first race at LVMS since the Dan Wheldon tragedy. Does nascar plan on doing anything to honor him?

David Newton
  (12:45 PM)

Not sure if this is the same person that asked, but I haven't heard anything. Two different series. Not sure the track or sport wants that hanging over the weekend.

Andrew (L-town Ohio)

Tony Stewart is not running the NNS race at Indy so a young kid can live their dream of running there, he didn't want to take up one of the spots. That is classy! Hear that Brad, Joey, Kurt, Kyle, Denny and Kevin? Oh yeah, that guy won the Cup cause he focused on that instead of taking candy from babies!

David Newton
  (12:46 PM)

As far as I recall Tony never ran the Indy NNS race when it was at ORP, so not like he's falling on a big sword. Do like giving others a chance to run at Indy, though. Still hate the race moved there.

Burt (TN) [via mobile]

How hard will it be for the 55 team to adjust the seat from a 5'6" Mark Martin to a 6'5" Michael Waltrip?

David Newton
  (12:46 PM)

They just put in different seats.

Kyle (Boston MA)

Is Danica Patrick in for the long run?

David Newton
  (12:46 PM)

YES.

George (Smith Mt. Lake VA)

Do you think the reason RC said "no" to Sadler in the 55 is because he has more races in the works for him in the 33? I say put ole' Herm Wallace in the 55!

David Newton
  (12:47 PM)

No. I believe it is because he wants Sadler to focus on winning the NW title and because it causes issues with Chevrolet putting Sadler in a Toyota.

AndiRianTraciTilerJordin (Worldwide)

As ESPN NASCAR fans, we all predict that Rowdy Busch will sweep his hometown races this weekend!

David Newton
  (12:48 PM)

Sure he would like to do that.

txtechjmacattack (lubbock)

how successful do you rate the 2011 hms crew chief swap designed to get jr into the 48 shop under the guidance of knaus?

David Newton
  (12:48 PM)

A success with the exception of how it hurt Mark Martin. He was the big loser in that deal. The rest of the teams got better.

Ryan (real one) (Ventura, Ca.)

I was really impressed with the way Danica stood up for herself by smacking down Whitt after he dumped her at Daytona and wondered if you think we can expect this level of feistiness all year?

David Newton
  (12:49 PM)

Really? I thought it was over the top. Cole Whitt is learning just as Danica is and didn't deserve tht kind of tongue-lashing. Plus, most experienced drivers would not have wrecked from the bump Cole gave Danica. I do like her feistiness. Just didn't like the way it was directed last week.

Chris (Crestview,FL)

Hi Newt, Jr. is now at 131 races and counting with his 4 year, 144 race losing streak looming at Michigan in June. Do you think Junebug can break his losing streak before Mich?

David Newton
  (12:50 PM)

He will. Dega still looms. And he loves Richmond. Don't forget how close he came at Martinsville last year.

8Tbone8 (Texas)

Hearing Bowyer and Dale Junior throwing their teams under during bus during Phoenix, I thought I was listening to Kurt Busch circa 2010 and wondered if they might be alienating their teams?

David Newton
  (12:51 PM)

Nope. Just heat of the moment. Didn't think Jr. was that bad to be honest.

Rafa (Escalon, CA)

Do u think that if Trevor Bayne loses his ride in NNS dale jr can steal him for the 88

David Newton
  (12:51 PM)

Not this year. Bayne is under contract with Roush Fenway and they believe he and Stenhouse Jr. are the future of their organization.

Phoenix (AZ)

Hi Newt, Awesome story on Doug Yates today but why didn't you include his quote about Ford when he said, "Ford never took one dime of bailout money but Chevy did"?

David Newton
  (12:53 PM)

Didn't think about it, and that wasn't the story I was shooting for. Thanks, though. Doug is a person people need to read more about.

Ron (Smithville)

If Danica gets lapped again at Vegas will reality set in and the much of the hype will go away?

David Newton
  (12:54 PM)

Perhaps until she gets a top 10. She's still doing something few females have done, so it always will get a good bit of attention.

Vinnie (ATL)

Addington couldn't cut it with Yeley, Rowdy or Kurt so what makes Stewert believe he will be more successful on the #14?

David Newton
  (12:55 PM)

Scratc Yeley. And are you serious about Kyle and Kurt knowing their personalities? Did you see how many races Kyle won with him? Stewart just needs somebody to stay calm and make good changes to the car. Addington is more than capable.

Quentin (Iowa)

How do you think Dale Jr. does this sunday?

David Newton
  (12:55 PM)

He'll lurk around the top 10.

Jeff (Maryland)

Do you think JTG Daugtry team will finish lower in the standings this year as compared to last year? Since they are working out of their own shop now.

David Newton
  (12:56 PM)

Will be interesting. They still get most of the benefits of Toyota and MWR. I hope they do well, because the sport needs more single-car teams making it.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

David, do you feel as I do that Vegas being 1 of 13 races on 1.5-2mile tracks, more then a 3rd of the schedule that Sunday will showthe real contenders for this year? The #99 had only 1 win but 9 top 5's in those 13 races. With the Doug Yates article on EFI do you see Roush continuing it's success on these tracks?

David Newton
  (12:57 PM)

The 1.5 mile tracks typically do weed out the pretenders. And the Roush Yates engines are stronger than last year, so no reason to see that success dwindle.

laura (manhattan beach)

Love all of ESPN's chats - thanks! Do you think the pressure of being at Hendrick is affecting Kasey Kahne and can he over come it is so? PS...please weigh in on Colts/Peyton situation.

David Newton
  (12:59 PM)

But particularly mine, right? Kidding. And no, I don't think the pressure has gotten to Kahne. How could there be more pressure there than not knowing the future of your organization as he has been under for many seasons. As for Manning, I covered the NFL for 11 years. It's the best move for both parties. No need for the Colts to pay a $28 million bonus for a quarterback who may never be the same again. And who is to say if Peyton tests the market and nothing great is offered that he doesn't come back to Indy at a lower cost. I've love to have Luck learn under him.

Kb Nation (Global)

The Busch bros were saying they had a chance to win all the NW races. What happened?

David Newton
  (12:59 PM)

Funny. They lost.

busterbob03 (cincy oh)

how wins will danica have in her career? will she dethrone jr from most popular driver

David Newton
  (1:00 PM)

Let me look into my Magic 8 ball. None? But if she were to win a few races, yes she could dethrone Junior as the most popular. Have you seen how many Twitter followers she has? She crosses barriers few in NASCAR ever will.

Vader0209 (Cali)

Do you think if maybe the media left Jr. alone and stopped predicting a win, the pressure might go away and Junebug could focus on racing instead of meeting unrealistic expectations?

David Newton
  (1:02 PM)

Media has nothing to do with the pressure you suggest. That comes from within.

laura (manhattan beach)

NNS has great TV numbers at Phoenix, do you think the trend will continue? And is it the Danica factor?

David Newton
  (1:03 PM)

Danica definitely has been a factor. But it's not all her. Think people are realizing there is great racing in that series.

Blake (Belmont)

Harvick goes thru more crew chiefs than Carter has pills and I wondered why the media doesn't point out all the issues Harvciks has had with his cc's and pit crews?

David Newton
  (1:04 PM)

Ultimately Richard Childress decision to make changes. That he's maintained a level of excellence with the most recent is a testament to him and his team.

Blake (Belmont)

How come the 12:30 start time today?

David Newton
  (1:05 PM)

Couple of things. Wanted to clear schedule because Mom was in the hospital and a friend needs help moving.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

Should Roush's record 300 Nascar wins be viewed as Kyle's 104 wins, only 23 being Cup wins, or are 126 of the 300 being Cup wins, ranking Roush 4th all time in Cup & closing in on Jr Johnson for 3rd all time be viewed as a significant achievement?

David Newton
  (1:06 PM)

300 wins are 300 wins. Yes it is significant. And when the Hall of Fame voes him in all will be considered.

Kristin (NYC)

Any dark horse picks for LV?

David Newton
  (1:07 PM)

I should remain consistent and stick with Logano. Two top 10s so far, so he's putting himself in position to win.

Blake (Belmont)

Do you think Childress will ease Burton out easy by having him run a partial schedule with Dillon?

David Newton
  (1:07 PM)

That might not be a bad idea, but when Childress believes Dillon is ready I believe it will be a full schedule.

Turk (Mich.)

Why did Stewart shoot himself in the foot with that dumb shutting off the engine to save fuel gimmick?

David Newton
  (1:08 PM)

He wasn't the only one that was hurt by the move. It was a circuit breaker issue. NASCAR and teams have looked at it with McLarin and believe they have it fixed.

David Newton
  (1:08 PM)

Besides, it is his job to save fuel to win the race.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

David, the Chase has cost the #99 2 titles in the last 4 years. I've seen every race since the 1986 Daytona 500 & I can't get into it this year. What's the point when the Chase wiped out the #14's 87 point deficit? I see no need to watch the 1st 26 races anymore.

David Newton
  (1:10 PM)

Totally disagree. The Chase format makes the first 26 meaningful because you have to work to make it. And in most seasons the winner would be known for a month or more without the Chase. I understand many don't like the Chase, but to me the solution is to shorten the season and keep it.

Coachdad4848 (Illinois)

how big of an impact is fuel injection going to have in the fuel mileage races?

David Newton
  (1:11 PM)

Had a big one at Phoenix with the circuit breaker issue Stewart had. Moving forward, though, that won't be a problem. The impact is that engines are more efficient so it will be harder to save gas.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

Hey Newt, what's the deal with running out of fuel with this new EFI? Is it more difficult to get the car refired?

David Newton
  (1:12 PM)

Addressed this, but it was a circuit breaker relay problem. NASCAR has addressed with McLarin and correcting.

Bart (East Bay)

Since Chad said he's deeply saddened and disappointed by NASCAR do you think Mr. France and Mr. Helton will apologize to Chad for what they have done to him?

David Newton
  (1:12 PM)

Funny. No, but NASCAR did leave itself open for scrutiny by taking the parts before putting the car under the claw.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

Hi Newt, does Dodge still plan to unveil the 2013 Charger at Vegas without a team to support it? And what could they possibly do for next year? The 10 big multicar teams are all under contractwith the 3 other manufacturers.

David Newton
  (1:14 PM)

It does. Agree, they are faced with a tough situation. Look at my solution earlier. Although unrealistic to make happen, Busch Brothers Motorsports is the answer.

bobcat (prescott,az)

how many races do u think jeff gordon win this year?im thinkn 3,but hoppen 4 more.

David Newton
  (1:14 PM)

You're right where I would be with a prediction.

Steve (Seattle)

Attendence was a nice surprise in the first couple races.Do you see that continuing or will something like the increaes in gas prices start hurting again?

David Newton
  (1:16 PM)

It started towards the end of last season. Nice to see it continue, but if gas prices ocntinue to rise it could be a factor. I'd like to see tracks focus more on getting those in their own community to attend than those a few states away. That would solve a lot of issues, from gas prices to hotel price gauging.

Rena (Alpharetta, Ga)

Do you think it would be more likely for Kurt Busch to move to a 4th JGR Toyota, RCR Chevy or a MWR Toyota?

David Newton
  (1:17 PM)

Honestly, any of those are on the radar. I'd go with JGR 1.

Boston Tom (Boston)

Newt, should we be concerned with the 88's lack of overall speed in PHX? Poor qualifying and loose car was tough to see after all the optimism entering the season.

David Newton
  (1:18 PM)

I wouldn't get concerned unless he does the same this week. A lot of people are learning how to handle the new dimensions at Phoenix.

Lois (WVA)

Before the season, Urt and Kyle were talking about winning all the NW races. What happened?

David Newton
  (1:18 PM)

They fell short.

Vernie (NJ)

As Burton's frustrations grow, do you think he will have more on-track incidents like with the #29 at Martinsville as well as the way he intentionally wrecked out Gordon at Texas?

David Newton
  (1:19 PM)

Nope. He's one of the classiest drivers in the garage. A minor incicent here and there isn't enough to think it will become commonplace.

Vernie (NJ)

Since some people call the driver of the #88, "Junebug", do you like the nickname, "Ladybug" for his teammate Danica?

David Newton
  (1:19 PM)

Nope. Never use the nickname. Junior and Dale are what I call him.

JuneBug (Reality, America)

Newt - what would you say my chances are of not only winning but even dominating a non-restrictor plate race? I haven't won since 2008 but I really haven't dominated any race since Bristol in 2004 i believe.

David Newton
  (1:19 PM)

Pretty good. Look out Richmond.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

Newt, what do you think of the Penske switch back to Ford? Chevyhas HMS, RCR, S/H & EGR. The most quality teams. Now with the addition of Penske to Roush, the improvement of RPM

David Newton
  (1:21 PM)

Can't say I blame Penske for going with some of best motors in the business. Will be interesting to see how long Penske will keep building its own. As for RPM, interesting situation. Ford may decide to put money invested in RPM into Penske.

todd (georgia)

After the race at Pheonix i was at first dissapointed with the run the 88 had. But, after looking back I was kinda encouraged in the fact that they got a 14th place finish out of it and Jr didn't seem to have a total meltdown on the radio like time past.

David Newton
  (1:22 PM)

Exactly. Pay attention to Todd, folks. He's making sense.

David Newton
  (1:22 PM)

Top 15s gets you in the Chase, btw.

Hector (Miami)

I'm a Juan Pablo fan and wondered why the NASCAR core fans boo JP and were mean and insensitive to him after the Daytona fire?

David Newton
  (1:23 PM)

Some look at Juan as an outsider. Shame. He's a great personality and a great driver. Nobody should be booed for what happened with the jet dryer. Freak accident that could have gotten somebody killed. Easily could have happened to somebody else.

Tyler (Greenfield,NY)

Do you think Kyle Petty bashes NW and truck wins every chance he gets just to perpetuate the 200 "wins" myth of his family name?

David Newton
  (1:24 PM)

Not at all.

DepotSmoke (Key West)

With the bad start to 2012 for SHR do you think both cars are in danger of missing the chase?

David Newton
  (1:25 PM)

If you look at my preseason predictions I said Ryan Newman wouldn't make it and Tony would cut it close. I still believe that.

Teri (Burbank)

Hi David! Do you think Kenseth will bounce back this weekend? Also, how is Ernie?

David Newton
  (1:26 PM)

Kenseth will be strong all year, particularly at tracks like Vegas. Ernie is doing well, too. Will tell him you asked about him.

Les M (Baton Rouge, LA)

Two races, two wrecks....should Kahne be worried about the curse of the 25 car at HMS?

David Newton
  (1:26 PM)

Forgot about that. Maybe so. Maybe I'll look at it for a column if he goes 3-3-.

Ryan certified Octo free (Ventura CA)

Why do you answer the octo version of me why why why?

David Newton
  (1:27 PM)

I like all people.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

With Burton now in his 40's are you surprised as I am that RCR would let Bowyer, a much younger driver go, considering the really bad year that Burton had last year?

David Newton
  (1:27 PM)

Burton and his car had sponsorship, plus he had a contract. Bowyer had neither. Tough business decisions. I see your point, though. Don't forget, Stewart won his third title at 40.

Jerry (Clinton, Iowa)

Will Hamlin/Grubb's early success motivate Stewart to show he didn't make a mistake by letting Grubb go?

David Newton
  (1:28 PM)

Stewart doesn't need that to motivate him.

Les M (Baton Rouge, LA)

Het Newt, congrats on winning Georgia last night by the way, What was Cole Whitts reaction to getting talked to like a 3 year old by Danica? Was he pissed? Does it bode well for them working together well as teammates the rest of the season?

David Newton
  (1:28 PM)

Dang Ohio. Don't know what Cole's reaction was, but can't imagine he was happy. As I said at the start of this chat, I believe Danica went way overboard. You need friends on the track, and the first place you start is with teammates.

Jimbo F (Tallahasse, FL)

What are the chances that the 10 car is not in the top 35 after 5 races? And if it is what is SHR/Tommy Baldwin gonna do, give Danica Smokes points?

David Newton
  (1:29 PM)

Reutimann is better than that. It will be there.

DepotSmoke (Key West)

Since weight isn't an issue, do you think it would be cool to allow teams to mount iPads in the cars for tweeting, videos and communication?

David Newton
  (1:29 PM)

Weight is an issue in cars. Teams look for every ounce to cut out. And no, iPads will not be allowed. Good try.

Luke (Iowa)

Dodge has a choice and I think there best choice is to go around to all the small teams and support them with there own chasis and engine setup. Would make the start and parkers more relevant and then well we wouldn't have start and parkers!

David Newton
  (1:30 PM)

Small teams will get small results.

Jimbo F (Tallahasse, FL)

What are the odds that Cole Whitt finishes higher in the standings than Danica in NNS this season?

David Newton
  (1:30 PM)

Better than 50-50.

Jeff (Maryland)

JTG should switch to Dodge and start up a second team. Bobby needs a teammate anyways. Do you know if Dodge is going to use the Challenger in the cup series?

David Newton
  (1:30 PM)

That would be a good place to start. But JTG doesn't have an engine shop like many of the other candidates.

Jimbo F (Tallahasse, FL)

The 88 team continues to unload slow cars off the truck and as a result they get poor qualifying times. Why arent the cars as good as they should be?

David Newton
  (1:31 PM)

They battled that issue last year and made it a priority to correct. Perhaps an early red flag.

Coachdad4848 (Illinois)

Who do you think is a dark horse for the championship this year?

David Newton
  (1:31 PM)

Joey Logano.

Teri (Burbank)

It will be interesting to see the attendance at Fontana. Gas prices here are over $4.40 per gallon.BTW - I think that race will Kenseth's next chance to visit Victory Lane. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (1:31 PM)

Glad I don't live where gas prices are that high. And you are spot on with Matt. Great track for him.

381whyman (ga.)

Now that Manning has been let go by the Colts, will Phil Parson's sign him to replace McDowell in order to get a huge sponsor deal?

David Newton
  (1:32 PM)

Now you're thinking.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

As a 5 time winner at Vegas in both the Cup and NWS series, do you see Jeff Burton continuing to build upon his rebuild that started over the last half dozen or so races at the end of last year?

David Newton
  (1:32 PM)

Good as place as any to start. He could use a boost.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

Who's your pick for the Nationwide title? Can Stenhouse repeat?

David Newton
  (1:32 PM)

Sadler.

Jim (Bayala)

Thanks Newt for the chats and will you be doing a story of the Busch Family and specifically Mr. Tom Busch?

David Newton
  (1:32 PM)

Not this week, but maybe one day soon.

David Newton
  (1:33 PM)

That's it for me folks. Thanks for all that worked me into this unique time. I'll be back to 2 pm next week. Have a great rest of the week. May Peyton Manning be in your community soon.