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March 21, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be sold out Quickly since Danica Patrick is racing in that Race?

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

A new configuration of the track and cheaper gas prices might have a bigger impact.

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Sorry, jumped right in without saying hello. All the NFL News with Sean Payton suspended and Tim Tebow traded caught me off guard. Must have fried my brain standing in the hot sun at the NASCAR R&D Center waiting on the Hendrick Appeal. Lots to talk about. Fire away.

Rita Jean (NorCal)

Well, well, well ... overturned fines and penalties? Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress must be secretly seething today.......

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Probably so. Richard had some pretty good expert witnesses testifying for him.

Arrogantespncommenter (VA)

Who's your darkhorse pick for Fontana this week? Please don't say Logano.

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Lo ... OK, I'll go with Paul Menard. Don't ask why. You should know since you handcuffed me with Logano.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Race do you think will be Danica Patrick's 10th & Final Race in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Won't be her final race of the season, but the final one she reveals I'm betting is the Brickyard.

mike (phila)

kahne,gordon, and kyle bush are off to rough starts so far this season. As a 24 fan is it time to panic yet? Do you see all three turning it around and makin the chase? thanks

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Gordon is close enough that he shouldn't panic. Same for Busch. Kahne is another story. He's 32nd in points and had nothing go right even though he's had fast cars. I'd say two of the three make the Chase, and Kahne isn't one of them.

jesse (iowa)

Do you think bristol will bve the same when we go back in augest?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Doubting it. Bruton Smith says he'll listen to the fans, and 75 percent said they want the old Bristol back. A million to change it is worth the three or four million he would pick up with a sold out crowd.

jesse (iowa)

whats your thoughts on the old bristol vs new bristol? i think they should go back to old one. this bristol just doesnt have that legendary bristol feel to it anymore. your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

I'm a big fan of the old Bristol as well. I know the drivers like the new track, saying it allows them to actually race. But I like the bumping and banging and heated moments the old surface brought out. Sounds like the fans do, too.

Ryan (Reynoldsburg,Ohio)

If the judge thought chad did nothing wrong they why keep the 100,000 fine. Also is chad a hall of famer one day?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

I'm still waiting for an answer on that one. I can only speculate he didn't want to rip away all of NASCAR's integrity over this decision. And yes, Chad should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Only one other crew chief has more than Chad's five titles, and he's in the Hall.

mike (phila)

I herd they made seating adjustments at dover, what did they do exactely? And do you see dover losing a race next year due to the lack of attendance its been having?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

They've covered some seats at Dover in recent years. I haven't talked to anybody about other adjustments. As for losing a race, hope not. NASCAR needs more tracks a mile or shorter in distance, not fewer.

Mayra (Chicago)

I am shocked that the appeal was turned over. Now that the mess is over with, will the #48 team be careful about doing new alterations to the car and anything to give them a leg up? Will NASCAR be watching them like a hawk again?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Chad always will push the limits. He also will be careful of how far he pushes them, because you can bet his leash with NASCAR just got shorter.

Mayra (Chicago)

By the way, who do you see going to all the way in the tournament?Not a march madness gal myself, i see Michigan St. winning it all.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

I liked North Carolina before the injury to Marshall. I'm not sold Kentucky will win it all. The Wildcats didn't even win their conference tournament. Maybe Syracuse. You have to steal one to go all the way, and it did against UNC-Asheville.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Hi David, do you think NASCAR will fine Earnhardt for saying post-Bristol that NASCAR "throws BS yellows" and for slamming the Goodyear tires?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Nope. He just said he's glad they didn't throw any BS yellows. If they fined for slamming Goodyear Tony Stewart would be broke.

Ryan (real one) (Ventura, Ca.)

Hey Ryan, I saw Jimmie Spencer show a video of Jr. picking his nose (GROSS) and then saying NASCAR throw bs caution flags. Do you see any penalties coming?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Nope.

Tyler (Greenfield,NY)

No matter how HMS tries to spin it, the 100K penalty and Knaus/Malick probation is in effect, so the appeal was denied and #48 was guilty of rules violations, right?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Not the way I see it. The major penalties were the suspensions and points. They were overturned. Why the $100,000 wasn't rescinded is the big question.

Phoenix (AZ)

Hey Newt, Kurt has won and run strong at Auto Club so do you think Kurt might be a dark horse pick to win or at least score another great top 20?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Could be, but he's not mine. A top 10 would be good for him there. Different team and equipment from past years.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

It appears NASCAR was singling out Knaus at Daytona, possibly in response to his directive to JJ at Talladega last fall. Given the evidence which was presented about other teams being permitted to fix cars during inspection does this call into question the officials integrity?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

I agree, it smells of Knaus being singled out for Talladega. As for integrity, the officials didn't make the penalties or confiscate the parts and pieces.

Lee (Tampa)

afternoon Newt, isn't Bruton's idea of reconfiguring the reconfiguration akin to putting the cork back in the bottle? once you've changed a race track how do you go back? i hear the drivers love the new Bristol and would throw a fit if they went back.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

The drivers might throw a fit, but they're entertainers and entertainers have to give the fans what they want. But you may be right. Going back to what it was might be a dream. The drivers have gotten so used to this style of racing at Bristol that they may not bump people out of the way regardless.

Ron (Ohio)

It looks like Stevie and the #88 guys are qualifying well and running up front but now Jr. has figured out how blow races at the end with pit road speeding, bad stops, bad restarts etc. How do you fix that?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

He made one mistake, the speeding penalty. He blew a top 5, not a win. Still a good start for the 88 team. Like Junior's swagger.

SmokeDepot (Key West)

Tony seemed surprised that Gaughan in the RCR #33 dumped him at the end but shouldn't he know that Brendan has a history of rough racing?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Tony would be surprised if anybody dumped him.

Gene (Southern Ohio)

No matter how Jr. and his apologists try to spin it, Jeff Gordon wasn't happy after Bristol and I wanted to know, doesn't the #1 rule of racing: Never wreck a teammate, apply to Jr?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

It's pretty close to the top, if not at the top. It wasn't intentional and I believe Gordon knows that. Any anger is more becuase he's off to a slow start, not one cut ture.

Tracy (CT)

If we are entering the phase of the schedule where Roush Ford is dominant, when do we expect to see the Gibbs Toyotas go on a tear and start winning some races?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Hey, Denny Hamlin has a win already. That's just as many as Roush and one more than Hendrick. The Gibbs teams can win anywhere.

Beth Ann (TN)

Hi David, I'm an Earnhardt fans so was happy seeing Jeffrey in the Bristol Nationwide race but wondered why he doesn't run for his dad, Dale Junior?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Check your family tree and get back to me.

JrGuard (Florida)

Hi Newt, do you think NASCAR needs to make the teams declare they are running for the cup or NW championship like they do the drivers in order to keep the big teams like RCR from beating up on the small NW teams like Turner and KBM?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

No. The series needs the big teams to field cars in NW to keep full fields and give the Cup stars a chance to compete.

Jake (TX)

How come the 17 was allowed to beat the 2 to the start finish line?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

It was a judgment call, and pretty close at that although replays show he did beat him back to the line. If it was by a few feet or more it likely would have been called. But that was so bang-bang I agree with the no call.

Vernie (NJ)

Newt, people claim that Jr can't drive. Yet the same people claim he has enough skill to get mad at the 24 (for no reason and to gain nothing) and be able to hit the 24s tire with his pipes just right to pop it. Come on now. the Jr hate gets old and sad. What says you?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

It was an accident, nothing more and nothing less. And Junior can drive.

8Tbone8 (Texas)

We all know NASCAR doesn't like anyone messing with their rules and decisions so do you expect Darby, Pemberton & Company to continue taking the #48 back to R

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

That might be a bit blatant, but they've done it before so nothing would surprise me.

Tracy (CT)

As someone who got bleeped over by Bruton and the Kentucky mess, I have zero respect for him and think he's just talking out his piehole again. Is he really going to fix Bristol?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Whatever hou think about Bruton Smith, he does care what the fans think because they buy tickets that make him money. If it is overwhelming the track needs to be changed, which it appears it is, then Smith will change it back.

Jenny (NJ)

Is Kurt having fun? He was practically not even there Sunday. You really see him lasting the whole season without a meltdown.

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

He may not be having as much fun as he hoped to, but it's still early. And what choice does he have? None.

Sam (Idahoe)

Was that "New Kyle" or "old Kyle" smacking his roof after getting colelcted in a racing incident Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

It was a driver frustrated that an accident he didn't cause cost him a chance to win at one of his best tracks. Nothing more. I might have slammed the roof, too.

Sam (Idahoe)

When will coach get rid of Brian Scott and put a real driver like Ryan Truex in the 11?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

When Truex comes up with the money and backing.

Willy (Williamsburg)

I thought Kyle and Kurt were suposed to win every NW race this year according to Schrub?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

That's what they said. Not working out so well.

Willy (Williamsburg)

Why won't Kyle give a young up and comer a shot at KBM? Jr uses JRM to grow yound drivers and run the ocasional race. Not the whole season.

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Because it took him and Kurt to convince Monster Energy to come on board.

Steve (FL)

If the ten doesn't get into the top 35 will Smoke be forced to buy the 33's owner points so princess Danica makes the show at Darlington?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

He could be forced to buy the points from some team. Don't think he expected to be 36th in owner's points four races in. But Reutimann has some decent tracks coming up.

Steve (FL)

Is Rowdy Brad the new King of Bristol?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Two in a row makes him the obvious choice.

Jenny (NJ)

People whine when Jr doesn't race hard, people whine when he does. Can he ever win? #JRNation4life! #snookie!

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

It's tough being the most popular driver in the sport, particularly when you haven't won since 2008. You can't make everybody happy regardless.

Alex (Memphis, Tn)

How long before Edwards returns to the Nationwide Series?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

He's hinted there are a few tracks where he might get help in Cup running in that series. But as long as Bayne and Stenhouse Jr. rank as high as they do in points, and Bayne's car goes unsponsored, I doubt Roush will spend the money on a third car.

Alex (Memphis, Tn)

Why should I accept the 48 penalty reduction as legitimate when the CAO is a former GM executive and friend of Rick Hendrick? There is no way the result would have been the same if it had been another team on the hot seat, such as Roush.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

I don't agree. From what I understand Middlebrook is a fair man and would look the same at a Ford owner as he does at a Chevy one.

scott ( philadelohia)

hi david.....being a matt kenseth fan...is he the best driver in the history of RFR....

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Tough one. He has a title, but Mark Martin has more wins and has five runner-up finishes. Then there is Edwards, who potentially could pass them both. But right now, I'd go with Kenseth because he has a title and two Daytona 500 wins.

Camview (Georgia)

Hi Newt and thanks for the story on Mikey and MWR. It's good to see something other than the same, old Dale Junebug-Danica stuff. I know MWR isn't quite to Gibbs, Roush, Penske level but do you think they are close to RCR quality?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I think MWR is close to being the top Toyota team in the garage.

Tyler (Greenfield,NY)

As a Rowdy fan, I was disappointed that Rowdy was wrecked out of Bristol on lap 23 of a 500 mile race but wanted to know if you saw positives that Rowdy kept his cool, in spite of the devastation and got back out there to finish 32 and score some valuable points?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

The so-called old Kyle may have hung it up or gone back out and wrecked again to get out of there. He realizes every point is important now, so maybe that is a sign.

Ryan (Slinger Super Speedway-Slinger, WI)

So....curse of the 25 car?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Been thinking of that myself. Kind of hinted that to Kahne on Sunday. He's too optimistic to consider it.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Newt: Does Bruton Smith have no choice but to bring the Old Bristol Back? What other things could be done to the track?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Looks like it. People who attend the race want to see old style racing.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Do you think Clint Bowyer will win a race this year?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

I do. He's a talent.

Sarge (Statesboro)

Hi Newt, as a Busch Brothers fan I'm not too happy with the pit work I've seen so far at Kyle Busch Motorsports so how long will it take Rick Ren and Mike Beam to get that #54 team consistently running up front?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Keep in mind, this is a first-year team despite the great talent of Kyle and Kurt. It may take a full season to get all the kinks worked out.

Dumindu (Vista,California)

What other teams plan to run the new Dodge Charger? as of now we only know Robby Gordon.

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

We don't know Robby for sure. He'll take the best deal. Right now the best Dodge may hope to do is sign a bunch of smaller teams. Not sure that is going to help.

Jamerson (Georgia)

You don't think that Monster Energy would have agreed to Kyle putting Ricky Carmichael in the #54 NNS car?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Only if Kyle drove a majority of the races.

Ryan certified Octo free (Ventura CA)

Were the c posts on the 48 ,the same ones when JJ was instructed to "crack the back of the car" had he won?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

According to Hendrick and Knaus, yes. They also are the same ones that passed inspection at the track and R&D center after winning Talladega in April.

Cuonzo M (Knoxville)

I like that Dale Jr is getting more testy and racing with passion and aggression. Can he sustain this through the long summer months which has been an issue for him in the past?Does Brian Vickers have a real shot at a good ride again?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

I believe Dale Jr. can sustain. Vickers took a big first step, but he still has to prove to sponsors he has the image to sell their products.

Todd (Ga.)

Hi Newt, do you think it's a good sign for us Rowdy fans that Peyton's number with the Broncos is #18 too?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Peyton's number has been 18 since he arrived in the NFL. Your point?

Chris (Little Rock)

What is the sticker beside Dale Jrs name on his car?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I missed that. I know he often has a bible verse taped to the dash in the car.

Mark M (Batesville, AR)

Do you think i will ever get to drive one of those fast Roush Fords again?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Thought you were waiting for Honda to enter the sport so you could try that manufacturer.

Ron (Mt. Eaton)

Good story on Mikey and Waltrip Racing today! Do you think with Boyer, Mark Martin, Labonte, Coach Gibbs and the Waltrip's in the Toyota camp that the older, Toyota bashing fans will finally get with the program?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Thanks. Martin has to help, but Waltrip really isn't concerned with the bashing. He just wants to win. And that usuall quiets all critics.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Newt, while I'm certainly happy to see MWR have a good day, I'm still not convinced they're the real deal. They need to get the wins and make the chase. Regardless, it's nice to see that the big teams don't have a stranglehold on NASCAR.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

I am. The difference is they have more talent in the car and working on the car than ever before. People make the difference in this sport.

Scott (Charlotte)

Hey Newt, rather than Bruton spend another million, why doesn't he just hire a couple of MMA fighters at Bristol to drive a couple of "start and park" cars. Then they wreck each other and get out and fight on the front stretch.

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Always a comedian.

Johnathan (Palm Coast, Florida.)

Hey. I am longtime NASCAR fan from Palm Coast, Florida. What do you think about Jeff Gordon in this racing event on sunday? Do u think who going to win this sunday racing?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Did I miss something? Gordon is driving in Fontana, Calif.

Nick (Richmond,VA)

One thing that is great about NASCAR is they listen to the fans and act rather quickly. Tandem racing and Bristol considering a redo on the track now.

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

NASCAR gets credit for Daytona, but if Bristol changes it's all Bruton Smith.

Nick (Richmond,VA)

Which teams are doing better on fuel mileage since we have a fuel mileage race coming up this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

It's a lot closer than ever. Not as much leeway with the fuel injection.

Nick (Richmond,VA)

can we get auto update turned on?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

It is.

JR (Denver)

Great article on MWR - how close were they to shutting down the shop before Rob Kauffman came in?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Waltrip says he wouldn't have survived without Toyota and Kaufman, so pretty close.

AGP (PA)

regarding the overturning of penalites, if you did not see this coming from a mile away, then you were blind as a fan. The guy was a former "GM" exec, and has ties with Hendrick. Put that together with the fact they never ran the car through the templates, this was a given to me. How about you David?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Not a given, but it didn't shock me.

Ryan (Florence, AZ)

Has NASCAR ever considered running an oval backwards for the All-star race? I think it would be really neat.

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

I like the idea and have suggested it for the All-Star race. Not much response, though. Sigh.

Bobby (Virginia Beach, VA)

It seems like the only rides Scott Speed is getting is of the start-and-park variety. Do you see a future for him in the Cup series? Or even Nationwide?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

It's gonna be tough. I like Scott, but there aren't a lot of owners willing to give him a shot.

Joel (Denver)

Hey Newt...is walking the track still a part of a drivers routine when they show up at a race?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

I've seen a few do it, but not many.

Ted (Conway, Ma)

Will Montoya win a race this year?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

As long as there are road courses and Indy, he is a threat.

Dumindu (Vista,California)

what do you think if MWR switch to Toyota to Dodge? will that effect the tear?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Toyota has kept MWR alive in tough times, so I don't see it bailing.

Jason (Terre Haute, IN)

In your opinion, what is the biggest hang up (other than the econonmy) RFR is having getting Trevor Bayne fully sponsored in the NNS?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Can't think of anything but the economy. Trevor should be one of the most marketable drivers out there.

Michael (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania)

Personally, I perfered the old Bristol better than the new Bristol. What really killed it was the progressive banking. If they remove the progressive banking and put in the original banking, the only difference will be the concrete, which is the only thing they should have changed in the first place. Sounds about right doesn't it?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

The concrete will remain. And you're in the majority on liking the old Bristol.

lljGOHAWKS (Iowa)

Hey Newt great story on MWR today. What does a track like Iowa need for them to have a date every year for cup cars? Iowa proves it with every sport that comes into Iowa that fans will come and they will come in droves?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Thanks. Iowa needs for another track to give up a date. I don't see NASCAR expanding the schedule.

Dumindu (Vista,California)

I have uploaded every NASCAR race, could you talk to NASCAR and get premission from them them tome to apply for the youtube partner program, can you get back to me with a answer at racerdsm14391@hotmail.com

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

They have a suggestioin box somewhere. Might be better for you to contact yourself.

Teri (Burbank)

Do you think we'll see the 17 back in Victory Circle this weekend?By the way, there is a chance of rain on Sunday.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

California is one of Matt's best tracks. Had a Sunday rainout there a few years ago to lengthen my stay in California. Won't happen this time. Blount is there.

Quentin (Iowa)

David I know you get this question a lot.........but will Dale Jr. win again and where does he finally snap that winless streak??

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Yes. Soon.

Tracy (CT)

Newt, I think the guy ment the NC state flag. It's what is next to Jrs name on his car.

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Thanks. Guess that is part of his NCAA Bracket.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

Newt, if MWR 55 makes the chase, who gets credit for winning the championship? Martin with a subnote for Vickers and Mikey?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Not sure I follow you. Michael won't be eligible for the title in the 55 regardless. The 55 can't make the Chase because it is decided on driver points, not owner points. Now if Truex or Bowyer wins the title, give Mikey credit for making changes.

Teri (Burbank)

Do you know what the attendance is projected to be this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Going to one race has helped, but have no idea.

Chris (Crestview,FL)

Is Dale Junebug's 132 race losing streak the longest of his career?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Think second.

Sandy (NY)

Who are your top 5 for Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Johnson, Kenseth, Harvick, Bowyer, Gordon.

Dee (Vegas)

As I understand it, Toyota, Napa, and Truex are all in a contract year with Michael Waltrip Racing. From what we've seen so far this year, has the 56 done enough to keep that team (sponsor, driver, and manufacturer) together for the next several years?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Still too early to call, but Truex is a talented driver and barring a major collapse should be back with MWR next year.

Ryan (Florence, AZ)

Hey Newt, if you could go back in history and personally watch any Cup race, which would it be?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Not a specific race, but some of the classics at Darlington with Pearson.

Rick (Philly)

You mentioned Chad as a first ballot hall of famer. Only the original class was first ballot and rusty wallace did not even make it on the ballot in his first year of eligibility. Who do you think will be the next first ballot HOF'er?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

First when he becomes eligible. Chad has five titles. Rusty Wallace one. As for the next group, I haven't looked at it. I'll try to do that over the next week and answer on next week's chat.

Scott (Charlotte)

Just read that the Saints had a bounty on you. Oh, sorry wrong Newton

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Dang. Could use the publicity.

Tyler (Chattanooga)

DW said on twitter that rain and hotels along with economy are the reasons for attendance problems at Bristol. SERIOUSLY??? No ive sat through many rain delays wtih 160,000 people at Bristol on the old configuration with the same number of hotels with jacked up prices. Do you think Bruston will change it back?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

My twitter poll revealed gas prices and hotel prices played a big role. But configuration, at least with those that attend, seems to be the biggest beef. Rain had nothing to do with it.

Jamerson (Georgia)

How do owners points work with the Chase? Do Owners points get reset like drivers points do? Or do they keep a standard points system throughout the year?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Owner's points run through the season. Driver points are used to set the Chase.

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

That's it for me, folks. Glad I got in a full hour after cutting it short last week because of the Hendrick appeal. Enjoy the California week. I'm picking JJ to win.