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March 28, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dale Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya are already at it drifting. Any questions you want me to ask afterwards, let me know here. Let's get to it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which Drivers will Part Ways with their Current Teams because they are outside the top 35 in Owner Points where they have to Qualify or go Home?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

None at the moment, but if Reutimann falls out and puts Patrick in jeopardy before Darlington he could become a candidate.

Larry (MI)

With the new all-star format do you think the segment winners will ride in the back to make sure they are there for the 10 lap shootout?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Nope. What I do see happening is the driver who wins the first segment will be set to come in and take four tires between the third and fourth segment, go first into the pits for the final stop, take no tires and get out first to have a big advantage.

Ron (Smithville)

Hey Newt, how come Danica's crew didn't raise the hood on the #7 to check and where was the smoke, flame, fluids we see from other engine problems? Could it have been that JRM told her to park it to end the embarrassment?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Looked like they did raise the hood from what I saw. Think it was so obvious that it couldn't continue they rolled her to the garage.

Arrogantespncommenter (VA)

Besides lifting off the throttle, what can drivers do to preserve their brakes at Martinsville?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Not a lot. Coast a bit going into the turns, but that is the same as lifting off the throttle, basically.

Carl (Edwardsville, MO)

Clint Bowyer's singing is beyond horrible. Can we replace his commercial with ones about Subway? Those are hilarious.

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Are you suggesting that Edwards can sing? I guess he can. He does have an album.

JoGano Fan (Connecticut)

I am very hurt about your darkhorse pick last week. It should always be Slice, right?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

You'll be disappointed this week, too. But Joey is in the top 10 in points, so you should be happy.

joseph (atlanata ga)

i hate how they keep changin the all star raec because nowadays its too confusing for me and they should bring back eliminations. go junior!!!!!!!!!

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Hey, it's just an all-star race. Don't lose a lot of sleep over it. At least it is more entertaining than the NFL Pro Bowl.

KB Nation (Global)

Should Nascar be concerned that people are not giving Rowdy a chance to win, and should Rowdy dump the 42 for stealing a win from him?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

I'll answer this with tongue deep in cheek this question deserves. Heck yeah NASCAR should be worried. Heck yeah he should dump Juan.

mike (PA)

hey dave, i think the rain shorten race hurt the 24 car the most, he had a top 3 car and could of got back up into the top 10, your thoughts? And is a top 5 at martinsville a must for the 24?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Hurt Denny Hamlin pretty bad, too. Think he was second when he went to pit road and finished 1th. No doubt it helped Jimmie the most, though. As for Martinsville, Jeff always is a threat there.

mike (new jersey)

whos your top 5 for the weekend and favorite to win? I like jj, dale, gordon, carl, and denny, with jimmy gettin the big 200 for rick hendrick

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

JJ, Gordon, Hamlin, Earnhardt and Montoya. Had to throw one wildcard into the mix.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

David, is the sponsorship search forwarded to 2013 with the 17? Also, any news/update on the plans for Stenhouse/Bayne for next year, maybe Bayne at Penske since he'll be with Ford?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

They're still looking for help this year with the hope that sponsor may stay on into 2013. No update on Stenhouse and Bayne for next year, but would suspect Penske coming to Ford might open the door for Roger to expand to three or four teams and give one of Roush's drivers a ride on loan.

Mayra (Chicago)

Are you excited with the new format change to the All star race? I still think they should hold it from track to track like the way o sports do.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Excited? Not really. But I am excited it's in Charlotte so I don't have to travel an additional weekend. The only place I'd like it to move might be Richmond. Good short track racing would be fun for an all-star event.

Tyler (Real one) (Not Greenfield New York)

Which team has the best drivers in their developmental program right now? Is it Roush or RCR?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

You'd have to go with Roush with Stenhouse and Bayne, but don't forget Chase Elliott at Hendrick. He may turn out to be better than both Roush drivers.

Ryan certified octo free (Ventura, Ca.)

Since Wild Thing almost won M'villle last year on a way to 3rd place do you think the #18 is a threat to win Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

He definitely seemed to have figured Martinsville out last year. Confidence is huge at that track. And Busch is due. So why not?

Trident (CA)

Do you think Danica really had an engine problem or did they just tell he to park it to stop embarrassing Junior Motorsports?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

It was a real problem.

Bill (Pa)

Do you think Kurt will make it all season without a major meltdown? He was lucky to get the finish he did Sunday so don't give me the "he is improving" bit.

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

I get asked this every week. He has to get through this season without having a meltdown. No option if he wants to have a good ride next year. Can he do it? He'll have a few minor meltdowns, but major he'll avoid.

Larry (Washington)

Hello Mr. Newton,Do you see Hamlin having another mental lapse a la Phoenix 2010?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Nope.

Rowdy Smoke fan (MD)

Is Smoke could be on his way to his career high wins in a season this season?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

He won six in the early 2000s. Be tough to do in today's world, but he's off to the kind of start it takes to do that. Here's the deal. Just because he's not now doesn't mean he'll remain that way all year. Maybe this season will work in reverse of last year where he didn't win until the Chase.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Is Danica Patrick signed with SHR next year or could she go to another team?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

Signed, sealed and delivered.

Rowdy Smoke fan (MD)

What is the latest on Bristol track situation?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Bruton is there today meeting with engineers to decide. Look for something Thursday or Friday.

Rowdy Smoke fan (MD)

If the race last Sunday didn't rain out, who would have won the race?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Tough to say. We see it happen a lot where a driver who dominates early doesn't win. The 24 might have been a car to watch.

Vernie (NJ)

Hey Newt, if Penske continues to build Dodge motors do you think they might send Brad K over to Robby Gordon Motorsports to drive for Robby?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Funny. And NO. You might see Penske's people build Dodge engines, but if that happens I suspect he would sell the engine company to somebody else, maybe Dodge. Too many conflicts there with Ford.

Sonia (TX)

David, is important to Mr. Hendrick that 1 of the real HMS drivers-Jimmie or Jeff- win the 200th for the company?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

They're all real. He'd be just as proud if Junior or Kasey won. Maybe moreso with Kasey since that was the car Hendrick's son ran.

Trish (NC)

As JGR team leader does Denny provide guidance and advise to his young, inexperienced teammates Rowdy and Joey?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

You guys and gals are cracking me up. Remember a few years ago when Denny and Kyle were at each other's throats? I suspect Joey goes to both for advice, but I don't see the other two seeking each other out for much advice.

txtechjmacattack (lubbock)

were you impressed that kyle could bring home the #18 in 2nd after declaring over the radio that the car was "destroyed"?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Nope. Happens all the time.

Miller (UT)

Harvick seemed madder at Stewart for that chop job than he was at Kyle for getting hooked at Darlington and I was wondering if you expect to see Kevin returning the favor to Stewart at M'ville?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

That would be like putting two pit bulls in the ring. I doubt either ones wants to get involved in that. They're friends, too.

matthew (columbia, nj)

Newt: Can we expect as wild of a race this Sunday as we did in the fall?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Think there were 12 cautions in the fall, with half of them caused by Brian Vickers. The recipe for that is there again. Think the fans would like to see that?

Miller (UT)

Did you see Stewart trying to "goose" Harvick during his drivers intro at Fontana? What was that all about?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Mind games. Plus they like each other.

Todd (Ga. )

Until I heard Danica say she was "fighting for the lucky dog" I never knew it existed in Nationwide. Was she just joking?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Nope. It is there.

Trident (Cali)

I saw Coach proudly congratulate Kyle after the NW race and wondered if you have heard Mr. Gibbs express his pride in Kyle and Tony for starting NASCAR teams?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

I have. Having done it himself in the early '90s, Gibbs knows how tough it is and what those guys face.

Jamerson (Ga.)

I really like the fire Kyle has been showing and it seems like he and Dave are really communicating so do you think we might finally see Kyle break his losing streak at Martinsville?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

I never count Kyle Busch out of a race until it's over.

Quentin (Iowa)

David I really think this is the weekend that Junior breaks the winless streak, love the roll he is on right now....What is your prediction for Dale Junior this weekend? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

I have a gut feeling on him winning this week, too. If he drives Martinsville like he has the last three races there he'll at least be in position to win.

Matt (Wisc.)

With the way Kyle ran at AC speedway has JGR gotten the intermediate program close to HMS and will that give Kyle and Denny the edge to challenge during the chase?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Hendrick isn't the only program JGR needs to worry about on intermediate tracks. Roush in my opinion has been top dog there. HMS just has been better all around. But solid runs for Kyle and Denny does bode well for the season.

DepotSmoke (Key West)

Looked to me like Danica just parked it at Fontana when she was a lap down so if she can't run up front in NW how can she expect to save face in cup?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Listen, people, there is a steep learning curve and she's finding out NASCAR is tough. Remember, Dale Jr hasn't won in 133 races and he's in the top half of the garage in talent.

Henry (NY)

How fed up are the Chevy runners like 48, 24, 29 with getting beat by 14 especially since SHR is basically a HMS satelite team?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

No moreso than they would be if a Ford, Dodge or Toyota was beating them.

Wyatt (KY)

You think any one will give Vickers a ride, if so who?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

If he can put a few more races together like Bristol he'll earn something for 2013. May be tough to do anything more than piecemeal a schedule this year.

jasn (decatur, il)

isn't it pretty obvious Tony oly signed Danica to put money in his pockets?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

And what is wrong with that? Did the Jets sign Tebow thinking he was then next Joe Namath?

Ron (Smithville)

Hi Newt, liked the story today, "Where's the magic" especially bringing Rusty into the convo but if fans want beatin' and bangin', then how come they get upset when Kyle did exactly that to Kazolowski?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Thanks. And people get upset with Busch because he is a lightning rod for criticism.

Tyler (nc) [via mobile]

I realize its early, but do you see a repeat champion like Johnson, Gordon, or Kenseth. Or do you see some one new like Hamlin, Keselowski, or Busch?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

I picked Johnson before the season and stand by that.

Bobby (ALABAMA) [via mobile]

We need more short tracks. I prefer the action over speed anyday. Anyway us fans can persuade NASCAR to give us more short tracks on the schedule???

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Rusty Wallace gladly would offer Iowa Speedway up. Be good for the sport if the racing there is as good as he and others say.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Of these Top 12 drivers: Junior, Truex, Bowyer, Newman and Menard, which do you expect to see miss the chase?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Menard and Newman.

Hendrick Motorsports Fan (Charlotte)

Hi David, personally I tired of seeing the customer team SHR taking wins from HMS and wanted to know if you've heard Mr H's opinions and what he plans to do about it?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

He told me he plans to give Tony all the bad engines the rest of the season. Kidding. Hendrick prides himself on building all engines equal. He makes a lot of money leasing engines and chassis, and this only helps promote that part of the business.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Newt, I've never been to Bristol, but there was a certain electricity for each race back in the day-- even on TV! I'm not a huge fan of cars getting "all tore up," but there was something incredibly fun about the old configuration. There was an air of exciting uncertainty, and there really isn't anymore. The current "show" isn't bad, it's just not old Bristol awesome.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Totally agree. And you should take advantage of tickets being available and go. Still worth the trip.

KB (FL)

Is it just me or is Bruton acting a bit childish regarding who made what decisions and who he talked to regarding the Bristol repave? As the boss man, the responsibility ultimately falls on his shoulders and by now placing the blame for Bristols configuration on an employee he is moving from bad decision maker to a poor manager. Time to man up Bruton and take the bad with the good.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Bottom line, he should have known. I think he was just explaining that had he known progressive banking may not have happened.

Sandy (NY)

Who are your top 5 for this Sunday's race?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

JJ, Gordon, Hamlin, Earnhardt and Montoya.

Sandy (NY)

Do you think the format changes will make the All Star Race more exciting?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Not really.

Tyler (2012)

Any chance that booger Jr picked on TV helped his aero at California?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Please, behave.

Kev (Sunny Florida)

Any insight regarding the direction that Dodge will go next year regarding teams? Rumors abound about EGR possibly switching but is it plausible that Gannassi and Teresa divest themselves and go their own ways once again?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

I guess it could happen, but then Ganassi would lose the Earnhardt Childress Engines and have to start its engine program again. Officials I've talked to say they are happy where they are, but struggles on the track and needing to attract sponsors could force a change. I just don't see it.

Kip (Gipper MN)

When will Tony Eury Jr and Danica become the first husband and wife team winners?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Where do you people come up with this stuff. What I am waiting to see is Danica blaming Eury Jr for her struggles and asking for a new crew chief.

Chris Fiegler (Latham, NY)

Danica should be in the Cup race this week since she needs more seat time at short tracks and Nationwide has an off week. Thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Agreed.

Michael (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania)

Do you think Mr. Bruton Smith will reconfigure Bristol back to what it was before 2007? Or was he just saying that just to say it?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

I believe he has to.

matt (st.louis)

How do you think logano is doing so far? he seems to have confidence this year

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

He's in the top 10 in points, so that's a good start. You have to walk before you can run, and he's walking at a pretty good pace. He just needs to lead a few more laps and contend for wins.

Bryan (Michigan)

Will Dale Earnhardt Jr ever win in the Sprint Cup again?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Yes. Maybe this week.

Baseballman! (Lucasville)

Any chance Rowdy pays Juan back this weekend, maybe Ryan pays back Carl also!

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Martinsville would be the place to do it. You can make it look like a racing incident even when it's on purpose.

Kyle Flowers (Tampa FL.) [via mobile]

I heard Joe Gibbs was thinking about switching back to Chevy?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

News to me. If he were going to switch Dodge would make more sense.

Bryan (Michigan)

Tony Stewart is hotter now than he's ever been, how many more wins does he reel off?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Two.

Baseballman! (Lucasville)

How will nascar manipulate the all star race next year to get Jr and Danica in?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Both could be in it this year if one wins a race and the other gets voted in. But I get your drift.

TJ (South Dakota) [via mobile]

Who do you have in the top 5 this weekend? How about a darkhorse winner?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Top five I've posted several times. Darkhorse. Will go with Joey Logano.

Thomas (Franklinton, Louisiana)

David, fans go to Bristol because its a short track and it should race like one, not like the cookie cutter mile and a half tracks. This is why the uproar. Agree or disagree?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Totally agree.

Bryan (Michigan)

In your opinion did NASCAR handle the Fontana rain delay correctly?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

From a perception standpoint, I might have waited a few more hours. From a reality standpoint, it was handled correctly.

Miller (Miami)

Any truth that KBM will be the factory Dodge team next year and are luring Danica into the team?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I think I'm the first one to suggest Dodge needs KBM with Kurt. Danica is married to Stewart for 2013.

bill (prescott,az)

do u think all the hendrick drivers make the chase?and who would b the odd man out..88 or 5

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Rick predicted that before the season, but it'll be tough for Kahne to make it unless he wins a few races and gets in the top 20.

Bryan (Michigan)

What is your opinion on Yahoo Sports?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Only read ESPN.com.

Jimmy (STL)

Your take on the MWR hot streak? Can they keep this up? Any of them make the Chase? Thx Newt

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Definitely like the chances of Bowyer and Truex. Bowyer knows how to make the Chase and Truex's momentum is a carryover from last year. Both are solid.

Scott philadelphia [via mobile]

Will sponsorship or lack thereof cost Kenseth a shot at the title

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Nope. Roush is committed.

The Nature Boy (woooooooooooooo)

On a scale off 1 to 10, how would you rank this team at Martinsville?? 48--29--11--88--1--16--39--56--it is a cap game hence Mc Murray

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Not sure I agree with the 1 and 39 pick, but the rest I like. I'd throw an 18 and definitely a 24 in there.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

Newt! Lets say that Junior wins a race before the All-Star race--who do you think would win the fan vote? (I'd say Biff).

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Don't discount Danica getting the votes.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

Do you honestly think that Teresa Earnhardt would stop EGR from going to Dodge? If so, could you see Chip buying her out (or spinning off a team)?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Yes. She is on the record as saying the Earnhardt name never will be associated with any manufacturer outside of Chevrolet.

Joey (Miami)

Will there be 2 fan votes next year in the all star so we can be sure Danica and Dale Jr are in it?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

It has begun. But Dale Jr will win this year to take care of that.

Michael (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania)

Here's an idea for the All-Star race: move it to Martinsville. Now that would be entertaining!

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

YEAH.

Hamlin fan (Washington)

Should we be worried about another mental lapse from Hamlin like his demeanor change after Phoenix in 2010?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Nope.

Bryan (Michigan)

What is your opinion on the long lay off between Daytona and Martinsville in the Truck series?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

It is long. But until the economy comes around that's probably the way it will be. The only other solution is to not run Daytona and start the season at Martinsville.

Keith H (Seattle)

What's with the top 5's? (Granted, fantasy.) But shouldn't you be able to copy and paste the 11, 14, 17, 18, 24, 29, 44 and 88 in some combination and be done with it?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Pretty much.

Todd (NY)

Why do people forget that Tony ran like a dog for 26 races last year?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

First, he didn't. He should have won at Vegas, leading more than 150 laps. He led a lot at Phoenix, too. It was only after he lost confidence in Grubb that he slumped. But he still made the Chase, so he wasn't running like a total dog.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

Just went to the All-Star Fan Vote site, and there's the usual collection of oddballs at the bottom of the list (Chris Cook! Brian Simo!) ...but why no Derrike Cope?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

I've wondered that as well.

Bryan (Michigan)

5 races into the season, what are some realistic expectations for the rest of the season for Danica Patrick in the NATIONWIDE series?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

I still say anything shy of top six in points will be a disappointing year.

Derrike Cope (Spanaway Washington)

Hey, how come my fan can't vote me in for the All-Star race?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

I've wondered that myself.

Smoke fan, Tampa [via mobile]

Who has more talent, smoke or rowdy?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Interesting. Because he's won three titles you have to go with Tony, but the best talent doesn't always win titles. Dan Marino set all kinds of passing records but went to only one Super Bowl and never won it. I'm not an expert on talent, but on pure abililty to handle a car and put it places others can't I'd go with Kyle.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

Lets say that they put on a "Media Race", restricted to only those who have never raced professionally. Who would win?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Me, of course. They did this at Legends car school last year and I won the trophy for the fastest lap. Should have had the trophy for best average speed, but think they tweaked the numbers so I didn't get all the hardware.

Doug (Wash.)

Who's Rowdy Smoker? Isn't Rowdy the nickname of Kyle and Smoke is Stewart?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Got me. Just hope I don't run into somebody with their combined personality.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

Afternoon David, Before we go tearing up the Bristol track, don't you think some other things should be tried first?????Like a different tire as Junior suggested?????

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Perhaps. Talked to NASCAR's Robin Pemberton about that. He doesn't believe tires will fix the issue. Plus, regardless if it does change it a bit people will always complain they want the old Bristol.

Jack (Phx, AZ)

Think Montoya can win this week? He's been pretty good on short tracks..........................

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

You looked at my top 5, didn't you?

Todd (NY)

KBM to Dodge, 3 car team, Kyle #3, Kurt #4 and Danica #01, bank on it!

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Wow. That would be crazy. Don't see it, though.

Ben (Nevada)

Are the Martinsville hotdogs really as awesome as everyone says they are?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

I have to admit, once you get past the red dye they're pretty good.

Bryan (Michigan)

Dale Earnhardt Junior is caring the Hendrick flag so far this season on the point standings, do you see that continuing on all season?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

You mean carrying, and it does. And I see JJ moving into the lead role. He would be now if it weren't for a crash on the second lap at Daytona.

Ted (Conway, MA)

Which MWR car will be in the chase, if any?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Bowyer and Truex.

silly bunz (orange ca)

which is your favorite track in the NASCAR circuit? and why?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Martinsville. I love short track racing and I love seeing the beating and banging. After that, Darlingotn. Crazy getting around that place at those speeds and the races often are great.

Laura (manhattan beach)

Hi Newt - Late to the chat...Love the ESPN writer roundtable article, again! Will the 24 shake up the pit crew or just work extra hard to overcome Fontana mistakes?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Thanks. Too early for the 24 to panic.

Bryan (Michigan)

Where does Dale Earnhardt Jr rank among active drivers today?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

He'd be top 15.

Murphy (Md)

have you noticed that at Martinsville when cars get run into from behind and the bumper's get knocked off or bent up they seem to go faster...Harvick and Mark Martin

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

I have. Saw it first with Gordon bumping JJ a few years ago.

silly bunz (orange ca)

its my bday today and i would love to be featured on the chat!

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Considered yourself featured. Happy Birthday. And consider me out of here. Time to go watch some drifting. Thanks for all the questions. As always, catch me on Twitter at @Dnewtonespn.