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April 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all, morning on the west coast.

txtechjmacattack (lubbock)

rcr last won the sprint cup in 1994, 18 seasons ago and i was wondering if you think rcr is on the path to becoming another petty enterprises?

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

No, they're not that far behind nor that underfunded. They've just got stiffer competition since Earnhardt was in his prime. And remember in '94 he sailed to the title because Davey Allison had been killed in '93 and Ernie Irvan badly hurt mid '94.

Lester (WVA)

Hi Ed, Dale Sr's last cup championship was in '94 but he passed in 2001 so did RCR drop the ball in '95, '96, '97, '98, '99 and 2000 or was Jeff Gordon just too good for them?

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Earnhardt took it to the wire with Gordon in '95. After that, in the game of tech leapfrog, other teams caught and passed them. Gordon was strong and Earnhardt, frankly, was past his prime.

Vader (0209)

Ed, if Jeremy Mayfield runs the Pocono ARCA race, the place where he beat Dale Sr in a Penske, do you think NASCAR will forgive Jeremy and he can get back into cup?

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Yeah, and I'll win the Mega Millions lottery next week. I've seen the ARCA talk but I'll believe it when I see him in a car. NASCAR has a lot of sway with ARCA.

Phoenix (Florida)

Do you think it's only temporary that satelite teams SHR and MWR are outrunning the big dogs, Gibbs and Hendrick?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

Some of it's been a matter of luck, but I think SHR and MWR will remain pretty strong. It'll be up to the parent teams to break out of some tough luck (like last Sunday) and step up their own pace.

Keith boyd NASHVILLE, Tennessee [via mobile]

do you kyle busch will break his chase curse and challenge for the title

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

Actually he's going to have to get on some kind of a streak this summer just to make the Chase. But if he gets in, that team's got one more year of experience . . .

Vernie (certified octo free) (NJ)

Ed, if Logano does nothing this year, can we call him the most overrated driver ever?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

That would be a hard title to earn.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

hey Ed, first off I want to thank u and the entire staff for allowing these chats to happen, unlike other networks u guys take the time to interact with us fans, with that said my question is how do u think Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will finish the season, and do u think it was a mistake to let go of Pattie because that guys sharp n now Clint is lucky to have him on top of his pit box, Which would shock me if they dnt get a win or two and make the chase.

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

Pattie's certainly got the best of that transaction, huh? I think EGR will last the season. Chip's a good enough businessman to work it out.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

what has been the reason for all these recent repaves? I personally think that it takes a better driver to run well at these old beat up race tracks because of the lack of grip n therefore makes for excitement on the race track like the battle between Gordon and Bush last year on the old Phoenix, and we've seen what an effect the Bristol repave a few years back did among the fans, and especially why repave a track like Kansas that is only about a decade old with the multiple grooves just coming to fruitation n good racing the last five years or so?

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

Repaves happen mostly because track officials get worried about a possible disaster like the pot hole at Daytona. The real reason for the Bristol repave in '07 was that they were VERY but secretly worried about the track breakinng up, or underground rebar poking through, during a race.

Trey Midsouth [via mobile]

Who has better luck at Texas, Gordon or Kakne?

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

Gordon has run pretty well at Texas in recent years but has made some back luck for himself, like getting into the wall a couple years back when he was running away. I'd say Gordon's likelier to run well in the upcoming Texas race.

Jake (TX)

Hi, do you think Joey will continue with his mid 20 finishes and not be rehired next year? Thanks!

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

I'm kind of losing hope that he'll break out and live up to his original billing anytime soon.

Vinnie (ATL)

If Tiger won this weekend and Dale Jr won in Texas, would Twitter cease to exist?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Might overload, but not cease to exist.

Jeeves (USA)

It's still early in the season but this Dale Jr fan feels a lot of validation, what do you think?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

He's getting there. I say he breaks the losing streak at Dega, but some of my colleagues think he could do it at Texas or Kansas.

Andrew (California) [via mobile]

speaking of repavs, is MIS the next restrictor plate track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

I was just wondering that myself, with the drivers at this week's tire test saying they're hitting 215 easily in the corners. But I think it would take a lot, say a 200-plus pole, for NASCAr to put plates on 'em. It should make for a good show if they did it, though.

Bart (Albuquerque)

Ed, watching the first GWC at Martinsville, it seems to me that Jimmie Johnson turned down into Gordon and caused that wreck -- not Bowyer or Newman. Your thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

I saw some comments along those lines, and it's hard to argue. Trouble is, when Newman punted Bowyer up there, he was alongside JJ even quicker than Bowyer intended to be.

Rafael (modesto, ca) [via mobile]

will the truck race at the rock be a success?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

relatively, yes. The Rock's a nice, different venue. But what most people don't realize is the Rock is out in the middle of nowhere, never did draw particularly well, and really didn't produce the quality of racing that legend now has it.

Trevor (Columbus, Ohio)

As a Carl Edwards fans, I'm concerned that the old, aggressive Carl who put Brad on his head at Atlanta needs to come back. Your thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

I thought he'd learned his lesson last year that he needs to get more aggressive again. They're just now coming to places, Texas and Kansas, where we can see a yea or nay on that.

Vernie (NJ)

Hi Ed, do you think MWR is the new Toyota powerhouse? JGR looks bad.

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

JGR won't look bad all season, but I gotta give Mikey and his business partner credit. They are moving up in the world of teams for sure.

skip (Kansas) [via mobile]

When will a MWR driver get its first win this year? And who?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

I know the answer you're looking for and I think you've got a good chance: Bowyer at Kansas.

Ron (Mt. Eaton)

Are sponsors sensitive to fan backlash against sham races like last week's truck race where Harvick led 248 of 250 laps with a multi cup truck/cup RCR team against a bunch of small, independent 1 truck teams?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

Not unless that gets to be a regular thing. Besides, you'd be surprised how little attention sponsors pay to actual competition. They just focus on marketing their guy, their division, etc. They know more about standup cutouts of drivers in the supermarkets and convenience stores.

Gary cincinnati [via mobile]

When we saw jr hit newman after the race, was that a way to go or pay backs are hell !

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

He was in position to see Newman punt bowyer up alongside his two teammates and cause the wreck, so I seriously doubt it was a way to go.

J.J. (USA)

I know you're not a Newman fan, its obvious, but do you think he can win anymore races this year, if so how many? Try to be unbiased. lol

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

Oh, sure, he could win two or three more. SHR is strong, strong. But I'm not a "fan" or non-fan of any driver. That's not my job. As Bill France Jr. once said of me, "I think he calls 'em like he sees 'em." No bias, just truthful observation.

Mark (Mount Airy,MD)

Afternoon Ed, Thanks for a great article today. As a fan of all the major forms of racing, it annoys me as well as when folks say these are the "Best Drivers" in the world. Talent abounds in all the disciplines. Not only are the fans missing out but so are the drivers when they can't test themselves in other forms of racing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

Agree completely. It was fabulous when you could see Foyt and Unser go up against Petty and Pearson and Fittipaldi and Peterson.

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

gonna let a couple people vent here for a few minutes. i'll post their comments, but they speak for themselves so i'll just let them talk without reply . . .

Debi (NC)

Do you think Dale Junebug is intimidated by and feels inferior to his 9 time championship, 135 cup race winning teammates Jeff and Jimmie?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

that's one

Ronny (Mt. Eaton)

How come people have no problem when it was Gibbs dominating NW but have a fit when someone else dominates?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

another point of view

Jake (TX)

Why do people get upset when Harvick runs trucks but the same people cheer when Kyle runs NW?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

and another

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Even if Junebug wins a race this year he still has only 3 cup wins since 2004, 8 years ago.............just sayin'

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

OK, enough venting, let's get back to it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Hi Ed, if Danica keeps getting lapped and can't race competitively, do you think Mr. H will cancel her full time cup schedule for 2013?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

No, sir. She and Dale Jr are sponsor magnets. that's job security.

Keith H (Seattle)

Ed, did the folks unlock the doors at the asylum or is this the usual drivel in the queue?

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

lotta anti junior, pro junior, anti-kyle and pro-kyle comments that seem brought on by emotion

Jesse (KCMO)

Ed, seeing the name Fittipaldi in this chat made me wonder whatever happened to Christian. I haven't seen any of him since his days in the 44 for Petty.

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Well, he was badly injured in CART and never did do a lot after that. Very nice guy, had twice the personality of his uncle . . . but alas, about half the talent.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

Autoclub Speedway should be the only track to reconfigure, or just be taken off the schedule completely and replace it with a short track now those things are exciting, because Penske's former track can be a snoozer way more often than not, ur thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Almost no chance it would be reconfigured or taken off the schedule. Actually, if you view the racing a different way -- even when cars are side by side they appear apart because the track is so wide-- then the racing isn't as bad as many like to say.

Jay (GA)

Do you think NASCAR would or could block Mayfield from running ARCA. After all, it would look bad if he passed ARCA drug test, as well as the team's drug test, and then win at Pocono.

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

I think we're going to see if they would or could, if that ARCA owner follows through with his talk. My bet is, Mayfield won't race.

Aron (Tornado Alley, Tx)

Will you be traveling to TMS next week? Also, do YOU really believe Gordon could have been successful in F1, given he chose to go open wheel at an early age?

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

Terry and K. Lee will be at TMS for us. I always let those two Texans go home and eat at their favorite Mexican place. I think Gordon had the talent that if he'd switched at age 18 or 19 to schooling formulas -- and had ENORMOUS luck at securing sponsorship -- could have done well in F1. But remember why he abandoned CART ambitions -- they wanted money in return for the seat. It would have been even worse in F1.

Troy (Tenn.)

Sometimes when I hear the NASCAR announcers they use pronouns We, Us and Ours like they own and work on race cars. Are they part of teams? Why do they talk like that?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

I've heard that my whole career. Guess they just love to be a part of it. I was taught from an early age not to be a fan, to remain objective and call 'em like I see 'em. I've never said "we" or especially "our sport."

Mark(Alabama ) [via mobile]

Hi Ed, with penske moving to Ford.next year will there be an adjustment period or will they be strong out of the box? Also how do you like bad Brad's chances for a title this year in a Dodge.and next year in a Ford? Thanks

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

A lot of it depends on how much Edsel Ford II can convince Roush Fenway and Roush Yates to lend a hand to Penske, within the family, as Ford sees it. I suspect Cactus Jack is going to be reluctant, but if Penske gets some startup help they could be strong out of the box.

Teri (Bubank)

Hi Ed. Happy Easter? Any news on Junior Johnson? My thoughts and prayers are with him.

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Haven't heard the past couple of days. But Duke's a great hospital and I'm assuming they got the staph under control. I miss being practically Junior's "neighbor," now that I've moved to Georgia. Previously, I could go from my house to his barn in just over an hour.

Larry (IL)

Anymore news on what is going to happen with Bristol. Maybe Bruton should build hotels and cut the prices to half of what the others are charging instead of tearing up the track

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

He hasn't been specific yet, and may not be until he hears from the engineers on what can be done. Nah, those empty seats were the fans speaking about the track, not the hotels. And I didn't see too much price gouging around Bristol-Johnson City compared to some other places.

Saul (San Diego)

So, do you think technically, that Mr. RH can wear his 200 wins hats with an asterisk for Stewart Hass wins with Hendricks engines and chassis.

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

No, he couldn't. And he wouldn't.

Teri (Burbank)

Hi Ed, did you see the news about Ferdinand Porsche? My thoughs and prayers are with the Porsche family. Did you ever get to see the awesome Porsche 917 race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Saw it race in some classic car events, but never wide open. to me it was the greatest prototype ever. I was, however, fortunate enough to see the magnificent Porsche 956 debut at Le Mans and finish 1-2-3 in 1982. They later sent an Americanized version over here called the 962.

Vinnie (ATL)

Do you know how Alez Zanardi is doing? What a horrific accident. He had a great attitude. Zanardi, Kenny Brack, and Wheldon were in the worst crashes I have ever seen.

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Haven't heard lately but he did have an amazingly positive attitude about losing his legs. He knew, as we all did, that Dr. Steve Olvey of CART kept him alive on the spot. Worst Indy car crash I ever saw was Gordon Smiley's fatal wreck at Indy back in '81 or '82.

Alan M (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Ed! If SHR's success continues through the season, do you see them considering a third car? If so, who do you think would best fit with that team?

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

I think they've already been considering it, just haven't been able to finance it yet. They have to consider Danica's path there -- that, or consider fielding a fourth car.

Saul (San Diego)

So, you ever wonder how different your chats would between the Fans of the 70 and 80 with those of today?

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

You mean if we'd had chats back then? Never thought of that. I did get some really nasty letters via snail mail in those days, so people's vitriol hasn't changed all that much.

Mark(Alabama ) [via mobile]

Any chance Rusty Wallace ever gets into sprint cup as an owner? Would Stephen drive for him if so?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

More financial burden than Rusty would want to assume, I suspect. And don't think Steve would be a great sponsor magnet.

Alan M (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Ed! Looking into your crystal ball 15 years from now, will the state of Ohio get any sort of a decent NASCAR track? I read earlier that Eldora has been offered up, but I think that was a joke...

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

They'd have to pave Eldora, and I don't think any of you Ohioans, let alone any race fans anywhere in America, would stand for the paving of America's most beloved dirt track.

Knobstock (Wa. )

Do you think Indy car is really helping themselves by being the landing pad for 39 year old, ex-F1 drivers like Rubens who are at the end of their careers?

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

No, frankly. But he's such a great guy that I'm glad he's around.

Tracy (CT)

Hey Ed, I have purchased my ticket to the rock for a soldier since I can't make it. Tell you chatters to step up to the plate and do the same if they are real NASCAR fans!! #filltherock

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

Nice gesture. Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune are in driving distance. Those two groups used to have battle exercises out in the woods not too far from the rock. But that tells you how remote it is.

Alan M (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Ed! Could you ever see a Sprint Cup race being held in a one-off location in a different country similar to what the NFL does in London?

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Probably not, mainly because the cars are so heavy they're tough to transport overseas. They were sent by sea when they raced in Australia in '88.

Jay (GA)

Do you think Boris Said will get a ride for the road courses, and if so, it is really over between he and Biffle. I still don't think those two will be able to play too nicely.

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Boris always gets into the road races. And no, I don't think him and the Biff are over, because Boris has had all this time to sit and think about it.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

What do you think of the idea of a say 2 rotating dates on the Cup Series schedule

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

I think it would be interesting but NASCAR would never do that because track promoters demand a lot of time to promote and sell tickets.

Vinnie (ATL)

Changes to NASCAR I would like to see but will never happen... 1. Shorten the season. Too many races. 2. Get rid of the top 35 rule. Qualify and you are in. I love F1 qualifying. 3. Decrease the number of cars to 36 per race. That's all.

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

Can't disagree with any of those.

Mark (Iowa)

How did they transport the cars to Japan when they did those exhibition races over there in the late 90's?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

I'm trying to remember whether they flew a few on 747s or sent them well in advance by sea. Can't recall.

Keith H (Seattle)

It's always a pleasure, Ed. Thanks for doing this weekly.

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

You're welcome. Hey, folks, I can post the nice ones if I post the nasty ones, right?

laura (manhattan beach)

How bummed do you think Mr. Hendricks was on Sunday at Martinsville? Publicly he moved on but lots of emotion tied to that track and his family.

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

Yes, I suspect it was tough. Especially because he had some of the widows of the plane crash there with him.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

Do u think that Juan Montoya needs a proven crew chief n not an experimental one like chris heroy who no disrespect has solid engenering credentials but mabe the 42 team should hire someone like Mike Ford who has shocked me by not landing a job.

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Well, Chip tends to run his NASCAR team along an IndyCar model, and that means engineers. Do agree that Mike Ford needs to land somewhere -- but suspect that when he does land, it'll be with a stronger team than EGR.

Alan M (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Ed! If the 10 car has another bad week and they fall further in the points, forcing Danica to actually have to qualify like a normal driver, do you think they will replace Reutimann, and if so, with whom?

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

I don't think so. I feel very sorry for him, obeying orders to try for a top 35 and getting the blame for that mess. I think he's the best available under the circumstances.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

Is Stewart-Haas gonna step up they're help to the 10 to help get it in the top 35

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

They need to, but I think it's a tenuous situation being in bed with an independent team like that.

Ed Hinton
  (3:02 PM)

Well, the clock on the wall says . . .Everybody's been great today. Thanks for stopping by.