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April 17, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

So, how did you enjoy the race Saturday night? Opinions have been interesting. Let's get right to it.

Leonardo Guina (São Paulo, Brazil)

How you see NASCAR in United States?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Television or go to the track. Or you can join our live race chat on ESPN.com. Who's your favorite driver?

Tony (Jonesboro)

Who are your top five this weekend and who would be your darkhorse?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer. And for consistency sake, I'll go with Joey Logano for darkhorse. He promised me Sunday he would come through one of these days.

Burt (TN) [via mobile]

Do you think Kurt Busch will be able to run the full season for Finch or will lack of sponsorship doom them?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Fince says sponsorship may be an issue. If he doesn't make the Chase, then that might be the most likely time for a driver change or to back off all together since Kurt won't be in that car in 2013.

Burt (TN) [via mobile]

With Mark Martin running so well early this season, do you see a win coming soon?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

No reason to think he can't win. That is why he is at MWR, to win. Least that's what he told me before the season.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Hi Newt, with the way Danica beat her NW teammates Dale and Whitt, is it clear that she's the team leader at JRM and probably a better Nationwide racer?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Yeah, you go with that thinking when you pick the next race all three are in and let me know how it works out.

Rich (NYC) [via mobile]

Hey Newt, what did you think of the truck race at Rockingham?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

I was covering the NHRA race in Charlotte, so only saw a few minutes of it. From what I understand there was only one wreck and cautions were for debris, so it wasn't much different than Texas. Glad to see a good crowd, though.

Cal (PA)

Please make this octo free for once

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Need you by my side to tell me who is octo.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Newt: Aside from Dale Jr, who will be the next driver to end their long win less streak?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Jimmie Johnson. Man, that 14 race streak has to be eating at him.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

David, I called the Biff's win last week with Terry, so I actually predicted something right. Had a question about Bayne, since Roush seems confident Stenhouse will be in the 6 next year where does that leave Bayne at for Cup full-time? RPM or Penske potentiall since there Ford teams?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Roush plans to put Bayne in Stenhouse's fulltime NW win with him staying in a part-time role with the Wood Brothers in the 21.

DepotSmoke (Key West)

It seems like Tony either wins or runs mid pack. Do you think at his age and stage of career, when Tony realizes he's not gonna win he sort of settles for 20th?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Tony never settles for anything.

Marion (SC)

David, anything new on Dodge for 2013 ?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Not a thing. I suspect it'll be mid-summer before we have a good idea.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

Sounds like a lot of people are complaining about the Texas race and most seem to think it is because the tires are so good. Well, if they aren't good then you get what we got in Indy that one year. Maybe they can leave these good tires (safety first after all) but limit the number of tires they can use in a race like they do in NW races.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

It's not just the tires, but that is playing a big part in it. As I discussed with Biffle today, the cars, tires and race surfaces are so good that it eliminates the gap in talent between drivers.

Turk (Michigan)

Let me gues, Joey is your darkhorse this week again?!

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Until he wins.

Ryan (certified octo free) (Ventura,Ca)

Newt, the whole Penske NASCAR organization seem to be struggling while the Indy car team has won 2 straight. Do you think they are suffering from the leadership loss of Kurt Busch and his expert technical feedback?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Brad has been in contention a few times. Remember, he was horrible the first quarter of last season and took off. I do believe he misses the feedback from Kurt. Kurt much more proven than AJ despite his temper.

Vernie (NJ)

With KBM's 18 truck sitting 26th in points, when does Jason get fired and Kyle start running all the races to up his total series win total?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Kyle will not run trucks this year. Gibbs doesn't want him doing that.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Does Mr Finch wish Landon wis still in the car? Landon didn't wreck, yell at people, and had a partial sponsor. Kurt hasn't brought in any sponsors for Mr Finch besides his personal ones.

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Nope. Finch has said Kurt has done his part for the most part. Not all of the wrecks were Kurt's fault.

Johanne (Ft Lauderdale, FL)

Where does Jr finish this week? It is great to see him mad at a top ten! The win(s) are coming!

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

I see him winning either this week or next at Kansas. Just a gut feeling. But my gut has been wrong before.

Todd (GA)

KBM is not doing well this season and Kyle is doing pretty bad in cup. Is he stretched too thin by running so many races?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Nope. He's running fewer races than ever.

Vernie (NJ)

With MWR cars looking strong and JGR cars floundering, do you see MWR as the top Toyota team?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Getting close, but until MWR wins a race I won't put them on top.

Bill (Idaho)

Tires at the Rock fell off nicely. Why can't they build a good tire for the Cup series. That has been the issue with the tracks lately. The tires last too long!!

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

That has been an issue, but the tires wore at Texas. Biffle, Kenseth and Truex told me they were worn so much they were sliding all over the place. There were other factors at Texas, such as a 40 mph wind that had drivers more cautious than normal.

Sammy (NC)

Does Kurt take over the 20 next season?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

He'll be a candidate if Logano is let go. I'm not convinced Logano will be let go.

Paul (Atlanta)

I know that I been spoiled by JJ success but should I be worried that he has not closed the deal on many races he should have won the past two season 2011- Dover, Martinville, California and Atlanta, 2012 - Las Vegas and Texas. Even in Martinsville, this year he probably would have lost to the 24 even if the caution never came out. Only won 3 races the past 1 3/4 years.

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

You have been spoiled. The 48 was on a torid pace winning as Jeff Gordon was in the mid- to late-1990s before he cooled. But I believe the 48 will win at least five races this year before all is said and done.

thomas from Micco (Fl)

Newt, as Barrett-Jackson sponsers the #34 for another race would you venture a guess as to what they might pay to have their name on the car for a single race ?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Hate to guess, particularly in this economy when the numbers vary so much.

Dan (Charlotte)

Hey David. Who's your top 5 at Kansas this week? I got JJ.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

I have JJ as well. I also have Gordon, Truex Jr., Bowyer and Biffle.

robert. (ark) [via mobile]

It's good to see mark martin running so well this year. Do you think he'll start his owwn team after retirement

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Nah. Martin doesn't like spending his own money like it takes to run a successful team.

Kevin (Nevada)

Chip Ganassi's teams so far this year remind me of Rowdy Brad K last year. Brad looked really lost at this time last year, but then came out of nowhere to pick it up in the late summer. Do you see either of them going on a late summer charge and making the chase?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

I see Busch and Brad K coming on strong, but not the Ganassi drivers. Sorry. Equipment and talent wise not the same.

Eric :from ny [via mobile]

Hey David first of how are has been a while since we chat but my ? To u is how many races you think Dale Jr will win this year and is he a contender for the chace or a pretender ?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Two. And he wlll contend for the title but not win. Have to win more than twice to do that.

Zack Midsouth [via mobile]

Favorite paint scheme of 2012 so far?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Liked the Bud throwback scheme Harvick had at Martinsville and always like Dale Jr.'s Diet Dew scheme.

Tony LA [via mobile]

Who in the current top ten does not make the chase?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

I would have said Newman a few weeks ago before he won a race. Still might see somebody outside the top 10 with a win not make it. Tough call this year.

Jim ( Ct ) [via mobile]

Do u think there's a realistic shot that Kurt busch doesn't run the full schedule after finch saying they need sponsorship to continue

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Yep.

Tyler [via mobile]

Are the problems coming from the Penske camp due to the situation with dodge? Or is it their own doing? Also what's McMurray's best chance to turn his season around? And get that elusive win?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Mostly own doing. AJ has wrecked a few times. Brad K has been caught up in a few incidents he couldn't avoid, too.

Danny McCoy (Las Vegas)

It was good seeing some underdogs pick up some wins last year --> Wood Brothers, Furniture Row. Which of the underfunded, underdog teams do you see having the best chance to steal a win this year? Front Row Motorsports at Talledega, Robby Gordon Motorsports on a road course?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Neither one of those. Best bet might be Finch with Kurt Busch.

Turk (Michigan)

In your opinion, what will hurt Urt the most next year finding a new ride, his ability to hold his temper or his seemingly inability to attract sponsors? Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

C. Sponsor.

Lois (WVA)

Kyle seems to be stretched thin covering his Cup ride, and his NW/truck operation. Apparently Samantha is not able to run things similar to Delana at KHI. Is this going to continue to impact his run for a Cup title? Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

People, Kyle is running less now than ever.

John (Spokane, WA)

Is possible that Kasey's driving style is causing damage to the engine resulting in blow ups?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Don't believe so. Just bad luck mostly.

Wilson (Chicago, IL)

Do you expect the 48 to retaliate against the 39 this Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

They aren't mad at each other, so no.

Jimmy (Dayton, OH)

Have you ever been to the Prelude event in OH? is it worth watching?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

I have not, but would like to. Wouldn't like to if it wasn't worth watching.

Debbie, Santa Ana CA [via mobile]

Hi David! Not a question to be found...just a thank you for your great chats...fun stuff!

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Thanks. Don't ask me a question like that any time.

Larry (Il)

Top 5 drivers and a darkhorse for Kansas?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Johnson, Bowyer, Truex Jr., Biffle and Gordon. And as usual, Logano for darkhorse.

Tuco (Arizona)

Newt, give us some Newtonian Logic. Which driver is most likely to lose his ride to Kurt Busch, one of the EGR guys, your boy Joey Logano or somebody else?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Don't leave out the possibility a team could add a third or fourth car. What happens to Logano is all up to how Logano finishes the season. He's 12th in points now, much better than he's been at this point before. I still believe he'll catch fire. The 43 could come open. There were talks with MWR, but with the way everyone is running there those doors might close. Kurt may have to settle for a mid-major type ride.

Andrew (Missouri)

What are the Chances that the Owners Chase will come in to affect this year?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

The way Martin and Vickers have driven the 55 so far you have to believe it's a possibility. But remember, the champion will will be the top driver in points, not the car.

Jason Mobey (Cupertion)

With Joey Logano and his stuggles is it more his talent or the fact that the resources at gibbs go to 18 and 11. Also if Logano does get resigned do you think it may be a 1 year contract.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

All of Gibbs is struggling. Not just Logano. The three drivers have only three top 5s combined. That's way below standards. And Joey is ahead of Kyle Busch, so to say the resources are going there doesn't make sense. As for his future, if he makes the Chase I'm sure they'll sign him up long term.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

Hey Newton , The Biff is making his statement that he is here to compete for the title, do u think that he will outrun his teammates this her and in more races?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

He's always had that talent to do this. Now he has the team around him. But remember, Kenseth is second in points and Carl, despite a horrible star, isn't that far back.

greg (la)

whos ur top 5 and a dark horse

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

See previous answers. Thanks.

Todd (Georgia)

Where do you think Kurt will end up in 2013?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

Too early to tell.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

Any public videos or pictures of the recent repaves at Michigan, and especially Pocono, curious if there is a new configuration or just fresh asphalt

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Mostly just fresh aspalt. You'd have to google to find pictures.

Todd (Georgia)

What happen with Dale Jr in that NW race Friday night? I missed the race and was supprised to see him finish where he did.

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Sorry, I was at the hospital with my mom and only saw the first part of the race.

Luke (Indianapolis,IN)

If you had to pick now, who wins the INDY 500?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Will Power.

Henry (Pa.)

Octo is the person who asks all the Kyle and Kurt hating questions.

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

But I thought everyone hated those two.

Frank (kingston, Pa)

David - The race Saturday night is symptomatic of a combination of the box is to small for the crew chiefs to work in, the tires are too good, the drivers as a group are stronger, and the cars are indestructable. If NASCAR is not careful we will have the IROC series all over again

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Totally agree. Plan to write about that this weekend. Had good conversation with Biffle about that today.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

where do u potentially see Kurt @ next season? I personally think he would do a nice job in the 20 car or a fourth JGR car but not sure if Joe and J.D can handle more than one Busch

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

A fourth Gibbs car would make more sense than giving up on Joey.

Michael (Connecticut)

Do you think we will ever see the body styles go back to looking like the cars in the showroom vs these cookie cutter cars with different stickers. It has become IROC

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

You'll like the 2013 cars. Look at the picture of the Ford Fusion from the media tour in January. Hot.

Jon (Florida)

Were you impressed with Mr. Finch's praise for Kurt and his stated desire to even do more to help Kurt succeed at Phoenix?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Nope. Kurt can take that team to another level.

Ed Deline (Las Vegas)

Newt, with all the energy drinks in NASCAR - Speed, 5-hour, Monster, etc. - do you have a favorite? Or do you not partake?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

I do not partake. I have enough natural energy in my tank.

Damon (Dallas, TX)

Do you think that the Kyle Busch/Ron Hornaday incident ruined "Boys have at it?" Could the death of Dan Wheldon have all racers racing a bit cleaner and more cautiously?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

No to both. I can't give you a great reason why things have been so calm, but I suspect somebody will stir things up before long.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Will NASCAR and HMS have a special 4 year anniversary celebration at Mich. to celebrate Junior's record?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Great idea. Not!

Jason (Cuperino)

do you see joey in the 20 car year and if not who is the leading canidate

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Lots of Joey questions today. I talked to him Sunday and he's pretty confidence with the way things are going.

Jack (San Diego)

I enjoyed your article on Matt Hagan not wanting provisionals in NHRA. My opinion, Truex needs to shut up!! The Pro's get 4 shots at the track barring bad weather.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Thanks. I don't get to many NHRA events but enjoy the ones I do. Liked Hagan's stance. And it is a little different in NASCAR, so I understand where Truex is coming from.

8Tbone8 (Florida)

Now that Dale didn't get the win at Texas is his next best shot to win a race Texas, April 2013?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Richmond next weekend.

Kristin (NYC)

It was nice to see a decent crowd at the Rock; even more so, our armed forces whose tickets were given to them free of charge.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Agreed. Love The Rock. My family is from that area.

Cal (PA)

Is it true that Kyle has threatend to fire Kurt?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Now this looks like an Octo.

Phoenix (AZ)

With Paul Menard kicking butt on Burton do you think RCR will be getting a new driver for the #31 for next year?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Burton signed a new multi-year deal last season, so no. But RCR is another place where Kurt could land.

Turk (Michigan)

When does coach get rid of Brian Scott? Truex runs a few races in the 20 and beats him every time.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Can't argue with you. Think Brian brings some money to the table.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

With (Sears point) loosing infinion at title sponsor, do u see that track potentially loosing their spot on the schedule especially after hearing last year that the track was being considered to be removed from the schedule

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

I'd hate to see the series lose a road course unless it is to go to another road course, say Canada. And I do love at least one weekend a year in wine country instead of beer country.

Blake (Belmont)

Is Newman vs. Johnson the feud of 2012 for Newman dirty driving #48 and costing Jimmie wins at Martinsville and Texas?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Jimmie said on Twitter he is not angry at Newman. Can't tell you much after that. Maybe people are so hungry for a rivalry they're trying to create one.

Kevin (Nevada)

Do you see KBM losing Monster as a sponsor since the team has performed so poorly this season?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

No. And I don't see that team struggling all year.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Newt, what did you think of the 24's performance on Saturday night? I wasn't sure what was going on with their "cookie cutter" program, but I was impressed. Same goes with the 55.

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

I've been telling people all year that Gordon is like a sleeping giant, that he will get things turned around. That might have been the turning point.

KB Nations (Global)

Are you hearing that Rowdy might be hiring Mike Ford to help get KBM back winning races?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Haven't heard, but that would be a good starting point.

Marion (SC)

David with Penske going to ford is it safe to say that Brad K will have to change his truck team from ram to Ford ?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

That would be my educated guess.

Mike Ford (Denny's former Crew Chief) [via mobile]

you may be wondering where and what I am doing but I'm here to let u no that I working behind closed doors with Dodge to start my own team and carry the Banner for the Chrysler group

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Good luck with that. Ask Ray Evernham how expensive that can be.

KB Nations (Global)

We just hated it so much for all the KBM guys seeing Jason lose that motor at the Rock and wondered why they hare having engine problems?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

They aren't the only Toyota team that has had troubles. But remember, that's a first-year NW program. Still kinks to work out.

Chris (CT)

How can Roush's Nationwide cars (and Cup cars for that matter) lack sponsors? Does Jack charge a ridiculous price to put ads on his cars?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

There was a time a few years ago when Jack had more sponsors than anybody in the sport. Some say the organization doesn't do a good job of activating the sponsors, thus not giving them enough bang for the buck. You'd think with the way the teams perform that wouldn't be an issue.

todd (santa clara)

are there any early silly season rumors aroung the garage area

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Way too quiet, which worries me.

Sarge (Statesboro)

Hi Newt, haven't been to an ESPN chat in a long time so checking in to see how many races you predict Kyle will win and if you think 2012 is the year Rowdy finally wins the Sprint Cup?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Four and he's still one of three drivers after Johnson I'd pick.

Matt Clark (Fort Lauderdale)

Have you heard anything about another "seat swap" in the future like Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton recently? I really enjoyed seeing a NASCAR guy demo his skills in a F1 car and F1 guy have fun in a car that just received its first electronic fuel ignition.

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Nothing on the horizon.

ZMc (Ohio)

So you think Jr is going to win this week or next, but he isn't even in your top 5?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Good point. How about I make him my darkhorse and kick Logano to the curb?

Larry (MI)

Appears Kyle has bit off more than he can chew with his Nationwide team. Do you think he will seek advice from a driver like Dale Jr that has had sucess building a team or do you think he will just close up shop?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

I know some get great pleasure in bashing Kyle, but he and that organization will figure it out.

Heather (NC)

HMS hasn't won in 6 months going back to Kansas last fall. Do you think all the 88-Dale focus has hurt the performance of the other cars?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

No, because all the focus hasn't been on the 88 except with the fans.

Jordan (Lubbock, Texas)

Howdy David. It's taking some getting used to thinking of MWR as a power team, but only 3 cars in the top ten Saturday night belonged to someone other than Hendrick or Roush, and 2 of those belonged to Waltrip. Have they turned the corner yet, or do they need to win a race to convince you?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

They definitely have turned the corner, but they won't have arrived until they start winning races.

David @ UTI Sacramento [via mobile]

Do u think that A.J is putting too much pressure on himself to where he is not competing to his full potential or is he staying quiet waiting to explode like Brad did last year with success

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

I don't see him exploding like Brad K did.

Geri (Canada)

David, personnel changes with two teams at JR Motorsports which could help them be better. I believe JR Motorsports have fallen behind and need to catch up. Bruce Cook could help but if not, Jr. needs to spend more money and hire. JR Motorsports is pretty much independent and doesn't have the Cup resources Rousch and Childress have. Your thoughts.

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Independent? He gets Hendrick equipment and has Hendrick as a co-owner.

Tommy (SC)

Now that Stewart has 2 wins and is basically guaranteed to make wild card does he go on cruise control until the chase starts?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Nope. But he can take more chances to win than most.

Sam (UT)

Newman was a lap down already and getting slower if your car is that bad move out of the way and respect people who have a chance to win thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Newman always has raced people hard. Jimmie and everyone else knows that.

silly bunz (orange ca)

what are you having for lunch today David?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Salad from Bad Daddys.

Jack (San Diego)

NHRA question, was Ron Capps the only one to voice his opinion about provisionals in NHRA? Me, as a fellow drag racer in the Sportsman Class, would hate to see them.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

A few others suggested it would be good, but Capps was the most outspoken.

greg,pa [via mobile]

What's up with edwards' seems to be 3rd best roush car most weeks

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

I'd like to know that as well. Maybe it's the jinx that seems to go with finishing second the previous year. Hard to maintain that kind of performance two years in a row unless your name is Johnson.

Todd (Georgia)

Do you think the JR motorsports cars are up to par with Gibbs, Roushe, and RCR? How much influence does HMS have over that program?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

I do. But the JGR and Roush drivers are better overall. And HMS supplies engines and chassis.

sir silly (orange ca)

Hi David,if you were in charge of NASCAR for the day, what would be the first change you would make?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

We answered that on Turn 4 a few weeks ago. I'd fix it so the length of all races allows them to be completed in three hours.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

I think Danicas biggest problem is restarts. 90% she falls loike a brick when the green flag waves. Is there somebody helping her get better at restarts? Its an obvious problem

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

It is obvious. She doesn't pass much on her own.

Greg (Rutgers)

With Pocono now being repaved, should we expect the speeds to go up there as much as we saw at the Michigan test? Thanks.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Could be. It's a big track and with more traction and a smooth surface it could get dicey.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

That's it for me folks. Gotta pack for Kansas. Thanks for all the questions. Will see you for more next week.