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April 19, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all. Here we go.

Rust (Austin)

Mr. Hinton, Do you think that Joey Logano's problem is that he thinks a 19 place finish is a good day. He seems to practice, qualify and start good but tends to loose speed and spots as the race goes on.

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

I don't think he thinks that. I just think he's gotten to a level where there are 18 or 19 guys quicker than he is.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Ed, I actually enjoyed much of the Bristol and Martinsville races, but thought the conclusion of Martinsville was especially awful. I really was looking forward to seeing the 24 and 48, two masters, duel until the end. I'm not a fan of wrecking cars, but I do enjoy when the leaders are competitive, if that makes sense. Nobody likes a blowout, even when your driver is leading. People want leaders to duel, and if wrecking is a means to that end I guess most fans are OK with it.

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

You're in the purist group Pemberton and I were talking about. You do make sense on side by side dueling.

Kevin (Nevada)

I am tired of you reporters telling me how to feel about racing. I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday night's battle between Biffle and Johnson, and I don't particularly like either driver.

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

Not telling you how to feel. Reporting to you what a lot of others feel -- boredom. And trying to give you some perspective on what to expect.

Spoiled Milk (contains 2% Octo) (WI)

Can we all agree that Kansas will just be another Roush Racing clinic? Maybe Nascar should drop some phantom debris cautions so the race winner happened to be a non-factor until the last lap?Because having the dominant car win is so unfair and boring!

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

no, we can't. it could also be a hendrick clinic or an sho clinic, depending on who gets the better handle on a track that has different radiuses and bumps, etc., from texas.

Keith H (Seattle)

Ed, have there been any sightings of RAYGORDONREID(Zipcode Unknown) lately?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

No, alas, he's been missing in action all year. I fear the worst -- that he's shifted his interest to, say, rasslin'.

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

I too would like to see the winless streak end, so we could all go on to talking about other things.

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

oops, did i post an answer before the question? here's the question.

Richard (Virginia Beach)

Good article today Ed. I am not an 88 fan. In fact, I don't like Junior and feel people have always given him more credit than due. However, my receptionist is a fan and I am sick of hearing about his winless streak. So I hope he wins and soon so people will move on. Thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

They've fiddled with compression ratios for years and years as subtle way to reduce power. It's never ballyhooed much. No reason to think they won't do it again if they need to.

Bigman (Fla)

Any rumors about reducing compression in these cars? I mean, they took carbs and different old school ideas out of the engines. Compression is a old school way to make power. Anything to around 9.5 to 1 compression in the future?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

think i did it again. here was the question about compression ratios. will try to reduce the brain fade henceforth.

John (Illinois)

Great article today, Ed. But my definition of "great racing" lies somewhere between "wrecking" and F1. Ever watch a go-kart race, where 10 fast karts race nose to tail, lap after lap, just waiting for one tiny mistake by one, so the others can make a move? Where passes are brilliant, and the outcome is never certain. Where you can muscle by when you need to, and aerodynamics and "dirty air" never stop a faster car from speeding by. Follow the leader is not great racing. A straightaway between 1st and second is not great racing. Lapping the field in 20 laps is great engineering, not great racing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

Haven't seen a major kart race, but sure would have loved to have seen the one where little Danica Patrick, wrecked early by little Sam Hornish Jr., chased him all race and then ran right over him on the last lap for revenge.

Chris (21st Century)

Ed - I for one don't need to see wrecks to enjoy a race but I do want to see a lot of action (lots of passing, lots of aggression/bumping). We now exist in a world of smartphones, DVR's, 3D movies, etc. Basically, we live with information overload at our fingertips at all times. I don't think a lot of people care to put in the effort to watch 3 hours of cars driving in circles with very little action. Yes, the diehard fans will always watch and care no matter what but the casual fans are going to be turned off by what they consider boring races. There is just too much else going on out there to dedicate 3 hours to what people perceive as boring or lacking in action. Remember, baseball used to be considered America's favorite pastime. Now, not so much. And there's a reason Americans just don't seem to have a lot of interest in soccer either. We want action!

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

The high-tech, low attention span age is what Humpy Wheeler and I were talking about in last week's column where you change to heats and a feature rather than long races, and therefore come up with a live action highlight video.

Ed (Fort Worth)

Enjoyed the article today, Ed. I'm not for wreck-fests but I do enjoy seeing more racing for the lead - if Biff had gotten around JJ with two to go a la Burton and Kenseth a few years ago, there probably wouldn't be as much griping about the TMS race. Besides, you've said it yourself, Nascar fans love to grumble. Any idea what template Chevy will use next year? Hoping for the Camaro but not holding my breath.

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

No doubt about it, that Kenseth-Burton finish was one of the best shows, if not the best, ever at Texas.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who was the Last Sprint Cup Series Champion that had to go home from a Sprint Cup Series race because he was too slow to Qualify?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

The one I'm certain about was Richard Petty in I think '89, and he was the reason they created the "Petty rule" or champions provisional. But I suspect DW may have gone home in his twilight years when the champions provisional filled up with someone who'd one the title later.

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

i understand tires falling off, and so does Goodyear and so does NASCAR. We'll see it again at Darlington. How on earth people thought that was a great race at Rockingham is totally beyond me. Yes, tires fell off. Still, guys like Piquet led and led and led, and Kasey came to the fore when he felt like it.

J. Logano (CT)

Please stop making me your darkhorse pick every week. I haven't being running well lately and people are starting to yell horse puns at me.

Ed Hinton
  (2:16 PM)

You must be confusing me with Newt or Terry. I usually don't do dark horses each week, and you, fake Joey, wouldn't be my pick if I did.

mike (phila)

heading to richmond next weekend for the first time, how do you like the track and covering the race there? Is there anything I should look out for? thanks

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Track makes for good action. Watch out for speeding tickets, whether by Va State Police or Richmond-Henrico County. Radar is everywhere. They'll stop you for doing 40 in a 30, big time. Radar detectors are of course illegal in Va. If you get in and out unscathed, you'll have a great time.

mike (phila)

The 24 impressed me at texas coming threw the pack like that to grab a 4th place finish. Do you see that run turning his season around and do you think he makes the chase?

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

i think he makes the chase one way or the other, and think we'll see another strong run at kansas.

Saul (San Diego)

Mr. Hinton, if you had a choice, would you watch F1 or IRL?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

Normally I'd say F1, but those darn noses are so ugly this year, due to FIA safety regulations, that it's artistically repulsive to me.

Jamerson (Georgia)

There are alot of winless streaks besides Dale Jr.: Martin Truex and Mark Martin come to mind. All three look capable of winning. Who is the first to break theirs?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

I'm thinking Truex due to the overall rise in strength of MWR.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What will be the Race distance of the Nationwide Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Can't find the distance in the short time I've had to look it up, but figuring it's Indy, they'll go maximum for NW, 300 miles or 120 laps. Minimum would be 100 laps or 250 miles.

Fred (Bama)

So who will be Hornish Crew chief this weekend at Kansas ?

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

Chad Walter, who ran Justin Allgaier's NW operation for Penske a couple years ago.

john (san antonio tx)

Any clue on dodge? I think they should get every small team and make it the underdogs like one of you writers said. Harvick does he win?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

I think Ryan said that. I just wonder whether small teams incapable of winning would give Dodge enough bang for the buck to justify . . .

Jay (GA)

How likely is it for Ambrose to sweep both road courses and sneak into the Chase? He seems fast enough to easliy get into the top 20 in pts. Also, how bad would the complaining be if that happened.

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

Well, as we've seen, Ambrose isn't infallible on the road courses. I'd say the chances he'll win both are 50 50 at best. But if he made the Chase that way, I don't see much complaining because a) he's shown pretty well on ovals and b) he's such a likeable character.

Jake (Irving TX)

Hi Ed, why is MWR so good this year and JGR so bad?

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

One reason MWR is better is that they hired Scott Miller away from RCR. Why JGR has stumbled so, I don't know -- and believe me, neither do they. Hamlin was all wired in preseason about how much better they were going to be. JGR is back in the TRD fold after going on its on for some years in engine development. MWR has been loyal to TRD all along.

Vernie (NJ)

Is the fact that Kyle is still running so many NW races and his truck is running so bad making Kyle run so bad in Cup? Maybe he should sell like Harvick did or get a strong woman like Kelley E that runs JRM to help run his shop?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

I've thought for some time he'd do better in Cup if he stuck to that. He obviously doesn't think so, but it would be interesting to see him lighten his workload over a period of time.

Luke (Indianapolis,IN)

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

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

HAD to? Now? Will Power.

Scott (Charlotte)

Don't you think fans and writers look back in the past with rose colored glasses. I have seen some mighty boring races in the 70's and 80's. Quite a few were at Bristol.

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

A lot do, yes. Fans back then didn't demand the instant gratification today's generation wants.

Matt (Reno)

With the recent attention on Rockingham, Do you you think Indycar should try to pick up a date there to add a smaller oval to the series?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Not until and unless Andy is willing to repave it. Those speeds on that surface could be disastrous.

Layne (Minnesota)

NASCARs stock on 4/19/2012: Are you buying, selling, or holding?

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Holding. But the truth is, NASCAR stock isn't for sale unless it's in the France family -- Jim, Brian, Lesa and Bill Jr.'s widow Betty Jane.

Jenny (Chicago)

Ed... old timer... Is the "rich kids buying rides" a new phenomenon and a function of the scarcity of sponsors, or has it always been this way?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

Oh, we've always had some of that . . . see, "Jones, Buckshot," et al. But in the olden days it was more rich old guys than rich kids buying rides.

Rowdy Busch fan (Germany)

Do you think Smoke will struggle this week like he did last week?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Don't think so unless that crashed primary car at texas was also going to be their primary for kansas . . . which i doubt.

@HookEmNWhoDey (Florence, AZ)

Hey Ed. Has NASCAR ever considered having a "half-time" like a lot of other sports have? I know that has been in place for most of the All-Star races, but I was wondering if it has ever really been considered for Cup. Thanks.

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

No, they aren't looking at anything like that for points races. Last week I had a column where Humpy Wheeler and I suggested they consider an old-fashioned short track format of several heats and a feature. I asked nascar. they said nope, not for points races. So halftimes are out too, it appears.

Shane (Chillicothe, Ohio)

Ed, I think NASCAR needs to look at the tires they're racing and realize its not the tracks its the product they are putting out. Thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

We addressed that in today's column. NASCAR is happy with the tires and doesn't want to adjust by, say, making the compounds softer. You know of course that your hometown federal prison was where Junior Johnson did his time for moonshining.

Smoke Fan (USA)

Do you think Kurt and Kyle's days of winning are done the way they are running this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Not if JGR improves and Kurt hooks back up with a better funded team in thefuture.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

I am with you 100% Ed. The racing is better than ever, if people want to see wrecks they need to go to a demo derby. My only concern right now is that the beautiful new Charger isn't going to find a home with a decent team and will be relegated to the rear of every field. Are you hearing anything on that front?

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

Well, after talking with Pemberton about what a big deal the 2013s are going to be, I'm beginning to think Dodge is hunting fervently for a serious team to show off that car.

Ron (OH)

Isn't one reason for less cautions (40 this year thru 7 races. 61 last year) the fins on the left rear deck lid? Previously if car got sideways they spun out. Now the fin stops the car from going around.

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

That may be part of it, but driver skill really is optimal these days.

Eric (DC)

I agree with you and Pemberton that it's okay if there are no wrecks because there is some great racing going on. The problmem is that TV won't show it; they want to show big names (*cough* Junior *cough*) and battles for the top 10. If Reutimann and Almirola are driving the wheels off, but it is for 25th spot on the track and they are two laps down, there's no way Fox or ESPN will spend more than 30 seconds on those two, no matter how good the racing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

As policy we don't comment on telecasts. I would say generally that it's a tough job to get in all the goings-on around the track. And some audiences might not like it. I remember going to CART winter meetings years ago where one team was demanding minimum TV time for each sponsor/car. Network execs told them that would cut their ratings in half.

Marion (SC)

ED, Do u see Dodge out of nascar in 2013 ? if not who might run Chargers next season ?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

Well, after realizing how big the 2013 year may be, I think they'll go for a big team, maybe Chip Ganassi.

DRC ( )

Janet Guthrie was the best female racer. FACT!

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

I saw her drive nearly every race. Debatable.

Taylor (VA)

I understand the critics are upset about the racing, but I feel as though green flag runs allow for more racing than one would find having a caution every other lap, thus making the race a lottery rather than a race. I'm semi-new to NASCAR, started watching in 2005. What was Atlanta and Charlotte like in the 80s before the intermediate track boom?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Actually ATL and CLT were about the same as now. 1.5-milers with doglegs never have been conducive to side by side racing for the lead. atlanta didn't have a dogleg until 1997, but before that, it was about the same as cookie cutters are now.

Marcus: Aiken, SC [via mobile]

Dale Jr. has been so consistent this year, so what are the odds that he has a breakthrough and wins the title. He or any driver with a Hendrik motor is my pick.

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Oh, I think he'll make the chase fairly easily this year. But, once in, you gotta win some races to compete for the title. We'll just have to see about that.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Newt: Should we expect the same type of racing at Pocono this year or will the new surface actually create some side by side racing?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

I'm not Newt, but I think Pocono's last 50 laps have produced good racing in recent years anyway. Don't think new surface would improve that until the surfaces cures well.

Fred (Bama)

So what kinda of rumors have you heard about where Kurt Bush will end up ? & where do you think he will end up . I think JGR in the 20 or 4th car or MWR in there 4th car

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

No rumors out there yet. He's just struggling to keep racing this year.

Jeff (My cubicle)

How did buckshot Jones buy a ride?

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

His daddy was a fiber optics tycoon. Did you ever see Buckshot drive? And do you think he could have merited a Cup ride?

Ross (Texas)

Who do you think benefits the most from the Bristol reconfiguration?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Nobody, if it returns to helter-skelter. Brad K may lose the most, since he's been good on the current configuration. Kurt Busch has been good on both configurations.

Mark (Orlando)

At which race this year will Mark Martin become the oldest Sprint Cup winner ever?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

That's not at all a given. His best chance coming up might be darlington.

Ross Coningham (Cuba)

What are the chances Kurt lasts the full season with teh 51? Does Mr Finch regret getting rid of LAndon?

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Finch seems happy . . .so far . . .but sponsorship money is "a question," Finch has been quoted as saying lately.

Jeff (My cubicle)

I was pretty young back then. Dont remember. just remember the name. Buckshot Jones is a Cool name for a driver.

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

cool name, yes, but i've heard him called "that fool" by other ddrivers on their radios.

Jenny (Chicago)

Wow. Ed, you said the word "Danica" just one time, and look at the comments section of this page. Crap, if anyone doesn't think she's interesting to the fans and good for the sport, they're smoking something funny.

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

I don't look at the comments on this chat much, because the same old grumblers and gripers keep showing up, complaining before the chats even start. same ol' same ol' same ol' . . .

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Speaking of Darlington, what is Danica Patrick thinking entering that race? Besides last year's upset, that's a race for masters to win.

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Right now she's probably thinking she just hopes she qualifies. The 10 is outside the top 35 right now.

Bill (Florida)

Who is "that fool" these days? JPM?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Believe it or not, there isn't a really blatant one right now.

Ross (Texas)

Mr. Hinton, have you heard any buzz about NASCAR regarding a possible schedule change, or maybe adding a new track (such as going back to The Rock) for 2013? Please, no more road courses!!

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

NW may go to the Rock, but no way on Cup. No way, no how.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Let me get this straight, fans are clamoring for more side-by-side racing, at Bristol, you now get side-by-side racing, so fans are complaining that it is not single filing racing which required drivers to wreck the guy in front of them to pass them, so they are going to change the track to eliminate side-by-side racing. Were fans this bi-polar in the old days?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

You pretty much got the situation pegged, Boss. And yes, NASCAR fans have loved to complain for as long as I can remember.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

I think the 10 raced his way back in to the top 35 at Texas.

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

You're right, Rob. My bad. I was looking at something old.

Jenny (Chicago)

The 10 is 34th in owners points after Texas, 4 points ahead of the 33.

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Our latest standings have him listed 31st, I believe. Again, mea culpa.

Austin (Alabama)

Ed, Dale Jr is running good this year, with some of his best tracks coming up. Do you think Dale will win one of the next 3 races? I say that he runs top 10 at Kansas, contends for the win at Richmond, and wins Talladega barring a "big one" and the 88 getting caught in it. What say you?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

I've said for a month now that Dega is his best shot at a win. Richmond is also a possibility.

Ross (Texas)

What's your take on MWR suddenly being a player this year? Was it Bowyer and Martin teaming with Truex? Or did MWR just kind of learn as they went? Oh, and I wish someone would talk Martin in to running a full schedule again, but I realize I'm dreaming on that one.

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

Several things: learning as they go, picking up Bowyer, hiring Scott Miller.

Teri (North Hollywood)

I disagree with Ross. I'd like to see at least one more road course race... especially in the chace. Any chance of that in 2013?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Don't think they'll add any. I wouldn't mind seeing another one myself . . .or maybe move the Glen into the Chase. The old F1 race was a fabulous scene there in October.

Jenny (Chicago)

You are looking at driver standings, Ed. David Reutimann is 31st, but his car is 34th and that's what matters in guaranteeing a spot in the race. Sorry to correct the master. :)

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

Not much mastery on my part today. Looking at tables too quickly.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Thanks for the chat again this week Ed.

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

You're welcome, Boss. This has been a good group today.

J.D. (US)

Do you think Montoya's time in NASCAR is coming close to an end? I mean, he's been here since 2007 and has two road wins, one was fuel mileage. Im not hating on him, I think he's entertaining. just think that NASCAR may not bee his strong suit. Would a stronger team go for him if he's available?

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

I think he'll be around a while longer. Chip likes him and knows the team has been a restraint on JPM. IndyCar is just too weak to be an option, and no way JPM ever goes back to F1 unless it's with a backmarker team.

Ross (Texas)

Now, I will agree with a road course in the chase. It needs to be more diversified. But I personally find them even more boring than California. LOL

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Now there's a good objective opinion to close with.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Gotta go. Thanks to all for stopping by.