Welcome to Richmond International Raceway, otherwise known as Pastrana Speedway. It's been damp all day, but track is dry and K$N cars are on the track. Fire away.
What do you expect out of Richmond on Saturday? I'm sure drivers won't be as aggressive last fall, but should we worry about long green flag runs?
Actually, I expect a lot of wrecks. It's ben way too quiet, and I don't believe there's ever been three straight Cup races without a wreck. Should be fun to watch.
Your thoughts on the Bristol changes?
At first I was disappointed. I wanted to see more. But if the grinding will take away the top lane and eliminate the progressive banking, along with a softer tire, it may solve the problem. Bruton Smith is a pretty smart man. Sure he put a lot of thought into this.
Speeds are up at Michigan since its repave, and speeds are expected to be up at Pocono now. Do you think NASCAR will do anything to slow them back down?
Could go with a different tire compound, but don't count on restrictor plates.
Who are your last 2 in the chase and the first 2 not to make it at this point of the season. Thanks
I'm going to go with Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne. Their seasons can't keep going this bad.
I think what Bruton Smith did at Bristol was a great move. Not too drastic, as was first implied. Will all the notes gathered over the last few years be tossed out and the crews starting from scratch? Thanks #followme
Yeah, this will change the notes for sure. Not sure how much, but when you take away a groove it has to change some.
Hi Cousin Newt, I am going to win the Richmond 250 and Richmond 400 this weekend. You can take that to the bank. Regards, Cousin Joey
Perfect. When I finally don't make you my longshot.
After Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne's rough starts.....do they make the chase? #followme
Did you see my last two picks to make the Chase? If not, you'll be pleased (i think) to know they were Gordon and Kahne. Gordon I feel better about because of where he is in points and he's been a more consistent driver over his career. Kahne typically gets a win streak that could get him in.
Isn't the true test of whether the changes at Bristol are more appealing to fans going to be next spring since the fall race usually sells better anyway?
To a degree, but if the changes don't work for the August race you may see the track completely redone.
Will Jr win this weekend i think he can. having a good year one of his best i think by far what u think
Well, a far cry from one of his best. He won six races in 2004 and finished third in points in 2003. But he does do well at Richmond and this is the race I've been pointing to more than any for him to end the drought.
I'm wondering why people expect Dale Jr to win Richmond. I'd freaking love it if it happened but he hasn't run well there the last few years. #FollowMe
They pick him because he is running well and this is a track, when he is running well, he usually does well. Or it could just be a gut feeling.
When will NASCAR admit that their Drive for Diversity Program has been a failure? It continues to be mirrored laps down and Bubba Wallace is about 8 years too late. #followme
No need to get personal with the names. As for the program, it hasn't produced nearly what the expectations were, and until it produces a Cup driver it won't receive a good grade.
Do u think Jr will win on Saturday he having one of his best years so far what are urn top five for the race
He could. As for my top 5, have to try and remember who I picked on Tuesday. Want to remain consistent. If I very, do't hold it against me. But I like Hamlin to win, with Stewart Earnhardt, Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch his chief competition.
Will Jr win this weekend
If I say yes and he does will I win a prize?
I would like to see Dale Jr do well, but being realistic since he won at RIR a while back, he only has one finish inside the top 15.. granted he almost won before the 18 car skirmish a few years back, but I can't say I'm overly confident in his run this Saturday. None the less, I've paid my $50 to cheer him on Saturday night (or Sunday). Go 88
Sure he appreciates the loyalty. Junior fans are unlike almost any I've seen in sports. Kind of refreshing in an odd sort of way because they stick with their guy come rain or come shine, and there has been a lot of rain the last few years.
What's your take on the mysterious cautions that continue to plague the CWTS?
Bring 'em on. People complained so much about mystery debris cautions in Cup that we don't see them anymore. The cautions allow the field to bunch back up and I love double-file restarts. As for the Truck series, perhaps it's because those teams aren't funded as well as those in Cup and you're still seeing parts come off the trucks that you don't see coming off the car.
Who do you think the championship comes down to, I got Hamlin vs Stewart
Good picks, but I've got Johnson vs. Kyle Busch. I could be swayed on the latter, but I believe he'll turn things around. Maybe beginning this week.
How good do you think Chase Elliott will be?
VERY. He's a bright kid, and easier to understand than Bill. And according to Bill, Chase already is ahead of where he was at the same age. I look for big things.
Does Jr win before the all star race??
I really wish I had a crystal ball and could tell all of you Junior fans when it will happen, but I can only give you educated guesses. This week at Richmond is a strong possibility, as is Talladega the following week. And although it's after the all-star race, remember he almost won the Coke 600 a year ago.
Are you hearing anything out of EGR on a crew chief change?
Nothing at the moment. Montoya made a change before the season so they have to give it time to work. He's actually not in a bad position points wise with two road courses and two plate races between him and the Chase.
Progressive banking is always a highly debated topic. Do you think Kansas Speedway is doing the right thing adding it to the track? #followme
If they do it like Homestead did, yes. Homestead is one of the best 1.5 mile tracks on the circuit, which is why it is a great track to end the season. The South Florida weather doesn't hurt, either. The Kansas folks have put in a lot of work to get this right. They believe they can make the changes so that the racing is good right off the bat. We'll see.
Newt, it sounds like Jack Roush is ready to get Ricky Stenhouse in the #6 Sprint Cup car. Have you heard anything about possible sponsorship for Ricky?
He most definitely is ready. No sponsorship yet, but the organization really believe Ricky and Trevor are the future of the organization.
Are the pit guys (those that change tires and add fuel) a totally different group of guys that are hauled in on Sunday morning?
Those guys are brought in on Sunday morning. Some teams have guys who work all weekend on the crew, but the majority go with guys that fly in the morning of the race.
Why is Kyle racing in the K&N race?? Trucks and NW are bad enough but come on
He is in Denny Hamlin's charity race, but not the K&N race. And he's barely running any trucks. His schedule has nothing to do with his struggles.
How long can Chip be loyal to Montoya? If i am a target exec I am screaming for a new driver. Tons of money to be so mediocre.
Good question, but when you look at wher ehe is in points it's really not that bad considering he's done nothing all season. The more I study it, the more I believe he'll have a chance to make the Chase as at least a wild card.
What the heck is going on at MWR? Did Michael see an influx of sponsorship dollars in the offseason? Call me skeptical, but I see this team cooling off as the season goes on.
Michael, whatever you think of him, is a great businessman and great at keeping sponsors happy. What he did was work closely with Toyota, make major changes in personnel and improve the sharing with Joe Gibbs Racing. I don't see them cooling off at all. Truex and Bowyer as I predicted before the season will be Chase contenders.
since you have your crystal ball dusted off for today, is the weather going to cooperate for my tailgate and more importantly (matter of opinion) the race?
There's a chance of rain the next two days. But I never expected to see them on the track today after what I flew into this morning, so keep the faith.
kyle is racing k&n because he needs to win something soon or he may just take his ball and head home! And saying that he and Hamlin are going to be battling for the title is pretty funny. When you make a pick newt, it takes a lot mfor you to realize that maybe you were wrong. By the way, no way logano makes it through the season.
KYLE IS NOT RUNNING K&N. He is in Denny's charity race tonight after the K
With the success of the Truck race at the Rock, how about the All-Star race there in the future? Rockingham always had very few cautions, with was boring for fans. But the segments in the All-Star format would bring the field right back together. Plus, there aren't any races there, so it would be a challenge for teams to throw together the right setup.
We talked about that when comprising a dream schedule on a bar napkin at Kansas. Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to see Cup return to The Rock -- even the All-Star race -- it's not going to happen. Charlotte is the best place for that event, anyway.
Do you think Clint will get a win and make the wild card or get in the chase on pts. Or neither...
Will be close either way. Not sure he can get two wins, so his best bet is to make it on points.
What is going to happen with Trevor Bayne?
The plan would be for him to take over the full Nationwide schedule for Roush in 2013 and drive parttime for the Wood Brothers in Cup, then find a place for him in Cup in 2014. I believe by then Kenseth and Biffle deals will be up.
whats the biggest storyline so far this season.. HMS getting shutout so far, MWR flying high, bristol rebanking, or the long green runs we've seen?
Long green flag runs. I never imagined we'd go two full races without a wreck. The others are intriguing, though, and by the end of the season the big story will focus more on something a team does or doesn't do.
Why is everyone talking about the struggles of EGR but not the struggles of RPM? EGR is actually doing better in the standings.
Because everyone expects RPM to struggle.
I think Trevor would be perfect for Penske Racing as a third team. I can asure you that Roger Penske would not have trouble getting sponsorship for him.
With Penske coming to Ford that could open some doors after this season.
Is there a better place for kyle to jump start his season than RIR? Odd to see him and the 99 not running as competitively as we're accustomed to
Well, he's won the last three spring races here, but I'd feel better about his chances if he had threatened to lead a few laps recently.
It seems that with young, up-and-coming drivers like Darrell Wallace, Chase Elliott, and the Dillon boys that there is some real talent coming through the pipe and talent that can bring in much needed sponsorship dollars as well. Is there a chance we see Austin Dillon in a full-time Cup car next year?
Not sure fulltime for Austin next year, but I can see part-time and then fulltime in 2014. But if he continues to do well in NW then maybe grandpa Richard will put him on the fast train.
Are you attending Tony's Prelude to the Dream? He sure has brought in a diverse group of racers for that now. Just imagine the extra money raised if he got Jr in it, so why does Jr not get an invite from Tony?
Not on my schedule at the moment. I would like to go there one year, and it is a great fundraiser. Unfortunately, Dale Jr. has no interest in driving on dirt.
I'd agree with the green runs.. is it fair to say that the engineers have caught up with the current car making them very drivable? hopefully the next generation car mixes things up, I dont want to see NASCAR turn into an open wheel series racing style
It's a combo of things, from the car to the tires to the skill of the drivers to the tracks. I suspect the calmness will end soon. Real soon.
thanks for the chat, look forward to it next week.. see you then friend
Thanks for participating. Gonna wrap this up and get to interviews with Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Travis Pastrana.
Thanks to those that stopped by, and look forward to following those on twitter who said #followme.