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May 31, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Hello to a Hot Thursday from Charlotte, N.C. Anybody going to Dover? Let's get right to it. Fire away.

Mike (MN)

What is up with Joey? Why does it seem he's getting worse and worse each week? Sunday night was an embarassment for him while his teammates were up front.

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

He has backslid a little lately, but he's only 16th ino points with only 16 less than Kasey Kahne who won on Sunday night. Joe Gibbs told me last week getting Joey up to speed was a priority, but as far as putting a finger on it I can't. If I could they'd hire me at JGR. Didn't sound like Gibbs was giving up on the kid, though.

Mike (MN)

Is the sky the limit for Kahne? He's been rolling lately, i bet he has a ton of confidence right now.

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

He does have a ton of confidence, and that team has been on a roll with a 5.5 average finish the last six races. Wouldn't surprise me to see him keep this up and be in the top 10 before we get to 26 races and the Chase. Wouldn't surprise me to see him win asgain toon, too.

Matt (Virginia)

How would you explain Carl Edwards dropoff in wins the last 2 years or so? How do you like his chances at Dover?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Are you kidding? He lost the title by a tie-breaker last season. Had he finished one spot better over one of the 10 Chase races he'd be the champion. He has slipped some this year, but he's still 10th in points. The worry is that he's not up front leading laps like he did last year. As for Dover, it's one of his better tracks. Perhaps this will be where he turns it around.

JoeB (Canada)

Hi David good read your artical on DW Jr. What do you think will happen in the next two to four years with all the you talent coming up many of the mid level (Joey L, David R,Casey M) will they be gone from NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Thanks, and there is a lot of talent coming up with Darrell Wallace Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the Dillon boys, Trevor Bayne .. just to name a few. You're right in that for these guys to get a chance somebody has to go. I don't see Joey disappearing, but some of the others you mentioned could well be at the end of their career opportunities.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

Hi Newt. Enough spinning it? I was at the Charlotte snoozefest. The fans want wrecks, spinouts and banging. We don't want to hear how well engineered the cars are and how skilled the drivers are. Also, Jr nation wants a win. They don't want to hear about top 10s or placement in the standings! NASCAR is hurting. When will they admit it?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Look, NASCAR just came off what arguably was the best season competition wise in the history of the sport. You can't for much more drama. I look at this as a lull that you might see in any sport. Things tend to even out, which could mean a super finish to the season.

frank (Kingston, Pa)

We had a Cuban-American and an Aussie on the front row of the Coke 600 so anything is possible. I look forward to the day when, sex and racee differences are so common the issue is not even discussed

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Thanks for pointing that out, and I agree it'll be nice when we get to a day when it's not a topic for media, fans or anybody.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Newt: Will this year's Dover race have more than the 3 cautions we saw last year?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

The way this season has gone so far I wouldn't bet on it. Or maybe this is when it turns and starts to even out. No way to predict. Dover does tend to breed cautions, though. We'll see.

kev (fl)

Any chance that Nascar shifts their leveling the competition mindset from extremely tight engineering guidelines to cost containment? It would be nice to see crew chiefs and manufacturers given some latitude for ingenuity while also alleviating the have/have not dichotomy a bit.

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

They've already gone through the cost containment period, and to a degree that will remain part of the equation. As for loosening up what crew chiefs and engineers can do, I haven't seen anything to indicate that. I like what Kenny Francis said about getting rid of the height stick. Would open up more room to adjust cars without costing much.

Shannon (Hampton)

Who are your top five this weekend? And your darkhorse?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Greg Biffle. Darkhorse, Mark Martin.

marion (sc)

david, sounds if dodge is draging on getting somthing set up for 2013...your thoughts ?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

Not so much dragging as there aren't a lot of good options out there. No rush. Either they get a stable plan or they don't. Might have to bite the bullet and take a setback in 2013 and start looking ahead to 2014.

Rusty (UTEP)

Hi David, do you see AJ coming back to Penske next year, I know Penske only signed him for one year and being 24 in points right now i'm sure is not what Roger Penske invisioned.

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Roger does want to get Sam Hornish Jr. in a Cup car next year, and Hornish is having a nice run in Nationwide. If AJ doesn't get going, and if Roger can't swing sponsorship for three cars, I could see the swap happening.

Phoenix (Floriduh)

What do you think it says about the Truck series when there's only 34 teams entered for the race tomorrow, but there were 41 teams attempting Charlotte?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Says teams weren't willing to make the financial commitment to go to Dover. Charlotte is a home track for most, so no travel expense.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Of the top 12 (Including Wild Cards) who do think is in the most danger of not making the chase and why? Of the next ten, who is in the best position to make a move into the chase?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Kasey Kahne definitely is in the best position to make a move. He's hot, has a win and only needs to pass Ryan Newman for the moment to quaify. Newman is the driver that should be concerned. I know he has a win, but he's moving backwards. As for those in the top 10 that might drop out, it's tough to pick one because all are capable. Edwards in 10th is the most vulnerable based on the way he's run so far.

Vinnie (ATL)

Did you really give IndyCar credit for having a better race than Nascar in turn 4? Not like you.

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

They ha a great finish, and the great finish was memorable. People don't typically remember all the passing in the middle of a Cup race. Sorry, but had no choice.

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

Hey Mr. Newton and Mr. Wallace!Racing shouldn't be about race, it should about the driving, and you are one heck of a driver! No questions, just want to let you know you have a big fan out in California, and i hope to see you in Sonoma ASAP!!!

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Thanks. I agree with what you say. As for Sonoma, you need to start a write-in campaign from my boss Kevin Lee Davis to get me there this year. Not on my schedule, but I'd love to come. Love the wine country. Actually thinking of coming out on my own just to play.

John (Illinois)

I have a very simple, blunt, and truthful answer to the question you pose in today's column... When will fans and the media stop looking at Wallace and Patrick as "black" and "female" drivers? Answer - If and when they EARN notoriety for being great drivers. That's it. Right now they are notorious merely for gender and race. Run up front every week, win some races and they'll be adored or hated like everybody else and y'all in the media will stop talking about their gender and race. Until then, gender and race is the ONLY story.

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Can't argue with what you say. Few if any looked at Tiger Woods as a black golfer after he proved capable of winning. He just bcame a great golfer.

Andrew (Dudley)

Do you think the "new car(s)" for next year will bring back better side by side racing and closer racing again?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

NASCAR is counting on it, but if you look back 20 and 30 years ago there wssn't as much passing as people want to remember.

Michael (Dallas)

Do you think Takuma Sato will win a race this year? The Indy 500 was dissapointing

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Have to give him props for going for it. If you put yourself in that position a lot sooner or later you'll break through.

Joe (Troy, NY)

I have seen several reports that the cars of 2013 will change the monotony of races. In what way? How are the cars of 2013 going to be different than what is being raced now?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

The biggest thing is they look more like the street model, which manufactuers and fans seemed to want. They're still working on wrinkles to make it a better performing car.

Woody Moore (Florida)

With Jr running so good what is keeping him from winning? He is having the best average finish in his career but still cannot close the deal. What is keeping him out of victory lane its boggling?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

The same thing that Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon out of Victory Lane a few years ago for lengthy periods. This is a tough sport and it's not easy to win. The key here is that Dale Jr is putting himself in contention with strong finishes every week. Sooner or later he'll fall into a win.

Ross (Havana)

Hi David,I heard Kurt Busch had another meltdown Sunday night at the expense of his team mates. How long til he's done in NASCAR? Thanks and keep up the good work.

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

I missed that meltdown, so can't address. Just because somebody gets frustrated with a poor performance it's not a meltdown. Why don't people complain about basketball players or football players that lose their cool? You know why? Because they don't get to hear every word like they do in NASCAR. If they did they'd be stunned at how potty mouth athletes are.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Of the top 30 drivers, which of these can you foresee someday making the Hall of Fame?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and ... those are my only guarantees for the moment.

JAMMER (UTAH)

With Joey's struggles in cup, do you think it would be wise to not have him race any Nationwide races & solely focus on cup?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

No,I believe more seat time is good for him.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Who's season has been more of a surprise; Biffle or Earnhardt?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

Neither, really. Biffle always has had the talent to lead the points and Earnhardt is just ocntinuing what he did much of last year with a little more consistency.

Chris (Rutgers Grease Trucks (NJ))

Hi Newt: What's up with J.J.'s pit crew dropping the ball at crucial times? You would think that it would get straightened out with that team, but it happens time and time again. What goves??? Thanks! Will the #48 find the winner's cirecle this week?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Remember, that team won the pit crew championship a few weeks ago. They had a slipup. It happens. I still believe the 48 crew is one of the best in the sport. As for Dover, nobody else I'd pick to win outside of JJ.

The Phoenix (Phoenix)

Any chance RPM can get things going forward after Charlotte? I expected more from that group after some really solid runs from Marcos and AJ last year.

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Baby steps. Taking the front row was a good step, but you're right they need to start getting finishes. Ambrose seems close. He was strong before mechanical issues sidelined him.

Danny McCoy (Las Vegas)

Newt, what is your take on Robby Gordon starting up a Stadium Super Trucks Series for 2013? Can it carve out a nice niche in the motorsports world?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

No real thoughts other than Robby doesn't have the resourses to compete with the big boys in Cup, so looking for other forms of motorsports to keep him viable is a good option.

Joe (Troy, NY)

When Greg Biffle was told that Carl Edwards' engine blew up, he said (paraphrasing) "I think mine may, too." Did the Roush team ever figure out what happened with those engines?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

For the All-Star race they just pushed them further than normal to get more speed for the $1 million prize. It happens a lot for that race.

Joe (Troy, NY)

What racetrack has the best concessions?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Daytona.

Paul (Iowa)

Do you think the fact that the racing is terrible and everyone is racing downforce instead of the other cars is what's killing the sport?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I wouldn't say it's killing the sport. And people forget we're only 12 races into a new season after a season that was fantastic. Having said that, NASCAR is looking for ways to make the cars racier. Give them kudos for trying.

Ted (Conway MA)

Joey is really good in Nationwide...too bad they brought him us so fast. Do you think Danica should stay there longer too? They are both talented drivers

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Agree, Joey was rushed up. Dancia is different. While it may help in the long run to spend another full season in NW, I believe she is experienced enough as a driver in general to move to Cup. She has taken it slower than many others making the jump from IndyCar.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Are you aware of which team in Indy racing that Dodge is discussing moving to NASCAR for next year?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Andretti.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

I do not agree with the previous Jr. Nation comment from who I would think is a Junior fan. I love to see 9 top 10 finishes from Dale Jr. thus far. That is the best in the series. Junior is going to win a couple, but it is the consistency that makes him a championship contender. The guy was 25th in 2010, now 4th in points. We need to stop concentrating on the winless streak and start concentrating on the HUGE improvement of the 88 team!

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Agree. But to win a title you need to win a few races.

Andy (MI)

Any updated on the Penske engine shop for 2013?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

None other than Penske wants to keep it viable in some form. I see it being sold off, honestly, to a Dodge team.

Aaron (Buffalo)

Regarding the headline on ESPN.com right now.....why would a minority driver lining up on the front row next to a female driver necessarily be a 'dream'? Shouldn't we all just want to see the best racing, regardless of what the driver looks like? I agree that opportunities should be equal, but those who make the most of them should be rewarded with the best rides.......not just people who would could appeal to new fan groups or represent NASCAR as a more progressive sport. I know, I know.....I'm racist and sexist......

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

What I was suggesting was that it would be a dream if we get to a day when that happens and it's not a big deal, where it happens normally.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Do you think Joey Logano will be back at JGR next season?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

I do.

Jay (GA)

If SHR doesn't get sponsorship for Newman, do you see him returning to Penske in the Shell Pennzoil car? I think Penske is much better now than they were in 08 when Newman left.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

I do not. I'd see Sam Hornish Jr. in there first.

nicu1985 (Wlimington, DE)

Newt, How much longer do you see Bobby Labonte with JTG Daugherty? I just don't see how that team is improving with him behind the wheel........ They have decent equipment, what gives?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Was thinking about that the other day when their press release came out. I can't see it beyond this year to be honest. Time to look for fresh blood.

Phoenix (Floriduh)

If the low Truck count is because of "travel costs" then why is it that every other Truck race this year has had over 40 Trucks entered? Last I checked, Kansas is farther from NC than Dover... and they had 38 Trucks at that race.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

It is, but we're reaching the summer months when teams start to cut back. They usually commit to the first part of the season to make a go of it, then hope sponsorship and wins come to help out.

mike (ct)

why does everyone in nascar and all the reporters that are wrapped around nascar finger keep defending the downward spiral nascar is going,and wont admit to anything but bs.the racing is terrible the new car is safe but absolutely sucks when are they going to wake up?the 1.5 mile tracks are killing the sport.10 cars on the lead lap with the 8-'10 20 seconds behind out of 43 cars thats pathatic.sponsors are slowly going to keep going else where if this keeps up.nascar needs to stop fining anyone that opens there mouth and face reality

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Wouldn't call myself wrapped around anybody's finger. My point has been the sport just came off a fantastic close to the 2011 season in which the races were praised and the compeittion for the title was closer than ever. Twelve races into 2012 is not enough to predict doom.

Andrew (Dudley)

What do you think will "fill" the stands again?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

A raise for everyone who wants to buy a ticket and a job for those who don't have one.

Teri (North Hollywood)

Just curious why Matt Kenseth isn't in your top 5 for this week's race?Please give Ernie a pat on the head for me!

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Done. Ernie patted. Hey, can't put Matt in there every week. If it helps, it was down between him and Biffle for my last pick.

Teri (North Hollywood)

Better driver, Earnhardt or Kahne?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

You go right for the jugular. I'll go Kahne.

Nate Collett (Vermont)

Hey David, am I the only one who's actually enjoying this season? This has been a testament to just how talented these drivers are, they can be driving a terrible car and still find a way to keep it straight (Kyle Busch, Dale Jr, Greg Biffle, etc)So anyway, am I crazy for enjoying this season as much as I am?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

You're not crazy and I applaud you for speaking out.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Hendrick ever comment on the mother of his granddaughter appearing on The Bachelor and now The Bachelorette?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

I asked him about it once. Answer wasn't good enough to share.

drew jon jon (san fransisky )

Hello Newton, its my good friend Phoenix's bday today and just wanted to get a shout out to him, happy bday pal!

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHOENIX. AND MANY MORE.

Nate Collett (Vermont)

More likely to win a race this year: Junior or Gordon?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Tough. I believe both will win. Who will win first is the tough part. Right now I might pick Gordon because we're heading into a streak of tracks where Junior hasn't been great.

andrew jonny (san fransisky )

I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your chats and please keep up the good work!

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Thanks. How's the weather in Frisco?

Clint (Dallas)

Who do you got winning the Prelude?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Clint Bowyer.

Ted (Conway MA)

NASCAR is still the most interesting form of racing in the US. I guess race fans just like to bitch..Like Robin Miller says about open whell fans

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

They do enjoy compplaining a lot.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

On what basis Newt would you go with Kahne? Junior has more wins and way more chase appearances...That is kind of baffling to be honest-

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

If we're talking about career right now, Junior. But if you're asking me who I think has more talent right now, I'm going Kasey.

Danny McCoy (Las Vegas)

Of all Hendrick's drivers over the years, who would you take in their prime? Gordon or Johnson?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Tough one. No telling how many titles Gordon might have if he and Evernham weren't broken up. I'd probably go with Gordon from the standpoint he's talented and is more marketable.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

Newt, I do not agree that you have to win any races to win the cup. It will certainly help but Carl won ZERO races in the chase last year and finished tied with Tony in points. And we will NEVER see anyone win 5 races in the chase again like Tony. You CAN win the cup being winless. I don't want to see that but until NASCAR puts more of an emphasis on wins, it can be done.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

I didn't say you flat out can't win the title without winning races, but it is rere. I do agree more emphasis needs to be put on wins in terms of points.

Sam (Idahoe)

I was at the race Sunday and let me tell you that Danica looks like a joke every time she is out there. She jsut gets lapped and lapped. Now she wants to do the 500, 600 double?? The Brand is getting old already

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

I respectfully disagree. Surviving 600 miles the day after finishing I believe 12th in the NW race wasn't bad. That she didn't wreck at Darlington also was impressive for a debut. Give her time before judging.

mike (vt)

what do you think about truex will waltrip resign him if napa doesnt want to stay with him

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Last I talked to Waltrip he planned to re-signed both, and indicated NAPA wanted to return with Truex.

AJ (Wyo)

If results and talent took priority above sponsorships, DW Jr. would already be in the Cup series and Danica would be at a go cart track.

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Agree, Darrell Wallace Jr. appears to be a talent that deseves a shot, at least fulltime in Nationwide. And that is the plan at JGR if sponsorship can be found.

nicu1985 (Wlimington, DE)

Any news on the Trevor Bayne sponsorship situation? He NEEDS and deserves seat time over 50% of them out there. What gives? Does he not have enough connects? or.......?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

That Trevor can't get a fulltime sponsor should be a good indication of how tough it still is out there. Matt Kenseth, too. Companies simply aren't writing blank checks anymore.

Nate Collett (Vermont)

When will Justin Allgaier finally get a shot in the Cup series. He seems to have quite a bit of potential but nobody ever talks about him

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

He seemed to be a hot commodity a couple of years ago but didn't get a quality ride. Seems like if you don't capitalize on opportunities they disappear fast and somebody else becomes the hot commodity. But you're right, he and many others deserve a chance.

nicu1985 (Wlimington, DE)

With that said, has Rousch really burned that many bridges over the years?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Quite a few.

Jon Drew (ol kentucker )

Hello Newton,Who was the nicest pro you have ever met? Who was the rudest?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Mike Minter, former safety with the Panthers, was one of the nicest. Quite a few I could name in NASCAR, from Jeff Gordon to Dale Jr. As for rudest, the Busch Brothers have had their moments. Never quite got linebacker Kevin Greene, either.

Kevin (Virgnia)

Gordon has ru well enough to win some races, which track do you see him getting to Victory Lane?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Sonoma would be a good pick.

Joe (Troy, NY)

I need to second Nate from Vermont. I may just be a Biffle fan, but this season has been very exciting for me, too.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Hey, I'm not the one preaching doom and gloom. That's coming from people asking the questions. Thanks.

Robert (Matthews NC)

Was it a mistake or a good move for Roush to get rid of David Ragan

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Necessity.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

Kahne has been in cup 8 years. Junior has beat him in points in 6 of those years- Nothing is pointing to Kahne being more talented. You have a right to your opinion but the facts are the facts man. 6-2 Junior...

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

And I appreciate your stats. I just believe as a pure talent, Kahne has an edge. Didn't say it was huge.

Vinnie (ATL)

Why do Nascar fans bag on Danica all the time? She was the first woman to lead the Indy 500. She can drive. Give her time to learn.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Thanks.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

With that, I have to call it a day. Thanks for all teh great questions and interraction. Always a highlight of my week. Have a great weekend. I'm going to work on my tan.