Welcome to Michigan Speedway, where speeds reached 218 mph in the morning session. The afternoon session is underway now, but I'm yours for the next hour. Fire away ... fast.
What Happened Did David Reutimann part ways with Tommy Baldwin Racing why is Tony Raines in the #10 Chevrolet at MIS?
Appears Baldwin feels like he wasn't getting enough from Reut, so he's going in a different direction.
Hey Newton! That last race was swell! I'm absolutely thrilled that Joey won his first race this year just as you predicted! Now that he's in the thick of the wild card race, what do you expect to see from Joey in the next 3 months?
Call it a gut feeling, but I can see Joey doing what Brad Keselowski did a year ago after winning at Pocono. Confidence can make up for a lot of ills.
Last week's win showed that Joey Logano doesn't deserve all the criticism he gets. Do you think this means Home Depot and Dollar General will stick around and sponsor the 20 next season?
Agree on the first part, but hearing Home Depot is looking at backing off its NASCAR program regardless. Maybe if Joey gets hot that will change a few minds.
I've never been more excited to be a Joey Logano fan until now! Does this win dispel those annoying rumors of Joey being replaced by Kurt Busch?
As Joey said, "I hope this shuts up" a few people. I personally don't think Kurt was much of a threat for the 20 as much as he was a threat to be in a fourth car at JGR.
Awesome prediction about Joey winning a Cup race this year! Keep proving those haters wrong, Newton! Love your articles.
Thanks. He's only 22. People need to remember that.
Finch said he and Urt would move forward and together try and find a sponsor. Is he talking about that Jerry Springer deal?
I hope not. Don't see that being anything good for the sport image wise.
Hi David, The Penske Cars seemed to have slipped a bit these past few weeks. Do you think the transition to Ford is a distraction to the teams? Will Brad need one more win or do you think he is safe to make the chase?
Not a distration yet, but at some point you have to wonder. Or maybe Penske will just admit he's going to get engines from Roush next year, which allows him to focus on the Dodge engines and maintain.
Has Urt's latest incident sealed the deal for him not going to JGR? Is Tommy Baldwin up next for Urt? Thanks.
Not necessarily. As I've said all along, I can see Kurt in a fourth Gibbs car if sponsorship can be had.
Hi Newt, now that Petty is officially out of the Dodge running are you hearing that Dodge will invest heavily in Robby Gordon Motorsports and make RGM the 3 or even 4 car flagship Dodge team?
Not sure if Petty is totally out of the Dodge picture, although I've said all along it is remote. But no, Dodge won't turn to Robby Gordon. I take that with the great sarcasm I'm sure it was intended.
Newt, do you think Joey's seat is safe in the #20 and do you see Kurt going to the #31, #39, #55 or the 4th JGR Camry?
Not totally safe. Sponsorship still could be an issue if Home Depot decides to bolt or cut back significantly. As for Kurt, I still say RCR and JGR could come into play. Everything depends on sponsorship.
I keep reading that due to lack of sponsorship Kenseth might be leaving RFR. Would he go to a 3rd Petty Ford?
RFR and RPM are pretty much tied together, so no. Roush and other RFR officials have said Kenseth has a ride there until he retires. So sponsorship won't be a factor. What could be a factor is money offered due to lack of sponsorship. If a Gibbs or some other team can come up with something signficant to offer with a sponsor, that could change things. I still don't see him going anywhere.
What will be the Final Announced Race that Danica Patrick will Race in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012?
She told me at Charlotte it likely will be at one of Chase races, maybe Homestead to close out the season at Phoenix and Homestead.
Hey Newt, with the way Tony publicly supported Kurt plus Newman being told to "test the waters" do you see SHR becoming a 3 car superteam with Kurt, Tony and Danica?
There's that possibility. Gosh, what a group interview that would be.
With Rowdy winning the last Mich. race do you have him down as a favorite to win or will Rowdy and Dave take it easy because of the two recent engine failures?
He's got the best 10-lap average speed so far at this test. He's definitely a threat. And when has he ever taken it easy?
Do you think Petty shot down the Dodge rumors because he doesn't want risk angering Jack Roush since RPM is a Roush program like Robby Gordon said on tv last Sunday?
Petty has said since I talked to him at Kansas that his first choice is to stay with Ford and Roush. To leave likely would mean finding a new shop. I doubt Roush will want him on his property.
Why would Jerry Springer sponsorship be an issue when NASCAR has allowed guns, liquor, movies, political, tobacco and sexual enhancements as sponsors?
You're right. And I doubt the governing body would have issue with it. Just seems wrong ... even for Kurt.
You story about 88 team playing it too safe at Pocono was right on the money and since #24 never won a championship with Stevie's ultra conservative, points racing strategies do you think Dale's lack of aggressiveness plus his average speed will cost them a shot at the championship?
No. And I was simply questioning whether they should have at least let things play out, pit when they absolutely had to for fuel. For Dale Jr.'s confidence, Letarte probably did the right thing. Running him out of fuel could have been a setback.
Do you think the Busch Brothers are utilizing Kurt to draw fire while Rowdy flies under the radar and Rowdy and Dave prepare for their most serious run at the championship?
Yeah, it's one big conspiracy. Hardly. Kyle got his wakeup call when NASCAR sat him for a race last season. He doesn't need Kurt to deflect attention.
When Joey 'rattled Mark's cage a little bit' with that pass did you think Mark let him get away with that because he brought Joey to NASCAR and Joey really needed the win while Mark is on his way out?
Nope. Mark said had he had the speed to get back to Joey he would have rattled back.
Since The Busch Brothers and especially Rowdy are the Bristol masters were they and other drivers consulted about removing the top grove and making Bristol a 2 groove track?
Nope. This was all a reaction from a half-filled track in the spring and complaints about the racing.
do you think taking the top groove away will bring back old bristol or will it be much less aggresive due to the chase starting in a few races i think it will give a driver going for the wildcard a great shot to get a win
Not entirely. It will make racing tigher, but there remains two legit grooves.
Has the France family brought any bulldozers to Austin yet? The way this year is going in F1, the USGP might just steal the NASCAR finale's thunder (especially if we have a less-than-stellar championship battle in NASCAR). I know I watched more of Canada than Pocono this weekend.
Way too early to predict a less than stellar NASCAR finish. Remember last year. Stewart and Edwards going head to head in the final race for the win and title was awesome.
Hey Newt! Thanks for your time. MWR has been impressive this year and the drivers are all over the speed charts at Michigan this morning. Can you think of any team that has had such a turnaround like this in the past? Who from MWR makes the Chase???
MWR has been impressive. The 55 with Mark Martin, Waltrip and Vickers is 13th in owner's points. It would be a Chase contender if Mark drove the whole year. I easily see Truex and Bowyer making the chase. The team has speed and speed typically gets you places.
Who will drive the #10 Chevrolet in the Save Mart 350 at Sonoma?
Guessing they will find a road course specialist for that one.
whats the highest MPH are the drivers getting up to at Michigan? and the MPH they are showing is that the avg speed on that lap?
They were at 218 in the morning, with a best average lap of 201.089 by Mark Martin. Yes, the speed they show is the best one-lap average.
David, any news on Kenseth's deal for next year and/or sponsors? Also, saw the rumor of RPM switching was erroneous, what % you give them to re-sign for next year with Ford? Don't see the reason to switch to be honest.
Nothing new on Kenseth other than they are working to get sponsorship because that figures into the offer. And I don't see RPM swapping. Never was a good reason other than Petty used to drive a Dodge.
Hi David, Is there going to be any bump drafting in Michigan this weekend.
Could be some in the straightaways. Wouldn't recommend that at 200 mph in the corners.
Why is Nascar allowing so much more testing this year?
Because there have been so many repaves, and teams need to test on the repaves to see how the track has changed. Plus, Goodyear needs tests to get the right tire for the race.
Hey Newt, we were wondering why Kyle purposely blew up his engine the last two weeks, is the pressure getting to him?
You really believe that? C'mon. He is too compeittive.
Hey Newt, we feel that Kyle blew up his engine on purpose Sunday, what do you think?
Hey Newt, we were wondering what will happen to Curt if he does something else this year that is bad?
Sure he will get another suspension since he is on probation.
Do you think crew chiefs are concerned about MIS than Pocono b/c of engine failures?
They've been monitoring those things at today's test and NASCAR believes they are in good shape.
Do you think that Clint's comments about "grapefruit" size is going to be true for them to qualify? LOL
Hey Newt, we were wondering if Gibbs will have any disciplinary action against Kyle for the malicious act of blowing up his engine on purpose?
What is it with you guys on this. No.
Hi! I just read that they may put restictor plates on the Nationwide cars from a JRM tweet. Do you think they'll do the same for Cup cars in time for Sunday - or decide after Sunday's race?
Nationwide cars already are restricted. No plans to further slow them down.
Do you think other drivers respect Brad K. for speaking his mind, basically at all times, no matter the subject?
I think there are a lot out there that wish they could be a forthcoming with comments as Brad K is.
Have Martin and Logano discussed the "bump and run" pass at the end of last week's race? The ageless wonder didn't seem too happy with sliced bread...
He wasn't. Not his style. But he said if he had the speed to get back to Joey he would have bumped back.
Hey Newt, any fines from NASCAR from Kile's diabolical act on Sunday?
OK. I will stop posting these ridiculous questions on Kyle and intentionally blowing his motor.
How is Ernie Irvan doing these days? When I think of Michigan, I remember his horrific crash in 94.
He was living on a farm in S.C. last I heard.
Hey Newt, if Kyle doesn't make the chase, is it time for Gibbs to fire him?
Sure. C'mon people.
david anything new on dodge , is home depot leaving ?
Nothing new on Dodge other than RPM isn't announcing anything at Michigan. As for Home Depot, those discussions are ongoing.
Do you or the KFC dude do autographs at the track?
Do you know that 95% of these questions are from Octo, using other members names?
Getting that picture now.
Joey's best chance to win his second race of the year before the chase will be on one of the 2 road courses coming up, this will secure him for the chase. Your thoughts.
Not so sure about the road courses. Wouldn't surprise me if he does well at Michigan or wins at Kentucky.
I think that they should put super restrictor plates on at Michigan for some super drafting and some super duper lead changes.
No you don't. Let them go fast for a change.
Thanks for doing the chats again David! Awesome as always! Who you got at Olympic this week? I'm taking Justin Rose.
Finally, a golf question. I really believe Tiger Woods will bury all of his ghosts and win.
Why do you think matt kenseth gets no respect as a "notable" driver he is WAY better then dale jr
First, he gets plenty of respect. He's probably one of the most respected drivers in the garage. Don't forget, Junior won two NW titles beating Kenseth before both moved to Cup. Hard to say "way" better. But I agree Kenseth is better.
How does logAno look soo far in michicgian testing
He was 20th in the morning session.
The chances that the Dark Knight wins Sunday?
I'd say 80-20 in his favor.
Does MIS have the safer barriers installed? When I think of Michigan, I always remember Ernie Irvan's horrific crash.
Yep. All good now.
Do you think NASCAR kinda ruined some of the potential drama at Pocono by taking 7 laps to pick up a piece of debri at the end of the race? Why on earth did it take that long, it was literally a 10-12 minute long caution. Did they want to make sure everyone could make it on fuel?
Well, according to Dale Jr who was on the track, there was a lot of debris there from one of the cars blowing up. That should end conspiracy theories since fewer laps would have favored Dale Jr.
Just curious, has a Nationwide car ever done a qualifing lap over 200mph?
Pretty sure the answer is no.
what tracks do you think will/should be on the list to be repaved?
Hmmm. They've taken care of most of the needy ones the last few years. Drivers will tell you they don't want any track repaved.
all the "different" guys asking the dumb questions about Kyle blowing up his engine on purpose are all from the same idiot... (octo)
Is there a possibility game stop if homedepot dosnt continue will sponsor Joey that seems like a logical fit to me.
Haven't thought about it, but could be logical as at least a partial sponsor.
When is Greg Biffle going to "grow a pair" about the fast speeds at Michigan. He's a race car driver, high speeds are expected and he's in a safer car with SAFER barriers.
According to my twitter account, many of you agree. He was just expressing the "what ifs." IF somebody is killed because of the high speeds then people will come down on the sport for not doing something.
Were you expecting the Pocono race to be as eventful as it was? And the speeding penalties just added a new twist which was great. Almost the best race of the year...
Pocono has had some good finishes in recent years despite the length of the race that put many to sleep. Not ready to call it the best race of the year, but it was in the top 3.
Is Danica worried about the new managment change at Go Daddy?
Says she is looking forward to classier ads.
How wild would it be if Robby Gordon returned to the Cup series and won Sonoma? Possible?
Very wild. Not likely, too.
How many grooves at MIS this weekend?
Really just one so far. They expect a second one to start over the next few days.
When do you think the 88 team will start taking risks to get some victories? Will they wait until the chase or are they gonna get aggressive soon?
The only time this year you can call the team into question at all was last week at Pocono, and being that they were five laps short even that is a stretch. My only gripe was they didn't let things play out and pit at the last possible momment.
Top 5 for this weekend?
Dale Jr., Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick.
Hi Newt: It's breaktime from work here in Jersey. Who is your pick to win on Sunday? will it be the #48? Thanks!!!
Now you're pinning me down. The 88 has shown a lot of of speed all year, and is particularly fast here. I'm going to say this is when Dale JR. ends the streak.
Tiger won't bury all his ghosts until he wins his 19th major. If he wins this week, he will bury the ghost from Nov 09.
I still believe he'll get to 19.
No What I think is fact and you should all bow down to my facts because my facts are facts and people aren't allowed to have an opinion that is wrong. Superior racing.
Is the Biff fading, losing steam? will he regain the points lead?
No. He was running third when his engine blew at Pocono. I suspect he'll be strong all year.
It's suppose to be hot and Sunday. Do you that will cause problems for the tires?
No, but it will slow speeds when the track becomes slick.
If NASCAR decides to put the plates on the car, will this affect the teams who ran in top 5 in morning practice?
NASCAR doesn't plan to add plates to Cup cars.
I don't even know who Octo is so he/she doesn't speak for me.Aside from Sadler and Stenhouse, who else is a threat for the NW title?
Wouldn't rule out Dillon yet. But the two you mentioned are the most likely to win.
How do you thing Mark Martin will do after a 5 week break?
The guy will run harder than ever.
Hi Newt! Who do you have for victory lane on Sunday? Thanks!
Dale Jr. Still can't believe I'm predicting this on the four-year anniversary of his last win. Difference, he'll win on speed, not fuel mileage.
Is Home Depot leaving the #20 car after the season of they will stick to it?
Still up in the air.
Your top 5 at Michigan.
Dale Jr., Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Again.
I think Jr. is doing the right thing on playing it safe. He needs to stay up in the points even tho he is really doing great this year, but he also knows he usually has a rough time in the summer months.
That is a good argument, and one I can't really protest.
Do you think giving teams a hard tire/soft tire option similar to F1 would be a good thing?
I definitely believe going to a softer tire would improve the racing.
What's the pole speed on Saturday?
200.032...just a guess, though.
Your all time best crew chief?
Thanks, I think.
I had tickets for the Pocono race and was forced to miss it. Did I miss a good race?
A pretty good one if you like 22 pit road speeding penalties, a great bump and run move at the end by Logano.
I read the ESPN column this afternoon concerning the high Michigan speeds, and I feel bad for Greg Biffle. He should be taking advantage of the spotlight on him now to boost his image as a top driver and become a star in the sport. Instead, he comes across as a whiner. I understand the danger involved, but don't these guys need to keep it close to the vest and at least outwardly project an image of being brave? Nobody is going to want to buy gear for a driver who is perceived to be scared or timid.
I didn't take it as whining at all. He simply was expressing his concerns. Give the guy a break.
Has the COT proven to save money for teams?
Yes, from the standpoint teams are able to take the came car they ran at Bristol and take it to a road course or a track like Michigan.
I have a gut feeling that you are right about JR!
Will be a wild celebration if that happens. I was here for Junior's last win and the emotion on his face was unbelievable. I still remember his fist-pumping and barely able to contain his emotions. That he had to keep his emotions in check the last laps hoping the fuel held out made it even more tense.
Regan Smith just lost an engine, do you foresee engine problems now?
I'm sure there will be the normal amount, but nothing that will get out of hand like the speeding penalties last week.
Two comments re:Biffle A) He is correct if speeds start hitting 210-220 at Michigan, it is dangerous...B) We are going to see restrictor plates if those speeds are maintained.
C), I don't see the speeds maintaining.
I dont think Ernie lives on a farm here in SC anymore. Got in a lawsuit with the neighbors who were selling their crop about people driving in their driveway or yard. It got ugly for Ernie
Thanks for the update. Still incredible the way he came back from the crash here.
Before you say goodbye, are you looking forward to Sonoma. Do you expect short tempers that will lead to retaliations.
I would be looking more forward to it if I were going. Sadley, no wine testing in my immediate future. Had to split up the schedule and I lost out on that trip. I did get Martinsville, though. Doesn't that make up for a trip to San Francisco and wine country?
Kenseth, Hamlin, Edwards, Johnson, Biffle my top5. Also, Woods just got to -2.
Better throw Dale Jr. into the picture.
Why is everybody getting so excited about Logano having his first top 5 in 10 months?
Because it was a win, because here has been so much speculation about his future with Gibbs.
If Junior won the haters would just disqualify it somehow with "He only wins every 4 years" or something ignorant. If he did win Sunday do you think more would come after that?
I do. He's been real close and once he gets a win I can see him picking up one or two more fairly quick. Say he wins at Michigan,I can see that translating into a win at Daytona.
Would Nascar consider putting on a tapered spacer on the engines to reduce horsepower at Michigan?
They have lots of gimmicks, but the plan now is not to go to one.
who is a better road course racer? JPM or Ambrose?
Tough one. Lately Ambrose has.
All time best crew chief.
Oh, I thought you were saying I was. Mind wandered. I'll go with the crew chief that has eight titles and is in the Hall of Fame. After that, Evernham.
Where do you think Ryan Newman Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex will end up after this season?
Newman at SHR, Keneth at RFR and Truex MWR.
David, fly trans love airways to San Franciscan U.S.A and catch the race.
What if Tiger and Jr. win this weekend? Will Twitter go off the grid for a while?
Could be. And what if Dale Jr and Tiger won on the same day? Wow.
Do you see Jamie McMurray having a job at the end of the season?
Tough one. He could be in jeopardy.
That's it for me, folks. Have to get back to testing. As usual, follow and ask questions on Twitter at @Dnewtonespn. Have a great weekend.