Greetings from the House of Blues in Chicago. Just finished up media blitz with Chase drivers. Now I'm all yours for an hour. Fire away.
Hey Newt, a couple years ago Kyle Busch made the comment "It's always the crew chiefs fault and never the driver" when referring to Dale Jr's struggles. Is that also the case with his team and do you think Dave Rogers will be fired?
Dave Rogers shouldn't be and I don't believe will be fired. He made a mistake, but Kyle has made plenty during the season as well. If anything, Kyle needs continuity for more than one season to reach championship level.
Newt, excited for the Chase to start and watch the 12 best drivers in the Cup series battle for the championship. Do you think we will see a surprise this year like a Truex or Bowyer make a run?
You really believe these are the 12 best, or the 12 best this season? Kidding. I wouldn't rule out anybody to be honest. Most wide open Chase ever.
Can Tony Stewart repeat his performance from the chase last year? If not who do you see At the bottom of the standings that has a chance of pulling off a similar result as Tony did last year.
After last year, heck yeah Stewart can win it all, although when asked to rate his chances 1-10 he gave it a 5. Do I believe Stewart will win it all again? No. His team actually did well the final two races last year, so he had a bit of momentum. I don't see it this year.
How about Richard moving CAT over to Paul and put Menards on the 31 with Kurt? Menards is used to a hot head with Robby Gordon and maybe Paul's dad's stores could help out CAT. Burton will be in a lame duck season next year, so how about someone (Kurt) that can win and help out with testing and set ups.
That would work with one problem, Richard Childress isn't kicking Burton out next year.
Why would Jack have Travis in the 60 and have Trevor at home. If Jack has that 60 on the track, Trevor should be driving it. I think he has earned that right. Trevor has been getting the shaft for 2 years now. Do you think Jack would let Trevor go if someone like the 43 came calling?
Sponsorship lined up for Travis, not Trevor. Pretty simple. Hard to say on letting him go for the 43. If he did, it would have to be with the understanding that he could get him back if need be. Personally, I'd put Kurt Busch in the 43 and have at it. That team needs to win races.
Any latest on new sponsorship for Smoke?
Nothing today, but I'm told they are going to be in pretty good shape.
I liked your comments about Kyle Busch in Turn 4. He has talent... that can't be denied. But his attitude continues to prevent him from becoming a truly great driver. That being said, what do you think will happen first... Kyle gives up on JGR and leaves, or Joe and J.D. Gibbs give up on changing Kyle and release him?
Not so much attitude, but mental toughness. There's a difference. For the question, I could see Kyle leaving Gibbs after next season and going somewhere like ... maybe Stewart Haas with Monster Energy.
why doesn't gibbs pair Kyle with Ratcliffe? they won 33 races together in nationwide. Rodgers and kyle are total opposites (which is prolly why gibsb put them together)
He's already promised Racliffe to Kenseth, but it might be worth an experiment these final 10 races.
do you think johanna long will ever get a full time cup ride with a COMPETITIVE team? I would hate to see her never get a fair shot when Danica is
Love to at least see what she could do with a quality Nationwide team. Have been impressed with her in spurts this season. More impressed at times than you know who.
Mr. Newt, my most trusted NASCAR voice of reason!Still a believer Dave Rogers is sitting atop the 18 pit box next season? I understand that when Kyle and Dave are on the same page, they're almost impossible to beat, but something has to change. Kyle hasn't shown the ability to go through a trying period and move on, so I'm thinking a change of scenery, per say, is in need.Lastly, how've you been feeling lately Newt? Your scare frightened me into losing a bit of weight myself, so Thank You!!!
Well thanks. I do still believe Rogers will be back with Kyle. The chemistry was building, and as I've said repeatedly when you constantly split drivers and crew chiefs up you're constantly putting them in a position where they have to start over and rebuild chemistry. It's why I admire owners that stick with coaches after a bad season. Feeling great, and good luck with the weight loss. You'll feel better and live a healthier life. I do miss bacon cheeseburgers though.
How would you rank Junior's chances at the championship? I will say, he's definitely one of the underdogs... but Steve Letarte is a great strategist, and does good at making the most of what could be mediocre days... we saw that at Atlanta. If they can regain the consistency they showed earlier in the season and maybe pull off a win or 2, do you think the 88 team could pull off the upset and take the big prize?
He's been one of the most consistent drivers all season and consistency, desite what Stewart did last year, wins titles. If he can maintain what he did in the regular season and win one race he'll be right in the thick of things. You tal about early in the season, but they experimented some once locked in. And remember he won the pole at Richmond.
Newt! Thanks for your time. I think our sport needs a guy like Bowyer to win this thing. He's always showing personality and seems to have a great sense of humor. He needs to start winning more so he isn't so under the radar. What are your thoughts? Clearly Jr winning would be the best for the sport but a new marketable star is probably the next best thing!
He is one of the best personalities in the sport. I promise to write a piece on that during the Chase. I've been collecting for it. Having said that, nothing would be better or bigger than Junior winning it all.
Dale Jr. seems to have lost some speed ever since his win at Michigan. Do you think that he and his team are losing the spark it had in the spring? Or have Dale and Steve Letarte been taking more risks with testing out different setup combinations in preparation for the Chase?
Not really. Once they were locked in they played with a few things. He had a top 5 car at Richmond and sat on the pole, but made a big swing at it to win and wound up 14th.
Please turn on the auto update before you start!
Hey David - who's your dark horse for the Chase?
Martin Truex Jr. He's been steady and consistent, and were it not for two amazing runs by Hamlin at Kansas and Bristol he would have two wins.
hey Newt! It really bothers me that we have 4 or 5 cookie cutters in the Chase. Take out Chicago and Kansas and add Richmond and a road course - it would be so much better. Does Nascar regret signing on with all these 1.5 mile tracks? They're stuck now and they are always the worst races, hands down!!
I agree. I don't like starting the Chase at Chicago and having five 1.5 mile tracks. But I like Richmond where it is. How about starting the Chase at Daytona, then going to Bristol and adding a road course in Montreal?
how do u see logano running at penske
I believe the change of venue and having Keselowski as a teammate will be nothing but positive for him. He no longer has to live up to the expectations of the 20. He can just go out and drive and be himself like Brad K has.
If Kurt Busch ends up at RCR would he be in the 33 ... and what is the likelyhood that Shane Wilson would be his CC...
That would be the plan, but before anything can happen he needs a big sponsor to step up. The odds don't look great.
That would be the plan, but before anything can happen he needs a big sponsor to step up. The odds don't look great.
Howdy Newt, who do you think finishes last in the chase standings ? My money is on Biffle or Harvick.
Interesting. I really have no idea, but since we are dealing with the ridiculous here I'll pick Johnson.
So how was the crow dinner for all of the media that said Gordon wouldn't make the Chase?
Pretty sure I never crossed him off my list if you go back and check.
One thing I find interesting is that this is the first time in the history of the chase that Dale Jr has made it 2 years in a row. Does that show the strength in the pairing of Letarte and Jr?
You'd think, but I'm sure there are Letarte skeptics out there still. I told people last year like I am telling them this year with Kyle Busch that continuity goes a long way toward building a top team.
You buddy logano is 18th in points. Hardly the chase contender you thought he would be.
I wouldn't call any driver my buddy. Believe it or not, I play no favorites. I did think Logano would win a second race and make the Chase at one point, but if you go back and look after the second Pocono that thought went away.
Another interesting fact is that this is the 2nd Chase Kyle has missed since joining JGR. The Same amount that Jr has missed since joining Hendrick. Though Kyle has more wins, isn't the bigger picture the Chase?
Interesting you noticed that.
I almost fainted when you said Kyle was going to be the 3rd best driver at JGR next year.
Facts are facts.
Looks like a person like Kyle, who blows up at the smallest things either in the car or off the track, is not able to handle the pressure of making the Chase or winning the Chase.
Funny, before the Richmond race another reporter and I discussed which team might choke. We both picked the 18. Look at that team's Chase history. There's a pattern.
While I understand Kyle Busch and his frustration during the race last week, I think he is lacking the maturity to overcome his emotions. I wonder if he will be able to overcome this at 27.....22 I can understand. To succeed frustrations need to channelled and I don't know if he is capable of that.
All I can say is Dale Jr. says age has him better prepared to win a title at 37 than he was at 30. Agreed, the frustrations need to be channelled into positive energy.
Tony Eury, Sr. being fired from JR Motorsports surprised me, but I think its the right move. The elder Eury really hasn't seen success with JRM since the advent of the Nationwide COT. What's next for the team? Will they veer away from up-and-comers to field more rides for Cup (or Cup-level) drivers to get their equipment back on track?
They have Ryan Pemberton working with Kelley to formulate a plan. But the goal remains to develop young stars like Keselowski.
I just want to know! Is it a sign! I keep picturing Junior Nation in prison chanting Deshi basara! Deshi basara! And Dale Jr wins in the Dark Night Rises?is it a sign to be that Dale jr raises the Cup at Homestead. His Redskins won Sunday with a rookie QB. Is it a sign?
If it is it is a good sign.
if 5 active drivers were to be put in the hall of fame as of now who would it be? JJ Gordon Smoke are the first 3 than the other two i was thinking Kenseth and Martin? whats your thoughts
I am all in with your picks.
Hey Newt, are Jimmie Johnson and the #48 team in a slump--or am I reading too deeply into his lack of JJ-esque performances recently?
No slump. And history shows the team that comes into the Chase on a high usually doesn't fare so well. And remember, JJ could have won a couple of the last five races had a few things not gone wrong. He had Michigan won before blowing an engine late.
whats the latest on RPM's Manufacturer decision for 2013 ? how long of a deal are they seeking ?
It's going to be Ford. Bank on it. They just are ironing out details. Don't believe the Chevy talk. They did talk to Chevy, but it's not going to happen. At least that is what I was told.
maybe I'm wrong but as gibbs given up on joey based on how ran at Richmond
Not that I'm aware, but you've got to believe the effort was on getting Busch into the Chase.
Do some people see KyBu following the same path as his brother Kubu?
Hardly if you mean being in a position of not having a top sponsor or team.
Do you put stock in the theory that drivers are better prepared to win the Cup after having lost a tight Chase? ie Hamlin
There is a history of that in all sports. You've got to lose a title to win one, as the saying goes. In Hamlin's case, there definitely is more maturity and drive and all the stuff it takes to win championships than I've ever seen.
have you heard anything yet on elloit sadler on what he is going to do or if he has a ride yet your thoughts....
Nothing has been finalized, but it appears he his headed to Gibbs to drive full Nationwide and part-time Cup with OneMain Financial in the NW Series.
How long will Go Daddy support Danica Patrick at the Cup level when(not if) she will be an abject disaster(although not of Duno proportions)?
At least through the current contract that has a year or so left on it. Give her time. Maybe she will be like Johnson and be better in Cup than in Nationwide.
Hi Newt, any word on who will drive the NW cars for JGR next year and in what way was Brian Scott's family $$$ contributing to JGR if Dollar General is the sponsor.
I am hearing Sadler in one car and maybe Truex's younger brother or Vickers in the second car. As for Scott, I'm not sure entirely how it worked, but I do know there was a financial benefit for Gibbs.
We're all focused on the current championship battle, but I've been thinking about something else this year... Jimmie Johnson shows little sign of slowing down, and he and Knaus seem to have regained any spark they might have lost last year. Looking several years down the road, do you think we'll see Jimmie win a few more Cups and break the fabled seven championship record?
I really do. That JJ has set his goal on eight titles is proof he has no plans to back down for a while.
so where do you think that tony eury jr. aka (POPS) will in up next year after he is done with danica patrick this year you thoughts...
Probably with another driver at JRM. Haven't heard.
The favorite to win the chase seems to be the 11. So who do you think is most dangerous chase driver outside the 11?
24 and 48.
with the recent crew and crew chiefs swap do you like the driver/crew chiefs combo's better ?
I assume you are talking RPM. I do like it that Almirola gets Mike Ford. He is highly underrated.
Hey Newt, am I reading too deeply into Jimmie Johnson's "slump"?
Waaaaaaaayyyyy tooooooo deeeeeeep.
Since you just finished the media blitz, are the Chase Drivers nervous, tense etc or business as usual?
Loose and ready to get going. The nerves don't hit until six or seven races into the Chase.
i know it is the day after 9/11 do you recall what you was doing that day when the plans hit the buildings that day....
I do. I was at the gym on the treadmill. I stopped in my tracks, went home and waited for my kids to get home as I spent the rest of the day and night watching on television. I was covering the NFL then and Tuesday was a day off, so I didn't do anything else but sit there in disbelief. Watched the History channel last night and was just as numb watching it again as I was the first time.
If you had to start a 4 car team, who would be your four drivers be? select drivers from the past to present?
David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
I would like to see Long in the 7 car next year. We could compare results to a certain other someone after the seasons over.
Great idea, and that would be fun to watch.
What state is considered to have the most NASCAR fans?
I saw that somewhere and I believe the answer is California simply because it is so large, but don't hold me to it. Try google.
In today's media blitz was there talk about the Rear-end suspension limits will affect the Hendrick cars?
Not really. They discussed it last week at Richmond and nobody believes it will be an issue. They didn't change anything. Hendrick will be able to do what it's been doing. NASCAR just reminded they and nobody else can go any further.
I would think getting Johanna in a ride with JRM after Danica leaves for cup would be doable, ya think? Junior's sister should be able to put together some kind of a sponsorship package for another rising young woman driver like her.
If she could bring a sponsor, perhaps.
who do you see winning the chase races this year you see like a mwr racing teammates winning it or do you see a like a hendrix teammates or one of the singles cars winning the championship you thoughts....
I see one of the Hendrick cars, Gordon or Johnson.
Hi Newt, do you anticipate drivers following the 14's lead from last year and making serious gambles on fuel during The Chase? I'm hoping not, but guessing "yes."
I wouldn't say big gambles, but there will be a few that roll the dice.
How many wins awill you need to win this years Cup?
Why did you say on twitter that Jr fired Pops? Thats statement is false on so many levels.
Well, if you listened to Junior and read what Kelley said about how tough it was to let him go ... just sounds more like a firing than a request by Eury Sr. to go fishing.
Where will Tony Eury Sr. be the Crew Chief For in 2013 since he Parted Ways with JR Motorsports?
I really don't see him crew chiefing anywhere. May be time to retire.
How will Petty fare in RCR stuff? How open with the note books is RCR? IE Shr Hendrick
Don't really see that happening based on conversations with people in the know.
Am I the only one who thinks that Rusty, Ray, and Brad look annoyed with Nicole ?
You must be.
I thought Mike Ford was switching to Ambrose?
Whoever gets Ford wins, and you're right. Been up since 4 am to fly to Chicago, interview 12 drivers. Haven't eaten and my mind if going.
Hamlin was on the Dan Patrick radio show the other day and said there were only 5-6 "great" drivers in NASCAR, and about 10 "very good" drivers. He listed Johnson, Stewart, Kyle Busch and Biffle as "great" while declining to critique himself. Do you agree with those names and is Hamlin among them?
I'd agree, but rank Hamlin ahead of Busch. He's accomplished more in the top series.
Hey Newt - so Kurt is looking for a ride. Hypothetically speaking - let's say RCR wants him and has a sponsor that wants him as well (let's say the American Psychiatric Association). Could one of the other RCR sponsors step in (CAT, Menards, Bud, etc) and say that they dont want him on 'their' team?? Do sponsors from other teammates have a say in something like this too???
Yes, he is looking. If RCR can find a sponsor -- not your funny -- the other teams and sponsors would have no say in it.
With Gordon coming off finishes of 3rd 2nd 2nd does he have the momentum to get him to the top?
He does, but history tells us -- at least the last four years -- that fast finishes in the regular season don't translate into titles.
Any chance Tony Jr follows Danica to SHR? Seems like he has been good for her.
I doubt it. Eury Jr. is a part-owner of JRM.
Mark Martin finished 3rd at Richmond and did not get interviewed after race. Don't you think his fans deserved to hear what he had to say about the race.
Swear I heard a few words from him. And what he says and does is significant. He's a big reason Bowyer and Truex are in the position they are in.
Hey Newt, thsi has been on my mind alot. When a car has multiple sponsors (Home Depot, Dollar General), do the sponsors decide what races they want?
They do. The one that pays the most usually has first choice.
What's up with the Jr marriage rumors?
Dale Jr. told me "totally false."
Best food Item at the Chicago race track
Will Kyle and Kurt split duties at KBM next year? I think it would be cool to see Johanna drive for Kyle but I doubt Monster would let that happen, and maybe even Kyle
From what I understand, the plan is to split the ride again next year.
That's it for me. Have to work on a story on Jeff Gordon's new mustache. Let me know what you think of it -- the mustache, not the story.