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September 20, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:00 PM)

Interesting week. I've seen Tony Stewart goose DeLana Harvick and Jeff Gordon pose with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and it's only Thursday. What's next? Fire away.

Nick Rolando (Orlando )

David, got to send this end before I go take my test this afternoon in grad school. Any news on who runs in the 55 outside of Martin and how many races that driver might run?Also, any idea on if Pastrana will run for RFR in NNS next season?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

I am told that it likely will be Vickers, and it could be up to 14 races depending on what Mark wants to give away and what Michael Doesn't want. As for Pastrana, I was told that was a one-race deal and they'd only look at it for next year if he brought sponsorship to the table.

RG (South Carolina)

Since the 2013 schedule sounds like more of the "same old, same old" can we except anything more radical in 2014 (new tracks, fewer 1.5 mile cookie cutters in the Chase)?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Yes, I suspect you'll see a few changes in '14 from what I'm being told. Not sure exactly how drastic they'll get, but I suspect you'll see it ramped up with some different tracks.

Jay (GA)

Who are some non-chasers (other than Kyle, Carl, and Ryan) who will make a little bit of noise throughout the Chase? I already know you're gonna say Logano, but who else? I have a feeling about Hornish, Menard, and I like the Mike Ford / Ambrose pairing.

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

No, not going to say Logano, although he did have a good run last week. Hornish did too. But other than maybe Busch winning at Talladega I don't see anybody outside the Chase making a lot of noise.

Jay (GA)

Does it seem as if Kurt Busch may have to go run a full NW season with KBM before he has another legit shot in a good ride in Cup? Are there any new rumors about his whereabouts in 2013?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Not sure Kyle would give up the entire schedule, and there still may be options for Kurt out there. Until Regan Smith re-signs with Furniture Row I wouldn't rule that out. And as Childress told me if he can get a sponsor for Busch he'll put him in an RCR car.

Jim (Houston)

Realistically, where does AJ race next year? Any chance of returning to RPM in the 43 car?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

Unless Penske gives him a shot in IndyCar, which I think is a stretch, maybe Champ car. I really don't see him back at RPM. There were unhappy folks when he shopped himself and sponsor they had around last year. Don't really see another Cup team giving him a shot next year. Not trying to be harsh. I really believe for the program to really work teams need to give drivers that have been through it a second chance. But AJ didn't have a stellar driving record and that is what teams are looking for.

Tom (Dallas)

I saw that Scott Speed is going to be basically running full-time next year with Leavine Family Racing. Would that be along the lines of a Front Row Motorsports/Baldwin team?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Pretty much. Good for him. He's a good guy.

Ed [via mobile]

You should apply at TMZ

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

Happy here at ESPN.com, thanks

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Is Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers running the 18 and 20 in the Nationwide Series full time next season.

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

That's what it appears from what I'm told. Just trying to work out all the details.

Brandon (Texas)

Hello Newt, do you think JGR would ever consider offerinng Kurt what thay offered Logano (part time cup - full time NW), it looked like JGR already had a part time sponsor lined up for Logano. That would be a power house team maybe better than Hendrick.

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Hey, I'll be in San Antonio by nightfall. Anywhere near you? As for JGR, the Sadler and Vickers deals appear set, although I am hearing the young Truex in the equation. Kurt is not in the mix there.

ted (monroe)

Do you think before Harvick retires he will drive for SHR? When the Dillon Brothers get to cup you would think Harvick would become the third man equipment wise at RCR wouldn't ya?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Guess I could see Smoke and Happy teaming up one day. As for Harvick being the third man at RCR with the Dillon boys, he is a long way from that and won't be anytime soon. RCR won't give him lesser equipment anymore than he gives Burton or Menard lesser equipment than Harvick.

Matt (Nashville)

How awkward is it for drivers like Logano and Kenseth to be at team meeting and around team members when you are leaving at years end?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Not very for these two at least. They have earned respect in their organizations and not shunned like you might see some drivers.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Hey Newt, on AJ, didn't he get his 1st chance at RedBull, 2nd chance after the DUI at RPM in '09 and strike 3 was flunking the drug test at Penske?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

You could argue that.

Shannon (Houston)

Who are your top five and a darkhorse this weekend?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Johnson, Bowyer, Gordon, Stewart and Earnhardt. Darkhorse: Ambrose.

Chris Fiegler (Latham, NY)

Danica ran a great 25th in the Chicago cup race beating Labonte, Ambrose and her JRM teammate Whitt so doesn't that show when she has a decent crew chief like Zippy she's competitive?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Sure there is some sarcasm here. But it was a decent run, and I don't think Tony Eury Jr was the issue in NW.

Ron (Smithville)

Hey Newt, do you think Rowdy might hire Tony Eury Jr. to work at Kyle Busch Motorsports and maybe even Pop's too?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Can't really see that. He and the Earnhardts haven't been all that close unless you haven't noticed, so why hire relatives?

Hector (Miami)

As an RCR fan we have always believed the team has been lacking that cup championship level driver since Dale's passing and wondered if you see cup champ Kurt Busch going to RCR to get RCR to the next level?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

That is what Richard Childress would like to see happen if a sponsor would step up. I disagree with one thing. Harvick is a championship level driver. He finished third in each of the past two seasons.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

When Dale Junebug talks about needing to win some races is he trying to convince himself or the #88 team that they're better than a 15th to 8th place team?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Seriously? They've been a top 5 team much of the year. I will say this. If he could finish 8th every race in the Chase he would have a shot to win it at the end, so he'd take that as well as any driver would.

Vernie (NJ)

Having you been hearing that whatshisname in the #2 has a bulls eye on his back and all the guys are looking to take him and all of his big talk down a notch or two?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Nope. Keselowski has earned enough respect to where he's past all that from a few years ago.

Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Newt, I'm certainly not a huge fan of Truex, but what does that guy have to do to win another race? Wins aside, I feel like he's run better than Clint this year, yet continues to be denied. Does he have to be more aggressive?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

You're right, he's had some tough luck. He should have won at Kansas and Bristol, but had them stolen away late by Hamlin. Winning has a lot to do with luck, and his just hasn't been great. Talent-wise, it's there.

Wally (NC)

Are Sadler and Vickers gonna ride share the Gibbs Nationwide Toyota that JGR offered full time to Joey?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

No, there are two NW rides available. Sadler will bring OneMain Financial for one ride. The other will be Dollar General. The third Gibbs car will be split among Kenseth, Hamlin and maybe a younger driver. Brian Scott I believe is gone.

Wally (NC)

If Vickers goes to Gibbs would he still be offered the Waltrip #55 for the road course cup races?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

That is the plan. Both are Toyota teams. And it will be more than the road courses in the 55.

Alex (Memphis, Tn)

Why does NASCAR insist on opening the Chase at Chicagoland? Chicagoland (and Loudon for that matter) are two of the most boring tracks on the schedule. Doesn't NASCAR realize that the national TV audience is way more important than the local track market, even if it is a large market like Chicago? I guess that's what happens when the same family owns the racing league and many of the venues. Personal greed is put in front of the fans and the racing product.

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

They like that it's the third largest market in the U.S. I get that. Unfortunately, that market really doesn't care that much from what I've seen. I'd like to see the Chase open at Bristol. It would require moving that race up only a few weeks in the schedule. Imagine the buildup if you put 160,000 in that arena for a night race?

Joe (PA)

Both Almendinger and Hornish have run nearly 150 cup races each with zero wins while young Joey has 2 cup wins plus a load of dominanting NW wins. Don't the numbers alone justify Joey earning the #22 Penske cup ride?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Yes.

Turk (Mich.)

I read Junior and Kelly let go the Eury's because they wanted to run Cup drivers in NW while they believed NW is for young drivers to gain NASCAR experience and work up to cup. Doesn't that put the Eury's philosophy at odds with the majority of fans and media?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

I didn't hear that. I believe Eury Jr left because he wasn't happy that his father was let go. Junior admitted he wanted Eury to stay. And Junior has been consistent that they want to develop young drivers. The plan is to drive Whitt fulltime again next year, hopefully another young driver in a second car if sponsorship is found and let Junior and Danica drive a few races in a third car.

Katie (WY)

Being as we are into the fall season, climate-wise, where is the coldest track in the chase?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Martinsville in late October I'd have to say.

Bubba (Michigan)

With the season nearing an end, at what point is it too late for Kurt Busch to sign at Childress or back with Phoenix for that matter? And how likely is it he doesn't drive next year in the big leagues?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Childress told me he'll have his lineup by mid-October, so I'll say then for RCR. Phoenix says Kurt will return there if they can get a sponsor ... and if RCR doesn't cut them off.

Jay (GA)

Is Robby Gordon done with NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Close. Not sure there is a good reason for him to throw money into it unless he wants to do it as an owner with another driver.

Daryl (Iowa)

Would buying Penske's Dodge fleet and running them with no factory support make sense for any team in 2013?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Sure they'd get a pretty good deal, except for the fact that the 2013 car will make the 2012 car obsolete. A team could use the engine, but the car is a different story.

Sam (UT)

Howd the car look?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

You talking Gordon's Ninja Turtle car or the Batmobile? Gordon's Leo Turtle car looked great.

Sam (UT)

Is the garage nervous that Jimmie came out that strong off the bat at Chicago?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

No, but I'm sure many fans that hate seeing him win are.

Andrew (Kentucky)

What do you think Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon would do if Stewart "goosed" their wives in public?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

First, Stewart is too smart to do that. He said he only gooses those that know him and his sense of humor. But if he did take that chance, I suspect there'd either be a trip behind the hauler to discuss it or a laugh. Not sure which one. Betting on the talk.

greg (la)

do u think johnanna long will ever get a good ride i think she has more talent than alot of the drivers that r in good rides

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

I'd like to see her at least get a chance. She's shown there is potential there.

Andrew (Kentucky)

Stewart said he's done that to Delana many times going back to the Nationwide days. If that were true wouldn't the cameras have caught it before now?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

He's usually a little more discreet. Sure he'll have a camera on him at all times moving forward from those hoping to catch a repeat.

Ned (SC)

Are Rowdy, Dave and the #18 guys testing new parts, setup's and stuff in preparation for 2013 and what does Kyle's excellent 4th a Chicago tell you?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

I'm sure there is a degree of that? What the fourth tells me is that Kyle Busch is one of the top 12 drivers in Cup even if he's not in the Chase.

David (Florida)

I have never held an opinion on Brad Keselowski, or been a fan of Jimmie Johnson. However with everything Keselowski does this season including the way he runs his mouth and pulling in front of Johnson at Chicagoland I've grown to like him less and less, and find myself actually rooting for Johnson to best him in the chase, something I would never imagine myself doing. I read all your opinions in Turn 4 and was wondering if I am in the minority of people who is being turned off by Keselowski.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

To be honest, I haven't guaged fully how fans feel about Keselowski. Judging from the more than 100,000 twitter followers he picked up for tweeting on the track during the Daytona 500 there is a solid base that likes him. I'll just say this again. The sport would be more boring without him.

scott (ddenton,tx)

so with the new aero package for the rest of the year do you think it will have affect on the drivers and the cars and do you see the new aero package go into affect in the new cars in 2013 and beyond you thoughts....

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

The new package this year hasn't changed much. The drivers tell me it hasn't changed the handling of the car much at all. NASCAR continues to tweak it for the 2013 car, so we'll just have to wait and see what the final package is.

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

The new package this year hasn't changed much. The drivers tell me it hasn't changed the handling of the car much at all. NASCAR continues to tweak it for the 2013 car, so we'll just have to wait and see what the final package is.

greg (la)

how long next year before penske fires logano next year if hes running bad

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Won't happen. It's at least a two-year deal.

Katie (WY)

Sorry if this is a repeat (chat dumb here) With it being fall now, climate wise, what are some chase tracks that have inclement weather issues this time of year?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Again, Martinsville. Often rains there and is much cooler in the fall.

Tony Stewart (Grabbing Delana's Rear)

Seeing Sadler is likely going to JGR with his sponsor....any reason they NW rather than Cup? I would assume $$$ but figure I would ask the man with all the knowledge.

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

You assume right. OneMain isn't ready to step up to Cup level. The draw of going to JGR over staying put is a chance to run some Cup races, too. Glad you're finally coming to your senses on who has knowledge, Smoke.

Sam (UT)

Not to mention the dillon boys owe happy alot for pointers and how to run at certain tracks.

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

OK.

Alan M. (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Dave! Top 5 for the weekend?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Johnson, Bowyer, Gordon, Stewart and Earnhardt.

Chris (Rutgers Grease Trucks, NJ)

Hi Newt: Who are you top 3 for this weekends cup race in chowduh land??? Does Jimmie win the big lobster? Thanks!!

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Narrowing me down, are you? Johnson, Stewart and Gordon. I'd put my money on JJ if I were a lobster betting man.

scott (denton,tx)

so with clint bowyer and martin truex jr in the chase do you see that mark martin is being over look since they are in the chase your thoughts...

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Nope. Mark has helped the other two teams more than you can imagine. I'm not sure they would be in the Chase were it not for his input and wisdom.

Nick (PENNA)

NEWT blaney looked awsome last week will he changle sam hornish for that nns ride next year

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Penske is pretty loyal to Hornish, and since he gave the 22 to Logano he won't give the NW ride away too. But Blaney did look great and has for a while. He deserves a NW ride next year. He could be the next big star.

Alan M. (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Dave! Serious question - do you think one of the Ninja Turtles that Gordon was hanging out with (preferebly Leonardo) would be a good fit for Kyle's crew chief, in place of Dave Rogers?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Glad you made it clear this was a serious question. I'd go more with Raphael. He's the one with the toughest attitude.

Dave (New York)

Dave .. did you see the Kevin Harvick Roast earlier this year? It would give a lot of people insight into the Stewart/Harvick/DeLana relationship.. Really funny stuff! Youtube it!

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I did. Actually attended it. Busted a gut laughing so hard. You're right, it does show how well they all get along.

Alan M. (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Dave! What Chase race are you most looking forward to at this point?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Martinsville. Love that little track and short track racing in general. Driving up there with a briskness in the air and leaves changing colors is a true sign that fall has arrived for me.

Scott (Charlotte)

Hey Newt. I goosed a good friend of mine and she broke my nose. How does Smoke do it.

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

With two hands judging from the video.

P (FL)

Should JGR clean house since Rowdys epic failure to get into the chase (Like JRM did with Danicas all around faiilure)

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Sure. get ride of Hamlin, Kenseth ... everybody. As they say on the Monday Night Football countdown show, C'mon, man.

Alan M. (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Dave! Do you honestly expect any improvement to Danica even with all of the changes? Seems like in most races she had a competitive car that she couldn't handle...

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

I do. Was really impressed with her at Bristol and many of her poor finishes this year were for reasons not of her doing.

greg (la)

when do u think logano will do a test with penske u wld think they wld test alot in the off season

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Not sure. I will check to see if he's in one of those cars for the Dega test next month.

Roscoe (FL)

Should coach hire someone to guide Rowdy like Josh Hamilton in baseball has?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Not necessary. Kyle has come a long ways the past few years. Lighten up on him.

greg (la)

how much time does a driver actually get off in the off season

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Completely off, maybe a month.

Bernie (NJ)

Since Dale Junebug outran both Busch brothers all year long, will the Busch fans ever give it up?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Never.

Bernie (NJ)

Still can't weed out the octo questions all these years later???

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

But I love answering Octo questions.

Mark (Iowa)

You mentioned there might be some different tracks on the schedule in 2014... any chance Iowa Speedway gets a race? Not sure where the date would come from?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Iowa would be the first track added, but not sure that will happen in 2014 or a few years after that. You're right, figuring out where to get the date is the hard part. Could see Dover losing a race for Iowa, but that would not add more short track races like the schedule needs.

Bubba (Michigan)

Newt, What is status of Regan Smith at Furniture Row and is there anything further on Kurt's sponsor status, as in has there been any rumblings of anyone looking to step up?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Furniture Row folks have been insistent that they want Regan back, but the longer they wait to make an announcement I wonder if Busch could sneak into the equation. Nothing more on Busch's sponsor status. I'm asking every week.

sam (ut)

who will driving the 2 next year in nationwide?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

No idea.

Rockin (outside)

gotta give you props for dealing with all the 3 year olds who change drivers names to something stupid

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

I like to have fun with it.

Turk (MI)

So who gets the 11 JGR NW ride? Denny?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Kenseth would like to drive a few race.

John (Star City, WV)

Hi Daivid:Where do you see Bobby Labonte driving next year. Cup, NW or trucks. If he doesn't return to the 47, is there any cup team out there that would take a chance on him

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

First, I like Bobby a lot. But I think it is time for the 47 to get fresh young blood in it. Where that would leave Labonte I'm not sure. Might be time to step back and hang with Terry.

Keith (Augusta)

Did Waltrip at least offer Reutimann the part time sked that Vickers has this year, or did he completely kick him to the curb?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Think Reutimann might have accepted that if offered.

Brian (Glade Valley,NC)

Hey David.I'm a big BK fan.I remember a time when Rick Hendrick said BK was the future of HMS.Then he said Kasey Kahne was the future of HMS.Do you think that Rick is kicking himself now for not finding a way to keep Brad?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

He was kicking himself when he had to let BK go in the first place. He realized there was talent in the young man. Unfortunately, sponsors didn't see as much potential at the time Kasey was hired as they saw in Kasey. He's pretty good too, you know.

Jim (Bayala)

Is Jeff Burton next in line to take over the John Darby job in NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

It has been two years since they announced Darby would move into another role, hasn't it? Not sure Burton is the man for the job. I see him as a TV analyst. One of the best quotes in the garage. Smart, too.

scott (denton,tx)

what do you think about ricky stennhouse jr jumping up to nascar and being on a good roush team and do you see him maybe start in a race that maybe he can get his feet wet a little bet as they say and he can be ready for next year full time and see that greg and carl help him out a little........

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Believe he'll be in a Cup car at Dover and one or two more races for Roush this year. Ricky is the real deal. It may take a year or two, but he'll succeed. Count on it.

randy (indiana)

whats the latest on RPM and Ford deal ?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Should be done soon is what the director of Ford Racing told me.

Padro (FL (go Noles))

You have it all wrong Newton. Splinter is tough as nails since he puts up with the turtles and should be Kyles CC

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

You do know your Turtles.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Is Michael Andretti working on setting up a NASCAR team for 2014 or is that dead?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Haven't heard that far ahead, but if he didn't take advantage of Dodge this year I'd have to say dead.

Billy (Farmingdale, CT)

Almirola in or out?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

I'll say out, although the Pettys do like him and he's been good with the sponsors. I just believe that car needs a veteran capable of winning races now to make the 43 viable again.

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Got to bug out a few minutes early, folks. Have to pack and get to the airport for a few fun days in San Antonio. Enjoy the rest of the week and the New Hampshire race. Until next week.