Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all. First, a tribute to Bob Newton, founder of Hoosier Racing Tire, who died yesterday. "Newt" was a colorful figure indeed during the "tire wars" in NASCAR of 1988-89 and 1994. His challenge put many a gray hair on the head of many a Goodyear engineer, field manager and tire buster. The tire wars had some very unpleasant ramifications, but they really stirred up the tire-supply situation in NASCAR. And, Newton was a mainstay supplier for ARCA and various sprint car and other short track series.

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

Hey Mr. Hinton,I haven't heard much about the "Clerified" rear-end rule since it was implimented at Chicago. Have any drivers voiced an opinion about the difference in drivability of the cars at all? I assume i haven't heard anything because everyone said it wasn't a change, so keep your mouth shut, right? Thanks for the Chat!

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

Haven't heard them say anything. Think that was mainly perceived as an HMS advantage and their guys aren't going to complain.

Andrew (Kentucky)

Hi Ed, can you really see the 2 Diloon's running successfully on a 4 car RCR team along with Harvick and Menard? 2 brothers sharing the same car like the Busch Brothers is 1 thing but competiting head to head?

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

I can definitely see them doing well together. They get along better than any pair of brothers I know of. Now they may feud some on the racetracks, but so did the Bodines. . .and at times the Allisons.

Jeremy (Perry, UT)

Do you think Amanda Beard's less than glowing remarks about Carl Edwards contributed to his poor showing this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Not a bit. he has moved on.

Tommy (Chicago, IL)

Can Jeff Gordon get back in the title hunt, and possibly win his fifth title this season? We saw what he did from June until the Chase.

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

He's hanging by a thread, which is why I rate him the No. 1 Feel-Good contender in a column this afternoon. It would be a near miracle and would be very popular.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Speedways will Danica Patrick Struggle the worst on in 2013 Since she is Racing in the Sprint Cup Series Full-time?

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Don't think any will stand out, as she has already been on the real "struggling" prone tracks for any driver, such as Darlington and Atlanta.

big jon (rahway nj)

what are the chances cousin carl gets his act together and delivers a top 10 finish at the monster mile?

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

fair to middlin. but that act has a long way to go to get together.

Jim (Babylon)

In 2013, who do you think will win a race first: Kurt in the FR 87, Joey in the Penske 22 or Dale Junebug in the 88?

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

Dale Jr.

Ron (Ohio)

I read where Rowdy thinks that Chasers should have their own points system of 12-1 so that 1 bad race doesn't ruin their chase like Gordon's. Makes sense. Your thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

I agree with him, and Tony Stewart has long pushed for that. I really, really, really would like to see separate points.

Rich (NYC) [via mobile]

Hey Ed! I would like to see a seperate points system for the 12 teams in the chase. That way one terrible finish wouldn't practically destroy a chance to win the cup. I think it would make the chase more exciting. Your thoughts on this? Thanks!

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

Another voice in favor of separate Chase points. Are you listening, NASCAR?

Rebecca (AZ)

Hello Mr. Hinton, are you hearing that Kurt Busch will be in his new Furniture Row ride beginning at Charlotte and how do you think Kurt and Harvick's old crew chief Todd Berrier will work together?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

Charlotte it is, by all indications. And no crew chief that I know of has ever had an entirely smooth time with Kurt.

Sonny (NC)

Hi Ed, long time fan you your work. How close do you think Burton was to being out of the #31 and do you think Kurt Busch only agreed to a 1 year deal with @FR87Racing because he and Childress are planning on Kurt taking that ride in 2014?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

From what I've read that he has said, Burton wasn't worried at all. Childress has of course expressed a lot of interest in Kurt, but only if he can find sponsorship. I don't see Childress pushing out Burton for Kurt.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

Ed, I miss the old IROC races and was thinking, during the chase, if NASCAR would have some kind of 'ROC' between only the chasers during the week with identical set up cars, it would be a blast. Like maybe Friday night or something. It would add to the race experience and be fun I think. Make it a short race like IROC was and all. Maybe even Dodge/Fiat could keep in the mix with identical Chargers set up or something. You would still have the Chase of course, but just a little added extra excitement for the fans.

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

Well, that "Identically prepared" stuff was highly controversial even in the heyday. I remember Foyt pulled out of an IROC in Atlanta and left before the race because his car was so unequal. As much fun as your suggestion would be, it would be enormously expensive, and that's what killed off the IROC -- lack of sponsorship.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

If Kurt Busch drive the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet Beginning in Charlotte, who will drive the #51 for the Rest of the 2012 Season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

Well, the Dinger is eligible, but what about Regan Smith himself? Wouldn't that be cool? two independent underdogs going at it.

Scott (ny)

any news om RMP and ford

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

not since we all heard that they were very close.

George (Smith Mt. Lake, Va)

Do you see Pop Pop moving Ty up to the #2 in Nationwide a year early? Seems RCR spread themselves too thin this year with trucks, Nationwide, and Cup. Ty is the real deal and has ran great the the handfull of Nationwide races he has been in this year.

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

Pop Pop is pretty excited about all this, so whether the RCR side of him will stick to schedule probably depends on sponsorship.

Aaron (Bath, ME)

Is there anybody who could beat Jimmie Johnson at Dover this weekend?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

How about this one out of nowhere? Denny Hamlin, who considers Dover his worst remaining Chase track, rides the advice of his sports psychologist to an upset of JJ?

Claudia (Western NY)

Parker Kligerman seems to be a good driver with a lot of potential. Why did Brad K. fire him from his truck team?

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Don't know the answer on that one. But Brad K obviously has to be mighty high on Ryan Blaney at this point.

George (Smith Mt. Lake, Va)

Richard is the big winner in the Kurt deal. He gets Kurt racing and testing his equipment w/o the headaches of being his owner. Do you think we will see a major improment in RCR/FRR equipement next year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Oh, I don't think RC considers Kurt a headache. He kind of enjoys the tough personalities -- remember Jeff Green, Robby Gordon and even Harvick himself. Kurt will be valuable input, but don't think he alone will cause blatant improvement in the equipment.

Ryan (WI)

Cat falls short of expect earnings. Going to effect there Cup involvement?

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

Not for the extent of their current contract, but I don't know how many years are left. They seem to have found their NASCAR investment cost-effective, though, because they've been in it for so long.

Tony (Spokane, Wa)

Have you heard any update on Allmendinger ? Where might he end up ?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

He's being mentioned as a possibility to replace Kurt in the 51 car after Talladega, but I'd say Regan Smith should be the frontrunner there. I think Dinger's best shot is back in IndyCar. He's really good in open wheel.

Andi (FL)

Hey Ed, be honest (we know you are a Kyle fan) but do you think The Dillon brothers are going to be the best brothers ever in NASCAR?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

Now how on earth could we predict a thing like that, this soon?

Scott (Charlotte)

After hearing what Cole Whitt said last week about it was the first time that the two teams shared information, I take it that JRM was pretty disfunctional

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

Something wasn't right there, that's for sure. And still isn't. I'm not at all sure there are any easy fixes for Ryan Pemberton.

Hyde (Houston, TX)

What are the chances that FOX will come to their senses and get DW out of the booth before the start of next season ? I understand the guy is an icon but no friend or fan I have talked to can stand him and it seems to me that he scares away any new potential fans.

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

We're not supposed to comment on telecasts, but I'll tell you that DW has to be very popular with the majority of audience. Also, he's capable of being much more sophisticated, but DW as a cutup is apparently what the viewers prefer.

Ed Hinton
  (2:25 PM)

Biff could go on a quick tear at places like Charlotte and Texas. And Jeff Gordon is still entirely capable of knocking out a win or two.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Of the current crop of race drivers, who do you think would make the best commentator and why?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards have already done some trial appearances and both looked and sounded quite good. As articulate as all of 'em are today, many would be good, except perhaps with the really soft spoken ones such as JJ and KK. Brad K would be spectacular.

Jack (TX)

Don't you think that Burton will be replaced by Austin? Austin will have two years in NW and Burtons contract will be up. Thats more logical than bringing in Kurt and his sponsorless self.

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

Whenever Burton leaves, and we don't know when that will be, I'd say yes, either Austin or Ty will replace him.

Jay (GA)

Is Kurt no longer going to be able to drive for his bro since FRR is Chevy-backed?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

Well, so is Phoenix Racing. Chevy apparently doesn't kick a lot about the mid-level teams.

Jeff (SC)

I havent even looked at a nascar article or watched a race since football started. I hate that. I love nascar and think they should shorten season

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

Is that because you're covered up with football? I agree, I'd like to see the season shortened, though.

Turk (Mich.)

Do you think The Busch Brothers have little patience with crew chiefs because their dad Tom Busch taught his boys how to work on race cars and Rowdy was even Kurt's first crew chief?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

No, I don't think that's it. Yes, they learned race cars from the ground up, but impatience is what it is.

Claudia (Western NY)

Though he wouldn't admit it, do you think Smoke regrets letting Darian Grubb go?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

Probably not. I think he's happy with Addington.

Kristin (NYC)

If Mike Helton were to retire, who would/should be the new Sheriff of NASCAR?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Why, Darrell Waltrip, of course.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

Lets say my guy wins in Talledega and finishes third overall in the championship standings. Where would you put him on the list of contenders for 2013?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

who's your guy?

Scott (Charlotte)

Was there a time when NASCAR used "replacment drivers". I think it was in Talledaga. I hope they were better than the replacement refs!

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

It was Talladega, 1969, first Cup race there. They threw the kitchen sink onto the track to replace the stars, but there was no TV to show how inadequate the replacement show was.

Sam (UT)

will nascar take the points off talladega and daytona just let the guys race and not have to worry about points?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Never. I think deep down, NASCAR loves how the two casinos stir the pot. Especially Dega during the Chase.

Jack (TX)

What is the SHR anouncment that is coming up? Bass Pro for Smoke maybe?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

One thing's for sure, Smoke has gotten along really well with the CEO of Bass Pro for a long time.

Vernie (NJ)

Since Mr. Hendrick owns JR Motorsports with Dale and Kerry, why doesn't he take a more active role in getting that organization up to the NW standards of Gibbs, Penske, Roush and Childress?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

For whatever reasons, Rick seems to want to keep a low profile there.

Jay (GA)

Wouldn't a proven winner like Regan Smith or David Reutimann be a better fit in the 43 than Almirola?

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

I think Regan Smith would be a good fit anywhere. talk about a guy who's had lousy luck.

Sam (UT)

I think DW is what an older kyle busch will be.

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

DW has told me several times that Kyle reminds him of himself.

Hyde (Houston, TX)

Ok so a no brainer, if Menard did not have the sponsorship he would be out of the sport by now, right ? Really wish NASCAR would be more talent driven as opposed to all about the dollars.

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

There have always been bought rides in NASCAR. Not as blatantly as in F1 and Indy cars, but they've been there.

JL (KC)

I'm assuming Boston for 15 likes the...erm...15 car. :)

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

Oh. Moving in a hurry on this chat, and screen name numbers don't register all the time. Bowyer is a strong contender for '13 regardless.

Jack (TX)

Since when does Kerry own JRM? Kelley does.

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

Correct, but i was assuming everyone would catch that typo. and i think it was a typo on the questioner's part.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Can anybody not named Jimmie or Brad win the cup this season?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

Probably not, to be honest.

Frank (Brentwood)

Johnson has won the Chase 5 times, while Gordon is a 4 time Cup Champion. If they did not have the Chase, Gordon would be a 6 time Cup Champ, while Johnson would have one Cup title as well. Who will history judge as the better of the two?

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

That's why they call it history. To look back 30 years and THEN decide in retrospect.

Sam (UT)

I think this weekend is JJ's race to lose. Thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

You're pretty close.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

Fantastic article today, Ed! So true that anti-JR nation would savage Dale. I certainly would point out that his only win was the one that everyone "gave him" after he took the lead in Michigan. Go Clint!

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Sorry I missed your number earlier, 15. But I'm not sure junior was given a win. But you and I agree that Anti-Junior Nation would kick up a storm were he to win the title.

Frank (Brentwood)

Is Burton history or will Childress turn his teams around and bring Jeff back in the Cat car for another year, per his contract?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

Oh, he's back, at least from what I've read he's said. Said he never was worried about it.

Timmy (NJ)

Hey Ed, how do I explain it to people that just do not understand that just because Johanna gets RCR stuff, does not mean that she is driving cars that are equal to RCR?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Just tell them it matters who is putting the stuff together.

Stu (Ohio)

Drivers like AJ, Reut, Smith, Sadler, Speed, Vickers, Mears, Baine etc. have all had loads of races to prove themselves so if they were gonna get the job done wouldn't they have been successful by now?

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

They should have had more stick-out performances, yes.

Chris (NJ)

I agree with Hyde in TX. D.W. is an uneducated country bumpkin redneck. Let him retire and drink cheap beer!

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

I have known DW for nearly 40 years, and one thing he is not is an undeducated bumpkin. He's plenty smart and can be plenty polished when he wants to be. A lot of his TV persona is just that -- for effect.

Frank (Brentwood)

What story would you like to be able to write over the final 8 races?

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

Jeff Gordon staging the most amazing comeback in NASCAR history, for one. Brad K taking the nascarchampionship persona to a new level, for another.

Sav (UK Berkshire)

Hi Ed, with the revised cars next season, will the racing get better on 1.5 mile circuits? Its really boring at the moment.

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

They're certainly working on making things better on the cookie cutters.

Chris (NJ)

I stand corrected, Ed. You obviously know him better than I do. I apologize if he graduated college with a Bachelors degree.

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

He went to college but didn't graduate. Went racing instead. But believe me, the guy was entirely capable of graduating if he'd stuck with it.

Jay (GA)

Dont you think Biffle winning a title in all 3 series be just as good of a story than the Gordon comeback and Bad Brad winning? I think it would be better

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

Na, I can't see that it would be better . . . because it would have been spread out over so many years. . .

Brad (TX)

Will Jeff Gordon stage the "most amazing comeback in NASCAR history," as you put it?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

No, but it's fun to imagine.

Arnie (PA)

Do you think Richard will be running Kurt in NW next year to help tutor the twins or will Kurt still run the KBM Camry for Monster?

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

That'd be a mighty high-priced tutor. Pop Pop will spend all the money on the boys, not a tutor.

DAVE (NC)

do u think riggs will get a chance at antoher top nw or truck ride...hes had the worst luck . first the everham deal the the haas deal.. he did smoke a favor keeping that car in the top 35..so is he sticking around to keep his name out there...ur thoughts

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Be awful hard for him to get any more traction at this stage.

Matt (Albuquerque)

For the record, at least I would feel good about a 6th championship for the 48. I wasn't big on JJ when I first started following the sport, but he and Knaus have grown on me over the years. I like seeing athletes get rewarded for their hard work and by several accounts JJ has worked for every bit of his success (albeit with exceptional equipment and crew). I'd love to see him get 7 championships or at least knock on the door of it.

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

Good for you. Refreshing thoughts. Yes, going for a seventh one to tie Petty and Earnhardt -- now thatwould be a great story.

Ssoruoykcuf (Metwest)

Hey Ed, we were wondering what would happen to Kurt if he did not behave himself next year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

Probably down the slippery slope some more, but not out . . .

Scott (Charlotte)

The chat is making me laugh today. Back in the day, people hated Waltrip because they thought he was a big city boy and not enough country

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

there you go, Scott! Glad to see someone who remembers that.

Todd (GA.)

Do you think JR Motorsports is so far behind because of the Eury's or does maybe Kelley need to be replaced?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

She doesn't work on the cars, that I know of.

Sav (UK Berkshire)

Hi Ed, have you seen a better season of F1 than 2012, so far? Every Grand Prix has been exceptional, even on circuits which have been hard to overtake on. I've loved it.

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

It has indeed been the best F1 season in my memory. My son follows F1 closely and has been loving it all year. What's great is that there's been no dominator as in so many past years.

Sam (UT)

Any word on who will take over the #51 car after dega??

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

The best guessing I see has a switcheroo with Regan Smith going to the 51, or if not him, maybe Dinger.

Grant (Harrisburg, PA)

What do you think the best analogy from another sport would be to Gordon winning the title this year? My pick would be Jack Nicklaus winning his sixth Masters at age 46.

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

That would be one. Another would be the New York Giants' rundown of the Brooklyn Dodgers from about 13 games back at the end of the '52 season.

John (Orlando)

Is darrell Wallace jr the real deal?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

Yessir, he sure looks like it to me. Brilliant spurts of driving in just about every race, just hasn't been able to close the deal. And is always beating up on himself, even for mistakes he DIDN'T make.

Jim (Bayala)

Back in the day didn't Jeff Gordon used to get booed lke Rowdy gets booed today?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

Worse.

Tony (London, Ontario, Canada)

Do you think NASCAR add a cup race to the schedule here in Canada like Montreal or maybe at the new Austin Grand Prix track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Not in Austin. Eddie Gossage at Texas Motor Speedway wouldn't hear to it. But I've long been an advocate of a Cup race in Canada. You guys have been helping fill up the grandstands from Daytona to Michigan for as long as I can remember.

Tom (Boston)

Hey Ed, just saw the 2013 schedule...boring!!!. Which track do you think stands to lose a race in the future & which track will gain one? I'm thinking Dover loses

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Same ol' same ol', huh. Yep. dont think there'll be any movement on gaining or losing races anytime soon.

Doug (Rockport, IN)

What's the deal at EGR? Why arent Jamie and Juan even competitive this year ?

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

The whole operation just seems discombobulated. They've gotten behind and can't seem to catch up.

Octo (Basement)

If were moving Cup races to Montreal.. beware the shoes! On a serious note.. chances for the 15 to make a run at the Cup?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

I'd say his chances are as decent as anybody outside of JJ and BK.

Ryan (WI)

I Agree with Tom. At least switch the chase races Year to year.

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

That would cause untold hassles with promoters of the tracks that have the Chase races. Untold, I mean.

Mark (Chicago)

Will this new 2013 car really improve racing?

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

I don't think the bodystyles themselves will. But they will improve the fans' mood. It's the actual details on the cars, the lifting of ride height, etc., that has a chance to improve the racing.

Sav (UK Berkshire)

Hi Ed, should Road America be on the Cup Schedule? Its produced excellent Nationwide races, open wheel and sportscar races. Any car, and Road America has been exciting to watch

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Oh, I know. Good stuff there. But I can't see adding another road course to Cup unless it's in Canada, and even that is a ways off.

Jim (Bayala)

Do you think Stewert and Danica will both be running the Indy 500 in May 2013?

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Danica possibly. Smoke no.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Gotta go, folks. thanks to all for stopping by.