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November 15, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all. Here we go.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

With Dale having his annual late 2nd 1/2 meltdown, this year blamed on health issues, do you expect some major changes at HMS like maybe swapping 48-88 crew's, including Chad to 88?

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

hahahahahah! CHAD? Put up with Junior's radio tantrums for more than one race??? No WAY. Besides, Hendrick would do a lot to bolster the 88 team, but not break up the 48. Chad and Junior would be a terrible pairing.

Dom (Pa. )

Hi Ed, Will you be surprised if Harvick runs all 36 2013 races in the #29 and do you expect Kurt Busch to take over that ride since he's on a 1-year deal @FR78racing?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Well, Childress says he has a contract . . .and Budweiser is a factor, so they'll probably stay together, uncomfortable as that may be. If Childress and Harvick can reach some sort of out agreement, though, Kurt is a good possibility.

Keith H (Seattle)

Good morning, Ed. I have a couple things for you today. 1) We finally had a RAYGORDONREID sighting yesterday in Newt's chat. The zipcode converted to Jacksonville. 2) Will you be covering the finale at Homestead. I always look forward to your work. Thank you once again.

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Just hope it was the real raygordon. I'm headed to Homestead on Saturday, and will be covering the race itself, but not the prelims.

Todd (Georgia)

Great Article Ed. Why is it that NASCAR just doesnt seem to have the type of characters that they did back in the day? As I was watching the HMS story I just couldn't help but think Kenny Shrader would be a cool dude to hang with.

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

Simple and sad: corporate sponsors won't put up with the wide-open personalities of guys like LeeRoy and Tiny anymore. Sales pitches are as important as driving now, and the CEOs want their drivers nice, dull, inoffensive and non controversial. although I don't know why.

Turk (Mich.)

Good historic story today especially about fans chasing Mulhern! Do you expect Kyle Busch to payback #2 for Watkins Glen and/or #39 for Kansas on Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

I doubt it. They usually don't delay that sort of thing vey long.

Luke (Miss.)

Did Childress take off his watch to go after Sadler for tearing up another RCR NW car late in the Phoenix race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

Childress seemed pretty sympathetic to him best I could tell. Sadler was just trying too hard and you can't really blame a driver for that under his circumstances.

Nate (OH)

Did Dale Sr ever do the same thing that Gordon did last Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

I don't recall that he ever waited on anybody, but he did take people out as payback. The Richmond '86 deal, where he stuffed DW, was the culmination of years of Earnhardt seething toward DW.

Lolo (KY)

Hello Mr. Hinton, have you gotten an advance viewing of Kurt Busch: The Outlaw or will you be watching tonight?

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

I've seen a few preview clips but not a lot.

Alex (Memphis, Tn)

In NASCAR, is there a driver that is more of a hypocrite than Tony Stewart? I guess he didn't have a "death wish" when he wrecked the entire field at Dega. Why didn't Brad call him out directly?

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

Dega wasn't a death wish thing -- it was an unavoidable mistake if he wanted to win the race. Jeff Gordon said afterwards that it's just impossible to time the blocks at those closing speeds, and you've got to protect position on plate tracks to win. If you want to call Smoke hypocritical, look back at the Daytona 500 of several years ago when he ran Kenseth off the track at full speed. First time I've ever seen that on the superspeedway.

Ron (OH)

Is the inconsistency of yellow flags worse now?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

Not really. Remember when they witheld the caution in the Daytona 500 some years ago, costing Mark Martin the win and waiting through the wrecking until Harvick was in front?

Brad K. (Apron)

Do you agree that we should lighten up and send an old parts truck full of useless graveyard parts to Elliot and Jimmie's garages? Just to lighten things up a bit? We're just happy to be here, let's have fun with it.

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

What else can they say on a day like today but let's have fun. They have almost zero chance and both know it.

Tony (SF)

Ed, I propose actual fist fights after races instead of wrecking cars. That said, who you got as someone who'd fight and someone who'd duck & run?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

Too much physical difference in drivers. I heard a great one the other day from Brad Daugherty. Little Ward Burton and big Jimmy Spencer had gotten into a row. Ward: "That Jimmy Spencer's a big boy, but when we get in the cars we both way 3,500 pounds."

Greg (Lake Placid, NY)

Hey Ed! Are you aware of any conversations that Gordon initiated with Bowyer in the garage area prior to PHX? Something along the lines of - 'hey, cut the crap, or I'm going to put you in the wall one of these times'? Or did he just let it build up internally and explode on the track at that very moment?

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised if they talked here and there, and, in Gordon's mind, it still didn't stop. One big thing though: At Martinsville in the spring, I didn't think it was so much Bowyer dive bombing as Bowyer getting knocked up there by Newman.

CJ (Erie PA)

So Ed, how does it feel to go 50/50 on your predictions this weekend? Title for Brad K. but F1 also is a go in Austin.

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Neither's in the bag yet. K could still lose this thing. Austin has made it step by step so at this point I'm not terribly surprised. But I'll concede when and if the green light comes on Sunday. First F1 races in this country are usually a logistical nightmare and I expect something about like Phoenix in the '90s.

demon reading pa [via mobile]

Hilton would you like to see the nascar trucks on a road course sometime in the future.?

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

Sure. Why not? Name, BTW, is Hinton . . but I know how those autocorrect keypads on iphones are.

Bob T. (Winston-Salem, NC)

Looking back 20 years after his title, just how good was Alan Kulwicki?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

We'll never know because he never had first-rate equipment. His own stuff was as good as he could make it, but he operated on a fraction of the budgets the big teams did. But on the track, I doubt he ever would have been as good as, say, Davey Allison.

Teri (North Hollywood, CA)

Hi Ed! If someone would have been killed during Jeff Gordon's retaliation, what would the fines/penalties have been?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

That's a reach considering little Phoenix and these ultra-safe cars. But that's part of the problem: the cars are now so safe that drivers behave as if they're driving simulators.

brandon birdsboro pa [via mobile]

If i were dodge i would go out on top instead of coming back in 2014.

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

They might as well. This'll be their first Cup since 1975 with Richard Petty.

Nolan C. (Plano, TX)

Last night, Speed ran a special about Tim Steele. Could he have made it big-time at the Cup level?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

Unlikely. There was a VAST gap between NASCAR and ARCA in those days. Steele was a bit of a protege of Bobby Allison and got a ride for a few cup races in the 90s but didn't do so well.

Jay (NY)

Which is more true: Bob Osborne was the cause of Carl's struggles, or Jimmy Fennig will be the one to fix them?

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

It was more Osborne's illness. How Fennig does will depend on how well Carl listens to him. I suspect they'll do well, but maybe not get to where Carl and Osborne were at their peak.

CJ (Erie PA)

Ed, 2013 will be another season with the same Sprint Cup sked. Will it take all the fans leaving for NASCAR to wise up and change things around?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

NASCAR and promoters would tell you shuffling the schedule would hurt attendance worse. Promoters always want a set time, over the years, to sell tickets well in advance.

Tony (Pensacola)

Is Mid-Ohio a lateral move or a step down for the NW series compared to Montreal?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Clearly a step down, from a huge, international city to out in the boonies of Ohio. I've been there only a time or two, but the place sure seemed like an SCCA local track to me.

Ryan (Madison)

Why wasnt the yellow flag out with Danika dropped liquid all over the track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

NASCAR claimed they didn't see the fluid, but the drivers sure seemed to. I think they should have thrown the yellow a lap earlier, just as soon as she got sideways in traffic.

Todd (Georgia)

Do teams like RFR and HMS actually make a lot of money? Or in the case of HMS does selling cars pay for the racing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

HMS pays for itself, best i can tell. RFR seems self sustaining now, but Roush had to bring in investors. Generally speaking, the big teams are profit-oriented. I'll be even with its bad year, RCR will turn a nice profit this year.

Holly (Florida)

Mr. Hinton, who was the biggest 2012 disappointment: Dale for 12th dead last, Rowdy for missing the Chase or Edwards winless?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

Have to say Edwards winless . . .not only that but not even contending for wins much.

Geri (Canada)

When did Junior have a meltdown? Two concussions is not a meltdown. Really Joanne.

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

OK, that's the only nya nya-ing between the two sides i'm going to allow today.

Ryan (WI)

NASCAR going to make Tony and Eldora install safer barriers? How many ringers in that race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

Tony would probably install them on his own. No telling how many dirt ringers, if this thing comes off.

Steven (Kingsport)

I had no problem with Brad K at Texas; if Jimmy was nervous about being raced hard to parphrase Cale he could lift off the accelerator. It takes two to tango. What Gordon did though was an abomination and should be treated that way. The only difference in what he did and what KB did to Hornaday is the field was under caution when Busch went stupid; it was at full song with Gordon. Ridiculous, uncalled for and Regan Smith should be driving the 24 this weekend to make the point.

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

You never saw Allison and Petty go at it, did you? Or Earnhardt and Bodine?

Timmy (Hill Country)

Are you hearing that NASCAR hammered #2 for the in car smart phone because they suspect that team was using telememtry to maniulate the engine management systems?

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

Haven't heard that one, but that's exactly the sort of thing the NASCAR rule is meant to prohibit.

Ryan (NC)

Ed whts been ur favorite oh my gosh moment of 2012 so far?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

Probably the final restart at Martinsville in the spring, where Bowyer gets blamed for Newman knocking him right into the fray and then going on to win.

Steven (Kingsport)

Yes, I saw them and it's still ridiculous to use a race car as a weapon. Past stupidity does not mean future stupidity need be tolerated.

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Like I said in the column, NASCAR is road rage on steroids waiting to happen.

John (OH)

Should the lucky dog gimmick be dropped? Point for leading a lap?

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

I don't mind the lucky dog because it replaces the old barbaric racing back to caution. Point per lap, you mean? That would make Martinsville races the biggest of the year.

Doug (Virginia)

If whatshisname in the #2 gets the cup I guess it will be okay for NASCAR but the problem with him is he doesn't look, talk, act or sound like a NASCAR driver. No star power. Your thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

Disagree totally. Plenty of star power. He's been talking and acting like a champion all year. And last week, his tyrade at Phoenix put him a long way toward being the leader of the entire garage, something NASCAR hasn't had since Earnhardt Sr.

Ryan (WI)

Had Brad not opened his mouth post race at Phoenix would he have been fined?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

NASCAR says not. Fans say yes. We'll never know.

Steven (Kingsport)

I bet Brad K's champions speech at the dinner will be epic. No one knows what he'll actually say.

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

i agree. It'll be the most anticipated speech since Jeff won his first one.

Matthew (Graham, NC)

Ed why does the media gripe, complain whine, about boring races, attendance, need something exciting, and then yell suspension when something happens?

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

I darn sure didn't yell suspensions. I thought it was all good for NASCAR. and I don't gripe about attendance and boring races -- the fans do enough of that for all of us.

Doug (Virginia)

whatshisname in the #2 leading The Busch Brothers, Stewart, Denny, Edwards, Jimmie, Gordon? Hahahahahahahahahaha That will NEVER happen.

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

We'll see

Jay (GA)

With Harvick entering lameduck status at RCR, do you think RC is going to put more emphasis on Menard and try to get him into the Chase considering that he brings sponsorhip to the table.

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

I think RCR is already putting as much emphasis as they can on the 27. Paul's dad is worth $6 billion so they want to keep him as happy as possible. What they can't control is skill.

John (OH)

I meant that they should drop giving a point for leading one lap.

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

Oh. No, I think they should keep that.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Do you think that Austin group built the track with the intention of selling to ISC like Penske did with all of his tracks?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

If they did, they were indescribably wrong. No way, no how ISC would buy an F1 track or even another road course. The Glen dropped into their laps, and they needed that market.

scott (denton,tx)

so what do you think about the schedule for the nationwide series for next year going on back to back road course raacing going to mid-ohio and then to watkins glen is that a good thing or a bad thing for nascar you thoughts......

Ed Hinton
  (2:42 PM)

Could be a very good thing. Take, say, a Villeneuve-Patrick type thing this year, from one road course to the next.

Joanne (Ft.Myers)

Since sitting out those 2 races helped Dale do you think maybe HMS will run Dale on a limited schedule like Mark Martin does, like 1 race on 2 off?

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

No way. He wouldn't do that.

Matthew (Graham, NC)

Wasn't directing it you- you're the man! But many in your profession beg for hell on earth and then walk on holy water when it happens- lot of hypocrites in racing media.

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

I never call for suspensions, or say it's getting too dangerous, etc, because it's not. Let 'em rip.

Christine (Jasper,In)

You probably won't answer this, and that's ok, but why in your response to Joanne's question about Jr. do you make it sound like he is the only one who rants and raves on the radio. I have heard some pretty amazing yelling from other drivers before when they replay them.

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

I didn't say that at all. I just said Knaus wouldn't put up with his brand of it.

Teri (North Hollywood, CA)

How do you think Matt Kenseth will do in his first year at JGR?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

Hmmmm. Not as well as Hamlin's been doing in total wins, probably.

Riley (NC)

How impressed are you with Kyle Busch behaving like Trevor Bayne and do you think old Rowdy might ever return?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

Now THAT is great hyperbole. Kyle Busch behaving like Trevor Bayne!!!!! No, old Rowdy will never return to the media. But he might return on the track.

Joe (PA)

so what's it gonna be like if you end up being right about Brad K? (for the record, I hope you are!)

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

I might write a whole colum repeating the entire sentence, "I told you so," over and over.

scott (denton,tx)

if austin comes up and richard childress let him have the #3 car back in the sprint cup in a couple of years or so when harvick goes to stewart haas racing i will be PISSED if richard give him the 3 car it should be still the #29 car NOT THE #3CAR you thoughts....

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

Childress owns the 3 rights. It was his own number before Earnhardt got into the car. And it was Junior Johnson's number before that. Childress knows the Earnhardt fans better than anybody, and if he's willing to put the 3 back out in Cup, it's his business.

John (OH)

Why do we have to listen to the same TV analysts every year? There have to be better ones out there.

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

A) contracts and B) Have you ever tried to do that stuff live? It is far, far from easy.

Izzy (Tenn)

If #48 finishes 2nd do you expect that bunch to have the traditional "hangover" go winless and miss the 2013 Chase like Edwards did this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:50 PM)

Absolutely not. It's not in their DNA. I think they'll contend as strongly next year as this year.

scott (denton,tx)

how will ricky stennhouse jr do with roush fenway in he's rookie year for next year and maybe beyond that and do you think that he will keep the number #6 or you see him keep driving the number #17....

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

I think he'd have done a whole lot better in his rookie year if Roush hadn't moved Fennig to Edwards. Fennig is great with young drivers. But I think Ricky will do well in the long haul, driving No. 17.

Izzy (Tenn)

Do you think Stewart has bitten off way more than he can chew with a a 4 car operation and will that hurt his performance on the track?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Good question. He might have. And it might.

Scott (OH)

Why do so many in the media want to shorten the schedule when almost zero fans want that?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

We think it dilutes interest nationwide. And I'm not sure "zero" fans want a shorter schedule.

Matt (OH)

If Mikey can handle 3 cars then Stewart can handle 4.

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Mikey's not running for championships.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Could Carl Edwards go to RCR in 2014.

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Don't see that one. Carl's too showbiz for a down home team.

Teri (North Hollywood, CA)

I am in favor of a shorter schedule and shorter races. I think it would make things more exciting.

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

There you go. It's not zero fans. Teri's in.

Todd (Ga.)

Since both Carl Edward and Stenhouse hate Brad's guts how do you see them working with him as a Ford "teammate" next year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:56 PM)

I think you folks' perception of Brad K being hated is waaaay over the top.

Joe (OH)

Should Homestead be the last race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Not in my book. They should move the 400 miler at Daytona to the end of the year, and take Dega out of the Chase -- away from football season in Alabama.

Todd (Ga.)

How impressed are you with that blue colar bunch of tough guys Kyle Busch has assembled over there at KBM?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

I like 'em.

Glenn (Louisiana)

Whatever happened to Jay Frye after Red Bull shuttered?

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

I believe Jay works at Hendrick now.

Joe (OH)

They need shorter races not shorter schedules.

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

How about both?

Steven (Kingsport)

Finishing second will only make Jimmy & Chad angry and hungry. Those two are like Bruce Banner - you want them fat and happy. Nothing good comes from making them angry.

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Agreed . . .though not exactly angry

Joe (OH)

Wouldn't cutting races from tracks kill their profit?

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Wouldn't help, but Atlanta's still running

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Do you see Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, and Clint Bowyer ever winning a championship.

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

Hamlin and Bowyer very likely. Edwards probably.

Tony (SF)

I'm with Teri.

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

We're running it up from "zero fans."

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, the clock has run out on us. Thanks to all for stopping by.