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February 13, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Welcome to Daytona Beach. Can see the track from my hotel window. Are you ready for the season to begin? I am. Seems like we've been previewing the year and Gen 6 car forever. Let's get right to it. Fire away.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Even though you Cover NASCAR What is your Favorite NFL Team?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, as a kid I pulled for the Vikings even though I lived in S.Carolina. Must have been the Purple People Eaters that attracted me. I covered the Carolina Panthers for their first 11 seasons, and still get by a few times a year for games.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Drivers do you think will miss the Most Sprint Cup Series Races Because they Did Not Qualify?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Those fondly known as start and parkers. Seriously, the qualifying rule really doesn't change much at all. It would take a crazy set of circumstances for a top driver to miss the race.

Russ (SC)

Is Matt Kenseth a Hall of Famer at this point, with a Cup and two Daytona 500s to his credit?

David Newton
  (3:02 PM)

Maybe not the first year he's eligible, but he's definitely a Hall of Famer.

Bill Scott (Lake Summerset, Illinois)

Howdy David, With the Gen 6 NASCAR Race Car are we going to harken back to the days when the teams "Cry" that the other manufacturer has an advantage ? Then does NASCAR tries to level the playing field by shaving the rear spoiler? One more question. Is Gordon a guy to pick in "Fantasy Racing" ? I ask because he has "roughed up" some drivers like Boyer and Kenseth and there may be a debt to pay down the road and who knows when? Thanks for the chat. Later, Bill

David Newton
  (3:03 PM)

On the first part with manufacturers, that is what many predict. And that is a good thing. It heightens manufacturer awareness. As for Gordon, definitely a good pick. He'll shine in this new car.

Steve (Da Big Island)

Newt, Thanks for the the chats.....Now seriously, do you think this "Air Titan" rig is going to work as they claim? Seems to me they are sorta of back pedaling as of late. Where do I send the "Crow Pie". Thanks

David Newton
  (3:04 PM)

Well, Brian France did jump the gun a bit when he told the world it would be ready for Daytona. Think he or somebody said there would be 24 of them here. Actually, eight. And they're not ready for other tracks until tweaks are made and tracks purchase them. But I give NASCAR credit for trying on this one, and so far it appears it at least will reduce the drying time significantly.

Steve (Kona HI)

David, In your thoughts do you think they should install lights at "Indy" with taxpayer money, or at all for the sake of it?

David Newton
  (3:06 PM)

I do, mainly because I love night races more than day races. Look, Indianapolis and the state have benefited from IMS for a very long time, so when you consider the randsom some sports franchises hold state's up for what the track seeks is a worthy investment.

Timmy (CA)

Get a life, Newton! Watching cars go in circles is dumb.

David Newton
  (3:07 PM)

As opposed to watching a yellow ball going back and forth over a net? Or a big ball with three holes drilled in it knocking down pens? Have you ever been to a race? If not, I invite you to come try one. I'll get you the tickets.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What team will Danica Patrick drive for in her Limited Nationwide Series Schedule in 2013?

David Newton
  (3:07 PM)

I'm trying to find that out. Am told she still wants to do about 10 races. ESPNW reported Turner Motorsports last month. Haven't been told that won't happen yet.

Roscoe (Cali)

Which Busch is the first to hit the news due to a meltdown or blowup, and not talking tires or engine?

David Newton
  (3:09 PM)

I'm going to predict a Busch drama free season, unless you count winning races drama.

Roscoe (Cali)

Will Shrub be the "big winner" in NW now that Logano is out of the JGR NW 18?

David Newton
  (3:09 PM)

That team has been magic. Don't underestimate Vickers, though.

Andrew (Kentucky)

Hi Newt, I read an interview where KB says he's been friends with Kenseth for 10 years ever since Kurt joined RFR in '03 and that Rowdy and his kid, Ross, race late models together. Did Rowdy have a big hand in bringing Matt to JGR and does that put Denny at a disadvantage?

David Newton
  (3:10 PM)

Kyle has said he played a role. Not sure how big, but I believe Matt is the best thing to happen to Kyle and that organization.

Jim (Bayala)

Now that Rusty is in the HOF can someone explain why Rusty hated Newman and did Kurt have the same kind of problems with Newman before Penske sent Ryan packing?

David Newton
  (3:12 PM)

It had a lot to do with sharing information -- or not wanting to share it -- throughout the two teams.

bob nj [via mobile]

hi dave do u see j johnson k busch m kenseth and k harvick all wind up in the chase?

David Newton
  (3:12 PM)

Definitely. And one, not Harvick, will win the title.

TJ (NC)

Kenseth is an avg. qualifier, terrible road-racers and mediocre on the short tracks. Could he be in for a shock when he sees how fast his teammates are in equal equipment?

David Newton
  (3:12 PM)

Shock? Hardly. And this may be where he benefits.

Barry (Tenn.)

The rear-end's all look pretty much the same so was Dale blowing smoke when he blamed the Daytona testing wreck on the bumpers not lining up?

David Newton
  (3:14 PM)

Nope. The Chevy's match OK with the Chevy's, but not the Ford. And it's the nose of the cars - which are all different - that he's talking about matching up. With the old car the bumpers were all the same and pretty much flat in a way they aligned with the rear bumpers. You could push all the way around the track with no worry. Not so much with these cars.

Janet (Reno)

Awesome story today Mr. Newton on Outlaw, The Perfectionist! Really enjoyed seeing Kurt and Patricia reccogonized for what they do for our troops. Will Outlaw get to run any NW races for his brother at KBM or does the RCR Chevy deal prohibit Outlaw running Toyota's?

David Newton
  (3:15 PM)

Thanks. No plans for Kurt to run for KBM this year. He'll do the plate tracks for Phoenix Racing.

txtechjmacattack (lubbock)

amazing story on outlaw busch. everyone knows outlaw has the talent to win the daytona 500 and other races this year with @fr78racing. question: is the rcr equipment up to the job?

David Newton
  (3:16 PM)

Thanks. And RCR has worked as hard or harder than any organization getting back up to speed this year. If you noticed in the Charlotte and Daytona test they were pretty fast. So yes, the equipment is there and Kurt definitely should be considered a factor to win the 500.

JT (Allen,TX)

With DWjr driving the 54 truck for KBM, who pays for the non sponsored races .. KBM or JGR?

David Newton
  (3:18 PM)

Good question. I would guess JGR since he is a JGR driver and part of the lure to get Kyle to re-sign was to offer more support to his organization.

Millertime (Palooka)

Rusty, Mayfield, Newman, Kurt....drivers don't seem to last long at Penske. How long do you think before Brad's big mouth gets him in trouble?

David Newton
  (3:19 PM)

Well, two of the three you mentioned had issues. Rusty was there until he retired. Brad will be there as long as he wants. I've never seen an owner as dedicated to a driver and what he brings to the table as Penske is with Keselowski.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

David, sending this in before my workout at 2. Was wondering about the 55 ride at MWR in '14. Is Vickers a lock to get it or do you think they got after Newman? And w/Sadler and BV in the stable you see JGR at 4 in '14 potentially? Ready for the season to start!

David Newton
  (3:20 PM)

First, glad you're getting in a workout. I'm going for a run as soon as I finish this chat. As for the 55, Vickers isn't a lock, but he's definitely the front runner unless he stumbles terribly from the level he performed last year. Hard to predict on four Cup cars at JGR. I've been predicting that for like four years now.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

Ok - It is a new year and we now have Kurt Bush version 4.0. He is so wonderful that Phoenix racing wrapped the car in a smiley face after he left. Why do journalist continue to defend and make excuses for such a boorish human being? To paraphrase Rod Stewart, "His ad lib lines are well rehearsed but his vulgar and disgusting mouth screams at you". It is how one responds in adverse situations that is a measure of a man

David Newton
  (3:23 PM)

First, the smiley face wrap may have been overblown. Kurt has been invited to run the team's Nationwide car in plate races, after all. I'm not making excuses for Kurt's behavior at all. Just trying to explain the complex individual he is. If all atheltes are goody two-shoes then sports would be boring, don't you think? And as for his vulgar mouth, it's a good thing we don't hear NFL players in the heat of action. There are some that are much worse than any you'll ever hear in NASCAR.

Ryan (WI)

This new car is bad fast, what will the pole speed(s) at tracks like Atlanta and Lowe's? 200+?

David Newton
  (3:23 PM)

Denny Hamlin predicts six or seven track records will be broken. I'm not so sure. Remember, the speeds in tests were with a very cool track. That will change when it warms up.

Mike (Bristol )

Witht the Generation 6 car being brand new and actually having manufacturing "character", how willl NASCAR police "rule breakers" aka the 48 before the 500 last year? How strict will they be with fines, porbation, and points deductions for crew chiefs and drivers?

David Newton
  (3:24 PM)

They'll police them as they always have, and penalties will be pretty much the same for violator. The box is actually tighter in many ways than it was with the COT.

Kevin (Texas)

Is the fuel injector system introduced last year in the COT the same system being used in the new Generation six car?

David Newton
  (3:24 PM)

Yep. Pretty much.

Kevin (Texas)

The Daytona 500 gets all of the hype being that its NASCARS' Super Bowl. However, we all know the 500 is tricky and litteraly if you are racing the last lap you have a chance to win. What tracks, after Daytona, will give the best indicator on how the new car will improve the racing, if it does at all?

David Newton
  (3:26 PM)

Las Vegas is the track most are aiming at because there are so many 1.5 mile tracks on the circuit. And that is where the racing needs to improve the most. I'm not saying racing has been bad. I believe it has been pretty dang good the past two years. I think we expect too much to believe there wont' be lulls as there are with most sporting events.

BennyB (Portland Ore)

With Nascar talking about getting out to more locations, why cant Portland International Raceway get a truck or Nationwide Race? It would be huge in these parts.

David Newton
  (3:28 PM)

When myself and a few writers put together a dream schedule we actually included Portland on it. It is a ripe area of the country for NASCAR and road coures have become the most entertaining races. But for some reason NASCAR is reluctant to add more road courses. I'd like to see four on the schedule myself.

Adam (Scottsdale)

David, what happens if it rains all day Friday and the drivers don't get any practice before The Shootout Saturday Night? Will NASCAR let them practice early Saturday Morning?

David Newton
  (3:29 PM)

Don't forget the Air Titan. I'm sure there are plans to work in a practice on Saturday if Friday is a wash.

Ron (Seattle)

Will NASCAR ever have a race outside of The USA other than Canada? Cause I would like to see NASCAR go back to Japan like they did in The 90s.

David Newton
  (3:29 PM)

Hard to get those haulers across the ocean. At best it would be another exhibition type event like Japan.

Colin (Oklahoma )

Will we see more start and park drivers this year? Here's my theory on why we will . In years past lower leveal teams would purchase an outdated Hendrick, Roush, Penske, or Gibbs car "fix" it up and go "race". But with the new car Hendrick and the other teams don't have outdated cars to sell out. If a lower level team wrecks trying to make the 500 in one of the duel races they not only miss the 500 but they could lack the inventory to race the next week; meaning bye bye paycheck. Whats your opinion on the situation?

David Newton
  (3:30 PM)

I hear you, but don't agree with the logic. The new car actually make it harder for start and park teams because they have to purchase all new inventory instead of old stuff. Could make it prohibitive for some.

Steve (Austin)

David do you know when The Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet will be this year?

David Newton
  (3:31 PM)

Unless something changes two Friday's after the season ends.

Roscoe (Chino, Ca)

If #88 doesn't win 1 of the first 10 races it will be 7 full years since Dale has won anywhere other than Mich. How did Michigan become Dale's best track?

David Newton
  (3:33 PM)

I wouldn't call it his best track. Just the one he's been most fortunate on. He could have won races at other tracks the past few years, particularly last year. And I'll say he does win one of the first 10 this year. Steve Letarte and that team are fired up.

Roscoe (Chino, Ca)

I read an interview with Rowdy where he said Gen6 is a "COT with new skin". With that statement is Rowdy lowering the performance expectations especially on the inter tracks?

David Newton
  (3:34 PM)

He's right. They use the same chassis that was used for the COT, but allowing the manufacturers to put a top on it that gives them brand identity. The big difference is 150 pounds was taken out of the car. That changes everything from a handling standpoint to the type of tire Goodyear can build for it.

Vernie (NJ)

Hey Newt, if Kyle ever gets back on the stage in Vegas, will he call Samantha by the wrong name, like Patricia?

David Newton
  (3:35 PM)

Funny. And no.

KB Nation (Cuba)

Hey Newt, your Kirt column sounds like if it was written about a different driver, people would be complaining, thoughts?

David Newton
  (3:36 PM)

People are going to complain when you write about the Busch Brothers no matter what. But part of what makes them so good for the sport is they bring something different to the table. People may not always like it, but at least it's not scripted. And they're damn good drivers.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Hey David, we've put up with a lot from the Busch brothers, and I think it's time to jump on another bandwagon, maybe we'll be Rowdy Brad fans.

David Newton
  (3:37 PM)

Keselowski is getting plenty of ink as well. Love what he brings to the sport.

George (Smith Mt Lake, VA)

I saw the entry list for the Sprint Unlimited and was wondering why no one put AJ in a car? The 2, 15, 51......

David Newton
  (3:38 PM)

Penske has no interest. And Phoenix Racing didn't want to risk tearing up two cars as happened last year when Kurt Busch ran in the Unlimited.

Ben (Marden)

Are you buying all of Harvick's "happy" talk about finishing out his RCR career with a championship or will those #29 guys be thinking about who thier driver/sponsor/crew chief etc. will be in '14?

David Newton
  (3:38 PM)

I buy it to a degree. But if things start going south on the performance end all bets are off.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

Interesting article on Kurt Busch, but how much did his divorce hurt him emotionally to cause his blow ups at the race tracks in 2011 which built up and carried over into 2012? Do you think he should stay at Furnature Row or go to a top tier team(RCR maybe)?

David Newton
  (3:40 PM)

I tried to touch on that with him, but as I mentioned there still are areas he doesn't like to talk about. I would imagine it had an impact, though. If you've been through a divorce you know it's a highly stressful time. As for the second half of your question, Furniture Row may be the best place for him if they can give him a chance to make the Chase and compete for a title. I completely buy what Driscoll said about Kurt not liking such a structured organization.

Matt (Charlotte)

Hey David, glad to be back to racing, well almost, and like everybody else, I'm definitely ready to see how the new car does. But I have a non Danicky, non Gen 6 question about these new dryers, think there's any reason to be concerned about the fact that they will be blowing highly compressed air at an angle on these tracks, some of which are about half sealant/half asphalt? also seems a little odd that they haven't tested them out by drying a track completely yet, especially since its been raining about every other day here in charlotte. My gut says it may be a recipe for disaster when they finally use them, i.e. blowing up chunks of asphalt on some of these tracks.

David Newton
  (3:42 PM)

They've spent a lot of time testing this on wet surfaces and my guess a wet Daytona. The new surfaces like the one at Daytona are much more durable than the old surfaces, another reason racing has changed over the past few years. They don't wear like tracks once did, which changes everything.

brtandon birdsboro pa [via mobile]

Where will ricky stenehouse jr get his first sprint cup win at?

David Newton
  (3:42 PM)

California. I don't know.

Matt (ny)

Hey David, great to have NASCAR back! What's your opinion on the remainder of Kenseth's career. How many (if any) wins and championships do you think he ends up with when he hangs up the helmet? Thanks and looking forward to a great year of chats!

David Newton
  (3:43 PM)

Let me look into my hotel crystal ball. He'll get a dozen more wins and one more title.

Tom (NYC)

Mr. Newon, I know the lower series are supposed to be for development, but can we give Kyle a little break. He may be driving a bunch of races but he's also supplying two quality rides for Kligerman and Wallace, Jr. Would he have the bread to do that without running down there?

David Newton
  (3:44 PM)

Agree. Time to lay off Kyle on running in the NW series. If JGR didn't want him there he wouldn't be there.

Tom (NYC)

Kyle Busch led more laps last year than anyone but the champ and JJ, and many more than some guys who were in the playoff. I don't think making the Chase should be the only measure of a successful season. They didn't win much but the 18 team seemed to be able to run up front a bunch, all can't be that bad there.

David Newton
  (3:45 PM)

You're right. This may be the year he puts it all together. It was a close call for me to pick Kenseth over him.

Candace (AR)

Is Danica running any NNS races this year?

David Newton
  (3:45 PM)

She still hopes to run about 10.

Kimberly Rodgers (Jacksonville, FL)

Hi Dave, I'll go easy on you today....who do YOU think will win the Sprint Unlimited?

David Newton
  (3:46 PM)

Thanks for taking it easy on me. Hard to pick a winner since I don't even know what format the fans picked. But I'd look for it to be between Kyle Busch, Dale Jr and Jeff Gordon....if i had to pick three.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Many people suggest that more Nationwide experience will help Danica, Diloons, Bayne etc. transition to cup and I was wondering if that is the case for young drivers like Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Stenhouse too?

David Newton
  (3:47 PM)

It's not the same for everyone. Johnson didn't do much in Nationwide and look at what he's done. Jeff Gordon didn't spend much time in Nationwide and he's been pretty good.

Lew Dawson (Texas)

Hi Dave. I'm curious that Matt Kenseth's #20 is branded "Dollar General" in all photos in the pre-season, including Matt's uniform too. Has Home Depot become an associate sponsor? Or did Dollar General make a separate arraingement for pre-season exposure?

David Newton
  (3:48 PM)

Both are on the car, but you're right Home Depot has stepped back. It will be primary, but not for as many races as in the past I believe.

Jk (Birmingham)

Hey David any chance zippy could be harvick crew chief in 2014? Who you think would be a good choice?

David Newton
  (3:49 PM)

Hmmm, doubtful. Zippy seems happy in his new role.

Vernie (NJ)

Which JGR driver to you think will win the most cup races this season?

David Newton
  (3:49 PM)

Kyle Busch

Matt Conner (St. Augustine, FL )

Who's your pick for the Nationwide Series Champ this year?

David Newton
  (3:49 PM)

Austin Dillon

Michael (KY)

With Rowdy running all three series do you think we will see Rowdy winning 24+ races like in 2010?

David Newton
  (3:49 PM)

Maybe not that many. And he's not running many more between the three series than he ran last year.

Martin (Trinity, NC)

Do you feel like MWR may have a shot at the Champoinship this year. If so, which driver?

David Newton
  (3:50 PM)

Yes, and Bowyer has the best shot.

Zach (Baltimore)

Any new news on sponsorship for Stewart-Haas?

David Newton
  (3:50 PM)

None yet.

Daryl (Iowa)

Why do so many get so nostalgic about NASCAR racing years ago. 3 or 4 cars that could actually win and sometimes by many laps isn't exciting to me.

David Newton
  (3:51 PM)

People always seem to see the past as being much better than it was. Kind of like I think the 70s and disco music were great, but when you really look at it we wore bad clothes back then and the music really was kind of bad.

Laura (Manhattan Beach, Ca.)

With no one really expecting Dale-Danica to challenge for wins what are their roles in NASCAR? Mostly sponsorship and media functions?

David Newton
  (3:51 PM)

They bring people into the sport that might not otherwise pay attention.

Steven (IL)

When does Turner-Scott move up into Sprint Cup Series? Is that even a possibility for them right now?

David Newton
  (3:52 PM)

I'd say maybe the next year or so.

Adam (Orlando)

Hey David why doesn't NASCAR have its own channel like the other sports have?

David Newton
  (3:52 PM)

They are working on that and I suspect you'll see it over the next couple of years.

JT (Allen,TX)

Newt, I don't think Kyle and Dave Rogers will ever be the same after missing the chase due to a bad pit call. If I were running JGR, I would have put Kyle and Jason Ratcliff together and put Rogers with Kenseth. What do you think?

David Newton
  (3:53 PM)

I like Kyle and Rogers together. One call didn't cost them everything.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

Has anyone asked NASCAR why they don't have Bristol and Martinsville in back to back weeks as they had in prior seasons? It would make more sense from a logistical stand point of having the two shorts tracks right after each other since fans can easily go from one track to the other. Instead we have Daytona, Phoenix, Vegas, Bristol, California, Martinsville, Texas. Just seems that California would be better either before Bristol or after either Martinsville or Texas.

David Newton
  (3:54 PM)

Trying to remember why they changed that. Had something to do with Texas wanting another date, didn't it? Regardless, I kind of like spreading them out. Gives us something to look forward to.

jayden (la)

David, who is your darkhorse for the championship this year?

David Newton
  (3:55 PM)

I got asked that on twitter the other day and had my head bitten off when I said Kahne. Apparently, he is too good to be a darkhorse. So I went with Burton, who has more wins than Kahne, and everyody seemed happy.

KB Nation (Global)

In your interview with Penske for the Outlaw The Perfectionist story did Mr. Penske acknowledge Kurt's contributions to Penske winning his first Sprint Cup Championship?

David Newton
  (3:55 PM)

He did not, but Kurt did pay a role in getting that organization to the level it had to be for Brad to win it.

KBM Fan (Mooresville)

How did Kyle make KBM successful while Harvick had to shut down his team?

David Newton
  (3:56 PM)

Harvick was in it longer than Kyle has been, and Kyle has seen the financial issues that KH had when he shut it down. That's one reason the new JGR deal was structured like it was.

drf (NY)

Why is the media constantly trying to vindicate Kurt Busch?

David Newton
  (3:56 PM)

Everyone likes to save a life.

Steve (Fort Lee, NJ)

I like the 2 car tandem on plate races. I find it more exciting at the end. Thoughts?

David Newton
  (3:57 PM)

You are in the minority. I don't care for it, either.

Martin (Trinity, NC)

Does Vickers have what it takes to be a bonafide contender or will he be an also-ran?

David Newton
  (3:57 PM)

He looked bona fide in the races he ran last year. Remember, he won a NW title and always was considered a top talent. Things just got sidetracked by Red Bull and the blood clots.

Juan (FSU)

Thats for the Kurt article. He is the better Busch brother after all. He has a Sprint Cup.

David Newton
  (3:58 PM)

Thanks

Hoss (Cartwright)

Outlaw Busch, Kobe, Romo, Tiger.....that's pretty good Forbes company. Thoughts?

David Newton
  (3:58 PM)

Hard to figure out why some of them get on that list. Kurt we get, though.

Turk (Mich.)

Of all the big teams based on the '12 Chase, which team goes into '13 with the most momentum?

David Newton
  (3:59 PM)

I'd say MWR.

Turk (Mich.)

Since drivers don't like to negotiate contracts during the season, why didn't Burton get an extension at RCR over the winter like Rowdy did with Gibbs?

David Newton
  (4:01 PM)

First, Burton is secure this season and I believe the next. He told me he can stay there as long as he wants. And I'm not sure it's that drivers don't like to negotiate during the season as it has become a necessity because it seems they're always in season. And because things have to be done way ahead of time for sponsors and commercials and such.

David Newton
  (4:01 PM)

That's it for me. Still raining in Daytona. May impact my run unless I get an Air Titan to follow me around. Thanks for all the great questions. The season is upon us.