Hello from the media center at Daytona International Speedway. Trucks are on the track. Cup cars are done for the day. What's on your mind?
i am a fan of nascar not anymore
Awww. Why not?
Do you think NASCAR is alienating it's pre-existing fan base by pursuing a more diverse, younger and new audience segment and if so, do you see that as a bad thing or just a natural evolution. Have other sports successfully grown without losing touch with their original fan base? Thanks!
The intent is not to alienate for sure. The goal for every sport is to grow its fan base, and that shouldn't have a negative impact on the exisiting fan base. In fact, I would argue NASCAR has done more to recapture its existing fan base by returning to a car that looks like the showroom car and working to eliminate tandem drafting, among other things.
Only 45 cars entered the Daytona 500. Low number for the highest paying purse in NASCAR. Will we see under 43 cars in a race, out west maybe?
Here's the deal. Because a new car is being introduced and the so-called start-and-parkers don't have the money to build new cars they have to wait until there is a used inventory to work with. I suspect it will be that way throughout the year. I can't say for sure if you'll see a short field, but if there is it's not a big deal. They've had fewer than 43 cars before.
The 5 car seemed stout yesterday. How many wins for that team this year?
You're right, Kahne had a good car. Chevy's in general were strong. As for wins, hard to predict, but I'd say at least two.
Which driver will have the most wins this season?
Any chance that Gil Martin goes with Harvick the SHR?
I doubt it. He's pretty happy at SHR. And it took a good bit to convince him to go back with Harvick after he basically was fired two years ago.
Hey David, thoughts on Jeff Gordon this season? Hoe many races will he win and does he have a good chance to win the Cup?
Funny how people think we can predict how many wins a driver will get. I like tossing out numbers just for the heck of it. So with Jeff I'll say four. Seriously, he really feels comfortable in this new car. If that means he improves over the last few year you'll see him contending a lot.
Your thoughts on the Kyle Larson bump and dump CE Falk incident. Falk handled himself very good, I myself would have been like Cole Trickle asking for new tires come off that pit row and put it into his side like he did into Russ Wheeler ! Is there no trailer to be called to in the late model series ?
It's short track racing. And you have to multiply the intensity level because these guys really want to say they won at Daytona. I've heard other driver with mixed reviews. One told me it was ridiculous. Another thought it was a great show. Shows even top competitors on the Sprint Cup level are fickled on things like th is.
Hey Newt, why did you write yet another "mature" Kyle article?
Kind of fit since he ripped the old car but held back when he could have ripped this one.
And as I said on Twitter earlier today, my dad preached the same sermons with a different twist for 40 plus years. I still listened and enjoyed them.
Our hometown boy the Biff has looked pretty good so far but he's been the bridesmaid twice so far - what are his chances to get into Victory Lane on Sunday? And I'm thinking this is his last and best shot to win the Chase...how good of a shot does he have?
I struggled not to put him in this column http://es.pn/URmbIq on drivers not named Danica who actually can win the 500. Biff has been good at plate races for years, so this isn't something new. I'd say he has to be in the top 10 among favorites.
Hey Newt, I think the Daytona 500 is just another race, thoughts?
Wouldn't say that. Most drivers will tell you it's still the one race they want to win more than any other. The prestige is still there. That will never go away.
Hi David, I'm at a point where I don't think I can be a Busch fan anymore, is there a driver I should be a fan of?
Keselowski and Logano are two young guns that are fun to follow.
do you know if there is gonna be a driver pick-em this year? I do not see it anywhere in the fantasy games section.
Not sure on that one. Have to check with our fantasy experts. Did you click on the link. Check it our here. http://games.espn.go.com/stock-car-challenge/2013/en/game
Hi David, I've been thinking about changing drivers lately but I'm not sure who to go with.
Since I don't know what driver you've cheered for that makes it more difficult, but there are plenty to choose from. What are your standards?
Over/under on the number of cars Kurt wrecks this year?
He's already been involved in two wrecks here. I'll say eight.
Danica Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson just entered the media center. If she says anything good, I'll add it to the chat.
Great story on Rowdy's Evolution ! Hearing Matt, Kahne, Jimmie and those guys talking about Rowdy, do you sense that Rowdy is 1 of the most respected and liked drivers in the garage?
He is highly respected. Hard to judge on how liked he is. And thanks on the column. I wouldn't be surprised to see Busch win it all this year.
By the duels it looks like Toyota and RCR have an edge over Ford. With Kurt being the best RCR driver and Rowdy the best at Toyota do you think we could see a K. Busch-K.Busch 1-2?
Don't discount Hendrick cars. Jeff Gordon was super fast before a speeding penalty nailed him. And Kyle Busch had to go with no tires to move past him before the penalty. Keselowski told me Chevys are "really, really strong."
Will we see a aero package change for Talledega?
I plan to ask NASCAR that later in the day. Been swamped in here and haven't had a chance, but it wouldn't surprise me to see more spoiler.
Hey Newt, should whatshisname in the 18 focus more on Cup instead of the minor league races?
I seriously don't have a problem with the other races he runs.
He Newt, last week after Stewart made that terrible comment about shop guys having "spouses & girlfriends" do you think he owes an apology to values fans?
Stewart is a wise cracker. You can't expect him to change now.
Is the pressure to perform with a new team getting to Kenseth exactly like it did to Kahne last year?
Not at all. Nobody would go with him in the Unlimited and he was trying to help a teammate when he was shuffled back in the duel.
That was a tremendous performance by The Outlaw Austin Dillon yesterday, we think he has a great future ahead of him.
I agree. He'll be ready for Cup fulltime in 2014.
With Dale Junebug starting 19th, passing impossible, no tandems and drafting dead, how will Junebug get to the front?
With 43 cars, you'll see two lanes move like a train back and forth. At least I believe you will, so moving to the front won't be as difficult as it was in the duels and Unlimited.
In your opinion is Danica already the most successful professional race car driver in the modern history of racing?
Hey David, we were wondering if The Outlaw Dillon Brothers will win both championships this year?
Wouldn't surprise me. Austin was my pick to win the Nationwide Series.
With the heartbreaking end to the 2011 season and a dismal 2012, do you see the 99 team bouncing back to prominence in 2013?
I almost left him out of my top 12 for this year he was such a non-factor last year. But slow start at Daytona aside, I do expect Edwards to bounce back strong.
We are so pumped to see Rowdy Brad repeat his championship performance this year Newt!
More sarcasm, but don't be surprised if he's there at the end.
Should I be concerned about how much you like me?
Well . . .
Do you think 1 reason Danica is an ace on the plate tracks is because smoothness is critical just like in Indy car racing?
I remember Dale Jr once said his grandmother could qualify at Daytona. I've been in simulators on plate tracks and have done fine. Put me on Bristol I was horrible. That explain it?
Over/under on number of Danica articles for the year, my number is two thousand.
We haven't passed 2,000 yet?
As a Rowdy Kyle fan loved your story today! Outside of the small minority of old Rowdy haters are you seeing that real fans are gaining appreciation and respect for Kyle as he continues to win and mature?
Thanks, and I have noticed fewer haters this year. Not sure why that is. Maybe they've lost interest.
Newt, Who do you think will finish higher Pastrana or Johanna Long? And have you been able to covertly steal any documents of the "Gen-6" track drier?
Pastrana. I really like what I've seen from him. As for the Air Titan dryer, stil working under cover on that. Can't comment on things that are top secret.
I was super impressed with Kyle's post duel comments and was curious to know if you think Rowdy will continue to behave like professional Jimmie or revert to the Stewart-like tough guy?
How about somewhere in between. Easy to be good when you've just won.
Running 36 races with 43 cars on the track wrecks are inevitable. Are you hearing #88 team has plans in place for Dale's retirement if he has another "big one"?
No plans I've heard. Junior is pretty confident the concusions are under control.
I have to agree David that with every passing year Kyle seems to polish himself a little more. I, also, agree with Hilton that the Unlimited and the Duels were snort fests. I know the manufactures, and fans are happy with the brand identity but those races put you to sleep; and Sunday's 500 miles! For the restrictor plate races make the bumpers line up and race there. It was more entertaining and it gave you some surprise winners, not the follow the leader.
So you want to bring back Dancing with the Cars? No. As entertaining as it was at times, it was too contrived. I hated that a driver had to depend on another driver to go. I hope what we're seeing will never invite that back.
Since Danica is a permanent fixture in cup for the foreseeable future do you expect her to be accepted by fans as good for the sport for bringing fans and sponsors sort of like Dale Jr, even if they don't win?
I think she already is accepted by most. Am I wrong?
He is well past his prime and has no shot to win, but Terry Labonte running a race that he ran all the way back in 1979 is still pretty impressive isn't it?
I agree, he is well past his prime and has no chance to win.
David, you do know Harvick was insulting you guys in the press and not Danica. He call you guys TMZ the lowest in the low of journalism
I do know that. Kevin and I talked about it on Sunday. He also understands that because fans read about Danica no matter what that we have little option but to write about everything she does.
Racing was disappointing yesterday in the duels. Why doesn't the media call Nascar out when the product is below par?
It's a plate race, and so far we've only seen half a field in a race. I wouldn't make a final judgment yet. And remember drivers liked the way they handled at mile and a half tracks.
What's all this talk about old fans making "the sport" what it is today? I've never heard that kind of talk about NFL, MLB, NBA, F1 etc?
Just answering the question. But there is a difference in the typical NASCAR fan and fans of other sports from my knowledge of covering other sports. There's a unique passion and link with tradition that seems more important here.
It infuriates me when drivers do not race hard in the duels--even when sitting on the pole. Fans pay a ton of money to sit in those seats on Thursday, and it is the responsibility of teams to race. Your thoughts?
I agree, but it's hard to argue against them taking it easy. Why would Danica Patrick want to destroy the car on the pole for the 500? Why risk starting in back instead of lead the field to the checkered? The problem is the format, not so much the drivers.
Looks like Chevy already has an aero advantage. How soon do you think before NASCAR issues new body panels to Toyota and Ford?
Not new body panels, but you can bet if a trend does continue they'll ask for something to either slow down the Chevys or make the others faster.
heard rain is in the forecast for sunday.
40 or 50 percent chance of storms I'm hearing as well. Can you say Air Titans?
Do you think it would benefit the sport if the media covered the sport more critically rather than always defend NASCAR?
I think we cover it pretty critically.
How come Steven Wallace finished 10th in the Nationwide series and now races at New Smyrna while Danica's 10th place finish earned her a spot at Stewart Haas?
JJ said before qualifying, that a monkey could do this after running a half marathon in the morning. Are you and everyone else making too big of a deal about Danica winning the pole? Was she just the fastest and lightest monkey, with a great engine?
It was an historic moment, so no, we're not making too big of a deal over it. But if you read my column up now you'll see where I think the focus is shifting. http://es.pn/URmbIq
The second 150 Jeff Gordon was very dominate untill that penalty. Do you think that dominace will translate to the 500?
Yep. He was super fast. One of my favorites to win the race.
Which Hendrick driver will have the most wins this season?
Thanks for the great Kyle Busch story! Is it just that same old ,small group of haters who post negativity on every ESPN Rowdy story?
Thanks. People will always hate.
Does it seem odd to you that no in the media ever says the 8 drivers that finished ahead of Danica in NNS deserve a cup ride?
I don't think anyone has said they don't deserve a Cup ride, either.
I thought Dave Rogers comments about fans "getting what they wanted" with single file racing was pretty snarky. Someone might want to remind him that he has a job because we pay money to sit in those seats and turn on our televisions. No?
He was just being real.
Montoya a good dark horse to win the 500?
He was one I considered for that role, so yes.
How soon before we see yet another Jr's confidence is back, this is Jr's year story?
After he wins the Daytona 500.
Hey Newt, maybe you should have a Vegas sports booking show "If you call right now, I give you my Daytona lock!"
If somebody has a lock for Daytona then they deserve a show.
Dave tell Jenn she need to look at history of NASCAR before she makes comments like that.
You just did.
Why has the 48/88 shop been so much slower than the 5/24 shop during the course of this speedweeks? Nobody in the media is making a big deal of this, but it seems like a story to me.
Different approaches at this point, but I suspect all four will be strong on Sunday.
Why all the hype of who was locked in to the 500 during the duels yesterday, it was always gonna be the 2 last place finishers in the duels who weren't locked in!
We are disapointed that Kyle is running so many NW and truck races this year. Do you think the young guns will teach him a lesson like Cale Gale did last year?
The number really isn't much different than last year. I suggest get over it. Kyle will continue to dip into the lower series because he loves to race. Period.
Dave, I read your latest article but I am confused. Who is "You Know who"???? Ha, ha. Anxious to see how she does this weekend. But I have to say "GO JUNIOR"
You know who she is. Thanks. And I do think Junior has a good shot.
Hey Newt - is NASCAR fighting an unwinnable battle trying to remedy the aero push (or whatever the nom du jour for it is)? The cars are too heavy and don't generate enough downforce to overcome the passing the leader problem with aero tweaks.
Too heavy? They took 150 pounds out of them from last season. Look at the spoiler. It is tiny.
Do you really believe Danica when she says she can't wait for a beer and a sandwich after qualifying? Or is she just pulling a Jimmie trying to connect with fans?
She sounds sincere. And if she's going to hang with SHR guys then she has little choice.
Denny Hamlin said it was "destiny" that Danica be on the pole. Are you resigned to fate in the way that Denny is?
No. She was on the pole because they built a fast car for testing and an even faster one for Daytona. He's probably jealous his car wasn't that fast.
Well I want someone who appreciates his fans, someone who won't curse their manufacturer is a key point as well.
Johnson. Keselowski, Gordon, Earnhardt, Kahne . . . there are lots of drivers that fit that bill.
Hey Dave I am in a NASCAR pool I can only use a driver twice the whole season, Who do I pick for the 500 and why ?
Do you have to use all the drivers at least once? I so, I'd take Danica even though I don't think she will win, but it's probably the best chance she'll get. I'd take Regan Smith and maybe Kurt Busch as well.
Thanks for the KB story today Newt! With Junebug back in 19th and passing impossible do you expect #88 to finish plus or minus 2 spots from where he starts?
He'll be top five unless something dramatic happens.
Many people are saying that the Toyotas will be the main challengers to the Chevys this season, and Ford a little behind the eight ball with the new car?
That's the way it looks here. Not sure how it will play out at other tracks until we see them a few times.
I have tried to make my girl friend a race fan and now that Danica is on the pole and my fav driver Jeff Gordon on the front row with her we are both excited about this 500
Congrats. May you live happily in Victory Lane ever after.
according to #2 "Chevy's "really, really strong". Did NASCAR give Chevy too much? How soon does NASCAR even the playing field?
Well, the Chevy teams have been really strong for a long time. Nothing NASCAR gave the manufacturer.
Loved your adjective "Ultra Competitive" to describe Rowdy in the story. Great work!
Thanks. Was there any doubt.
Why do people complain so much about Danica in being in the Cup Series, when she has sponsor money that gets her a ride, when the other nationwide drivers just don't sponsors or experience yet?
Human nature, particularly when there are talented drivers who can't get to Cup because they can't get sponsorship. The difference in NASCAR and other sports is it takes more than talent to get you to the top.
So would you get rid of the duels? Have them race the backup cars in the duels?
I'd shorten Speedweeks to four or five days, run the Unlimited on Tuesday night, practice and qualify on Wednesday, run some version of the qualifying races on Thursday afternoon, Trucks Friday night, Nationwide Saturday and Daytona 500 Sunday. Not sure I'd do away with duels because of the tradition. And they do race harder when there are more cars vying for positions.
I read somewhere that the Duels would be in Prime Time next year? Any truth to this rumor? I think it would be an excellent move on NASCAR's part.
That is true.
Assuming it rains all day Sunday. Prime time 500 again?
I'm all for it. Loved last year's race.
That's it for me, folks. Back to work at Daytona. Thanks for taking the time to ask great questions. Even to those that asked bad ones. Who's going to win on Sunday? Kyle Busch.