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March 4, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to a rare Monday afternoon appearance by yours truly. Ryan McGee warned you guys get a little rowdy, and I don't mean Kyle Busch. Let's get right to it.

Steve (Hi)

Hi Ryan, How many times can the cars go through inspection if they don't pass? I myself think there should be a limit of some kind. I know the teams are there to win and push it to a gnats behind. Your thoughts please. Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

They'll send them through until they get it right or they run out of time to qualify or make the race. Usually a second time is all they need.

Steve (Da Big Island)

Mr. McGee, I saw a twit pic from one of your awesome ESPN reporters that showed the stands nearly empty for qualifying on Friday. What would you do to spice these days up.

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Well, it is Mr. Newton. But the stands are nearly empty for qualifying almost every week. Tracks have tried several things, but it's usually on a Friday at a time when people are at work. Plus it's qualifying, and there's not much drama. My solution is simple. Reduce every weekend to a two day show. Qualify on Saturday when fans are there for the Nationwide or Truck race, then race on Sunday.

Kalani (HI)

Ryan, If the GWC finishes are for the fans why dont they stop counting the Yellow flag laps?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Really? The laps don't do anything but add to the race total. Just be thankful the race isn't ending in yellow.

Roscoe (Cali)

Two races into the season and the 51 has finished well ahead of Urt in the 78 both times. Does Finch have a big "smile" on his face, sort of like the smiley face on his car last year?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Knowing James Finch, yes. You must have read my Monday rundown and seen the numbers, right? I not, here you go. http://espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/notebook/_/page/130304MondayRundown/monday-rundown

Roscoe (Cali)

Shrub spun himself out twice this race. Is he pushing too hard which will cause him to miss the Chase again?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

I saw a lot of drivers spin themselves out. There's still a balance issue with the new car and the tires. As I warned would happen before the season, this is a work in progress despite all the hype.

Zach (Dubuque, IA)

Do you think Cousin Carl's win at Phoenix will get him back to his old form or do you get the sense that we still need to wait and see?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

I'd give it a few more weeks. He was 10th in points at this time a year ago. He's 11th now. One race does not make a season.

Mike (Kentucky)

I'm not liking this Gen 6 car one bit McGee! Too much single file driving and not nearly enough passing! What should NASCAR do to improve the quality of these races?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

It's not just the car. The racing wasn't much different at Phoenix with the previous car. The track changes a few years ago, many drivers believe, hurt the racing. They will figure out the balance on the new car and the racing will improve. Be patient. Vegas will be the much bigger test.

Tyler (Greenfield, NY)

How did you feel about Rowdy dominating the Nationwide race Saturday at Phoenix and collecting his 52nd Nationwide victory?

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Didn't bother me one bit.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Speedways that Danica Patrick has Never Been to in the Sprint Cup Series do you think that she will Struggle Very Badly at?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Did she drive at Darlington last year? Can't remember.

brandon birdsboro pa [via mobile]

Did you see jimmie johnson & 48 team daytona 500 harlem shake? And what did you think of it?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Loved it, but would have preferred they show where Johnson got on top of his hauler and danced. Or Shaked.

YAR8packX2 (Candor)

I can't believe yesterday's race didn't have 100 passes for the lead and a 10-wide finish. This Gen6 car is garbage. Bring back the COT. *sarcasm* Actually I thought yesterday's race was pretty good. New car and somewhat new track typically leads to a single groove and little passing. I think Vegas will be the biggest test yet for the Gen6 car. What do you think?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

I caught the sarcasm before you got to the *. Agree with your premise.

Wyatt (Ky)

You think there is any chance the that Allmendinger gets the 51 car full time if continues performing like he did Sunday.

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Nope. They already have a deal to split time with Regan Smith. The only thing that would change that is if a sponsor stepped up and demanded AJ for the entire schedule.

Kurt and Kyle (Las Vegas)

Hey David, did you like our tribute to our mom's wreck in the tunnel Saturday with out sychronized wall slap on Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Funny. Maybe NASCAR needs to work on a Gen 6 golf cart.

Kyle (Las Vegas)

David, why is it so easy for me to dominate on Saturday and then hard to be competitive Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

Easier to dominate in NW where the talent pool isn't as great.

Joey (Las Vegas)

How is it that every other top Ford driver is in the Top 12 in points while I am stuck back in 21st??

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Cause you ran out of gas and spoiled a good day.

Kurt and Kyle (Las Vegas)

Are we both really behind Danica in the points right now??

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Giggling.

Ricky (Las Vegas)

How's that ROY battle looking now?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Like I anticipated.

Rick (Las Vegas)

How about that 48/88 shop! Think we can keep it up all year?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Yes.

NASCAR Nation (Everywhere)

Any updates on Ryan Newman, David Gilliland, Ken Shrader, or David Ragan since we didn't get articles to let us know they were ok too after their wrecks??

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

I honestly thought the same thing. All were treated and released from the infield medical center.

Andrew (Midwest)

I know it is early, but 5 pre-season Chase contenders are currently sitting 30-34 in points. Is it time to hit the panic button yet for Kasey, Kurt, Kyle, Kevin, and Martin??

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

No. Truex is only like 24 point back. Kyle 18 or so I believe. Remember, Kasey was 31st in points six races in a year ago and he made it into the Chase with no problem. I'll bet at least three of those rally to make it.

Phoenix (FSU)

Your thoughts on how much better Dale Jr has been over Kurt and Kyle so far this year?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

No thoughts other than he's been better. Not surprised on Kurt. Am a bit suprised on Kyle. Seems the bad luck that followed him last year isn't all gone.

Andrew (Midwest)

Is there any part of Mark Martin at all that would want to make one more run at a Championship, or is the limited schedule the reason he is putting up such good numbers again?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

A little of both. He's relaxed and feeling no pressure since he doesn't have to worry about a title, and most people compete at a higher level when relaxed. He's happy with this schedule, and seemingly content with never winning a title. But I'm sure there's a small part of him that would like to show the world what a 54-year-old driver in his surpreme conditioning can do.

Andrew (Midwest)

I am holding off on my thoughts for the Gen-6 until after this week. Do you think we will see another single file, no passing race at Vegas, or will be finally get what the talking heads have promised all off-season?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

I'll go with somewhere in between. I'm glad you're holding your thoughts. As Chad Knaus said last week, we won't have a full grasp of the car until May.

Andrew (Midwest)

Did you guys not do your pre-season picks for who would make the Chase and win the title this year? I don't remember seeing it. In fact, I don't remember seeing any of ESPN's picks for this past weekend either!

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

We did. We just didn't publicize it as big so save ourselves embarrassment.

Clint (New Orleans)

David, I thought it was an illegal move to pass a car by going down on the skirt of the track like Denny Hamlin did this weekend? Can you explain?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

If there is a yellow line like Dega and Daytona that prohibits going below the line it's illegal. There is no out of bounds at Phoenix, so no issues whatsoever. I kind of like it.

Ashley (NC)

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gaye Busch and we hope she is recovering. Any word on the condition of Rowdy and Kurt's mom?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Kurt tweeted that she was fine.

Justin (Tenn)

Did Jimmie Johnsons performance in the NW race show he's average without a "Knaus Special" or does it say more about the quality of JRM race cars?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

It shows he doesn't have much seat time in the NW car. Nothing more.

Lyle (Texas)

Do you think Harvicks lack of performance is because of his lame duck status or is RCR behind the big 4, JGR, RFR, HMS and Penske?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

RCR has been behind the big four since the 2011 season ended. And I wouldn't read too much into two races. He was pretty strong at Daytona, winning the Unlimited and a qualifying race. He would have been a factor in the 500 had he not wrecked.

Bob (Builder)

Is Carl Edwards a legit contender for the Sprint Cup this season?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

He should be. No excuse not to be with his talent and Roush Fenway equipment.

Brett (Kernersville)

Hi Newt, how concerned is NASCAR about the TRD engine issues impacting the Joe Gibbs Racing and Waltrip?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

NASCAR isn't concerned, but TRD has to be. Officials said on Sunday they weren't related, offering that it was coincidence they came in bunches.

Brett (Kernersville)

Did NASCAR penalize Ryan Newman for ignoring officials when he refused to get in the ambulance and ran accross the track after his 2nd wreck?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Don't think so, although they prefer the driver get in the ambulance for a ride to the infield medical center instead of dancing their way through traffic.

Urt (FSU)

Do you think it would help RCR if they purchased engines from Hendrick like the switch Earnhardt-Ganassi made?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

No arguing HMS builds great engines, but Richard Childress would just as soon quit the sport as to stop building engines and get them from Hendrick.

Bob (Boulder)

Is Kyle Busch wrecking and nearly wrecking several times Sunday more proof that the Master of the Minors needs to focus solely on his Cup effort?

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

No. A lot of people hit the wall.

Andrew (Kentucky)

Hi Newt, really enjoyed that NASCAR Mexico Toyota race Fri. night. What kind of engines do they run in that series?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Oooh. Good question. Wish I had a good answer. I was off that day and not in Phoenix and didn't get to see the race. Heard it was a blast, though.

KB Nation (Global)

What did you think of the Toyota Racing Development statement about the devastating engine failures and how that tragedy is effecting JGR and MWR?

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

At this point have to take them at their word.

Mike (MN)

Which drivers 30th or back in points will make the Chase? Harvick, Kahne, Busch Brothers, and/or Truex

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

Kahne, Kyle.

Keith (Missoula Montana)

How come the 10 car didn't stay up on the wall like the 39 did. Could it be because she lets go of the wheel? Seems to me most people that hit the wall stay up on it.

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

She hit it as a much steeper angle and richocheted off the wall the best I could tell.

Katie (SC)

Kyle Petty is the only person I've heard give a thumbs down to the Gen6. Has NASCAR instructed the teams and media to only make positive comments about the new car?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

That is what I like about Kyle Petty, he isn't afraid to speak his mind no matter who it offends. As for an edict from NASCAR, let's just say they have strongly suggested pushing the car.

Ron (Smithville)

Do you think the poor performance at SHR is due to being over extended as a 3 car operation or because HMS isn't going to be out run by a satelite team running customer cars?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

It's early. Remember two years ago when Stewart was so frustrated he said he didn't deserve to be in the Chase. Then he won the title.

Griffin (Delaware )

David the NRA sponsoring the race does not really bother me, What people fail to realize is that the pole winner gets a shotgun and the race winner gets a pair of prized six shooter guns, they have been do this for years so why is it a big deal if NRA wants to sponsor it. It wasn't a big stink last year when the sponsored a Nationwide race so why now ?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

It is the perception more than anything for a sport trying to reach new fans. And last year the Newtown shooting hadn't occurred. I understand the NRA is big into education and safety, but I struggle with the timing of this one.

Dave (WI)

I thought it was a good race. Was there ever a time when aero-tight wasn't part of NASCAR? Maybe back when the cars were up off the ground and had little or no spoiler?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

Think you answered your own question.

Brian (Rochester NY)

I realize that it has only been 2 races but so far the Gen 6 car is worse than Gen 5. There was only 1 pass under green, not on a restart, for the the lead yesterday. I believe it was Mark Martin Getting Passed. It seems passing the leader is even harder now. Wasn't suppose to be easier. Jr. was right that spoiler is to large. Didn't they cut down the spoiler in 04 and then again in 05 to help the aero push? So why did the increase it so much this time?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

The goal with the spoiler was to create more downforce and more side by side racing. Again, Daytona and Phoenix aren't the best tracks to judge the car on. And as with the introduction with most things new, tweaks are needed before all is right.

Dan (NJ)

The NRA sponsoring a NASCAR race is a slap in the face to all fans who believe in enhanced gun control. I HATE my sports mixed with politics or hot button issues. There is enough stress in real life. Thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

That is the issue Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR face with this decision.

Candace (AR)

Is Rookie of the Year winner just based on where they are in final points standings?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Nope. It is way more complicated than that. See if this link helps. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASCAR_Rookie_of_the_Year

Charlie (New York)

who gets win #1 first; Stenhouse or Almirola?

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Gut says Stenhouse.

TG (PA)

Merry Monday to you. How did your home project turn out? Anyways how is Bob Osborne's health. I didn't know why he was taking time off. Does he plan to return to work with Carl.

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Home project still a work in process. Ripped out walls around tub. Re-tiling process has begun. Then re-glazing of tub. You get the picture. Osborne is doing much better. Still not 100 percent, but he said Sunday his doctors are happy with him. Not sure he'll ever return to the role he had with Carl. Stress of that job could have been a contributor.

Lee (Syracuse)

I know the pass that Denny Hamlin made at the end of the race was legal. But that far below the line? Just bothers me a bit when no one was doing that during the race. When I saw that live I thought he might have had a tire going down. Is this something NASCAR will take a look at?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Keselowski started that move the first race after the resurfacing. Maybe they didn't use it as much on Sunday because drivers aren't as comfortable with the handling of the new car yet, but NASCAR has no problem with it.

Brad (Crossville, TN)

Is Denny Hamlin right to say that Carl is relevent again? I feel like he is and think people should watch out for him again this weekend in Vegas. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

He is, but he could become irrevelant next week. Let's see where he is when the Chase starts.

TG (PA)

What was Kyle Petty talking about when he mentioned comparing Carls restart yesterday as compared to a race last year. I couldn't remember what happened last year.

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Richmond where Carl was penalized for jumping the restart. Was totally different circumstance.

Jason (Palo Alto )

Was Loganos fuel problem the same issue he had at Daytona. If so what is penske going to do to fix it

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

That I don't know. I just know it was costly.

Ted (Conway, Ma)

Afternoon David, Already they are complaining about the lack of passing with the new car? It's called "teething problems" give 'em a break. I see Kyle Bush tried a pass & spun. As a fan I think it's great to watch the evolution of a new car

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

I like the teething illustration. Good word. Glad you appreciate it for what it is.

Tom (Boston)

Hey Dave, do you think Joe Gibbs will ressurect his own engine program given all the problems going on with TRD engines?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

JGR had engine problems before going to TRD. That is one reason it switched. That and it makes more economical sense to do it this way.

jason (Palo Alto )

Should be worried about the fuel problems

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Yes.

Danny (Houston)

What did you think about Edwards response to Jimmy running his mouth about how #99 was slow on the final restart violating "protocol"?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

He handle it very well and ended, at least for me, any controversy before it really began.

Sneezit (moms basement)

when is NASCAR going to be fix another race for Dale Jr?

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

As soon as somebody can convince 42 other cars to start and park. Get real.

Colin (GA.)

With all the stuff that #48 has pulled over the years doesn't Jimmie come off as whining when he talks about Carl Edwards restarts?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Not sure about the "stuff" he has pulled off, and if you listen to the interview he didn't sound like he was whining at all He was just explaining the restart. And he said he may not have had enough to win regardless. He gave Carl his props.

rex (pa)

why the fuss about the NRA sponsorship? why does it matter?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Because the country is sensitive about the issue. And NASCAR doesn't want to tick off potential new fans.

Chuck (Cleveland)

Welcome to Monday Newt, I think the Gen-6 wasn't bad at Phoenix. In fact the racing there was more entertaining then it was at Daytona. Looks like Penske cars have some hold on the new car a little better then the rest, as they seem to be the few the continually were able to pass under green and not needing to constantly take two to keep track position. Any thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Thanks. Enjoying Monday so far. Nobody has called me anything really bad yet. I agree, the car wasn't bad at Phoenix. I'd say Penske and Hendrick have a good grasp of the car so far. Johnson looks like he's going to be a handful all year.

Jimmie Johnson (Charlotte)

Dave..did you see what Carl did to me on that last restart!!!!!..He slowed wayyy down, then hit the gas and pulled away from me, how can NASCAR allow this?!!! I'm 5 time!!!

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Yeah. It happens.

jason (Palo Alto )

Should joey be worried about the fuel problems

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

If he keeps running out he should. No excuse.

RacingDmp (Charlotte, NC Official Home of NASCAR)

So Jimmy Fennig proved he still has it. Brian Pattie did well last year. What will be the next driver & cc combo to turn on the magic?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Seems we crown a new pair every week. Still none have surpassed Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus.

Roscoe (Cali)

WIth Harvicks 2nd straight sub par performance has the "lame duck" reality set in on the #29 team?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Nope. Daytona wasn't subpar. He wrecked a potential winning car.

Cheryl (Texas)

Have you ever done the Harlem Shake?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Funny. Only in the privacy of my home where nobody can see. I'm not the dancer that Marty Smith is. I like the Carolina Shad.

Eric (PA)

I know its early, but considering how crowded the top 10 in points can be, you think the kahne, kyle busch harvick and truex need to start getting on a roll soon?

David Newton
  (2:55 PM)

Hardly. As I said in the Monday rundown, Kahne was 31st six races into last year and made it easily. We see this every year.

Dave (WI)

I know I probably answered my own question, the question is, should NASCAR look at a higher less aero car for better competition? Would look a lot more like the street cars, that's the idea, right?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

That part I can't answer. Wish I had a better understanding of the engineering side, but I have to leave that to the experts. I appreciate your thoughts on it, though.

Jeremy (Forest Hills, New York)

Hey Newt:Why were there so many rt front issues at phoenix? And why was the one who shall not be named the only one interviewed after her wreck?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

According to Denny Hamlin, it's the weight distribution with the new car.

Thomas (NJ)

What can NASCAR do to stop the races from being won or lost in the pits?

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

Have races so short there is no need to stop for fuel or tires.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Newt! A lot of people are complaining about the Gen6 car in yesterday's race. Personally, I thought the racing was pretty good given the recent reconfiguration. Goodyear brought a new tire to the track for yesterday's race. Did this play into the lack of passing/solid racing? How did the tire hold up?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Agree with much of what you say. There were issues with tires blowing. Hamlin said it has to do with the balance. I'm starting to agree with Johnson that if Phoenix wants to promote more passing it has to reconfigure the surface.

Andrew (Kentucky)

Do you think it was undignified and below the standards of a cup champ for Jimmie to cry about Edwards "protocol" on that last restart?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Nope.

Tommy (FL)

the nascar.com website is a mess were is the best place to find nascar information

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

ESPN.com.

Saul (San Diego)

Did you have your in an out burger?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Heart doctor has made those off limits. Haven't had fried food or red meat since June. Loving life, though.

Claudia (Western NY)

Don't forget the NRA sponsorship comes on the heels of "the racial slur" suspension. Timing is indeed everything. And so is image.

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

Agreed.

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

That's it for me, folks. Thanks for putting up with me and letting me fill Ryan McGee's time slot. I'm sure he'll be back next week and I'll be back to my regular midweek time. Have a great week.