Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 14, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Hinton

Ed Hinton
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon, all. Let's get rolling.

Lew Dawson (Fort Worth, TX)

Hi, Ed. Is it true you predicted, before the 2012 season opened, that Brad Keselowski would win the championship? And what is your prediction for the #2 team this year?

Ed Hinton
  (2:01 PM)

Yes, I picked him in January of '12. And I picked him to repeat this year. No reader, catter or commentor has called me an idiot since, oh, about last September. And so far I'm lookin' pretty good again, huh?

Ed Hinton
  (2:02 PM)

Not even close. We all know that the Danica bashers are always out in force far more than the Danica supporters. We're entirely used to the complaining.

Lew Dawson (Fort Worth, TX)

Do you see any existing race dates being stripped by NASCAR in the next 3 to 5 years, either to shorten the season or to add new venues? I'd love to see Iowa and Circuit of the Americas added.

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Don't see anything changing anytime soon. I'd like to see Iowa too. Circuit of the Americas? Eddie Gossage at TMS would throw a fit. And NASCAR would listen.

Joe (SC)

Is James Finch smiling when he sees his car with an average 13th place finish and Kurt Busch with an average 25th place finish?

Ed Hinton
  (2:03 PM)

Nossir. James Finch is too nice a guy for that sort of thing.

Joe (NC)

When a faster car, the #5, with newer tires can't pass the leader at the end of the race then they haven't fixed a thing.

Ed Hinton
  (2:04 PM)

Have you considered the driving? Besides, Kasey acknowledged his car went off some at the end.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

Ed - Don't you think 5 HOF entries each year is a blessing and a curse? Right now the greats are not able to get in because of the limit. I expect there will come a time when the HOF will be dilutted in order to keep to the 5 each year

Ed Hinton
  (2:05 PM)

I've said all along they should induct 10 a year for the first four or five years, then cut it back to five. That way you wouldn't have obvious names backlogged like you do now.

Ed Hinton
  (2:06 PM)

They'd never admit it, but I'll bet they do. I think his appeal chances are good, wink, wink.

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

woops, did I file an answere befor posting the question? here's the question to the last answer I gave.

Tim (CT)

Do you think NASCAR regrets fining Hamlin given the negative reaction?

Ed Hinton
  (2:07 PM)

See above, where I say I think his appeal chances look good.

Baseballman (Florida)

Hi Ed, if Rowdy wins Bristol on Sunday can us Toyota fans sigh relief knowing the TRD engine gremlins are in the past?

Ed Hinton
  (2:08 PM)

I think you can already rest easy with Kenseth's win at Vegas.

Dan (NC)

After the Phoenix race the TV reporter correctly asked Jimmie about the last few laps. That is exactly what the fans wanted to know. Jimmie answers by thanking his crew and sponsors and never talks about the on track racing. That is one reason JJ will never be universally liked. I bet Petty never did that.

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

I don't recall that he did, but that was a different era entirely. You think JJ does that a lot? Try Harvick and those guys.

Fred (SC)

Why do so many in the media seem to be overlooking BradK? They hardly ever pick him to win a race or even the championship?

Ed Hinton
  (2:09 PM)

You're talking to the wrong guy. I picked him to win the championship last year, and to repeat this year.

Andi (Johnsville)

What do you think of Sprint Cup champs Johnson, Stewart, Kenseth and Kezoloski racing in Nationwide like we've seen the first 3 races?

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

Same ol' same ol'. I've always been against cup drivers cherry picking but it'll never change.

Steve (HI)

Ed, Do you know when Hamlins appeal will be heard? FREE Denny!

Ed Hinton
  (2:10 PM)

No, but I think NASCAR will more than have the message from the fans before the appeal is heard.

RacingDMP (Mianus, CT)

Ed,Based on the way you emphasized Hall of FAME in your article, what are the chances Danica makes it into the HOF? She's got fame.

Ed Hinton
  (2:11 PM)

Here we go with the Danica bashing. First, she has to race in Cup for 10 years, then be retired for three, so there's a long way to go.

Andrew (Kentucky)

All this Danica coverage is ticking me off!!!! When will guys ever learn that she is overrated and will never amount to what you claim she is!

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

No, we won't.

Tom (CT)

How does the performance of Matt Kenseth so far this year say about the quality in the driver's seat of the #20 for the previous 4 years?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

The JGR move speaks for itself, doesn't it?

KBNation (Global)

Hey Ed! How great is it that Rowdy finally has a quality teammate and a team leader in the 20?

Ed Hinton
  (2:12 PM)

Rowdy cheerleading, Danica bashing, oh, well, another day on the ol' chat.

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

I'm curious how the bears under your home are doing? I loved that column of yours! And thanks for all the chats and fantastic coverage calling it like it is, we all appreciate your hard work!

Ed Hinton
  (2:13 PM)

Thanks for asking. They haven't been back. I miss them.

Shane (Chillicothe OH)

Ed, I asked Dave yesterday about Ganassi dumping Montoya and Mcmurray and he said who are you gonna get to replace them that there sponsors like? Isn't it about results? Your saying Target and McDonald's wants to run in the 15 20 range because that what they are ? Thoughts?

Ed Hinton
  (2:14 PM)

Don't blame them. They'd be running better if they were in better cars. And yes, sponsors think of a lot more than results.

Bill Scott (Lake Summerset, Illinois)

Hell-o Ed, I think it's hard for the Cup drivers to pass because the cars are so equal. The cars look more like the models in the showroom. Would you like to see more of a dirrerence in the 3 makes? In other words more of a "Run What Ya Brung" and let the chips fall where they may? If the cars are equal, the difference is the driver and teams. So what if one make dominated, the others need to work harder and/or bend the rules more! Indy cars are more like the NASCAR idea also. Too many rules? Thanks, Bill

Ed Hinton
  (2:15 PM)

What I'd like to see is a return to the rule that the bodywork had to be factory, the silhouette of a showroom model, like Petty's '70s Dodge Chargers. But NASCAR told me years ago they can never go back.

Steve (HI)

Hello Mr. Hinton, What ever happened to the sealed engine rule for the NW cars a few years ago? I must have fell a sleep. What was NASCAR trying with that rule? I know you are the answer man on this one. Thanks for the chats.

Ed Hinton
  (2:16 PM)

I thought that was for the eastern and western pro series. Can't recall sealed engines for NW, but I'm not positive.

Roscoe (Cali)

Shrub says he wants to run NW races so he gets a better feel for the track in the Cup race. Why does he not run do this in his KBM equipment like Harvick did in KHI vehicles?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

It appears he chose to turn the business and staffing side of things over to J.D. Gibbs. Less headaches.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Speedway Between Martinsville,Pocono,& Sonoma Do you think that Danica Patrick will Struggle the Most at?

Ed Hinton
  (2:17 PM)

Oh, me . . .if I had to guess I'd say Martinsville. mighty tough little track that a lot of veterans haven't mastered.

Jeremy (South Hill, VA)

I'm going to go against the grain here. No doubt NASCAR shouldn't have fined Hamlin, but if I were NASCAR I would not accept his appeal and make him pay up. I'm second to no one in wanting colorful drivers (huge Brad K. fan) but NASCAR runs the show. If Denny doesn't want to pay, in my opinion he can park his butt at home until he wants to drive again. It's his paycheck that he's forfeiting, not NASCAR's.

Ed Hinton
  (2:18 PM)

Fair and balanced posting here.

Scott (Charlotte)

I know NASCAR is getting bashed because of the Hamlin deal, but name me another sports league that players can talked to the head of the sport (ie Mike Helton) privately about issues on a weekly basis?

Ed Hinton
  (2:19 PM)

More posting from the other side. Although your comparison is apples to oranges. Way fewer NASCAR drivers than NFL, NBA or MLB players. And in NASCAR they're all in the same garage every weekend.

KC (Joyner)

Is it a surprise that Dale-Danica are 1-2 on the Forbes NASCAR $$ list?

Ed Hinton
  (2:20 PM)

They're not. I believe Danica is No. 7.

Ronald (Jacksonville)

What team do you expect Graham Rahal to be driving for at the Mid Ohio NASCAR NW race?

Ed Hinton
  (2:21 PM)

Are you sure he'll have a ride? I'd still take Villeneuve or one of the established ringers.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

If sponsors only considered results Dale Jr and Kurt Busch would be opposite rides (and I say this as a Busch hater and Jr fan)

Ed Hinton
  (2:22 PM)

I didn't say only. I said strongly.

Jeremy (South Hill, VA)

I'm going to go against the grain here. No doubt NASCAR shouldn't have fined Hamlin, but if I were NASCAR I would not accept his appeal and make him pay up. I'm second to no one in wanting colorful drivers (huge Brad K. fan) but NASCAR runs the show. If Denny doesn't want to pay, in my opinion he can park his butt at home until he wants to drive again. It's his paycheck that he's forfeiting, not NASCAR's.

Ed Hinton
  (2:23 PM)

More from the other side of the aisle on this issue.

Mike (Ohio)

Where do you see Ryan Newman next year with Harvick coming to SHR?

Ed Hinton
  (2:24 PM)

He may not have an easy time landing with a top team. Reputation for roughness, so-so results in recent years.

Bill (Baily)

I read where Johnson said Bristol could be tricky with tires because of the "glass" on the noses of the Gen 6. Is he talking about fiberglass getting on the track by bumping and banging?

Ed Hinton
  (2:26 PM)

Didn't see the remark in context, but probably so. Splitters in general are a danger to tires at Bristol -- cutting them.

Andrew (W. Kentucky)

Hi Ed, as you know Richard Childress Racing hasn't won the cup championship since 1994, some 19 years ago. Has that ship sailed or do you think that organization will ever be able to compete with the Big 4 (Gibbs, Roush, Penske and HMS) ?

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

They've been in the hunt quite a bit. I think they'll rebound, especially when the Dillon boys move to the top level. Pop Pop will pour everything he's got into them.

Steve (HI)

ED, Where is the Air Titan you wrote about as a godsend.

Ed Hinton
  (2:27 PM)

We'll see it when it rains. So far, no need.

Bill (MA)

On the telecasts you'll hear an announcer say "fill it up with Sunoco fuel etc". Are they mandated to plug Sunoco?

Ed Hinton
  (2:28 PM)

Don't know officially, but that does appear to be the case.

Scott (Charlotte)

One writer suggested that Brad K was one of the smartest people in NASCAR. He brings up good points sometimes, but his solutions just baffle me. Like when he said that drivers should not be allowed to take Flintstone vitamens when he was wearing a Miller Lite firesuit

Ed Hinton
  (2:29 PM)

You don't know when to take him seriously. He told me back in January he's learned that if he drinks more orange juice he can drink more beer -- "yin and yang" he called it. You just never know with him. And I suspect the vitamin line was hyperbole.

Marc (Malden, MA)

It's Nascar's show and Hamlin should abide? If everyone had that attitude, we'd still be colonists of England.

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

And a STRONG counter punch from the Free Denny camp.

Keith H (Seattle)

Is it me or are NASCAR fans extremely impatient? We're only three races into the season and already judgements are being passed on the Gen 6. How about letting the teams and crew chiefs get a handle on the new car before passing opinions/judgments?

Ed Hinton
  (2:30 PM)

It's not you at all. They're the most impatient fans I know.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

What tracks do you think Danica will surprise people at that didn't expect her to do well at?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Maybe Sonoma and the Glen. She's had a couple of decent outings on road courses.

Jim Clark (LI,NY)

How many races would Wendell Scott have won if he had good equipment?

Ed Hinton
  (2:31 PM)

Really, really tough to say. But more than just the one, I'd think.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

I work next door to the Food City, Brad Keselowski is going to be at tonight, the parking lot is packed (don't know for Brad K). No grocery shopping during raceweek.

Ed Hinton
  (2:32 PM)

He's got to be the No. 1 draw in NASCAR for events like that right now.

Paul (Kingston, AZ)

When Rowdy got a pit road penalty at Vegas I noticed the haters cheering but when Rowdy powered has way back into contention with that awesome 3-wide pass, finishing 4th there was silence. Why aren't you ESPN guys more balanced with your reporting?

Ed Hinton
  (2:33 PM)

What on earth are you talking about? That wasn't even our telecast race, and there was no cheering either way on our live chat.

Jim (Bayala)

After Vegas Kezolowski was congratulating Jimmie and Rowdy. Since when are NASCAR drivers so happy to finish 3rd?

Ed Hinton
  (2:34 PM)

Kes hates to lose as much as anybody, but what's wrong with being a good sport?

Jim Clark (LI,NY)

To ask a (hopefully) reasonable question about Danica, how long does it take an open wheel driver to adjust to how a stock car handles?

Ed Hinton
  (2:35 PM)

Depends on the driver. She is resistant to sliding a car around, which to me is very important in the transition from open wheel to NASCAR.

Dookie (GA)

Who do you predict wins first for Mercedes F1? Hamilton or Rosberg?

Ed Hinton
  (2:36 PM)

My brain says Hamilton but my heart says Rosberg. His old man, Keke, was a piece of work when he drove.

Colin (Scarborough, Ontario)

Until or if Dale ever challenges for wins and can win more than Michigan do you think he has a chance to be a champion?

Ed Hinton
  (2:37 PM)

Not under the circumstances you describe.

Jeremy (South Hill, VA)

I'm going to go against the grain here. No doubt NASCAR shouldn't have fined Hamlin, but if I were NASCAR I would not accept his appeal and make him pay up. I'm second to no one in wanting colorful drivers (huge Brad K. fan) but NASCAR runs the show. If Denny doesn't want to pay, in my opinion he can park his butt at home until he wants to drive again. It's his paycheck that he's forfeiting, not NASCAR's.

Ed Hinton
  (2:38 PM)

Yeah, but the thing was, his harmless little comment wasn't meant to be critical.

The Governor (Woodbury)

Do you have any insight as to why NASCAR doesn't hit Fontana while they are out west? Why stick it in between Bristol and Martinsville?

Ed Hinton
  (2:39 PM)

I'm not sure, but it's probably that Bristol wants to stick with its date exactly.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

Forecast for Saturday in East Tennessee: 50 degrees with a nice chilling wind coupled with a bucket load of RAIN

Ed Hinton
  (2:40 PM)

Then maybe we get to see the new drying system.

Jim Clark (LI,NY)

Do any of the Flock brothers belong in the Hall of Fame? Pre-NASCAR driver Lloyd Seay (based on what Big Bill said in your article)?

Ed Hinton
  (2:41 PM)

I think Tim and Fonty both belong there and they'll get there eventually. Lloyd Seay to me is the most magical figure in stock car racing history. But because he died in 1941, it may be a long time before he gets in.

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Please stop sending multiple versions of the same question. It confuses things as I try to grab them and answer on the fly. From now on, if you post the same question more than once I will delete them ALL.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

Dryers plus they gots the lights at Bristol - I am hoping we can get it in. Best part of raceweek for me is watching the cars leave so I can go grocery shopping or eat at the Cracker Barrell.

Ed Hinton
  (2:43 PM)

Maybe a "spring Bristol night race" this time?

AJ (Pittsburgh)

Is there any chance Dodge will come back soon? or at all?

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

"At all," probably. Soon? Doub it.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

What about Raymond Parks - Rusty Wallace in before him is near criminal.

Ed Hinton
  (2:44 PM)

I have beaten my head against the wall on behalf of Raymond Parks for so long that I'm just going to take a breather and resume lobbying at a later date.

Jim Clark (LI,NY)

Was that consulting groups recommendation for IndyCar about the silliest thing ever? 14 races in 19 weeks? End the season on the Indy road course? Have Long Beach, one of the few successful street races, change its date?

Ed Hinton
  (2:45 PM)

As if IndyCar wasn't in enough trouble, it's now in the hands of businessmen an consultants.

Busch Brothers Nation (USA)

Do you think Outlaw and Rowdy have been playing the media-sponsor-public perception game smart this year or should they be showing a little more of their natural aggression and passion?

Ed Hinton
  (2:46 PM)

I like the old versions, myself. But their strategy seems to be working. The haters have quieted somewhat -- not enough fodder for the chats.

Steve (HI)

Ed, Do you think J Long deserves a chance with better equip?

Ed Hinton
  (2:47 PM)

Well, sure, but she's got a ways to go. She has not been error-free. Who was it she ran into week before last?

HMS Fan (Charlotte)

Do you think Gordon's LV race laid down a marker for what to expect from the #24 team for the rest of the year and maybe Jeff's career? Do you think he'll go out like DW and Petty did not winning during their final years?

Ed Hinton
  (2:48 PM)

No, he won't go out as sadly as either Petty or DW. JG will quit before he embarrasses himself.

Craig (Johnson City, TN)

Ed, last year Brian Vickers was very close to winning the fall Bristol race. Do you think he has a shot on Sunday?

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

Maybe, if he behaves himself -- which is sometimes hard for him to do on a short track.

Kristin (NYC)

What truck race are you looking forward to seeing? For me, it would be the race @ Eldora.

Ed Hinton
  (2:49 PM)

I think that's everybody's No. 1 in trucks this year.

Matt (Charlotte)

Hey Ed, got a question regarding restritor plate tracks. I understand that the cars would go 230+, but the drivers would just have to adjust they way they drive, I mean, they technically can go way to fast for charlotte, but they slow down in the turns and navigate the track in the best way possible, why couldn't they do that at dega or daytona without restrictor plates?

Ed Hinton
  (2:51 PM)

The speeds would be so high that you'd risk liftoff. Insurance companies don't like that. Remember that recent controversy about a bunch of fans being injured at Daytona? That's why. A driver is going to run as hard as his car will let him run.

Derrick (NY)

When NASCAR redesigned this Gen 6 did they ever consider using the German Touring Car (DTM) body styles? Have you ever seen those awesome cars?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

I know it's a heckuva series. Doubt NASCAR looked at that, though.

Rick (NC)

Since NASCAR is always talking about cost reduction, particularly in the lower tier series, why did NASCAR add circuits essentially requiring teams to build special vehicles for dirt tracks and road courses?

Ed Hinton
  (2:52 PM)

Oh, the great paradox of NASCAR's "cost reduction."

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

Does Tony get into a truck at Eldora? I mean he has to, right?

Ed Hinton
  (2:53 PM)

I can't imagine that he wouldn't.

Ed Hinton
  (2:54 PM)

Confidential to JK -- if you'd identify your location as, say, NYC, there'd be more of a comfort zone that you aren't trolling.

Todd (Georgia)

Lets say Dale Jr ends his career with 20 to 25 wins and now sprint cup championship. Does he get in the hall of fame?

Ed Hinton
  (2:55 PM)

Probably so, but some years after retirement, quite a while

Jeremy (South Hill, VA)

Sorry for the multiple re-sends, I have no idea what gets through and what doesn't and don't know if I sent this one: I agree that he shouldn't have been fined but is he right to just refuse to pay it? Not at all. Bill France Sr. set that precedent long ago when drivers refused to race at Talladega. Like Hamlin, the drivers were right. Also like Hamlin, until they sign their own paychecks, they could either sit out the race or shut up.

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

Just everybody rest assured that when you send, it gets to my list. Some chats, I receive the same questions posted several times, and I'm just going to have to start deleting all multiple questions. Just know that when you send, it's there.

Andrew (W. Kentucky)

Can you request that ESPN2 schedules NASCAR Now for before 11 PM ET? We have to work in the morning.

Ed Hinton
  (2:57 PM)

That's waaaaaaaaaaay above my pay grade.

Kristin (NYC)

Are there any tracks that are due for a repaving?

Ed Hinton
  (2:58 PM)

Don't know of any scheduled in the next year.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

I like the old Busch Brothers too. The new versions are not even worth hating but both have learned the hard way: "tick off a sponsor, lose a ride".

Ed Hinton
  (2:59 PM)

Kyle hasn't lost a ride, but he obviously has been spoken to at JGR.

Larry (Loopa)

Did you ever work the Sebring 12 hours? When and who won?

Ed Hinton
  (3:00 PM)

I did, in the '70s. BMW factory team won the first one I covered, I believe in '75.

Steven (Kingsport, TN)

I have wanted to ask you, on that famous incident where Deford rewrote the beginning of your AJ Foyt article what ticked you off the most: that he rewrote it or that he was right?

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

He didn't rewrite the lede, he just omitted a brief phrase with a crude term in it. When all was said and done, I don't think he really took any edge off the lede.

Ed Hinton
  (3:01 PM)

Well, time to go, folks. Thanks to all for stopping by.