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April 25, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Welcome to what I hope is a calm Thursday after a Whacky Wednesday on the penalty front. Matt Kenseth is steaming as you can read in our news story. Otherwise all is good. Let's get to the questions.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Sprint Cup Series Drivers that Never won a Sprint Cup Series Race will win their first Sprint Cup Series Race in 2013?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

I was Just Wondering did Matt Kenseth win another Pole Besides Kansas? How could He Be Banned from the 2014 Sprint Unlimited?

David Newton
  (2:02 PM)

If he wins another, he wll be eligible.

Joshua (Oklahoma City)

David,How is it fair that Matt Kenseth is going to keep credit for winning a race he didn't pass inspection with? Kasey Kahnes car was also inspected at the end of the race and passed inspection. So basically NASCAR has the guts to take points but not declare the legal car the winner of the race? How is this fair for KASEY Kahne in the chase?

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

NASCAR has a long-standing policy of never taking the win away. The founding fathers believed the winner should be the one the fans saw cross the finish line first at the track. And according to TRD and Kenseth and everyone I've talked to the issue gave him no competitive advantage.

Marsha [via mobile]

Was you surprise about the jgr 20 car got pemalized that car was too good

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Not surprised there was a penalty or that it was big. NASCAR is consistent with hammering teams for engine issues.

Roscoe (Cali)

Hamlin continued to tweet ref Joey after the Kansas race. Will he still be tweeting about this incident 20 years from now?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

I hope not. Let it go.

Phoenix (Lonely Hearts Club)

Did Shrub's truck wreck and rant cause him to lose focus resulting in him spinning and wrecking out in the Cup race?

David Newton
  (2:05 PM)

Nope.

Phoenix ( FSU Lonely Hearts Club)

How did Urt's Aussie V8 audition work out?

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Pretty good. You should go back and watch the video.

Andrew [via mobile]

Newt, what would you say to the people that claim the penalties against the 2, 20, and 22 are NASCAR trying to help HMS win another title? To me those conspiracies provide a good laugh!

David Newton
  (2:06 PM)

Ridiculous. I am laughing too.

Andrew [via mobile]

Your thoughts on the Gilliland/Patrick story? Interesting that ESPN chose not to cover it. To me it is a non-story and they both need to shut up and drive! Danica needs to learn those things happen in NASCAR, and Gilliland hasn't done much in his career to give him room to talk. However, if Danica was as good as some people try to say she is, she wouldn't be in these situations!

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

We didn't cover it other than in our Turn 4 question because it is a non-story. Gilliland only commented after he was told what Patrick said on the radio and only after he'd left the track because another reporter asked for a comment. The world of journalism has become too much about sensationalism. I'm not saying some of it isn't legit, but in this case too much made about two drivers battling for 25th or something.

mark olive branch miss. [via mobile]

the chase allows a driver to miss 6-8 weeks of the season and still compete for a SEASON championship. good or bad? consistancy has always been a key

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

I have no problem with it. A baseball player can miss a month of the season and still come back and be a part of the World Series title. A football player can miss most of the season and play in the playoffs and get a ring. I know NASCAR is different and the history bases the title on an entire season, but the rules they are now allow for the possibility, so I am fine with it.

Jake (Irving TX)

Hey Newt, How do you defend Logano when Kenseth won 2 races out of 8 and Joey 2 out of 4 years. Don't you dare use the brought up to early excuse either. That doesn't fly after a few years.

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

Not defending Logano. Simply pointing out that he was thrust into the situation earlier than planned and he's only 22. Not sure how good Matt Kenseth would have been at 22. Bottom line, winning in this sport isn't easy. That Kenseth has won twice in his first eight races for JGR shows just how good he is. Still my pick to win the title.

Verny (NJ)

We want to know if NASCAR can race at Kansas every weekend? Its fun to watch driver 18 struggle.

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

I do appreciate sarcasm.

Jenny (NJ)

Jr is too high in the standings. His good runs are all about attrition

David Newton
  (2:12 PM)

Team did what it had to do to get the good finishes. Can't blame them for that. Good teams find a way to get good finishes.

Rosie Cunningham (Miami)

I love your work, David! However, I have seen you near Logano a lot of time, especially at Bristol where Logano and Hamlin had an altercation. Aren't you a Logano fan? To me, it is. But keep up the good work!

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

Uh, no fan of any drivr. I was near Logano at Bristol because that is where the story was after the race. Had Carl Edwards been going after Hamlin I would have been near Edwards. It's funny. Last year I picked Logano to be a darkhorse one week, then for fun made him the darkhorse for several weeks in a row because people were giving me a hard time. Now they want to say I'm a fan. I will say this. Logano is a nice, polite young man and still a driver I believe has the talent to succeed. Apparently, Roger Penske believes so, too. Are you questioning Penske's judgment? Thanks

Rosie Cunningham (Miami)

My twin brother is a huge Kyle Busch fan and so am I. He thinks he will win it all, but I disagree with him. He will make the Chase, but I think he will go winless again in Chase. Do you agree?

David Newton
  (2:15 PM)

Gut says he'll be there until the end this year.

Dan (Charlotte)

Hey David. Who your got winning at Richmond? And top 5?

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

I'll go with Kasey Kahne to win. Joining him in the top 5 will be Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth because he's madder than hell.

Dan (Charlotte)

How come 48 doesn't have enough speed this year to win more races?

David Newton
  (2:17 PM)

Are you serious?

Dan (Charlotte)

Do you think 20 guys were really cheating?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

No. I believe they were the unfortunate recipients of a bad part from TRD. If you are going to lighten up one rod, why not lighten them all. And others were heavier than they had to be.

Dan (Charlotte)

Who will win first Junior or Gordon? And where?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Gordon. Darlington.

Jeremy (GA)

Since Kenseth's team did not tamper with the Gen6 perse, why was the penalty so much more than the Penske penalties when those were parts on the car.

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

Because NASCAR doesn't tolerate anything illegal on the engine. Ask Carl Long.

Jeremy (GA)

What are the chances Hamlin misses the rest of the year

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Slim to none.

Mike (MN)

Whose your top 5 at Richmond?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

Kahne, Kyle Busch, Gordon, Bowyer and Kenseth.

TG (PA)

Dave, I enjoyed your article about Jeffrey Earnhardt. I noticed some people making negative comments about him just like they do about Junior comparing both to Dale Sr. Each is his own person with his own talent and I wish some people would quit comparing them to Sr.

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Thanks. We can't all live up to the success of our fathers. I only wish I could be as good as my dad is.

Howard (VA)

If Denny were to start at Talladega and at the first caution Brian Vickers got in to the car and then won the race, I know Denny would get the points for the race, but who would get the "win" in regards to the Wild Card Standings? Would Denny have a win in his pocket and then need probably another win to get into the top 20 in points?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

Good question. I believe the driver that starts the race gets credit for everything. I will double check.

TG (PA)

What is Denny's old crew chief, Mike Ford, doing now?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Competition director for BK racing last I saw.

Tim (Viginia)

With SHR's struggling, do you think Harvick is second guessing his decision to leave RCR for SHR?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

No. Harvick doesn't second guess himself.

Dan (Charlotte)

Bigger threat this year to win it all?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Bigger implies you have a choice between two or more. Or do you want my biggest? Hard to pick against the 48, but I will stick with my pick of the 20.

brandon birdsboro pa [via mobile]

Man nascar is hitting teams with peneltys each week. Lets see the 56 2 22 and now the 17 who's next to get hit with one?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Time for Hendrick team don't you think? Kidding. I believe the point has been made and teams will shy from anything illegal.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Hey Newt, has this Kenseth engine scandal in anyway cast a shadow over Rowdy, Dave and the #18 team's amazing '13 season?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Nope.

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Nope.

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

Nope.

Andrew (W. Kentucky)

Hi David, during the Kansas truck race Mikey referred to Jeb Burton as "Jeb Bush"-twice. Since Mikey obviously has politics on the brain do you see Mikey running for Gov. of NC or manybe US Senator?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

If he does I'm moving back to S.C. Kidding again. I like Waltrip. And he probably would be a good politician. Fill in the blanks from there.

demon reading pa [via mobile]

Dang matt kenseth and jgr got hit hard with peneltys. Unless jgr wins there appeal its going to a hard 6 weeks for jgr.

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Not according to Kenseth. Business as usual. Says he's more determined than ever.

Justin (Cleveland Ohio)

With the 20 car not getting any owner points for the next 6 races it is very unlikely that they will get into the chase as a team. Prediction the 11 gets in the chase on car owner points, the 20 on driver points and we have 13 "cars" in the chase.

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Correct. I would say impossible. And don't forget the 55.

Baseballman (Florida)

With Denny and Kenseth out of the '13 championship picture do you expect JGR to throw 100% of the company effort behind Rowdy, Dave and the #18 guys to make an all-out effort with win the Sprint Cup Championship?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Who says they're out? I bet at least one, probably both, make it.

Seth (Penn)

Have Kyle Busch Motorsports and Rowdy issued a statement on the TRD, JGR, #20 team penalties?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

NO.

Jacob (Wellston)

Does Matt Kenseth and JGR have an argument that the penalties are unfair? I believe the precedent was set back in 2009 with Carl Long

David Newton
  (2:30 PM)

I believe so. If they can prove no competitive advantage and no knowledge of the part or intent to cheat, I believe the penalty will be reduced. I also believe in Santa Claus.

scott (denton,tx)

denny Hamlin said in the newa confrance that he would of got into the car this weekand during the raceif their was and early caution but since it is a short track and not get in this weekand and he said that he might get in at talledega next weekand and it is a longer track you think that is a good one instead of this weekand because it is a short track ad he will be like two laps down or more compare to a longer track....

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

He does plan to get in at Talladega and start the race, go to the first caution and get out. He can do that without losing a lap or hurting the team's chances. At Richmond, to get out he would lose two or maybe three laps depending on if it was under green or yellow. So Richmond wasn't really an option unless he drove the whole race.

Dave (Albany, NY)

I love how NASCAR penalizes people who are smarter than them, but at the same time, they let their drivers race on tracks that still have exposed concrete walls. If anything, the drivers should be penalizing the dumb dumbs down in Daytona Beach

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Good point.

tammy bliss douglassville pa [via mobile]

How long have you bin doing espn nascar Chats for?

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

Seven of the best years of my life.

Jon (Port Charlotte, Fl.)

Do you think RCR will ever win another cup championship since it's been nearly 20 years since the last one?

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Never say never. Like the Dillon boys coming up for the future of the organization.

scott (denton,tx)

by the why I am not a brain k fan but did you see that painting he gave him at the press confrance that was pretty sweet from sam bass....

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

It was. Why aren't you a Brad K fan. You'd like him if you got to know him.

Scott (Charlotte)

I saw where all three SHR teams are using brand new chassis for the first time this year. Do you think it will help?

David Newton
  (2:34 PM)

I can't hurt. Have you seen how badly they are running?

Roscoerulz (Chino, Ca.)

Is SHR so far off mostly due to HMS keeping a closed book on the Gen 6 instead of sharing info with their satelite teams like Knaus did with the COT?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

I don't think it's a closed book, but I do think the relationship Darian Grubb had with HMS was highly underrated.

Ron (Smithville)

Are Outlaw and Rowdy loving seeing driver of #2, Kenseth, Stewart, Logano, Johnson, Harvick, Danica and Dale drawing all the fire and creating controversy instead of them in 2013?

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

Give 'em time.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

As we move into the summer do you think Dale Junebug's best chance to win a race will be Michigan in June?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Pocono.

KB Nation (Global)

With Kurt Busch taking his @FR78racing RCR Chevy to COTA to test with the Australian V-8 Supercars do you think NASCAR is setting the stage for a cup race on the Austin Grand Prix track?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Haven't heard that, but boy would I like to see it.

Vernie (NJ)

If SHR is as close to Hendrick equipment that Harvick is gonna ever sniff how much of a chance do you think he has of ever winning a cup championship?

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

If you're saying does SHR give him a better chance to win the title than RCR I can't agree. He's been close several times with RCR. Not an easy task to finish off.

Dave (WI)

I imagine there are a lot of engine builders double checking parts this week? Not surprising on the penalties, they have to draw the line and everyone has to be above it. They'll get past it, no problem.

David Newton
  (2:37 PM)

You're right. Toyota already has called back a few engines that were remotely questionable.

Turk (Mich)

What is your thought about ESPN and other NASCAR stat providers including an *asterisk next to Kenseth's cup wins total to indicate that he didn't win Kansas?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Not necessary. Are you going to put an asterick beside The King's name for all the races he won with a cheated up car?

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

And when I say cheated up, I am not saying Kenseth's car was cheated up in the sense some of those cars during Petty's era were.

Lew Dawson (Arlington, TX)

With Kenseth having only one single rod of the eight under spec weight, that proves it was a human error type accident and without performance advantage or intent to cheat. Under these circumstances, the penalties are too severe, IMO. Your thoughts?

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Agree. But in NASCAR's mind illegal is illegal. As Kenseth said, if pit road speed is 35 mph and you are going .01 over the limit -- they give you 5 mph -- then you still are speeding.

Chad (Tenn.)

Has Kyle Busch met with the JGR family to calm them and keep the team focused on #18 winning Richmond after this #20 team devastating penalty and Denny's bad health news?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

Sure he's doing that now.

Bob (Gansevoort, NY)

Hey Newt - what are the odds a JGR or HMS driver does not win this weekend? Hopefully the love starts to spread a little more but the only non HMS/JGR driver I see with a realistic shot this weekend is the #15. Anyone else that can grab the win?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

25 percent. Maybe less. And I like your pick of Clint Bowyer. But my top two are Kahne and Kyle Busch.

Zach (Cross)

Hi David, I'm a big Carl Edwards fan and I asked you if you thought he would ever leave RFR and you said yes and you mentioned that he could go to RCR earlier this year and was wondering if you think he will end up at RCR one day.

David Newton
  (2:41 PM)

Carl will go where he believes he has the best chance to win. If that means going to RCR in two years or staying at Roush, he will base it all on that.

Tim (San Francisco)

Hi David, thanks for your time! Did that penalty really only come down to 3 GRAMS? I know it's the engine...but there must be something else to it, right? Any rumblings on that? Does NASCAR have to fully communicate the problem to the public or can they just lay the hammer down and keep it within the garage?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

No. It was 2.7 grams, or the weight of two cotton balls according to TRD president Lee White. There's nothing else to the penalty other than the engine failed inspection. No conspiracy theory here.

Layup (Vegas)

Before these #2 and #20 penalties we were thinking Kyle, Kenseth and #2 had an equal chance to take the Sprint Cup. No more. Other than Rowdy do you see anyone else seriously challenging Johnson?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I still see Kenseth and Keselowski. It's way too early to write off anyone.

matt (nashville)

whos the most talented driver you have seen in nascar?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

David Pearson. Hands down.

Freddie (AZ)

Hi Mr. Newton, with all the wrecking last week in the Kansas truck race do you think it has become too dangerous for NASCAR to risk a superstar like Rowdy Busch racing in that series?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

Wow, you guys are out in full force again.

Laura (Manhattan Beach)

Hi David, as a Rowdy Busch fan I was disappointed that Mr. Lee White of TRD took responsibilty for the #20 connecting rod issue but never accepted blame for all of Kyle's engine failures. Why didn't TRD step up to defend Rowdy like they did #20 team?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Because we know this was a TRD mistake. Some of Kyle's issues came before TRD built the engines. We don't know for sure how many of those since came because of a mistake Kyle made or somebody at JGR made. Stop stirring the pot.

KB Nation (Global)

Will Rowdy win the Sprint Cup championship now that he is the most mature driver in the garage?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

No. Next year.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

So can we please dispense with the following three questions:1. When will JR win?2. Will JR win this weekend?3. How many wins will JR have this year?Cool. Thanks. So I'm glad that NASCAR is coming down hard, but with 2 wins under his belt, shouldn't we just write Kenseth into the Chase anyway?

David Newton
  (2:45 PM)

Only one of the wins counts toward the wild card due to the penalty. He will win more, though.

Joey Logano (In Richmond right now)

Hi Cousin Newt, I am going to win the Richmond 250 and Richmond 400 this weekend. You can take that to the bank. Regards, Cousin Joey

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Sorry, but you won't win. Check out my top 5.

Kensethfan (Nascarhell)

Does the 20 team not scoring owner points for the next 6 races affect Matt's chances going into the chase?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

Nope. Just affects Joe Gibbs' chances of winning the owner's title with that car.

Jeremy (GA)

What is a realistic expecation for J. Earnhardt, top 5, top 10, or top 15?

David Newton
  (2:47 PM)

He'll have a good car, so I'd say top 10 should be expected.

casper (williamsburg, va)

I would like to see Dale Jr do well, but being realistic since he won at RIR a while back, he only has one finish inside the top 15.. granted he almost won before the 18 car skirmish a few years back, but I can't say I'm overly confident in his run this Saturday.

David Newton
  (2:48 PM)

Never know. They may find the right combination with the new car.

Pete (DC)

What's your take on the mysterious cautions that continue to plague the Sprint Cup Series?

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

I listen to the NASCAR scanner all the time and they are careful to check around before callng the caution. They'd rather be safe than sorry. I know it's frustrating to fans. It is here sometimes too. But I'm not tossing stones.

Ryan (via mobile)

Who do you think the championship comes down to, I got Hamlin vs Stewart

David Newton
  (2:49 PM)

Wow. Johnson vs. Kenseth

Jeff (SC)

How long can Chip be loyal to Montoya? If i am a target exec I am screaming for a new driver. Tons of money to be so mediocre.

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

He is pretty loyal. I'd say they stick it out at least through next year.

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Have to cut it off a few minutes short. Sorry, but an emergency came up. Thanks for all the great questions. As usual, ask all you want on Twitter at @Dnewtonespn.