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April 30, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Newton

David Newton
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to the Tuesday before Penske appeal day. What's on your mind? Do you think Denny Hamlin is rushing back by starting at Talladega? Do you think Penske Racing has a case in its appeal? Do you hope style of racing at Dega is better than it was in the Daytona 500? I am here to answer your questions. Fire away.

Bosotn for 15 (Boston)

How great would it be to have a schoolyard pick for teams for the all-star race? Captains would be the reigning champ and the points leader (or 2nd place if the same). You can't pick anyone on your NASCAR team, and the picked driver takes the next guy. You have 15 drivers per team, with a 30-1 point scoring system. The race winner gets 3 points towards the standings, each winning teammate (plus the winner) gets prize money plus 2 points. I think racing would be hard and the subplots would be must-see. Think that would work?

David Newton
  (2:03 PM)

Interesting format there. Here's what I'd like. Have the teams fix the cars for their drivers, then let the drivers have a random draw before the race and have to drive whatever car they pick. You may have to let Ford drivers pick from other Ford teams, Chevy from Chevy teams and Toyota from Toyota teams, but wouldn't that be fun?

Lew Dawson (Arlington, TX)

There is only one car in NASCAR that has a universally-recognized nickname... The Blue Deuce. And now they paint it red for Richmond. Its downright un-American! I would think Brad Keselowski and Roger Penske know this. If their team suspensions stand, I'm sure this is the reason... Don't you agree? (LOL)

David Newton
  (2:04 PM)

Are you suggesting the change in paint scheme for Richmond is why Penske Racing is in hot water? I hope this is sarcasm. I do wish more drivers had one paint scheme for the entire season, but this is 2013 and not 1993. The world has changed and so has NASCAR.

Lew Dawson (Arlington, TX)

I read that TRD will revamp their quality control (of course) and also that Gibbs will be checking engines for rules compliance. I think this is a mistake. If two parties are responsible for a task, then neither is fully accountable. Does Gibbs plan to tear down engines after delivery to the team?

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

I can't fault TRD for stepping up quality control. They were embarrassed. I can't fault JGR for double-checking what they put on the track. The organization ultimately is held accountable. Does that mean they need to go to the extent of tearing down the engine? If that is what it takes to avoid another mistake, by all means.

Alex (Green Sea SC)

How fast to do you think the new gen 6 cars could get at Rockingham or North Wilksboro

David Newton
  (2:07 PM)

Not sure about the exact speed, but based on races so far I'd say the track record could be in jeopardy.

uninformed fan [via mobile]

So, we know Danica is racing Saturday in NNS. Is there any word on if any other drivers are entered since Danica is the only one that has been reported by ESPN so far?

David Newton
  (2:08 PM)

We reported Patrick because she was an addition. If you'd like the entire field I'll gladly supply it, There are 42 cars last I read, which means two will go home.

KB Nation [via mobile]

Newt, how did you like that karma this week when Kyle wrecked after the overturned penalty? We believe that Kyle should have never cut it that close to begin with. Funny thing is, had the penalty held he would have missed the JJ/Smoke spin completely!

David Newton
  (2:09 PM)

Irony indeed. But NASCAR made the right call in not penalizing Busch.

Jake (Irving, TX)

Hey Newt, last time we checked Kurt Busch is a more recent cup Champion than Kenseth and Kenseth only surpassed Kurt's wins totals a few weeks ago so if anyone has a beef about rough driving isn't it Kurt and not Matt?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

Don't follow this logic at all.

Andrew [via mobile]

Do you feel Kurt was a little hypocritical Saturday? He moved both Truex and Smoke. He then blasted Smoke for getting mad about it right after admitting to being mad at Matt for moving him. Was nice to see a strong run for the 78 though!

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

That's short track racing. Everybody gets mad at everybody in situations like this. Nobody is exactly right and nobody is exactly wrong.

DRC1981 [via mobile]

Top 10 for Danica this week to shut up the haters?

David Newton
  (2:10 PM)

It is a plate track, so the possibility is there. I am not betting on it, though.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Hi David, as Kurt Busch fans we have been really happy seeing appx. 99% of the online comments supporting Kurt vs. Stewart and wondered if this plus Outlaw's great post race interview has completed his image rehablition?

David Newton
  (2:11 PM)

It's a process. Still.

Vernie (NJ)

Kurt and JP both had great chances to win with only a few laps to go so why were Kenseth, Stewart and Truex all whining about rough racing especially on a short track? BTW, Kurt and Juan Pablo both gave Class Act post race interviews.

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

I agree they handled themselves well. It was Juan's race to win had that caution not come out. Some might have spouted off or not commented at all. Juan did well. So did Kurt.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Danica and Dale Junebug have shown that they are best on our plate tracks and I wondered if you expect 10 and 88 to qualify up front and challenge for the Dega win Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:13 PM)

I expect one of them to.

Baseballman (Florida)

Rowdy won the Dega spring race in '08 with Addington on the pitbox so do you give #18 a good chance to win Sunday especially after how strong JGR and TRD were at Daytona?

David Newton
  (2:14 PM)

I give Kyle Busch a good chance on most tracks. Will be most curious if the style of racing is like it was at Daytona.

Tommy Skenteris (Fayetteville, NC)

Will Denny Hamlin start Talladega and then be replaced by another driver just as a precaution during the first pit stop? Too risky to be at Talladega after recovering from a back fracture. Thanks.

David Newton
  (2:16 PM)

That is the plan. http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/9227421/denny-hamlin-eyes-talladega-start-wants-points. As for the risk, if Denny feels good about it and the doctors do then you have to trust his judgment.

Andrew (W. Kentucky)

Stevie rarely gave #24 race winning setups prefering to always go conservative and I wondered if you think Dale and Stevie's play it safe, "top 10 mentality" is why #88 isn't challenging for wins?

David Newton
  (2:18 PM)

I believe you can be a little bit of both on this one. Most important at this point is making the Chase. Top 10s will get you there. At the same time, I believe Letarte is doing what he can to keep Jr. near the top 5, and if you are there you have a chance to win.

Andrew (W. Kentucky)

Even if Harvick went to Richard on hands and knees begging to stay at RCR, to you think Childress would have him back after getting back stabbed with disloyalty?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

First, I don't believe Harvick would do that. The decision to move to SHR wasn't all about performance. He's good friends with Stewart and for many reasons believe he just wanted a change of scenery.

Kmeit (Danicaland)

When will people realize that Danica is a better driver than everyone thinks, but she just gets stuck with junk equipment all the time?

David Newton
  (2:19 PM)

I just hope people realize you are being sarcastic.

Phoenix (Florida)

With Kurt Busch scoring 2 T5's and 3 T10's vs. 0 T5's and only 1 T10 for Tony Stewart this year do you think Kurt has a better chance of winning Talladega than the #14?

David Newton
  (2:20 PM)

It's a crapshoot, but I wouldn't rule either out. Stewart has had a few good outings where he just didn't get the result. Not time to panic yet.

SHR Fan (Charlotte NC)

David is the reason Harvick is leaving RCR to join SHR cause he is real good friends with Danica?

David Newton
  (2:21 PM)

Um, no. Think it has more to do with DeLana wanting to be closer to Patrick's shoes. Now I'm being sarcastic.

Steve (Charlotte NC)

David are you going to The Kentucky Derby this year and who is your pick to win it?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Only if you are inviting me. It's the one event on American soil I havne't gone that I really want to attend. Is Secretariat available?

Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Charlotte NC)

Hey David, did you see my smoking hot girlfriend on TV last Friday during The NNS race?

David Newton
  (2:22 PM)

Saw somebody resembling Danica Patrick eating what appeared to be something greasy out of a box.

Billy C (Ga.)

I see Kurt Busch is entered in the Dega NW race in the #1 for Phoenix Racing. Is that Kurt's way of trying to help Mr. Finch and the Phoenix guys after their great success together last season?

David Newton
  (2:23 PM)

It is James Finch's way of saying Kurt helped his organization last year and we believe he gives us the best chance to win a plate race.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY )

Who is Harry Scott the listed owner of Danica's #34 car for the Dega Nationwide race?

David Newton
  (2:24 PM)

Part of Turner Scott Motorsports that will field the car.

Marsha [via mobile]

Do you think the penalties of jgr and penske will be upheld

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

In Round 1 of apeals, I do. Maybe even Round 2. JGR may have the best case for a reduction, but bottom line NASCAR can't judge intent.

KB Nation (Global)

Parker Kligerman won the Talladega truck race last season and we wondered if you see Parker translating that success into a Nationwide win Saturday for Kyle Busch Motorsports?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Will be mighty tough with all the Cup regulars in the field.

Steve (NC)

Since cup drivers win most of the Nationwide races which of the cup drivers entered for Sat. do you think has the best chance to win, Kurt, Kasey, Joey or Danica?

David Newton
  (2:25 PM)

Logano.

jack (phx, az)

What does jpm need to do to keep his ride with gannassi next year (i.e. make the chase, etc.)?

David Newton
  (2:26 PM)

Just show improvement. Chip Ganassi loves Juan and so does Target. I bet he gets one more year at least. And Richmond was a good sign for the team.

Mike (MN)

Vickers is going back to being the Vickers of old. Do you think MWR will pick someone else in the 55 for next year if Vickers keeps wrecking equipment, plus he hasn't been up front much this year compared to last year?

David Newton
  (2:27 PM)

Yes, I still believe Vickers will be in the 55 next year. That is, if JGR doesn't expand to four teams and give him a Cup ride there. That is MWR's greastest fear in this exchange. As for the wrecks, a lot of people wrecked last weekend.

Frank (Kingston, Pa)

David - The Penske penalty, while severe, does not seem incrementally that different to other recent penalties. Do you think the severity argument will get any sway by the time the appeals process is complete?

David Newton
  (2:28 PM)

Not when you consider that happened to JGR. Penske will argue the severity comes from the car never competed in the race. They also will argue others were doing the same thing, which doesn't make the organization innocent.

Mike (MN)

What are the odds Tony Stewart triggers the big one while BLOCKING?

David Newton
  (2:29 PM)

If it comes to protecting the lead on the last lap he'll do whatever it takes just like anybody else.

Submarine Mike (Jacksonville Fl)

David, What LEGITIMATE reason does NASCAR have for not making the rulebook public on it's website like every other major sport does. Also don't you think that doing this would allow NASCAR to silence most(not all there are always crazies) of the conspiracy theorists.

David Newton
  (2:31 PM)

I have no explanation for why the rulebook isn't online other than nobody's probably thought of it. Would it clear things up for fans? No. Many of the rules are judgment calls. There aren't a lot of black and white penalties that say you get penalized this much for doing that. Seriously, you aren't missing much.

Rob F (Philly, PA)

Hey Newt, is Harvick nervous about his transition to SHR? It looked like a really smart move in 2012, but I'd be worried if I were him based on their 2013 performance. SHR has been pretty awful.

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

Not at all. He's totally focused on this year with RCR. And remember, Stewart was having a bad year two years ago and then won the title.

Dave (WI)

I'm no Kurt Bush fan, but I wish everyone would get up on the wheel like that at the end of these races, sure makes up for all the single file racing.

David Newton
  (2:32 PM)

He is one of the most talented drivers in the garage.

TG (PA)

How do you feel about Denny returning this week? Surely don't want him to be involved in any accidents for the short time he is in the car. Do you think drivers will try to avoid him, as if that's really possible at Dega.

David Newton
  (2:33 PM)

After hearing him explain the unusual situation that causes this injury, and knowing he will drop back and ride around the back until the first caution comes out, I don't see much danger here. If he's OK with it, who am I to argue?

Danica Nascar Fan (NC)

Hi Mr. Newton, at Daytona Danica proved she is one of our best restrictator track racers along with Dale and now I see she's entered in the Natonwide race and the cup race. My question is does running both races give Danica an even better shot at winning her first cup race Sunday? Thank you.

David Newton
  (2:35 PM)

It helps her learn a track she's only run once, finishing 13th in a NW race. As for "one of our best restrictor track racers," I don't have time to argue that point without ignoring a lot of other questions.

Eric (My desk at work!)

It's now the end of April, and there still hasn't been a sponsorship annoucement from Hendrick for the 88 to replace the races Mt. Dew backed out of. Are they "still trying to find the right match for him" as Rick said in January, or their just isn't a sponsor willing to jump on the 88? Have you heard anything? Thanks

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

Really, I haven't asked in a while. Mr. Hendrick said they were good through the summer. I imagine they'll save the announcement for some huge venue such as the Brickyard 400.

Topgun Fry (Pennsylvania)

Is bowyer, waltrip, johnson, junior, biffle good Picks?

David Newton
  (2:36 PM)

The Daytona 500 aside, Johnson hasn't been very good at plate tracks in recent history.

Griffin (Delaware)

Dave I am happy for Denny returning to racing next week, but the question I have even though he is a good driver, when does his stock plumment an injury prone driver. Like any big sport teams and fans want people they see on their favorite players out on the field or court playing not sitting on the sidelines. I know Denny has a long way before that happens but at one point or another someone has to say maybe this just isnt working out. And to further the question do you think Talladega is the right place for him to return with the possiblity of the "big one" at high speeds ? Risk vs Reward I guess ...

David Newton
  (2:38 PM)

Talladega is the perfect place to return because he can ride around the back for a few laps and climb out under caution without losing a lap. As for the injury issue, the back has to be a long-term concern. There were issues before this. Mark Martin will tell you his back almost ended his career once. The good thing for Hamlin is he's a pretty good athlete and has plenty of time to figure this out.

Scott (Charlotte)

3 of the 4 Curtis Key's cars plus the 27 car withdrew from the Talledaga race this weekend. This gaurantees Busch (1) and Patrick (34) are locks to make the race in case qualifing is rained out (a pretty good chance). Either someone told these start and parkers to stay home or someone paid them to stay home. I go with the latter

David Newton
  (2:39 PM)

Think you're over-thinking this.

Topgun Fry (Pennsylvania)

Whats ur picks? And whos ur champ prediction?

David Newton
  (2:40 PM)

For Dega, Bowyer, Keselowski, Gordon, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. For championship, sticking with Kenseth.

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

It was one of his numbers when he owned his own Truck and Nationwide Series team. Stewart actually won the 2011 NW race at Daytona in a KHI 4.

Scott (Charlotte)

I saw where the number 4 has been trademarked by Stewart Haas. Does Harvick have a history with that number?

David Newton
  (2:42 PM)

Sorry, the question didn't post, but the answer is here in the post.

Logan (Silverdale,WA)

Do you think we will see "follow the leader" for this next restrictor plate race? There was hardly no passing for much of Daytona, Will Talledega be different?

David Newton
  (2:43 PM)

I believe you'll see a little more pack racing, but I also believe you'll see a good bit of single-file early.

Kristin (NYC)

Other than Talladega, what track do you see JJ losing the points lead?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

If he does well on Sunday he will carry the lead into the Chase.

Logan (Silverdale,WA)

Who do you think is the team to beat on Sunday?

David Newton
  (2:44 PM)

Hard to pick one team in a plate race, but I'd go with Hendrick.

Laura (Manhattan Beach)

Hi David, do you think Rowdy, Dave and the #18 guys may have gotten the bad luck out of the way at the beginning of the season instead of during the chase?

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

I'm sure Kyle is hoping that. Much of it will be the mindset of Busch once the Chase begins. He can't let one bad race or one bad finish spoil the chemistry he and the team have built.

brian (mansfield ar)

lets get it over right off whos your top 5 and darkhorse

David Newton
  (2:46 PM)

Top 5: Bowyer, Keselowski, Gordon, Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Darhorse: Montoya.

Smoke Fan (Indy)

Have you ever heard of a "gay" driver in NASCAR?

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

Can't say I have. Can't say I've really thought about it. The goal of the sport is to be representative of the rest of the country. While the sport has a ways to go there, I don't believe it would matter if a driver stepped forward as Collins did in the NBA. Here is NASCAR's statement on it:NASCAR Statement - Attributable to Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR Vice President of Public Affairs and Multicultural Development: "NASCAR is a recognized leader in diversity and inclusion initiatives in professional sports and home to the best drivers in the world. We want our athletes and our sport to look like America, and exclusion or intolerance of any kind - whether behind the wheel, on pit road or in the garage - is not a part of that formula."

Matt (Virginia)

David, How was the 20 team still awarded "Engine Builder of the Race" for their Kansas win? Got a good laugh when they announced that during driver intros at Richmond Saturday night..

David Newton
  (2:50 PM)

That award usually goes to the winning car, but you're right it does seem a bit ironic.

Efren (Kansas City)

In your opinion, does qualifying position play a bigger role in plate races?

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

Not really. You can go from front to back easier at plate tracks than anywhere else.

Josh (Portland, ME)

Do we go back to Jr contenting at plate races again? Seems like the new car is more like the car he won most of his races in.

David Newton
  (2:51 PM)

He showed signs of that at Daytona. That he is comfortable in the car is key. Whether that translates into a win on Sunday is another thing.

CC (AR)

Could Danica have same type of showing at Dega as she did at Daytona?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Could. But I don't think she will.

Logan (silverdale,wa)

Will NASCAR ever consider taking off the restrictor plates?

David Newton
  (2:52 PM)

Probably not. They don't believe the high speeds that would result are safe.

Michael (wisconsin)

Who is your top 5 for talladega?

David Newton
  (2:53 PM)

Bowyer, Gordon, Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Why doesn't anybody ever ask for my last five?

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Hey David, hope all is well with you. Been a bit of a rough week w/internships falling through and then some stuff w/the ol girlfriend. Talking NASCAR is always a good pick me up in my book though. With Quicken Loans sponsoring Penske's Indy Cat team do you see them moving over to sponsor a 3rd Cup car next year as well?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

Sorry to hear about the tough times. Keep the the faith. As for Newman and Penske I just don't see it happening. Penske is committed to giving Hornish Jr. a Cup ride if Hornish proves himself in NW this year. He'll get the next spot there I bet.

Sam (UT)

Since the Penske penalties don't involve the drivers are they banned from attending the hearing?

David Newton
  (2:54 PM)

They don't typically attend. They wouldn't be able to offer much anyway. These are technical issues, not driving issues.

brian (mansfield ar)

what are the chances of any of the penalties being reduced i was reading that would be a hit to nascar credibility

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

Well, Hendrick had most of his penalties against the 48 overturned in the final appeal process a year ago. But I thought going in HMS had a good case because the car was found to be illegal without going through tech. I don't see many outs for Penske and JGR other than to argue the severity.

Sam (UT)

Mr. Lee White of TRD said a "European" supplier provided with connecting rods. Was it Mahle?

David Newton
  (2:56 PM)

He didn't say and I didn't ask because it really didn't matter. Sorry.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

So if Vickers wins for Denny, does Denny still get credit for the win as well? That would be huge for a wild card case.

David Newton
  (2:57 PM)

He definitely gets the points and I would assume the win, but need to double check that.

Scott (Charlotte)

Utter has just reported that NASCAR has not heard from Hamlin's doctors. Don't you think that should have been cleared before Hamlin announced that he is driving at Talladega?

David Newton
  (2:58 PM)

Hamlin has been in constant contact with the doctors. If he says they have cleared him, then it's merely a stamp of approval for them to contact NASCAR.

Katie (IL)

What did you think of Danica on Colbert?

David Newton
  (2:59 PM)

Some funny stuff. But I like that show even when drivers aren't on it.

John (Illinois)

Where do you see Mark Martin working next year?

David Newton
  (3:00 PM)

For wherever his wife Arlene tells him. Maybe he'll run Trucks or something, but his wife does plan on doing some traveling.

Teri (Traveling for Work)

Okay ... since you asked, who is your last five pick for Talladega? Also, how is dear old Ernie doing?

David Newton
  (3:01 PM)

Oh, my chat time is over, but glad you asked. Save that for Darlington. And Ernie is doing well. Thanks for all the great questions. Enjoy Talladega and if you missed my column on Carl Edwards and Lee Westwood check it out. Some pretty funny stuff I think.