Welcome to Terrific Tuesday. Beautiful day outside, but I'm inside ready to talk some NASCAR. What's on your mind? Has Matt Kenseth established himself as the driver to beat? Will Tony Stewart ever turn it around? Will Danica Patrick get voted into the All-Star race? Let me hear from you.
How does jpm typically run @ darlington? Posssible Top 10 finish?
He's run good in the past, and had a decent run going most of Saturday night. He's still a Chase threat if he can make the top 20 and win a road course race or two.
The dirty driving Shrub did to Kahne seems to be a product of lack of car control. Is Shrub running those NW races to improve his car control skill?
No. He does overdrive it a bit sometimes and that gets him into trouble. It's one of the things holding him back from being a legitimate contender.
Is Phoenix Racing's lack of a main sponsor simply the result of the part-time driving schedules or is there more to it? If it's Kurt Busch's fault, then why can Mr. Finch find a sponsor for the Nationwide races at the restrictor plate tracks when Kurt's in the #1 car?
It has nothing to do with Busch. It has everything with getting a sponsor willing to hook up with a driver -- or in this case drivers. Having multiple drivers doesn't help sell. Sponsors are looking for a driver that can win races and get it exposure. Not the case at Phoenix.
Who do you pick to win the championshipthisyear
Sticking with Matt Kenseth.
How do you think that Danica Patrick will do in Charlotte for Both the Sprint Showdown Maybe the Sprint All-Star Race & the Coca-Cola 600?
Maybe better in the 600 than the Showdown/maybe All-Star. Six hundred miles gives her time to get comfortable and she's proven she sometimes can handle 1.5-mile tracks.
yawn ...there was a race yesterday..? .hardly exciting ..when is NASCAR going to listen to the fans on how to bring their attention back to these races ...
That race was like many Darlington races, and there was some excitement at the end when it counted. What exactly would you do to change Saturday's race or make it more thrilling? The pre-repaved Darlington had more tire wear, so that made for somewhat better racing. But beyond that I can't see much you could change.
I really didn't expect Hamlin to come back as strong as he did Saturday night (I'll have whipped cream on my humble pie). Was this a fluke, or is he back to full force despite a crippling back injury?
As I wrote back when he went out, Darlington and many of the tracks coming up for Hamlin are some of his best. It's why I picked him to make the Chase as a Wild Card. Look back at what he did last year during this stretch and if the scenario were exactly the same he would have made the Chase despite missing the races he did.
Regardless of whether or not there was contact on Saturday night, do you ever see Kasey Kahne having a Joey Logano-type "not gonna take it anymore" moment with the driver of the 18 car?
Not really. I asked Kahne recently what it would take for him to explode on somebody. He basically said it's not his style.
Better driver - Joey Lagano or Matt Kenseth?
Matt Kenseth. Hands down.
With Sonoma, Watkins, Bristol Daytona, and Richmond to come up before the chase. Do you like Kurt's chances at winning at least one of those races and sneaking into the chase?
Will be tough. He's a great driver but I'm still not convinced that team is consistent enough to get him a win or two that it will take to make the Chase as a Wild Card.
Considering how good The 20 car is, even though Carl is having a good season. Do you think somewhere in Carl's mind he is thinking man that could be me? Referring to 2009 when he was rumored to go Gibbs! THANKS!
Not really. Most drivers, once they make a decision, don't look back. Doesn't do any good. Besides, Carl almost won the title in a Roush car two years ago, so he's not in bad equipment.
Jr. Looks like he is pretty safe being in the top 5 in the standings. (33pts ahead from 6th) Is it pretty safe to say he should stay in the top 5 for the remainder of the season?
Unless he has a really bad summer swoon, which he's had in the past. I just don't see it, though.
Over or Under Jr (19 wins) Finishes with 23 for his career?
Over. Still time to get on a roll.
I know Jeff Gordon is a 1st Ballot HOF'er but when he finally retires will be people then see how truly GREAT he was.. Some people still see him as a whiny punk kid.
Not sure why people would see him that way. He is third on NASCAR's all-time win list and has four titles. That's how I look at him.
Why can they Work on Cars During a Red Flag in the Sprint All-Star Race & they can't During a Points Race or they get Penalized?
Different rules for non-points event.
Shrub seems to continue to dirty drive Kahne. Does he just have poor car control around Kasey or does he still hold a grudge that Mr. Hendrick removed him as the driver of the 5 when he had to hire Jr to finish a race for Shrub in 2007?
As I wrote in Turn 4, Busch was totally at fault in the two plate races. What happened on Saturday night at Darlington was just hard racing. Were it not for the other two events people wouldn't even be talking about this.
Urt has tested in Aussie V8s, IndyCars, and has a run in the NHRA. Is he covering all bases if things do not work out at Funiture Row?
He likes to race and try new things, but his primary focus is to be in a top Cup ride. Nothing more.
Why is Shrub unable to do as well in the Cup races as in NW? He is a real beast on Friday races.
Shorter races, plus he's more talented than most of the NW field. A lot more talent to deal with in Cup.
I really wanted to know why Shrub seemed to fade at the end of the race and what happened with his encounter with Kahne, but he did not speak to reporters like Kasey did. Seems he owed it to the fans to clear the air on his continued wrecking of Kasey.
He says a tire was going down when Kenseth got around him. Not sure if that had anything to do with maybe brushing Kahne or not. That he left without talking might have been a smart move. He was frustrated and angry and when you're in that frame of mind with his reputation sometimes it's best to not say anything. As a reporter I want to hear from him, though. And as a fan I can see why you would want to as well. I'll give him a run this week at the All-Star race.
Kenseth seems to be able to save his equipment and push it at the end wlhen needed. Denny made his car last and challenge at the end. Does Mr. Gibbs need to have Kenseth mentor Shrub and show him the finer points of running Toyota Camrys?
I'm pretty sure Busch is paying close attention to what Kenseth says and does. That's one of the reasons Gibbs wanted Kenseth in the car, not only to win races and battle for a championship but to make the entire organization stronger.
Since Shrub is running in the trucks this weekend, will this give him an advantage in the All Star race?
He does like track time, but I don't see where it will make him that much better for Saturday.
In the years before, do you believe it was the driver of the 20 car that was the problem or the car itself?
No doubt Kenseth is a better driver than Logano. Experience can't be replaced. I do believe Logano was headed in the right direction with Ratcliff and had Gibbs made a change a few years earlier from Zippy he would have been in better shape. Chemistry is an amazing thing and Logano never really had it with Zippy.
What chance do you think the 10 has of a top ten finish in the All star race? This is if she gets in the race. A better question would be do you think she will get in the race. I think she will get in.
Depends. First she has to get in the race. Then there has to be a big crash to eliminate a lot of cars.
Who do you think will be the Winner of the Fan Vote for the Sprint All-Star Race?
Do you think Carl Edwards can finish top 5 in points, or even win the championship?
I do. His run two years ago was amazing. Had Tony Stewart not had a phonomenal run Edwards already would be champion.
People who don't get Danica haters should look no further than DW's late-race commentary ? "She's just happy to put in her laps and bring it back in one piece". There are too many talented drivers who would kill to be in her seat for the chance to fight for a win. She's a joke.
She brings sponsorship to the table. I'm sure if a talented driver brought GoDaddy.com type sponsorship to Stewart-Haas Racing Smoke would strongly consider putting him or her on the track. In case you haven't noticed, sponsorship has and always has made the NASCAR world go around.
Newt, 10 times Rowdy has led the most laps then due to Roger questionable calls, #18 doesn't earn the win. Do you think Coach needs to make a crew chief swap assigning Grubb to the Rowdy's team?
Nope. Kyle just needs to figure out how to finish what he's started. It wasn't the crew chief's fault that the tire was going down at the end.
Back in the day Jr fans always blamed Eury or McGrew for Dale's lack of success and I wondered if you think it is fair for Kyle fans to blame Dave Rogers?
I watched to video several times of the Kahne vs. Rowdy deal and it's obvious they didn't touch and that Kahne over drove the turn. Shouldn't Kahne look at himself and realize that he just can't do things with a race car like Rowdy can?
I think Kahne had the corner and Busch drifted up toward him. Could be a combo o both overdriving, but I don't think so.
All other forms of major motorsports use air jacks because they are faster and much safer. For safety reasons alone shouldn't NASCAR go to air jacks?
Never really thought about it. I kind of like that they maintain some sense of being old school.
How many wins does Kenseth have by seasons end?
After Kurt won Darlington pole and set a new track record the fans were cheering Kurt and I wondered if you notice that fans have come around supporting Kurt once again?
Still not sure if they were cheering Kurt or Jeff Gordon who was making his run. What do you think? My hope is they were cheering Kurt on setting a track record, which is a good sign for him. Race fans need to appreciate a great accomplishment like golf fans appreciate a great shot.
Do you believe that the teams that are consistently dominating (48,20,18) would prefer to use the all-star race as a sort of test race for the 600 to try and find something that might be an advantage of them for that or that the potential 2 million is enough to make them go with the usual setups that have led them to the front of the pack all season long?
The All-Star race almost always is a test of sorts for the 600. Ray Evernham was talking the other day about how he almost always learned more for 600 from the All-Star race than any 600 practice because conditions for the last half of the 600 are the same as the All-Star. As for 2 million, odds of a driver winning all five segments is remote. May not even be on the table after two segments.
Does Junebug need the fan vote to get into the All Star race again this year of will that be for Danica?
No, Dale Jr. is in with his win at Michigan.
Newt, with Rowdy dominanting the '13 season and JGR leading nearly 50% of the laps do you think it is mostly because of Rowdy's outright speed or more that JGR has done a better job than HMS, RFR and Penske at developing the Gen 6?
Brad Keselowski said late last season he thought Toyota was ahead on the Gen 6. But it's not like JGR hasn't been one of the top organizations in the garage before this year. And remember adding Kenseth over Logano was huge. Also don't forget that Jimmie Johnson leads the points by more than a full race and has won twice. Hendrick isn't far behind if at all.
Were you impressed that Stewart got a Top 15 at Darlington and moved up to 21st in points?
Shame that somebody could even asked if I was impressed with a top 15 for Smoke.
Since #11 probably won't have enough races left to win 2 and make the Chase do you think it would be smart of Coach and JD to do a crew swap like HMS does and assign Grubb and the #11 guys to Kyle's #18?
Are you kidding me? Plenty of time for Hamlin to win multiple races and make the Chase as a wild card. Go back and look at my blog six or so weeks ago.
10 races leading most laps then having the win stolen by bad luck is just terrible for Kyle and his #18 guys. How do Mr. Gibbs and Toyota counsel Kyle to help him get over this latest tragedy and devastation?
Wow, a lot of sarcasm for Kyle today. I'm sure he'll do just fine. He would be more frustrated if his cars drove like last year and he wasn't in contention for wins.
I read that Kurt and Rowdy's dad Mr. Tom Busch was at the Andretti Indy car test with Kurt and I say Tom and Gaye Busch with Rowdy in VL at Darlington. Question:is it important for Kurt and Rowdy to be surrounded by family and is Tom offering technical advice?
Tom has been a big part of his kids' careers from the very beginning. Period.
Dave, plenty of speculation from fans about Kurt going to RCR in 2014. How does Childress sell Busch to a sponsor? Does he tell them he will put Kurt in a headlock and put a few lumps on his head if Kurt does not do right by the company? lol
You sell sponsorship by promising to provide a driver and crew capable of winning the title. Still not convinced Kurt makes the move unless it's clear he can't win at Furniture Row. He really likes that group.
Hi David, why doesn't Dale Jr. challenge for wins and run upfront like his Hendricks teammates do? Do they really have equal race cars or doesn Dale have to run test parts for 48, 5 and 24?
Funny. No test parts. And the 88 was running up front -- or at least very close to it -- in the first five races. He's struggled a bit lately, but don't count him out just yet.
Regardless of whether there was contact or not in Darlington, do you ever see Kasey Kahne having a Joey Logano-type "not gonna take it anymore" moment with the driver of the 18 car?
Sorry David, but I cant resist--do you think Rowdy will overcome the tragedy and devastation of finishing behind his JGR teammates?
I asked Kenseth that, but not in such a sarcastic tone like it's the end of the world for Kyle Busch. Kenseth reminded he finished eight at Talladega after leading the most laps and leading on the green-white-checkered restart. It happens in big-time racing. Drivers get over it.
The CWTS race is not until Friday and after a drive through a few campsites at CMS, the pilgrimage is already well underway. So much for the dying sport cries from detractors.
Glad to hear.
Statements from Kevin Hamlin leads one to think that Kahne is due to dish out some retaliation. An apology hardly seems acceptable for 3 very good chances at a win. Not sure we see it this week, but I think we will see it this season.
Still not Kahne's style for an outright retaliation. He needs all the points he can get and picking a feud with Busch isn't the way to get them.
Why is @nascar being hard on the different teams this year?
Teams messed in areas that NASCAR considers sacred and issued penalties in accordance to how it always has in those areas. Apparently, the appeals panel and John Middlebrook believes the governing body has been too hard. Don't look for NASCAR to back down, though.
I tell you David, I am about sick of people calling for the All-Star race to move. They tried it, and attendance suffered. Charlotte is fully capable of supporting 3 Cup events a year. Nearly as many people show up for the All-Star as the points events. Changes in NASCAR tradition do not always work out as people predict.
I think the driver would be the first to rebel. You're right. It works in Charlotte. Charlotte has made the commitment over the years. No need to change, primarily because if gives teams another week to sleep in their own beds.
Based on the racing so far this season, which race is most interesting to you on the 26th, F1 in Monaco, the Indy 500 or the 600 in Charlotte?
Hmmm. I'm going to stick with the 600, but the 500 does have one of its best fields in a long time.
Broadcaster's are suppose to be biased correct? Does DW know that.
I liked to consider broadcasters journalists and I believe journalists should be totally unbiased.
Kyle didn't even try to make that corner. This week end would be the perfect time for the 5 to dump him
Definitely wouldn't cost Kahne any points, but it could cost him a million dollars. Not sure he wants to pass that up.
We going to see a swap anytime soon @SHR. I think Zippy is better suited as a crew chief,rather then a competition director
Haven't heard any rumblings. And remember Stewart thought he was done two years ago and won the title.
Does Reutimann still harbor ill feelings towards Mikey Waltrip after the 2011 late season firing? It kinda ruined Reuty's career.
None that he's ever shared with me. I know he was hurt, but this is a performance-based sport and you can't blame Waltrip for upgrading.
The nationwide series lacks an identity. I barely watched the race at Darlington, as I knew exactly what was going to happen. I decided to watch the Heat-Bulls game instead (and I am not even a huge basketball fan). Everytime I flipped back to the race, Kyle Busch was leading, Kyle Bush was leading, Kyle Busch was leading. I could only imagine who was going to win the race. This to me is a problem. Not only do you have Cup regulars putting on a clinic in the Nationwide Series, but you have drivers in Nationwide who should be in Cup (Regan Smith) and drivers in Cup who should be in Nationwide (Danica Patrick). Here is my soultion: If you run full time in Cup you are not allowed to compete in Nationwide AT ALL. If you've run more than 36 races in Cup, you are only allowed to run a handful of races in Nationwide. For guys like Brian Vickers and Elliot Sadler, prove your worth in Cup or retire. If there are only a handful of quality rides in Cup, that is an issue NASCAR needs to look at with the small teams, sponsorship, etc. We shouldn't be seeing a Cup field for the last decade filled with has beens who used to have quality rides like Travis Kvapil, David Stremme, J.J. Yeley, and David Gilliland (as nice guys as they are) who will never compete again unless they get a suprise win at a plate track. NASCAR needs to do something to keep moving the young talent through the ranks (minus whatever happened with Joey Logano, it took a beautiful five years to get a quality rookie in Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Cup field) and having guys like Kyle Busch dominating Nationwide is not the answer.
I hear ya, but without Cup guys in Nationwide the teams would have trouble selling sponsorships and your fields would be greatly reduced. Tracks will argue it helps sell tickets even though fans such as yourself get upset. There really is no easy answer.
Can the rest of the drivers start fighting for who is going to sit in the third seat at the banquet in Vegas? Do we know that Johnson and Kenseth are going to be in the first two?
Way too early to pick that, although they are the front-runners now. Would you have picked Stewart two years ago at this time? Hardly. Would you have picked Keselowski last year? Probably not.
Are the folks in Biffle's camp at all worried about his drop off This year from last year?
They'd be more worried if he was further back in the points. He has some good tracks coming up.
How long will SHR allow Danica to sit behind the wheel of that Cup ride?
As long as she brings dollars to the table from her sponsors.
Its's funny how some fans here on that chats, and at least 3 of your colleagues have said Jeff Gordon has lost a step. 41 years old and he finishes 3rd at the hardest track in the sport? Not too bad..You think hes still capable of competing for one more title?
If you read my Saturday column on Gordon, you'll know I think he still has what it takes. And Matt Kenseth is 41 as well. He looks like he's picked up a step.
How come nobody is writing about the RCR penalty appeals and makinga big deal about that like the media did with whatshisname in the #2 and Kenseth?
Kenseth and Keselowski are a bit more high profile, which makes them bigger news. Sorry, but that's the way life works sometimes.
Out of the top 10 drivers now, do you see any falling out and missing the chase?
Almirola and maybe Harvick.
What track do you see JJ losing the points lead?
2014 Daytona 500.
Next to Danica, who would be the next most likely driver to win the All-Star fan vote? Just so we know...
Bobby Labonte has a pretty big fan following. And some fans may vote for Ricky Stenhouse to trump the Danica vote.
Stenhouse and McMurray top 2 for the Showdown. Disagree?
Those are two good ones. Wouldn't rule out Juan Pablo Montoya either.
Hi David. How many wins does Matt get this year? I a going with 5.
I said six earlier. His best season was five, so I'm looking for him to at least one-up it.
Any news on Michael Annett coming back to the 43 in NW?
Could be Charlotte, but I'll have to check.
Dear Mr. Newton,If you had to be trapped on a desert island with one person, who would that person be?
Harvick already has one win. Do you see really him falling behind David Ragan and Denny Hamlin in order to miss the Chase?
Wasn't the question fall out of the top 10?
Hi Dave. Was there every any determination made as to what cut Kyle's tire down? Several people have said it was when he ALMOST got into Kahne, however it was his rear tire, not the front.
They haven't said yet, but it'll be one of the things we ask this weekend. All they said was he ran over something.
I never thought on Saturday that the almost about 80 percent of the race was caution free why do you think that is is it good driving or is it just having good spotters cause you did not have that like 10 years ago you thought on that.....
The talent from top to bottom of the field is better than it was 15 or 20 years ago. The cars are better too. Plus, Darlington is a bit easier since the repave. And drivers are getting smart. The know the best way to get a good finish is to be around at the end.
What is the best track to watch a race?
For pure being able to see al the action it's hard to beat Bristol or Martinsville. You can see the entire track from almost any seat.
Nope - the original question said both fall out of the top 10 and miss the Chase...
Sorry, Read past the missing the Chase part. No, I don't think Harvick will miss the Chase. Just feel like he could be passed for the top 10. Glad we got that straightened out.
That's it for me. Thanks for all the questions. Looking forward to more questions coming out of the All-Star race. Hope it's a good one. Thanks.