Hope it's not as hot where you are as it is here in Charlotte. Summer definitely has arrived. So what's on your mind? Silly Season? Kentucky? Danica Patrick making Forbes most powerful celebrities list? I'm here to help. Fire away.
Was it 2011 or 2012 that we had the Very First Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway which is the Quaker State 400?
2011. Kyle Busch won. Wouldn't surprise if he won again on Saturday. And Friday. And Thursday.
Another week and more driver mistakes by Kurt Busch. I thought you told us he was such a great driver?
Jimmie Johnson has won five titles and he still speeds on pit road. Those things happen. But there is no denying Kurt is a great driver. He's done more with the single-car team of Furniture Row Racing than maybe even Johnson could have done.
Good job pointing out in Turn 4 that the 48 team made mistakes in the chase last year and are still making mistakes now.
Facts are facts. I also noted that the 48 remains the team to beat despite making mistakes.
Who will be the Last Driver ever to Drive the #51 Chevrolet for James Finch since Finch will no Longer Race in the Sprint Cup Series After Indianapolis?
I'm not 100 percent sure Finch will pack his bags.
It seems like teams under Darian Grubb have long stretches of bad performance. First Stewart now Hamlin.
Don't think you can blame it all on Grubb. In Stewart's case, I believe Stewart lost faith in Grubb and it impacted his and the team's performance. Once he remembered he could drive again all was great. Hamlin is coming off a pretty serious injury. Grubb did all he could to hold that team together while his driver was out. When Hamlin came back Toyota suddenly was in the middle of engine issues that causes it to rethink how much power it was giving. Unfortunately, Hamlin won't make the Chase now. Maybe realistically it was wishful thinking to believe he could make it.
So it looks like Kurt Busch has replaced Logano as your BFF. You are going way overboard praising a driver that is 17th in points. Have you mentioned in articles the drivers ahead of Kurt in points as much as Kurt? No!
You're way overthinking this one the way you and others overthought Logano. If I mention Busch it is because he has done something good, bad or somebody has asked about him.
Why is Kyle Busch such a quitter? Every time his car is in an accident he declares on the radio that the car is "done". That is not how you inspire your crew to fix the car and salvage the day.
I wouldn't call him a quitter, but I have heard the tone of which you speak. Not trying to get inside his head, but it would be my guess is he believes if he doesn't have at least a chance to win he's done.
Do you think Penske is regretting his decision to drop Dodge, after winning a championship? He was building better engines than the Ford camp on his own last year. I bet Wolfe and Keselowski are having their doubts.
Nope. Ford offered much more than engines that in the long run will make Penske stronger.
Is Kevin Harvick a bigger Championship threat than he's being given credit for? The 29 has been fast this year and Kevin has already nabbed 2 wins, plus he's on a 6 race top 10 streak.. Not to mention over that time he's went from 12th in points to 4th and has gained 50 points on Jimmie Johnson
He is on quite a roll, which is impressive considering his position as a "lame duck" driver. Does that make him a championship threat? Too early to tell. Let's see how everything is with that team when they get to the Chase.
And do you think Harvick takes Gil Martin with him to SHR next year? 2nd in Sprint Cup wins together (10) since they're first full season together in 2010
Not sure what Martin's contract situation is with RCR. Much will be up to Stewart and Greg Zipadelli at SHR.
is it too much to hope that Harvick will jump into the 10 car for 2014, with newman staying in the 39?
great article on silly season today. as much as they could use a change, i don't see one happening to the ganassi driver lineup. mcmurray stated before how happy he was to be back at ganassi and how the feeling was mutual. and montoya's been with ganassi practically his entire auto racing career. ganassi seems like he's more interested in staying loyal to his drivers than he is being successful
Agree, Chip likely won't make a change there. But loyalty can take you only so far in this business or any other. Eventually, results have to dictate employment.
Newt - Any news on the 2nd year BK Racing team? It seems like if they don't blow an engine, they finish in the mid 20 range. Can a Kurt Busch or Dinger put them more in contention next year?
I'm not sure that organization is as strong as what Kurt has at Furniture Row, mainly because of the close relationship Furniture Row has with RCR. Kurt would be a step up in driver, but not sure the overall performance would drastically change.
David, do you think the detuned Toyota motors will factor in this week at Kentucky? When I look at all the previews for this weekend nobody seems to mention it. I realize they did good at sonoma but that's not a big horsepower track. There was a significant lack of power at power at Pocono and yes the 56, and 18 finished top 5 at Michigan but not one Toyota led at Michigan. Also the 88, 5, and 78 all had problems though each were dominating early and it could be argued had it they not had problems Toyota wouldn't have had a car in the top 5 again? What are your thoughts for this week at Kentucky?
TRD has slowly been working power back into the engines to find a good balance between power and durability. This will be another step in that. I suspect you'll see some of their cars lead laps and contend for the victory. I can see Kyle Busch in particular contending at Kentucky.
Thanks for Chatting! If Chase Elliott does move to Nationwide next year with Hendrick, he is expected to be sponsored by Aarons. How would that work with Aarons sponsoring MWR?
That is what Hendrick indicated. The Aaron's sponsorship would be for NW as opposed to Cup for Waltrip, so no conflict just as it isn't when Aaron's sponsors Elliott now. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the kid run.
Top 5 and a dark horse for the weekend?
Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth. Joey Logano who I believe has won there three times in the NW series as the darkhorse. Almost put him in top 5.
I know it will be hard but i believe the 24 can get into the chase on consistency. The drivers around him are inconsistent and if he can bust out a bunch of top 10's he can surely make it. What are your thoughts?
I agree totally. I also believe he'll sneak in a win between now and the Chase. If you look back, most of his bad finishes have been because of mechanical issues or being caught in somebody else's wreck.
Appreciate the chats! But it is ridiculous to say #48 "gave away" the championship last year by melting down the right front at Phoenix. JJ was badly out-classed by Keselowski in Phoenix, from first practice right through the race. JJ was driving on the absolute limit to minimize the points loss to #2 team that day, and he stepped over the line by using the brakes too hard. Give credit where it is due: Keselowski took the championship by forcing JJ's error, Jimmie did not give it away.
Just saying if not for the two issues and decent finishes in both races Johnson is the champion. Nothing against Keselowski. I've had this discussion with several other writers. Talked to Knaus about it as well. Knaus agreed with me, btw.
Newt what are your top 5 and a dark horse pick for this weekend? Also, have you heard any rumblings of who Jr's new sponsor will be or perhaps when it will be announced?
Nothing on Dale Jr.'s new sponsor other than it possibly could be announced at Daytona. Hendrick said that might be wishful thinking, though. As for top 5 and darkhorse, Ky Busch, Gordon, Johnson, Keselowski and Kenseth. Logano.
Do you think Bobby Labonte will consider dropping to a lower series? For the past couple of years, I've been of the opinion that he should find a competitive Truck series ride. He could go back to competing for wins, and would have a chance to make history by being the first driver to win all 3 national NASCAR touring series championships.
Yeah. Maybe Keselowski will drop to Trucks too to try and win titles in all three series. Seriously, no. Labonte has accomplished enough that he shouldn't have to drop back to a third-tier series to compete. May be time to hang it up and focus on life after driving.
Hey David just wanted to say I enjoyed the article immensely today. Kind of needed a silly season update. With the Quicken Loans deal, are they for sure in Newman's back pocket or could they say head to Penske for a 3rd team w/a different driver (Hornish? Vickers?) since they already sponsor their Indy Car program?
Thanks. Penske has been working on Hornish's NW sponsors for a run in Cup, but I'm sure he wouldn't turn down another if the opportunity came up. I really don't see Newman going back to Penske, though. I know he's talked to RCR and Furniture Row, although Furniture Row was more about adding a second team.
So is johnny benson really going to be doing nascar on mondays?
I must have missed something here.
Why does Tony Stewart repeatedly get a free pass on his very obvious hypocrisy? He's always complaining about other drivers and yet he rarely takes the blame when he screws up. How can anyone be a fan of his?
Well, he is pretty good. He's won three titles and has had some cool sponsors. And he speaks his mind. Fans seem to like that. Anything else? Oh, I did call him out for the blocking hypocrisy earlier this year. Didn't slow him down, though.
Mr. Newton, thanks again for the chats. Do you really think that Kurt heading to RCR would instantly make them a title contender? I know he's basically driving an RCR car right now, but there tends to always be a learning curve with him and crews, and I'm not sure he'd be as patient with an RCR crew, which should be top-notch already. I like where his head is at, but that might only work in CO.
I do, but I don't believe he'll go there. For one, I believe there is a gentleman's agreement for RCR not to touch Kurt. Secondly, Childress doesn't have a sponsor for KB. I do agree where he's at may be the best place.
Hi David. Do you think we will see Matt Kenseth turn his luck around this weekend? Last weekend was ugly. By the way, how is Ernie?
Ernie is fine. Just chillin' here next to me as I chat. Wouldn't go on a run with me earlier, though. He must think it's too hot. As for Kenseth, I do see this as the place where he gets back on track, so to speak. He's had two top 10s at Kentucky and TRD should have the engine power straightened out by now.
Joey's been trending in the right direction since All-Star weekend. Does he keep it up and crack the top 10 in points? Btw bad does that 25pt penalty look now?!
He's actually been trending pretty good all season. Were it not for the 25 point penalty -- which looks worse the closer he gets to the Chase -- he'd be in the top 10. Still only 14 out, so he just needs to keep doing what he's been doing.
I know Paul Menard usually fades badly around this time of the season, but I have a feeling he can contend for the Chase. A lot of Intermediate track races are coming up, which is a strength for him historically. Do you think he has a realistic chance to make the Chase.
Not really. As you said, he tends to fade this time of the year. Too many other drivers around him trending the right way.
I'll drive the 51!
Call James Finch and tell him you have a sponsor .... after you complete NASCAR's Road to Recovery program.
We're getting closer to Eldora and I'm not hearing near as much as I thought we would. Who else is loving the truck series this year, as well as their return to their roots???
I'm looking forward to it. Let's get through the next two weeks and then the hype will begin.
Where do you see Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman next year? Furniture Row and RCR?
That's the way it is looking.
For the next road race I think they should impound the cars like Nationwide or do some sort of cumlative laps. Sonoma was very anticlimatic
It wasn't crazy, but it wasn't that bad.
Last year at this time there was a lot of talk about JGR going to 4 cars. Hardly any talk this year, are they looking into it? Could you see Kurt or one of their NW guys running a 4 car team? That team is just too good to sit at 3 teams.
JGR has been talking four cars for four or more years. Until they get a sponsor to go with a good driver, it won't happen. That would be Kurt's greatest obstacle unless Monster Energy were to step up.
How impressed are you with the turn around JR Motorsports has had and how much MORE money will Mr. H pour into that organization when they put Chase Elliott in a car there?
The turnaround has to do with having a driver in the seat who can compete for wins. Brad K was that type of driver and he won a title. Danica and others in recent years haven't been. Regan Smith is. I said earlier in the year Regan was the best move that organization has made in a while.
For this weekends KY race, have to pick 2 Class C drivers for a fantasy league.. who would you choose between: AJ Allmendinger, Stenhouse, Casey Mears, or Danica. thx
All of those are considered C. Seems one or two are Ds. But if I had to pick two I'd go with Stenhouse and Allmendinger.
Hey David, So Chase Elliott is a HMS driver? Is he the next thing and what car at HMS eventually?
He appears to be, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him in the 24 when Gordon retires.
Kurt is driving his butt off in the 78 and @kurtstemper is in check could he get monster and another sponsor and drive for gibbs in a fourth car ?
That would be a dream scenario for him. Not sure Gibbs is ready to commit to four teams, but that would be the best-case scenario to do so.
I know Paul Menard usually drops in the points this time of year. But, I have a feeling this season could be different. There are a lot of intermediate track races coming up during the summer. He usually does pretty well on these type tracks. He's only a few points out of 10th now. Do you think he as a shot at making the Chase.
Not really. No offense.
Will we ever see the 3 or 6 in nascar again.
I believe we'll see the 3 next year with Austin Dillon. The six will be there again too one day.
I still think Roush is a little behind in the speed department compared to Hendrick and Gibbs. I know Biff won at Michigan but I believe Kahne and JJ had faster cars. When do you think the Cat in the Hat will get Roush back to having the speed they had at mile and a half tracks?
They are working with Penske Racing and Ford to make that happen, but it's easier said than done.
Good morning, Newt. I have two things: 1) When doing the top 5, shouldn't we just concede a spot to Jimmie Johnson? He's in the hunt every week. 2) In NASCAR, you have races in the Carolinas, Kansas and Texas, which are three great forms of BBQ. Which BBQ do you prefer? (Hey, we all have to eat.)
1. Yes. 2. Although born and raised in the Carolinas, I'll side with Kansas BBQ. I know that will drive my Texan boss K. Lee Davis crazy, but the Q I had in Kansas is some of the best I've ever had.
Any NW regulars moving up to Cup next year? Dillon?
Dillon for sure. Vickers in the 55 as long as Aaron's agrees. Regan Smith may be able to earn a ride as well.
Just enjoying reading all these great comments! If you had to pick tonight's winner in the truck race--would it be Brad or Kyle?
I won't pick either since I don't believe either should be in the race.
Just watched the re-run of the Nationwide race at Road America (was unable to watch it on Saturday). Have to give a BIG congratulations to the 'Dinger on the win. What a way to repay the owner that believed in you and gave you a second chance.
Agree. Just talked to AJ before this chat. He's certainly turned things around and has Penske to thank for giving him a second chance that other owners may not have.
How can there be no leaks about dale Jr's new sponsor? When should we expect an announcement?
I'm sure there will be soon. Most of the time there isn't this much interest in a sponsor.
Do you think Kurt Busch will stay with the 78 next year
I would say 70 percent chance.
How much more expensive is it for a sponor in cup compared to NW? It seems like it would be a no brainer for Monster to move to cup and sponsor Kurt at JGR.
Double in most cases. What about Monster moving to Cup with Kyle and moving M&Ms to another driver not named Busch?
In televised sports, crowd shots are so prevalent. It generates excitement and makes the viewer even more a part of the experience. Can you tell me why NASCAR broadcasts never show some of the most fervent and colorful fans in sports?
Have you ever sat in the grandstands where the most colorful fans sit? Duck Dynasty would be tame.
Hey Newt, sorry I'm late just got out of class. Cannot believe the current Cup champ is running the truck race tonight! Isn't this just another example of whathisname in the #2 needing to focus on making his #2 run better instead of yapping his mouth?
Sure it has more to do with sponsorship and helping the team financially.
McGee claimed to be good looking on Monday. I told him he got himself mixed up with Johnny Benson
I promised myself never to comment on another writer's looks. McGee is quite handsome, though.
Since Bobby Labonte most recent NASCAR win was in Nationwide do you think Rowdy Busch might put Labonte in a 2nd KBM Toyota as teammate to Parker Kligerman?
Hearing Mark Martin more than Labonte.
Think Vickers ultimately ends up in the 55? What's the hold up with Aaron's and not re-signing that you know of?
Not really sure. Waltrip is 100 percent behind BV.
Over/Under: 1 win this season for Kurt.
One is what I would pick.
Mr. Newton, the dog days of summer are coming. Dale Jr is sitting in 7th spot followed by KB, BK, Truex, Kahne, Mehnard and at 13 is Gordon. Who is in trouble of not making the chase?
Dale Jr., Menard and Gordon among the ones you mentioned.
Who takes Vickers' NW race if he moves up to the 55?
I hope Darrell Wallace Jr.
Yes I have been in the grandstands. That's why I think they should show fans. They're very entertaining.
It would be entertaining for sure.
Could Jr sponsor be wrangler since he promotes it so much
Hendrick said it was a new sponsor to the sport. Unless he meant new old sponsor, no.
David, I agree on the KC barbecue. Would Newman be better for RCR in 2014 than Jeff B.????? I like Jeff, but I think his time running with a top cup team is coming to a close.
Slightly better, but I can see both there.
Tony Stewart also drives a Chevy, that is one of the reasons I am a fan of his.
Sorry I left that one out.
You more bullish on the future of Kyle Larson or Chase Elliot?
Tough one. I'll go Elliott just because of the HMS support.
That's it for me. A full weekend of racing beginning tonight with the Truck race. Enjoy. I'm on vacation next week so see you in two.