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February 21, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Brant James

Brant James
  (1:59 PM)

Good afternoon from the media center of Daytona International Speedway. It's been a little rainy, but Nationwide cars on qualifying. Thanks for joining us today.

Jay (GA)

Who do you think will win championship? ROY?I pick Harvick and Dillon

Brant James
  (2:00 PM)

Hey Jay.I am going to go with Jimmie Johnson for the title. A cop-out, sure, but I think he gets benefit of the doubt.ROY: Dillon, I agree, but I think Kyle Larson is more likely to win a race.

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

More likely to happen this year, Jimmy wins number 7 and joins the King and the Intimidator, Gordon Wins #5 and retires, or Letarte is let go before seasons end because of underperforming Junior and the 88 car

Brant James
  (2:01 PM)

A very interesting one.I think you might actually see both the Jimmie and Junior scenarios, but if I must pick one, Jimmie.

Brant James
  (2:02 PM)

Red flag out here for rain by the way. Nationwide qualifying on hold

Kevin Mackey [via mobile]

I think Richard Petty should race Danica Patrick

Brant James
  (2:02 PM)

What would be your choice of car? Might be a bit unfair considering the four decades between them, but I bet you could pay-per-view it.

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

WHo rebounds better in 2014, Bad Brad or Clint Bowyer?

Brant James
  (2:03 PM)

Brad, I think. He had some misfortune last year and the season sort of got away. I think he's back.

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

Brant, If Tony Stewart wants Danica to race the King, wont he be setting her up to lose because The King did drive 3 or 4 different manufactors in a championship year back in his hey day?

Brant James
  (2:04 PM)

Let's not forget the man is 76 years old.

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

Is the biggest storyline going into sunday A) That the #3 is on the pole. B) the Feud between Smoke and The King. or C) The fact that throughout Speedweeks we have had several multi-car wrecks and 2 different drivers have been either upside down or done a flip in the air, plus one the the catch fence very close to where Kyle Larson was last year?

Brant James
  (2:05 PM)

Short answer: all of the above.I think the 3 car is the lasting storyline. It will be interesting to watch that one unfold all year and into the future.

Travis Smith [via mobile]

Hey Brant, Who do you see having more of a successful rookie season, Kyle Larson or Austin Dillion?

Brant James
  (2:07 PM)

Austin wins ROY as he generally keeps the car in one piece and produces finishes. He didn't need a win to win Nationwide title last year.That said, I think Larson is more likely to win a race.

Bill B. (Alaska)

In similar equipment, would Richard Petty have any kind of chance at beating Danica in a full season in points at his age?

Brant James
  (2:09 PM)

As I said before, the man is 76. A great champion, a legend, a Hall of Famer, but still ...

Mike R. (Tulsa)

There are a lot of Danica haters and a lot of supporters. What would have to happen to sway them all on to one side of the fence?

Brant James
  (2:11 PM)

Never going to happen in sports, and that's part of the deal. Some drivers will just not break through with certain fans. A lot of it is misperception. Gordon and Johnson suffer from that a lot.

Tom (NJ)

For much of the duels we saw single file racing, do you think a bulk of the 500 will be single file or will it be more side-by-side?

Brant James
  (2:13 PM)

I call it the Oreo cookie. Delicious cooking at the outset (some racing), then the nasty center (single file) and then another cookie (racing at the end). Just hope it's not a double stuff

jughead....florida [via mobile]

Hows the weather there?

Brant James
  (2:14 PM)

Awesome if you're duck hunting. Otherwise, not good for race cars

Jerry Hazlett (Saegertown Pa)

Why are the top 30 from last year locked in to the NNS race at Daytona. I thought NASCAR did away with locked it positions last year. Is seems that the "knock out qualifying" only applies to the very poorest teams.

Brant James
  (2:14 PM)

Checking on this.

B. ELLIS*MCMINNVILLE ORE [via mobile]

what do u think of the nex chase format?

Brant James
  (2:15 PM)

Important question is what you think.But for me, why not? It seems contrived, maybe a little over-thought. And I really think the environment is rife for cheating now. But we shall she

Jamie Sweitzer from Volcano, HI (formerly Denver, NC) [via mobil

How many races does Joey Logano win? Do you think he is a 2014 contender?

Brant James
  (2:16 PM)

wins: 2Definitely in the Chase. Probably not a Final Four guy.

Ryan D. (NC)

Brant, there are rumors about Penske putting Juan Montoya into the Brickyard 400 this year. Are there any other races (maybe road courses) this season that he might run?

Brant James
  (2:19 PM)

The Penske thinking, according to Tim Cindric is that JPM has nothing to prove on road courses. I think they would like to see him try to break through on the ovals. Brickyard makes a lot of sense

Dave (WI)

Any way we can quit comparing the King and Earnhardt to JJ, he's let the points for only 60 races to get 6 titles, that's not even enough to win 2 titles back in the day.

Brant James
  (2:21 PM)

Good luck with that one. He's dominant in the form of racing presented to him. Hard to say how those legends would do now.

Mike P (Greater Kc Metro)

What changes does Ford need to make to be more competitive this year. Is it drivers, car design, both or other? To me it seems like more drivers than anything. Other than Bad Brad who is a wheel-man and not afraid to put a car in a tight spot. Cousin Carl was but has lost that sense / passion to do it.

Brant James
  (2:23 PM)

Roush Fenway certain needs to grab the flag if Ford is going to advance. Edwards' fade last year was a little surprising, so I think he bears a lot of attention to begin this season. Losing Matt Kenseth certainly hurt the Ford tally.

Mike P (Greater Kc Metro)

Could SHR be the baseball equal to the yankee teams in the 70's that had Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson on it and we all remember the feud that those two had?

Brant James
  (2:25 PM)

Though I think the feud aspect is over-blown, SHR would be a great backdrop for one of those Hard Knocks shows. It's a group of spirited competitors, and no doubt at some point they will be upset with each other. Underlying it, though, they're all friends or there are enough friend connections to keep things calm, I think.http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/10313804/nascar-tony-stewart-kurt-busch-kevin-harvick-danica-patrick-mesh-fine

Ace Sanders (WV)

Was it selfish of Jimmie Johnson to push the issue of fuel, when he stated "He knew he would stack up the field if he ran out of gas". A lot of good cars are now in back ups? Was this a bad call for a qualifying race?

Brant James
  (2:27 PM)

They had to think they would make it, as they knew they would nuke the 48 if he piled up the field. As for it being a bad call, ultimately it's a sport of single interests. I don't have a problem with it

Brant James
  (2:28 PM)

They will back away from the series after this season

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

Good morning Mr. James,I was under the impression that Nationwide had decided to non-renew their sponsorship of the Nationwide series in order to put more money into the Sprint Cup, specifically the #17. But it dawned on me this week that it's still the Nationwide series. Was I mistaken, or did something else transpire. Thanks in advance!

Brant James
  (2:28 PM)

They will leave after this season

Tom C. ((Not Greater KC Metro))

Is Tony Stewart back at 100%?

Brant James
  (2:29 PM)

No. Doctors don't expect that for almost a year. Will be interesting to see if a year in the car lengthens that timeline

Eric T (MI)

Do you think having the #3 out there this year helps light a fire under Junior?

Brant James
  (2:31 PM)

I don't think so. He's had a lot of pressure/motivation his entire career being who is he is. And he's known the deal, that eventually it would come back. He said he was fine with it.Dream scenario: 88 behind the 3 on the final lap on Sunday

Mike P (Greater Kc Metro)

Does Matt Kenseth have a down year after last year points finish like we have seen in the past with the 2nd place points finisher or is he a cagey veteran in great equipment and breaks that "curse" this year.

Brant James
  (2:31 PM)

Kenseth is like high blood pressure. He's the silent killer. He doesn't often spike or crater. Jimmie picked him in his final four. I think he'll be right there

Mike P (Greater Kc Metro)

Between all four SHR cars, Who will wreck a teammate first, either to win or out of anger and cause a media circus that we all are hoping for to happen. I say either harvick or outlaw finding a way to wreck the other.

Brant James
  (2:33 PM)

Honestly, I don't think that happens. But I know a lot of people are hoping for it.

Tom ((Not Greater KC Metro))

Do you think the King could beat Danica in a full season in equal cars, considering his age?

Brant James
  (2:34 PM)

No. He is 76 years old.

matt (virgina)

do you think danica will finish better than 25th in points this year?

Brant James
  (2:35 PM)

I'm predicting 22-26, depending on whether she can reduce disaster finishes. Qualifying is a major key. She had to race through too much of the field last year after qualifying poorly.

Randy P. (hampton, ga)

Is ESPN going to offer the stock car challenge game this year online? I cannot get it to come up on my puter!

Brant James
  (2:36 PM)

Sorry. I am told that is no longer happening.

Steve (Ohio)

Which Gibbs driver will have the best season? They seem so evenly matched.

Brant James
  (2:36 PM)

Denny Hamlin is the trendy (or maybe really smart) answer right now, but Daytona is a different animal than the rest of the series.Have to go with the consistent one, Kenseth.

Justin MacDuff (Rochester NY)

How do you think Tony Stewart will fare this year coming off his injury??

Brant James
  (2:39 PM)

I predicted he will win the Daytona 500 and I will stick with it (as everyone uses Google these days) but I think the long, physical season will take a toll. I think he makes the super-sized Chase, but not sure about final standings

Jeremy (Georgia)

Bowyer, Biffle, and Edwards are in contract years. Do you think any of them will go to a new team? i can see edwards leaving, but bowyer and biffle will probably stay put

Brant James
  (2:40 PM)

Edwards seems the most likely. Remember there was much ballyhoo about him possibly going to JGR in his last contract cycle. Thing is, drivers don't often leave Roush in their own. Kenseth did, but they retain a lot of guys they develop

chris joplin missouri [via mobile]

Do you think Dale Junior and Letarte can be the dominant combunation this year if the equipment stays under Junior?

Brant James
  (2:41 PM)

Junior hasn't won enough the last decade to lead me to believe he can suddenly dominate, but I think they can be very good, even press for a championship. If the lame duck thing doesn't become a distraction, of course. At some point, speculation over Letarte's successor has to become deafening

Ace Sanders (WV)

Truex Jr.... New Ride, New Team, Same Pit Crew? Does he win like Busch couldn't? and how far does he go if he makes the chase?

Brant James
  (2:43 PM)

That was a pretty good landing for Truex Jr. Busch is a pretty stellar driver, so don't assume Truex Jr. will jump-start the program. No offense intended at all, just don't discount Busch.

Andrew (Tennessee)

Who do you think will win the Daytona 500 this year?

Brant James
  (2:44 PM)

Tony Stewart. And what a story that would be.

Andy Settle (Reedsville, PA) [via mobile]

Which team do you think has the most overall talent top to bottom? Hendrick or Gibbs?

Brant James
  (2:45 PM)

That is a phenomenal question. And a tough one.Wow. ..... Hendrick.

Jerry (Saegertown Pa)

76 years not withstanding. I think if you put Petty and Patrick in matched Daytona Roadrunners. He wins at Daytona by half straight away in 50 laps. I wonder if Tony can arrange that

Brant James
  (2:50 PM)

I just couldn't agree more. And I don't see how the race ever happens. Maybe it'll turn into a television commercial where everyone can have a laugh and reconcile

Scott (michigan)

As Gordon nears the end of his career who do you see filling his ride?

Brant James
  (2:51 PM)

Chase Elliott is in a pretty good position at JRM, if he wins. That might be an option.

chris (Joplin, mo) [via mobile]

Do you ever see a time when Dale Junior would go back to racing for DEI

Brant James
  (2:53 PM)

That can't happen as DEI is gone. But he made a choice once and seems to enjoy where he is. Maybe one day JRM will become a Cup team and he can run there, but that seems far down the line

Susan (Virginia)

Your dream scenario is wrong. 88 in front with no one passing him on the last lap. Reality, now, how does Dale get in the Chase if he doesn't win all season? I adore the guy, but he has almost no wins over the past 5 years, and just a lot of almosts. Amazing how Chad always claims they're close on fuel and always manages to finish the race (often in first) and this time, in a non-points race, he actually runs out (and triggers a bad wreck).

Brant James
  (2:56 PM)

I am sure that scenario would please many people. Remember, you don't have to win to get in, but a win gets you in. If he doesn't win, I think he'll be good enough in points to make it.

John (Indiana)

What resulted for Harvick's starting position for Sunday after he failed post inspection last night? Any fines or discipline coming?

Brant James
  (2:57 PM)

Usually find that stuff out on Tuesdays.

Brandon (Virginia)

How do you think Harvick will do in his first year with his new team?

Brant James
  (2:57 PM)

Wins at least one race, makes Chase. A big factor is if SHR makes an organization-wide improvement over last year.

Scott (mi)

Do you think the 24 has a real chance of wining the title this season?

Brant James
  (2:58 PM)

I think he will race at a high level, but I think is teammate in the 48 is shutting the door on everyone again

Steven (Kingsport)

Dale Jr would be the defending points champion if the same system had been in place last year. New system guarantees all the chase races matter to the championship not that the guy with most wins or a win, wins it.

Brant James
  (3:00 PM)

Junior's Chase last year should be pretty encouraging to his fans

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

Which veteran will have a greater impact on their rookie teammate this year Mcmurray or Newman?

Brant James
  (3:02 PM)

Really interesting question. I will go McMurray. I think the RCR dynamic is different for Austin Dillon with so much family around, all of them former racers. Not saying Newman can't add something, but he's been in a Cup environment since he was a toddler.

chris joplin missouri [via mobile]

How would you compare Jimmie Johnsons championships in such dominant fashion with the cars being changed so much every year to former champs with basically the same cars year to year?

Brant James
  (3:03 PM)

I think you have to give him a lot of credit for that fact and the changing points system. He has owned the Chase, and now there is a wrinkle.

Wesw3s99 (New Hampsjhire)

They call nationwide qualifying?

Brant James
  (3:03 PM)

yes. weather here not good

John (Indiana)

Under new format... don't you think it comes down to get in the chase and then who ever gets hot at right time??

Brant James
  (3:04 PM)

Absolutely. NASCAR wanted that playoff feel and this will provide it.

Brant James
  (3:06 PM)

All right everyone. I have run out of quarters for my chat machine. have a great day and see you next time. Thanks for coming.