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.
Who do you think will win championship? ROY?I pick Harvick and Dillon
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.
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
A very interesting one.I think you might actually see both the Jimmie and Junior scenarios, but if I must pick one, Jimmie.
Red flag out here for rain by the way. Nationwide qualifying on hold
I think Richard Petty should race Danica Patrick
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.
WHo rebounds better in 2014, Bad Brad or Clint Bowyer?
Brad, I think. He had some misfortune last year and the season sort of got away. I think he's back.
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?
Let's not forget the man is 76 years old.
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?
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.
Hey Brant, Who do you see having more of a successful rookie season, Kyle Larson or Austin Dillion?
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.
In similar equipment, would Richard Petty have any kind of chance at beating Danica in a full season in points at his age?
As I said before, the man is 76. A great champion, a legend, a Hall of Famer, but still ...
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?
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.
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?
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
Hows the weather there?
Awesome if you're duck hunting. Otherwise, not good for race cars
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.
Checking on this.
what do u think of the nex chase format?
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
How many races does Joey Logano win? Do you think he is a 2014 contender?
wins: 2Definitely in the Chase. Probably not a Final Four guy.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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?
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
They will back away from the series after this season
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!
They will leave after this season
Is Tony Stewart back at 100%?
No. Doctors don't expect that for almost a year. Will be interesting to see if a year in the car lengthens that timeline
Do you think having the #3 out there this year helps light a fire under Junior?
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
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.
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
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.
Honestly, I don't think that happens. But I know a lot of people are hoping for it.
Do you think the King could beat Danica in a full season in equal cars, considering his age?
No. He is 76 years old.
do you think danica will finish better than 25th in points this year?
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.
Is ESPN going to offer the stock car challenge game this year online? I cannot get it to come up on my puter!
Sorry. I am told that is no longer happening.
Which Gibbs driver will have the best season? They seem so evenly matched.
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.
How do you think Tony Stewart will fare this year coming off his injury??
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
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
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
Do you think Dale Junior and Letarte can be the dominant combunation this year if the equipment stays under Junior?
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
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?
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.
Who do you think will win the Daytona 500 this year?
Tony Stewart. And what a story that would be.
Which team do you think has the most overall talent top to bottom? Hendrick or Gibbs?
That is a phenomenal question. And a tough one.Wow. ..... Hendrick.
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
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
As Gordon nears the end of his career who do you see filling his ride?
Chase Elliott is in a pretty good position at JRM, if he wins. That might be an option.
Do you ever see a time when Dale Junior would go back to racing for DEI
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
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).
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.
What resulted for Harvick's starting position for Sunday after he failed post inspection last night? Any fines or discipline coming?
Usually find that stuff out on Tuesdays.
How do you think Harvick will do in his first year with his new team?
Wins at least one race, makes Chase. A big factor is if SHR makes an organization-wide improvement over last year.
Do you think the 24 has a real chance of wining the title this season?
I think he will race at a high level, but I think is teammate in the 48 is shutting the door on everyone again
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.
Junior's Chase last year should be pretty encouraging to his fans
Which veteran will have a greater impact on their rookie teammate this year Mcmurray or Newman?
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.
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?
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.
They call nationwide qualifying?
yes. weather here not good
Under new format... don't you think it comes down to get in the chase and then who ever gets hot at right time??
Absolutely. NASCAR wanted that playoff feel and this will provide it.
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.