A: James, no I wasn't surprised he didn't wreck him. He's a pro.
A: Busch's car dropped a cylinder.
A: Eury is important because Earnhardt trusts him and listens to him and they understand each other.
A: These tires are softer than what they ran here in the spring, and the racing is better as a result.
A: Without hearing the radio conversation between the two of them, that question is impossible to answer. Only they know.
A: Yes, I think he wanted to give Earnhardt 50 laps or so to cool down.
A: Pit strategy. There have been a lot of stops where guys took 2 tires or no tire and he took 4. That cost him a lot of track position.
A: That means his car isn't leaning from side to side at the desired angle.
A: No, absolutely not.
A: I don't expect Red Bull and Yates to join forces in any way. I spoke with Red Bull's competition director Elton Sawyer yesterday, and that team is confirmed back with Toyota, Vickers and Allmendinger for next year.
A: The NASCAR community lost a great friend Friday night with the passing of Ray Cooper, a former sportswriter and in later years a manufacturer's rep for first Chevy and then Dodge The track had a moment of silence in the media center, and we have a bunch of stuff in the works to honor Coop. He was a great guy, and there are a lot of heavy hearts tonight.
A: The tracks generally organize the prerace programs.
A: I predict four engine failures.
A: Thanks for the question. To the best of my knowledge, Sam Hornish Jr. has not made a commitment one way or the other as far as his 2008 plans.
A: Yes, the Duels will be run on Thursday, as always. In this case, it's Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2008.
A: At 180 miles per hour, a NASCAR Nextel Cup car travels the length of a football field every second. Drivers wouldn't have time to react to brake lights. As far as the turn signals, it would be a nightmare, because not everyone would use them, some would use them and not actually change lanes, etc. It would be a mess.
A: Thanks for the question. The most points a driver can make up in a single event is 161 (185 for first place, 5 for leading a lap, 5 more for reading the most laps). If a winner leads the most laps, therefore, he gets 195 points, while the last-place finisher earns 34. So 195 - 34 = 161. To be out of contention with five races left would require someone to be 805 points back (161 x 5). So to answer your question, no, no one is mathematically eliminated now. But the furthest anyone's ever come back at this point in the season is 156 points back, so there a lot of guys in danger of being out of contention.
A: Welcome. I just went into the garage here at Lowe's Motor Speedway and spoke with Jade Gurss, one of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s public relations men, and he said Junior's 2008 Nationwide Series what's now known as the Busch Series schedule is not set. The plan, though, is to run at least 15 races in what's being called internally "the all-star car," a JR Motorsports Chevy with Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears all doing some races. Details remain to be finalized.
A: Hello, there. Teresa Earnhardt is the daughter of Tommy Houston's brother, Hal, which makes her Tommy's niece. Tommy held the record for most NASCAR Busch Series starts at 417, a record that was broken last night by Jason Keller, who appeared in his 418th Busch race. As far as the Waltrip deal, like most racers, Waltrip is a driver first and a businessman second. He needed someone with bottom-line experience at running a business, and he got it. We'll be watching closely to see how it develops.
A: Greetings to the Great White North! NASCAR's public posture is that the Cup Series will race only in the United States, not Mexico or Canada. If that changes, we'll see.
A: Good question. As far as I know, the taxpayers footed the bill. Don't they always?
A: Thanks for the question. I think Junior should be a solid top 10, and I do think his motor should hold together.
A: Welcome. The failure of the DEI/RCR engines was believed to be due to piston failures, the same problem that struck the team during testing.
A: Great question. I asked Peter Jellen, who is one of the crew members for the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet, and he told me that the water circulator the team uses gradually blends in the cool water with the hot engine water so that it doesn't introduce too much cold water too soon.
A: Welcome. Actually, I'd like to see the top 12 and the past champion locked in and everyone else qualify on speed. What I like about only locking in the top 12 is it will spread the DNQs over a larger group of drivers. But as I've said many, many times, no matter how you set up qualifying, people are going to complain about it being unfair for one reason or another.
A: Excellent point. I think the reason they looked slow is because so many drivers hung back for so long.
A: Thanks for the many questions. We'll start with the last one first. Ryan Newman is under contract with Penske Racing next year and Ward Burton likely will return to Morgan-McClure Motorsports if sponsorship can be found. Don't know about Penske, but I'll try to ask tomorrow. As for Carpentier, here's what Sadler said today - "I don't know all the plans yet. I don't know anything about a sponsor, car number or anything like that. I just know he is coming to be a part of the Gillett Evernham team so hopefully he can get right on board, get his feet wet pretty early, cut his teeth pretty early and then go from there."
A: Welcome to the weekend. Coors will not sponsor a Sprint Cup car next year. No change is anticipated at the moment with the Miller Lite car. Kurt Busch said today he will be meeting some Miller officials next week to hear more about the deal.
A: Glad you could join us. Kelley Earnhardt Elledge does not work for DEI. She is her brother's advisor and business manager.
A: Hey, bud. Have not heard anything about Franchitti running the Cup race at Martinsville. At Ganassi's announcement last week, the team said only that he'd run the NCTS event.
A: Great idea! Thanks for the suggestion. You'd probably still have issues with transparency as the wing got dirty during the race, but it might help solve the problem.
A: Great way to lead off this week's questions. So far, I've not heard of a common theme in the "too low" cases. You have to remember, though, these cars are running 400-500 miles at speeds roughly from 130-200 mph. And they bottom out, occasionally have contact with other cars, etc. I'm frankly surprised more of them don't come up off during measurements.
A: Hi, Jo! I have not heard anything about Junior getting out of the No. 8 at Atlanta. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, just that I have not heard it. As for the policy contradictions, I'm with you all the way and have shared my opinions with them. It's all I can do.
A: Good point. But I think it was much more of a case of Junior and his step-mother having deep disagreements about almost everything.
A: Another excellent question. I think NASCAR is going to be watching this situation very closely in the future to make sure it is within the letter and spirit of the rules.
A: Thanks for the question. If you moved the rear wing on the COT, it would completely alter the aero qualities of the car. Besides, they'd look even uglier.