Chat with Terry Blount
Send in your questions now and stop by to talk with Terry at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hello everyone. Ready for Chase decider week and IRL championship week?
so i'll ask the same question i have been for the past 10 weeks.. in order, your pick to win the championship... 18, 48, 99.
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
The 99 No. 1, the 48 No. 2, the 18 No. 3
Must feel good when you write an article on someone and he delivers. I laughed at the last line of your first article on JJ since I heard Chad say on the scanner that JJ has never been able to spin anyone out without crashing himelf. With a 6th at Pocono, 1st at Indy and a no one even close at Fontana either Knaus has built a magic car or he has figured out the COT. Any thoughts as to whether it is the car or the formula?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
It's the car, at least that what Chad says, but he may be sandbagging. One thing for sure, that's a very strong piece and should help them in the Chase.
What is up with Newman's sponsor? Any word on Borland getting back on the Pit Box for Newman?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
I think Stewart may reveal some of those plans this wekeend at Richmond.
Eric (Columbia, MO)
Is all this talk of a budding rivalry with Carl and Kyle legit? I mean, thinking back to Bristol, was there ANYTHING wrong with Carl's bump-and-run pass of Kyle? That's just Bristol, right?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Just Bristol. Nothing wrong with it at all. They both downplay the rivalry, but it would help NASCAR if they played it.
Eric (Columbia, MO)
It seems that Carl Edwards went from a really good driver to a great driver just about the time NASCAR moved to the COT. Is that merely coincidence, or is exceptional physical conditioning more a predictor of success than ever before? To what extent are drivers getting this message?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
It certainly helps that he's in great shape, but Carl was darn good in 2005 with the old car when he lost the title by 35 points. The COT is more about being able to handle a lose race car, which Carl does better than most.
Greg - South Bend, IN.
Hey Terry? Any word on my other hometown driver David Stremme going to Penske yet for the 12 car?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
I think that's a done deal.
Rich (Pittsburgh, PA)
Blount, Seems its an obvious three horse race for the Cup. You see anyone outside the Chase contenders making a stand during these races, or are we destined to see nothing but JJ, Rowdy and Carl finishing in Victory lane the rest of the way?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
I still think Junior could get it together and make a run. Kenseth always runs well in the Chase and Biffle might get hot.
how much farther does Gordon slide down the standings?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
He'll make the Chase, but I'm not sure the 24 team has it together enough to contend for the title.
under the old rules, how insurmountable of a lead would 200 points be going into the final 10 races of the season? Would Kyle have all but locked up the title?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
He wouldn't have it locked up. Drivers have made up bigger decficts in fewer races. Mathematically, you can make up 161 points in one race if you win and the other guys finishes last. But the odds of doing it aren't good. It takes the leader having a few really bad races. You can't catch him unless he falters.
Terry from what I am hearing NO chance at all that mark gets in the 5 for any races this year correct?? JEFF
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
Hendrick folks said at Cali they have no plans to oust Mears before the end of the season, but we'll see.
Pete (New Jersey)
Has Hendrick lost some of its luster this season or is it just Gordon? JJ was coming off of two straight titles and Gordon had a good 2007, however, it seems like Hendrick as a whole hasn't had that great of a year this year.
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
They haven't had the dominant year they had last season,but that was an exceptional season. Gordon's team has really fallen off. Something isn't quite right there.
Chris - Boston
Do you think a 3rd straight title can happen for JJ, and if he does where would you rank him on your all time list
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
I think he has a good shot at it. Doing it would place him in the top 10, but it doesn't make him better than Earnhardt, Petty or Pearson.
I'll be the first to ask the question I'm sure you get all the time. I'm tired of most people saying Jeff Gordon is having an o.k. year. Fact is, even though right now he is in the Chase he and his team stink! Poor pitstops. If they show up with a bad car they finish wayyyyy back. If they show up with a good car they finish wayyyyy back. You have to be hearing in the garage what is going on. I know they can't get Jeff comfortable with the car......if that is the answer changes HAVE to happen. So, 1) can they possibly do anything this year to turn it around and compete for the cup? 2) what changes will be made so they get back to being #1 at Hendrick next year?....or should us fans just move on?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
I don't see them making any significant changes during the Chase. But if things don't improve in the last 10 races, they would have to consider a crew chief change.
I would rather see a road course in the chase - hello a second trip to Indy -- over a second visit to the Auto whatever the name of the California track.
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
ACS has to step up and prove it deserves two events. I don't know if moving a race into the Chase is enough. NASCAR wants to race twice in the LA-market. So do the sponsors. But it isn't working. I wrote about this my my blitz column today.
If Carl Edwards wins the Championship what do you think the chances are of him doing a backflip shirtless?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Maybe if you make a request to his team he will oblige you.
chris (new jersey)
quick comment- Im tired of gordon complaining of the car . suck it up n start driving like a champ . Car isint always gonna be perfect those cars are a dream ask JJ.
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
I haven't heard Jeff complaining that much. He always praises his team, But the COT doesn't seem to fit his driving style.
So why did Kyle click so quickly with the 18 team - just chemistry? JJ did nothing in that car but the team has quality stuff so it is not a surprise. 8 or 9 wins whatever he has won is a surprise but not that he is in the top 10. I am just curious how it clicked so quick.
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
It's always hard to say what makes for great chemistry, but Kyle really likes Addington. The other things is he's really good and controlling the new car. He can drive it on the edge better than most guys.
Ted (Boca Raton, FL)
What's Junior's chances of dominating again? Will Junior dominate again???Does his team get the attention JJ and Gordon's get?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
Junior gets more attention than any driver in NASCAR, but when did he dominate? I must have missed that.
Quick question that's been bugging me this week: When the points are reset for the chase, are both owner's and driver's points reset, or just driver's points?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
Just driver points
Chris - Boston
How do you think the communication will be with Dariun Grubb and Tony Stewart? Will they win a race next year?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Grubb is one of the best young engineers out there. It's the best choice Tony could make. Yes, I think they could win a race in 09.
How different is the 2010 schedule going to look. What old time race tracks are in danger of losing a race? Would they take one of the races from Martinsville?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Martinsville could lose a race a Kansas. Many old-time fans won't like it if the Cali events continue to struggle. And Bruton Smith might move a race to Kentucky if the previous owners settle their lawsuit against NASCAR.
Rich (Pittsburgh, PA)
Is the COT really a good change for the sport... when the best drivers are one who can handle a loose race car? It takes skill to handle a loose car, that is obvious, but does it really show who the best driver is, or just who can handle a loose racecar better than someone else?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Being able to drive a car on the edge without wrecking is what separates the men from the boys. Always has. The COT was designed to put the races in the hands of the drivers, but it also was supposed to make competition closer. That hasn't happened at some of the bigger tracks. Not yet anyway.
How much of a shot does Helio have to win this weekend? Where does he need to finish to win?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Helio is dependent on Dixon having a bad finish. Even if Helio wins, he needs Dixon to finish outside the top 10.
How much of Knaus's comments regarding NASCAR going the way of a spec series with the COT is true in your opinion? Certainly, the racing has been worse and tracks are having a harder time getting people to show up for races.
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Attendance is down because of the economy. NASCAR is no spec series, but the pendulum may have swung a little too far in that direction.
Rob (Philadelphia, PA)
Do you think the departure of Jay Frye to SHR will significantly hurt TRB, or do things appear to be in good order there going forward?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Jay hasn't made a deciion yet as far as I know. It would be a signficant loss to Team Red Bull, but Jay has put in place a good foundation there for others to build on.
Eric (Columbia, MO)
We heard a lot in the Cup broadcast this weekend that Kyle and Carl drive their cars "sideways". Do they run their cars looser than everybody else?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
The looser you can set up the car and still control it, the better. A lot of cars this season are set up to crab down the track, meaning the car is slightly turned to the left on the chassis.
do u see any changes for the cot in the off season?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
The one things the teams really want is for NASCAR to let them have more front downforce by changing the splitter. I think is about 50/50 that will happen.
Jeff (Raleigh, NC)
Honestly, what do you think of the real problem with the 24. Even if they make the chase, they are filler. Has Gordon lost his edge (family, baby, other interests) or is Letarte not up to par. Hendrick has too many resources and 48 is too good for this.
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Gordon didn't forget how to drive in a year, but I agree that he has other things in his life now that are important to him. It isn't unusual for a successful driver to become a little less aggressive as he approaches 40.
Rick (Lansdale, Pa)
Looks like Bootie is out as a crew chief at Haas. Any rumors about where he ends up next year?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
Tony might keep Bootie in another capacity. He's a asset to any team.
I read that goodyear is having a confirmation test in dover tomorrow what does that mean?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
It just means they are confirming the tire they selected for that event is the one they want to use.
Bre (Seattle, WA)
How likely will Ganassi just put Montoya in the Target car and only run one next yr? Can Montoya even look around or is he locked up for a long time?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Chip will run two cars. They already have half a season of sponsorship on the 42 and probably will find the other half without much problem. JPM is staying for 09.
Do you think Jimmie Johnson will be as dominant down the stretch as he was last year?
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
No. not like last year. But I still think he could win the title. My pick is Carl, but Jimmie's experience could make a difference at the end.
Ben (Fayetteville, GA)
That was such a boring race this weekend. I really hope NASCAR takes a race away from both California and Michigan!!
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
You'll have to hope for a long time on Michigan, and it's sitll unlikely NASCAR will take a race away from Cali.
jameson bloomington in
it doesnt seem to matter what nascar does to toyota they cant slow them down what next put them a lap down
Who do you see in the 40 or 41 next year? Everyone says Dario but I just don't know.
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
Dario probably has less of a chance than most people think to get the 41 ride. I don't see Chip running three cars.
Carpentier going to be in Cup next year? He's qualified for every race (except rain outs).
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
Patrick has a done a good job, but he doesn't have a lot of options. GEM will run a fourth car for him if they get enough sponsorship money.
chris (charlotte NC)
What are Kahne's chances to make the chase? Such bad luck for the #9 car btw
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Kasey is only 48 points back, but he has to hope Ragan and Bowyer have bad nights. The good news is he usually runs well at Richmond.
Lawrence (Duluth, GA)
When all is said and done, does JJ have more championships then Gordon? Sure looks like that may happen right now.
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
Excellent question. If I had to pick, I wuld say JJ ends up with more.
Chances Kasey Kahne makes the chase?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
If I were putting odds on it, I'd say 1 in 3.
DAVE (TAMPA, FL)
Have you heard of any re-testing of Toyota's HP after the magnet infraction to see where Toyota's real HP is at?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
I think we've seen the last Toyota HP penalty this season.
How many races does mark win next year and where will he finish in chase?? JEFF
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
I'll guess two wins and eighth in the Chase.
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Gotta get going folks. Have a great week. I'm off to Richmond. Peace.
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