Chat with Terry Blount
Send in your questions now and join Terry at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Terry Blount (1:59 PM)
Hello folks. 2008 is in the books. Check out my annual Blitz Awards and Razzies today. It was an intere sting and eventful year inmotorsports.
Don't get me wrong, Jimmie Johnson is a great driver. But if classic point system was used (the one which Cale won 3 straight championships) Jimmie would have only won the cup last year. Jeff Gordon would have won 2 years ago and Carl Edwards would have won this year. Who's 3 peat is better? Also who do you think will be out at Roush in 2010 Mcmurray Kenseth or Ragan?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
You can't make that assumption because the competitors would have done things differently in the other system. For example, Johnson would have lost this year by 16 points. He probably would have finished higher Sunday if he knew he needed those points. As for Roush, it's probably still Jamie, but in some ways it's really the same team with the Yates partnership
Good call on the most controversial story award. That Rolling Stone article on Smoke was crazy! I also like the schedule swap, bringing the night Labor Day race back to the southeast. You think Atlanta has a chance at filling the stands now?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Only if they go back to one race a year, which isn't happening next year. But it could happen in 2010 when Kentucky gets a race..
ne news or insight on riggs in 09...i read where he was front runner for the 41......where u think he lands at 4 09
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
It never ceases to amaze me how many fans Riggs has out there. But no news on where he's headed. Sponsoship could decide it.
Hi Terry, what are your feelings of the Ganssi - DEI merger? I'm a big Montoya fan. I kind of like the idea of him and Truex being teammates. Do you think this will take Juan from a top 20 car to a top 10, and do Juan and Truex like each other?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Junior thinks Truex will be a huge help to Juan and really help him improve. The merger is something they had to do to survive. How well it works depends on how the key players handle their rolls and who actually makes the major decisions.
Please tell me that Martinsville will not lose a race. I realize the track is not selling out but there are now 3 short tracks on the circuit and Martinsville and Richmond built NASCAR. They have already ditched The Rock, Martinsville cant be next!
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
It could be, but nothing is decided. Fans have to realize this isn't just about the racing. It's about market size and track amentities and where sponsors want to be.
Knaus and Johnson have to be keepers for Hendrick. Last year a liftime contract for JJ was mentioned. Any more noise around a lifetime this year?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
I don't know about a lifetime deal, but I can tell you Jimmie and Chad aren't going anywhere anytime soon. And besides, there really is no such thing as a lifetime deal. If you finish 40th two years in a row your lifetime is over.
Trixie (Tacoma, WA)
a lot of the drivers are hot. what do you think the chances are of a shirtless driver calendar for charity in 2009?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Not a bad idea as long as it doesn't include Jimmy Spencer.
Which young driver do you like to surprise next season, Hornish, Speed or Almirola?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
Scott Speed. Huge talent and a guy on a team headed upward.
Are you hearing anything as to what happens to the points from the extra DEI cars that are now DOA so to speak - i think it is the 01 and the 15? NASCAR will not let them sell the points so do the 36 and 37 placed cars just move up 2 spots as we head to Daytona in 89 short days?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
This is all up in the air. NASCAR officials are meeting this week to discuss how they want to handle it, but RCR sure would like to have some of those points for Bowyer's No. 33.
chris (richmond, va)
How can Long Pond, PA fit the criterion of "market size and track amenities and where sponsors want to be"? Those races are way too long and they are within 8 weeks of each other. One race there would be fine.
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
You're preaching the to choir on that one brother. I couldn't agree more. One race and only 400 miles.
Do you think the teams will really not test next year? I saw an article on Jack Roush that quoted him as saying IF the other owners would shake hands on no testing he would not test.
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Yes he would, but not gonna happen. They are going to test where they can and spend more money on wind tunnel time and 7-post shaker rigs.
Which track would you like to see reduced to 1 race a year that currently has 2?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Pocono without question. But several tracks with two races should cut bak to one. Altanta is another one. Cali is debatable, but NASCAR wants two races in the No. 2 market in the country.
Which new face in new place next year will have the best year? Which has the worst year? How will Stewart Haas do? Did Tony make a mistake going this route given the turn in the economy?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
Actually, this situaiton benefits Tony. With so many guys getting laid off from top teams, he has the pick of the litter, so to speak. I think his new team will have some solid runs. The move everyone will watch is Mark Martin to Hendrick. Mark is prominently mentioned in my new book, which also will make this move interesting.
Terry, what was the best part of the season?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
The first third of the year was a blast. First, we had the open-wheel merger that brought tons of renewed interest in Indy car racing. Then Danica won a arce. And Cup was exciting with everyone wondering whether Earnhardt could make a title run at Hendrick.
chris (richmond, va)
Just a quick comment: Thanks you Terry for having these weekly chats, I've enjoyed them. Have a fun off-season.
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Thank you Chris for joining in. I always enjoy hearing what's on the minds of the fans. Helps me decide what I need to write about each week.
Dale East Wenatchee WA
Do you see any underdog team ie Petty or Yates making any headway next season
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Not much. Yates as a much better shot of doing so than Petty. Yates has a third car now with Menard, but Petty still needs sponsorship.
How do you think Shoe does next year without Alan Johnson? Any word on who will be in Johnson's rails? I hope Del does well in the Funny.
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
A lot depends on how many guys stay at DSR. If the core group stays in place, I think Tony will do well. But there's no way he will dominate as he did this season. I know Tony is highly motivated to prove he can win the title without Alan.
What happened to the 19 team during the second half of the season? Disappointing finish...
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Both the 19 and the 9 had a huge dropoff in the seocnd half and no one at GEM knows why. One interestng sidenote. AJ ran really well down the stretch in the 10. Maybe that's a clue for them to figure things out.
Tyler (Blacksburg, VA)
Hey Terry, I heard a report that DEI-Ganassi has narrowed the 41 drivers down to Riggs and AJ, with Riggs being the front runner due to possible sponsorship, you heard anything about this? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
It's possible, but if I'm making the choice, I take AJ. Then again, if Riggs can bring sposnsorship money,. that's a factor. Right now the new team has four cars and 2 1/2 sponsors.
In your opinion who is the better driver in their prime, Gordon or Johnson.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Jeff would say he's sitll in his prime. It's a tough choice, but for now, I'd still pick Jeff. That could change soon.
DAVID TELFORD TN
WHERE IS AJ GOING TO END UP?ARE THE KING AND ROBBIE BLIND?LOOK HOW HE HAS WHEELED THE NO.10 CAR.
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
A lot of these teams right now and more concerned with finding a sponsor than they are a driver. And if they find one, the sponsor may dictate who gets the driver seat.
So how do you rate Junior's year? Do you see him doing better in the years to come?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
I'd give him a B-. But I do see him improving. Typically you see a big jump in performance on a driver's second season with a new team.
JJ or the field for next yrs champ?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I'd take the field. I feel the odds are against him making it four straight.
DAVID TELFORD TN.
HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE PETTYS AND SPONSORSHIP,LOOKS TO ME LIKE SOMEONE WOULD LIKE TO PICK THE KING UP.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
The King isn't as relevant as he once was. It doesn't mean much to corp. exces under 40.
Terry do you think the current chase format is too long? Have they ever considered a format where drivers get eliminated as they go along...maybe after 4 weeks you are down to the top 8 and reset their points again, and then maybe with two races to go you take the top two or three and reset their points? I think something needs to be done as the current format gets kinda long for a playoff.
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
The eliminationm process definitely would add excitment, but NASCAR isn't making any changes for next year. They believe Jimmie's domination this year was a bit of a fluke. If it happens again, then you'll see some changes.
Do you expect teams like MWR, Robby Gordon Racing, Bill Davis and Petty Enterprises to survive the current economic downturn or are there more mergers on the way?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Petty folks say they aren't merging. MWR already merged, sort of, with Brad Daugherty's new team and driver Marcos Ambrose. BDR is in trouble.
just reading your end of season awards - as great an achievement as johnson's 3rd straight title was (and i've got a HUGE amount of respect for his ability of knowing how to win which is hugely underrated) isn't a black person winning a major championship in motor racing more historic than something that has been done before?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
That's a very fair point Rav. I have the utmost respect for Lewis and probably should have emphasized that more.
DAVID TELFORD TN.
WHY DIDNT BOBBY LABONTE TAKE THE RIDE WITH CHILDRESS?WE ALL KNOW THAT HE CAN STILL DRIVE THE WHEELS OFF.
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Maybe Bobby just didn't want to start over with another team at this point in his career. But maybe it loks back at it now and wishes he had.
Pete C Newark DE
With the merger of DEI and Ganassi, does that settle the sponorship woes for those two teams?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Not even close. They have 2 1/2 sponsors for four cars, but they believe they have a much better chance of finding new sposnor by merging and pooling resources.
Logano should have stayed a full year at least in the Nationwide series, no way he makes the Chase next year. Or am I wrong. I have a weekend bet on this in Martinsville!! Tell me I am right on the money.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
I doubt he makes the Chase. Another year in NW would have helped, but Tony's move sped things up on Logano's plan. Logano will become a star in Cup, but it won't happen in 09.
Ed, Hartford Ct
Why do you think guys like Bill Elliot & Terry Labonte keep driving? They couldn't deal with life without it?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
In a word _ MONEY. Teams offer them big cash to drive an event here and there because they can use the past champ's provisional to get in the field. I'd do the same thing. Bank some coin and make some laps. No pressure.
Don't you think this new testing ban will have a particularly big impact on Stewart's new team? It should help financially, but competitively they could be behind for quite awhile.
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
No doubt, it's doesn't help him. But it probably will hurt teams with rookies or inexperienced drivers a lot more. At least Tony and Ryan both know what they're doing and can make suggestions at the track. Don't be surprise to see Fridays become long practice sessions next year.
Jeff (East Bay, CA)
Terry, I missed the news (assuming there was news on this.) Who did Newman end up picking up as his sponsor(s) for next year?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
No news yet, but he has Army for half the season.
BJ (Des Moines, IA)
Is Jimmie the greatest? Rate your top 5 all-time.
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
No, Jimmie is the greatest just yet. My top are are: 1. Earnhardt Sr. 2. Pearson. 3. Petty. 4. Gordon. 5 Johnson
I am not a JJ fan but am impressed by what HMS was able to accomplish. With that being said how will NASCAR deal with the DEI and GEM cars that have dissapeared with the merger I think there are at least 2 cars that are now gone. Also realistically how many cars will show up at California for week 2 - there will be 50 in Daytona for week 1.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
NASCAR can't do a thing about cars that fall by the wayside. I think we'll still see 43 cars at every event, but many races won't have more that that show up,
Mark (Mount Airy, MD)
Hey Terry, I want to add my thanks for the chat. It helps get me through the week until the next race. Is Hall of Fame Racing (#96) in danger of folding???
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
They aren't in a good spot. They don't have full sposnoship for next year, but I expect they will still race in 09.
thank you for taking time each week to chat What happened to Felix in the merger
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Felix is still around. In fact, I heard he was instrumental in making the merger happen.
Pete C Newark DE
Are we going to see Toyota who is in good financial standings now excel a bit more considering the current conditions in Detroit? Did the economy play into Gibbs thought process when they signed with Toyota?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Toyota also is hurting financially, just not as bad as the Big Three. JGR didn't make the move because of the economy. They knew they could be the big dog at Toyota, something that wasn't going to happen at Chevrolet.
AJ, AJ, AJ... I understand the need for sponsorship considering the times, but what better way to do so than put a kid in the seat that has done nothing but improve positions drastically since his "growing up" benching early this year??? Owners are crazy for passing on him.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
I agree Paul. I think he's far and away the best free agent out there. And he's a sponsor's dream. A great kid who's well-spoken and polite.
Dustin (halifax Va)
when you say you would take AJ over Riggs can you give a reason. Because both have proven with good equipment they can run up front.
Terry Blount (3:03 PM)
I like Scott, I just feel AJ has more upside potential. And he's really come on in the last couple of months.
Terry Blount (3:07 PM)
Gotta run folks. I really appreciation everyone participating in the chats this season. And thanks for all the kind comments. I'm sure we'll have some chats in the off season. Keep my book in mind: The Blount Report: NASCAR's Most Overrated and Underrated Drivers, Tracks, Rules and Records. It will stir things up, believe me. Have a great week. Peace
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