Chat with Terry Blount
Send in your questions now and join Terry at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hi there folks. very long race weekend is over. What's your take on things?
Deuce (Denver, CO)
Nice article about possible changes. I saw on the Jayski rumors page that Penske might run a 4th car with Justin Algaier in it. Would that just be for a couple of races to see how he does or are they thinking of moving him up to the Cup next season?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
I talked to Penske prez Tim Cindric at Indy and he's very high on Allgaier,but they don't want to rush him. 2010 might be one year too soon, but I wouldn't count it out.
Rich, Clearwater, FL
Hi Terry...not sure which of you have been saying it, but, I know at least 2 of you guys have thought if a change was made at the 88, it'd be after Charlotte. Is a change coming this week? What change is it?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
It's looking more likely that a change is coming. Newt has a story up now quoting Hendrick saying they are looking at things closely and discussing their options.
Laura, TX! [via mobile]
Hi Terry! Happy belated memorial day! Hope you enjoyed the 20 hours of coverage of the Charlotte race this weekend. My question is about that big meeting the drivers are supposed to be having today with Nascar. What do you think will be addressed and will come out of this meeting?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
NASCAR wants to hear suggestions about how to increase interest in the sport and just hear what's on the minds of the teams. Also, I'm sure the whole Mayfield thing will be discussed because drivers want some clarifications on the drug policy.
Jeffy D (Feeding Hills MA)
Terry- I know you can't control the weather but this weekend seemed to be about the best case scenario for the Indy 500 and worst case for NASCAR. Also, The "Big" meeting with drivers and owners might have had a predetermined agenda by NASCAR, but do you see teams bringing a lot to the table from their end as well, there's been lots of grousing lately on multiple topics.
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
I'd love to be a fly on the wall in those meetings. The teams will have their say about ways to improve the racing, I think NASCAR's message is that things are OK nd will improve, just remain calm. But yes, the way tings played out over the weekend was great for the IndyCar Series.
How do you feel if Lebron was to take a stab at Nascar, since the good folks at ESPN put him on the NFL page, I thought we might share!
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
That whole deal of atheletes in other sports was fun to do. I had Edwards as a professional boxer. But I think that was fun for people to read. Lebron probably could do anyting he sets his mind to, but he might have trouble getting in and out of the car.
Rick, Charleston WV
Terry - I think allowing cars that are a lap down to line up along side the leaders detracts from the racing. What are the chances this rule is changed?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
Of all the suggestons I made in my column, this is the one that has the best chance of happening very soon. NASCAR is considering it and may opt to do later this season.
Joe (Fleetwood PA)
Terry, one big change in the sport has to be the car, it has made racing more of a merry go around the track, getting rid of plate racing would be good to.
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Plate racing is here to stay unless NASCAR goes to smaller engines, which isn't happening anytime soon. The car just needs a few tweaks to make it a little racier on intermediate ovals. But it also needs a bigger tire, which Goodyear is working on.
In light of his back issues, how long do you realistically see Gordon racing?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
It depends on how well his treatment goes. If the injections don't help, he could undergo back surgery in the off season. If that works, he could race another five or six years. But if nothing helps, I could see him hanging it up after next year.
In the case of Double file restarts what would happen to those guys more than one lap down? We see time where a guy races his way back from 2 or more laps down and has a great finish. Would this take that away completely or would they have to institute some kind of lucky dog for those guys too?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
No, he's just need to get the lucky dog twice, which happens sometimes, or pit off sequence to get one of the laps back.
so if rain didnt come again, who was in victory circle at the end of 600 miles
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
Andrew Sweebe Olive Branch, MS [via mobile]
I heard Dale Jr crew chief will be fired. Is that true. If so who will take over
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Don't jump the gun here. Hendrick is a patient man and won't act hastily. But some type of change is much closer to happening today than it was two weeks ago.
Jason Memphis, TN
Why doesn't Rick see what the fans see as far as the 88 goes, geez !!! Someone please stop the bleeding.
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
He sees it, but he wants to make sure he does the right thing. Remember, people were calling for Steve Letarte's head last year. But I agree, it's time to separate the Juniors and move on.
We don't like to talk about tires here but...how long until the bigger tire is available?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
The last I hard was Goodyear couldn't get it tested and ready before the start of the 2011 season. That's seems like a long time to me, but I'm no tire engineer.
Tony Eury Jr (Fake)
man, i need a new driver...
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
And your driver needs a new crew chief. Sometimes a fresh start is better for everybody.
Morgan (Greensboro, NC)
Did you hear that North Wilkesboro is (allegedly) having a late model race this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
What happens at North Wilkesboro really doesn't make my radar screen.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Isn't this "big meeting" much ado about nothing? Do we really expect NASCAR to make any changes?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
No, but they might consider a few minor changes if they feel most of the garage is in agreement on doing it, like the double-file leaders restart, fo example.
when will Brad K be replacing Jr in the 88? LOL
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
You know that isn't happening Scott. In sponsorship dollars, BK is worth about 1/10th what Junior is worth, whether he wins or not.
Your take on the Riggs story?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I applaud Riggs for not wanting to start and park but he doesn't have a lot of options out there to go elsewhere. Maybe he knows something I don't.
Rick Hendrick (fake)
Terry, I need your input. Who should I replace Tony Jr with? Malec? McGrew? Eury Sr? Oprah? She seemed open to it last Tuesday
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Malec, although Oprah might be a calming influence who could bring in the over-40 female fans. Nevermind, Junior already has all those.
Tyler (Blacksburg, VA)
Would it be possible for Tony Stewart to start up a 3rd car team midway through the season, since hes been doing well so far?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Not unless a full-time sponsor is ready to cough up the cash. And even with that, it's hard to get a qualifty crew up to speed at midseason.
Jed Wilkinson (West Lafayette, IN)
With Tony Stewart now the owner and driver for his own operation, do you think he'll take a stab at Indy again? It would be a huge boost to not only Indy but to NASCAR as a big driver would be competeing in both of America's big races that weekend. Also, could you ever see someone trying to double dip in F1 and the Indy 500? That would be a feat!
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
No one can do the Indy/Charlotte double now unless the start times are changed. The Indy 500 starts too late in the day. But I can see Tony taking a stab at it as a team owner.
Marc (Malden, MA)
I understand Helio Castroneves almost went to jail earlier this year, but did they have to mention it every 2 seconds? It got so annoying.
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
How can you not mention it? It's a great story of going from despair to glory. but another reason it was mentioned so much if you have a lot of casual fans watching the Indy 500 who really don't know the drivers well.
What are the possibilities for Stewart-Haas with a 3rd team next year? Any strong contenders other than Brad K?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Truex might be in the running. maybe even McMurray. I tink the chance ofa third car are better than 50/50.
Was Tony Kanaan's hit at the worst angle possible? He's pretty lucky those SAFER barriers were in place, wasn't he?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
The worst hit Sundfay was Vitor Meira, who suffered to fractured vertebrae. But the SAFER Barier is a great thing. And I think they need to put it up everywhere around the track.
Jeff (East Bay, CA)
The Blount man...do you think that having 43 fully-sponsored, not starting-and-parking cars was a total anamoly because it was the Coca-Cola 600, or do you think this might be the start of a trend the other direction?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I don't think it matters. Even if they only had a 36-car field, that's more than enough for an entertaining race.
Is it just a negotiating ploy, or is Danica serious about moving to NASCAR?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
She's serious if the money is right and she could get a quality ride. The second one probably is more difficult to get that the first.
Rick (North Wales Pa)
I was at the race this weekend. What a bummer although no one to blame. I have heard Malec's name mentioned before. Given that Malec and JJ have been togther since Wisconsin do you think they will take him off the 48 while the chance for 4 in a row is still viable?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
I think that would be Malec's decision. And they would have to believe the change would give Junior a realistic shot at the Chase.
Any thoughts on how to tweak the "chase" to make some of these early season races more exiting.Just seams there are a lot of guys that just want stay in the top 10 every week and not do anyting to lose points instead of making a move to gain points.Would giving bonus points for top fives help?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
As I wrote in the column, add emphasis to winning. Give 50 more points to the winner and a guaranteed Chase spot if you win a race in the first 26 events, assuming you remain rankedin the top 20.
Danica and whoever puts her in a car will make enough in endorsements to go home and race go carts in two years. However, she should go to the Nationwide series for 2 years (on Cup pay)to get the interest level up there and gain some experience then jump up with the big boys for a little rear end bumping.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
This is a key point John. I agree she sould spend at least a year in NW, but I don't know if her ego will allow her to do it.
Ben H (ATL)
Why is RPM only using one car to run the new engine? Wouldn't it be easier to bring along all 4 cars at one time instead of just one? Is it a money issue?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Not money, just a very conservative approach to make sure they have the new motor figured out. I think they should have gone to the new engine long ago. Look how much it has helped Penske.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Before Sunday, I was wondering if Dan Wheldon was going to regret leaving Ganassi for Panther. I guess now the answer is no.
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
I don't know that Dan had a choice on that one, but he's a talented driver with a decent team at Panther . I know he got a lot of satisfaction out of finishing ahead of both Ganassi cars, but I wouldn't count on that happening every race. Dixon is the best driver in the series.
Chris (Richmond, VA)
I agree winning is important, but David Reutimann getting 50 MORE bonus points AND a spot in the Chase would have been too much for me to handle after that two day marathon.
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
His team outsmarted everyone else, so he deserves it. More power to him. Everyone knew the rain situation. It's a poker game and they played their hand perfectly.
Jeff (East Bay, CA)
I've read a lot of talk (mainly in these chats) over the last few weeks about adding extra emphasis for winning...is this something NASCAR is actually discussing, or more like wishful thinking?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Probably just wishful thinking But it is the right thing to do.
What is the word around NASCAR with Reutimann and his win yesterday? Obviously if it goes back to green he does not win. Did any press ask the top 10 at lap 222 why they chose to pit?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Most teams thought the race would continue and the rain wouldn't halt the event. They guessed wrong.
Winning is winning is winning. Don't matter how you do it. I am glad David won and would be glad to see him in the chase. (if he can stay in the top 20 that is)
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
He has to get to the top 12, of course, but it would be good for NASCAR to have a new guy and a new team in the playoff. And David's one of the true good guys in the sport.
What do you think of the "Billy Bad Butt" situation with Tony Stewart and one of the crew members from the 00. I thought it was quite humorous.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
I thought Tony handled that situation quite well. It shows how much he has matured. He didn't lose his temper. He just laughed it off and walked away. It's the new and improved Tony.
Who you like at the monster mile this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
Carl Edwrads, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and the Hendrick cars, of course.
could some of the problems with the 88 be that grubb left for stewart?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
I don't think so. I just think the Jr-Jr. combo has run it's course and they both new a change of direction.
Do you ever see the Nationwise series getting back to a series for lower budget teams and up and coming drivers? I know right now with sponser money hard to come the Cup drivers and big name teams have to be there to draw larger interest to the series but in the long run is it hurting potential future of the Cup series to have so few young drivers and teams being competitive at the "AAA" level?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
Absolutely. Something needs to change, but NASCAR doesn't seem inclined to do it.
How does a team like Hendrick continue to thrive even with no testing but a similar team in Roush is simply in a slump?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
As it is with any team, wheoever has the best people usually win out over the long haul.
Will the KY Speedway ever see a Nextel Race?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
Kentucky will get a Sprint Cup race, but not in 2010.
Is there any buyers remorse from Hendrick in that he basically let Kyle go in favor of Jr and Kyle is winning for JGR and is going to be a threat for the Championship while Jr is now not even competing with Start and Parkers?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Not in the least. Kyle was a distraction and Junior is a gigantic money maker, whether he wins or not.
Chris (Richmond, VA)
Why doesn't NASCAR red flag events when rain comes? Seems like that would avoid all this should we pit/ should we stay out business.
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
They do red flag it, but you never knows for sure if the rain will go away and the race will start again. It's always a tough call for the teams and NASCAR.
Susan (Bristol, TN)
What is your opinion on moving the Coca-Cola 600 to a different track? Do you think it would be more interesting at a short-track? Say Bristol? ;)
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
The Coke 600 isn't going anywhere, but I would love to see them move the All-Star around to a different track every year.
How much easier is driving an open wheel car then a stock car?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
It's not easier, just a totally different discipline to learn. But the Indy cars have much more downforce, so it's probably a quicker adjustment from stocks to open wheel than the other way around.
Rich, Clearwater, FL
What's the testing rule? Aren't there a couple of teams testing today?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Teams can test anytime anywhere if it's not on a track that has NASCAR-sanctioned events.
Not a North wilkesboro fan...That place was awesome...would love to see a rural short track like that rise from the ashes...that is where NASCAR left its soul!!!
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
The Dodgers aren't going back to Ebbets Field and NASCAR ain't going back to North Wilkesboro, not for Cup anyway.
Johnny (NYC, NY)
Can somebody realistically do the INDY/Charlotte duo by having somebody start the race for them in Charlotte...we've seen cars switch drivers during a race???
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Yes, but the driver who starts the race ges the points for it, so that's not a realistic options for contending drivers.
Terry Blount (3:03 PM)
Gotta run folks. Really great questions today. You guys are fired up. Enjoyed it, but I'm out. Peace.