Chat with Terry Blount
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NASCAR writer Terry Blount will stop by to talk about all the latest news and notes from around the NASCAR track.
Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com after 25 years as a sports reporter and columnist at three major metro newspapers.
Send your questions now and join Terry to chat Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hello folks,Off to Sonoma this week for a little road racing. What's on your mind?
As we sit here with 11 races left until the Chase, how many drivers are realistically still in contention to make the top 12?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
I'd say 16 down to Bowyer. Vickers is a long shot at 17. And Junior in 18? Can't get there.
Too Bad about Johnny Benson is he going to be ok and race again?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
Yes, Johnny's going to be fine, but it may take a few weeks. It's been a tough couple of weeks for a great guy.
Cody (West Virginia)
Hey Terry do you think that Jimie Johnson will win his 4th in a row this year
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
It's certainly possible, but I'll say no. So many things have to go your way. I'm not sure that can happen for him again in the Chase. But three Hendrick drivers can win it, and don't count out either Busch brother. I still expect Edwards in the hunt at the end. And Tony is going to try to do the impossible and win it all.
Thanks for the 11 Twiiter updates on Nascar!
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
More coming today Tank, including one about my story on Juan Pablo that runs today. JPM is only 43 points outside the Chase going to his best track. His timing is perfect.
RAY GORDON REID ( SANFRAncisco cal 49102)
question TO TERRY AT 2.1OPM HUI TERRY WHOYOUY PICKFOR SONOMA SUNDAY
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
I'll go with Montoya, but Gordon, Stewart and Kyle also will be inthe running for the win.
Carlos (Woodstock Ga)
Do you think Montoya will make the Chase this year?, if he wins at sonoma and makes the chase he will get those bonus points and actually start ahead of most chase drivers and Do you think truex leaving is going to affect the 42 team
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
JPM has a real shot at it frthe first time. I don't think Truex leaving will hurt JPM this year. But I do think it us hurting Truex right now. When teams know they're driver is a lame duck, they just don't have the same zeal.
Is the Sun going to shine if Nascar goes under?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
NASCAR isn't going under. Now now, not next year and not in 10 years.
How much will the "double file restart, shoot out style" (or whatever they call it) help the drivers who arent so great on road courses??
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
That will be interesting to watch this weekend. It certainly gives guys a chance to gain a position or two they wouldn't get under the old format.
Stu DeVust (Tallahassee, FL)
Hi Terry, MY question for you is what is wrong with Kevin Harvick? Besides RCR being the biggest disappointment of the year I dont think I have seen a Harvick slump this bad in his career...well ever. There has been crew chief changes, changes made to the car and he still has yet to show up. He's only made too top 5 finished this season and then he fell off the map. I hate to pull the Jr. excuse and say it's his equipment, but him winning in the less talented but still as exciting Nationwide series shows he's still got it. Whats wrong
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
They really aren't sure. Harvick didn't forget how to drive, but RCR seems a little behind on the ste-ups this year for the new car. None of the RCR cars are handling as well as they did a year ago. But Harvick's fall off is shocking.
Justin Behling (Boyceville, WI)
Do you see the 88 team continue to progress a little more each week until they can finally breakthrough and score a win at somewhere like Daytona or Chicagoland?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
I think the 88 will get better, but I'm not as impressed as some people are with what they've done so far in three races. They are going to have to show me more than what I've seen to believe they are headed in the right direction.
Montoya wins on an oval this year True or False
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
I'd list the chances of that at 40/60. Possible, but still a tough task.
Terry, Will there be any surprise contenders this week? Such as Scott Speed, or Ambrose or someone else?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Ambrose definitely, but I don't know I would call that a surprise. Marcos is a superb road racer. He can run up front this weekend.
Ashley (Las Vegas)
If JRM goes to Cup, will they still have a NW team and will HMS still be able to be a part of it?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
JR Motorsports probably still would field a NW team with HM help. And the Cup team would get engines from HM.
Andy (New Jersey)
At this point is there anywhere else that Martin Truex goes other than MWR?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I thought he would go to a fourth car at Gibbs or a third car at Stewart Haas, but sponosrs are hard to come by and maybe Martin didn't want a new team with no points. Martin is convinced MWR is on the rise and he'll probably get the 55 car from Waltrip.
Alright Terry, rumors are floating around that NASCAR has been recruiting Honda for years, and that top execs of NASCAR are personally trying to put a package together to bring Danica over. I know times change, and the economy hasn't helped, but has Brian France single handedly turned his back on the original fans of this sport, and how desperate is the series as a whole at this point? Thanks Terry
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
No one is turning their back on anyone. Danica would bring huge attention to NASCAR. If Honda are any other manufacturer wants in, that great. The more the merrier. But frankly, I don't see an manufacturer making that commitment right now.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Terry,Which of the "big guns" do you see doing well at Infineon this weekend? Do any of the "specialists" like Boris Said have a shot at winning? Thanks for all of your great work!
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
I'd love to see Boris get a win, but it's realy tough wen you are competing every week. I see the usual road racing suspects inthe hunt at Sonoma _ Gordon, Stewart, Montoya, Kyle Busch. maybe Mark martin, Johnson and Ambrose also.
Mr. Blount,Is the tire issue at Indi resolved? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
They say it is. That's a guarantee from Jeff Gordon. Today he said he would guarantee any fan wanting to attend the race at Indy that the tires won't be an issue. That's a pretty big statement, but it shows he believes Goodyear has figured it out.
Hey Terry, hope all is well. Thanks for writing that article on JPM today. What percentage do you think is car over driver in Nascar? I always felt in F1 it was 90% car and 10% driver. If JPM sweeps the road courses and wins both, do you think thats enough to get in if he continues to be in the top 15 at other tracks?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Good question. I don't think winning both road races is enough if JPM doesn't post top 10s at at most of the other races leading up to the Chase. And yes, I think we've seen this year that F1 is all about the car. Jenson Button is dominating and Lewis Hamilton can't do a thing. That says it all. In Cup. it's probably 60/40 driver, but the best driver won't win in the worst car and vice versa.
How likely is it that Nascar moves from a push rod v-8 to overhead cam fuel injection (or other similar change), and what would the timeline be on that?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
At some point, NASCAR has to get away from carburetors, which you can't find on real cars anymore. But NASCAR is very hesitant to do this because they feel changing would make things harder to police.
Will Shoot Out Style restarts create more drama with Nascar racing.I can see a wreck fest at Sonoma and lots of guys mad after the race.
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
That certainly would create more excitment. We will see a race this year when they new restart costs someone a win that was in the lead. But I'm all for it. Line up and take your chances.
Justin (Nothern Virginia)
Chances that Brad Keslowski or Danica Patrick ends up in the fourth Gibbs car?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
Less tan 50/50 for either. But I some sponsor wanted to give Gibbs $25 million to put DP in a car, so you say, "No thanks?"
Andy (New Jersey)
Are any drivers currently under contract going to wind up in the silly season rumor mill? Reports I had heard over the weekend on the radio had Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch not thrilled in their current situations.
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Kahne is the guy who really wants a new deal wih another team, but he is signed through 2010. However, things are a little tentative these days at RPM.
Big time Newman fan here.Will the Rocketman return to the chase this year?What is his chance of winning the cup?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Return to the Chase _ good possiblity. Win the Cup _ highly unlikely.
Jeff (Lafayette, LA)
Heard anything about the Indy testing? I heard the most consecutive laps run was 17. That sounds terrible to me.
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
Some driver have made full fuel runs. Everyone is saying things are going to be OK. We'll see.
Saul (San Diego)
Following up on the previous 88 question. So at the end of the season, what is the one or two indicators that we should look for to help me determine that they are headed in the right direction and may then appear to have a reasonable chance to have a good start for the 2010 season. BTW, will teams be allowed to test next year?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
I think the testing ban will continue. It has saved teams a on of money. Signs of improvement for Jr: a gradual move up the standings, running consistently in a race without losing ground as the event progresses, no more stupid mistakes on pit road, communication between Jr. and Lance that brings about positive improvements in practice and during the events.
Lee Berry (Hampton, Ga)
I just don't see Truex being a good fit at MWR...
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Hard to say, but I think Truex, Reutimann and Ambrose would make a darn good trio to build around.
What in the world has happened to Ferrari in F1 why in the world does everyone want Danica in NASCAR? It's the same as entering Michelle Wie in a men's PGA event. She doesn't stand a chance. Stay in Indycar already!
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
Ferrari and McLaren got behind technically and they can't catch up now. Danica hype won't go away. It's all about money: Will she get it, can she bring it and does NASCAR want it bad enough to bring her in.
Do you think Logano will break thru for his first win at Daytona? I was there at Talladega in April and he was strong all day.
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
No, I think Joey still needs drafting experience and Daytona is a much more difficult track for the driver than Dega is. But wild things happen in plate events and he could find himself in the right place at the right time.
Heard any word on Bruton? Is he still PO'd about NASCAR trying to take away one of his races to move to KY?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Bruton isn' mad at NASCAR. He' made at the former owners of Kentucky Speedway because they won't drop the lawsuit against NASCAR. Bruton has known all along he would have to move a race from one of his tracks to get a Cup date at Kentucky.
Well this fan believes in her driver and he will make the chase and win the cup!!What do y'all media have against Newman anyway?In terms of natural skill and talent he is in the top 5.Why not give him the credit that he deserves.
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Wow. Chill out Cristina. I like Ryan. He's a great guy and a top driver. I just don't see him winning the title this year over Johnson, Stewart, Gordon, Kyle Busch, Edwards or Martin.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Terry,Do you see any competitive aspects like double-side restarts and/or rear spoilers instead of wings being adopted in the near future?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
NASCASR might make a weight distribution change to the cars that would help with the balance of the car, but that's about it.
Is David Ragan going to get his first win this year?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Yes, and the Washington Nationals are going to win the World Series.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta run folks. Have a great week. I'm out. Peace.