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.
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 Blount Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hello folks. What's on your mind as the Chasers head to Cali? And how about the great showdwn coming this wekend for the IndyCar Series title. Should be fun to watch.
Hi Terry! Kurt Busch's performance as of late reminds me of the inaugural 2004 chase when he won the title. Your thoughts on the #2 team?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
He's running well, but I still have my doubts that he can win the title with a lame-duck crew chief who only is allowed in the Penske shop one day a week.
Hi Terry, Did you find out any info about Junior's crew chief for next year?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
I still expect McGrew to stay. Jr. really likes him and I think that's a big factor for Rick Hendrick.
RAY GORDON REID ( RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA 92225)
QUESTION TOTERRY BL;OUNT AT 2.25 PM HI TERRY WHO YOU HAVE AT SONOMA SUNDAY
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
First Ray, the race isn't in Sonoma. It's in Fontana. And I'll go with the usual suspects of Hendrick cars _ Johnson, Gordon, Martin and Stewart. However, I think the Roush guys have hit on something the last couple of weeks and I expect Biffle and Carl and maybe Kenseth to get pretty racy this weekend.
Erik (Boston, MA)
Terry,I was a little perturbed when NASCAR said that Keslowski should be careful and not race hard against the chasers (paraphrasing a bit), but if that's the case, why have the other 31 racers on the track? I want to see 43 racers (well, probably 36ish) racing hard and not pulling over for the chasers. Otherwise, what's the point? Thoughts on the situation?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
I think NASCAR officials felt Brad was racing a little too aggressively in general, but the incident they reprimanded him on involved a Chase driver. Generally speaking, I agree with you. Brad has just as much right to race hard as anyone else.
William (Davidson, NC)
What is your take on the 2nd week of NASCAR putting the 5 and 48 under the laser after passing both pre and post race inspections?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Highly unusual and it's almost like their picking on those guys. It's starting to look like NASCAR is afriad the Hendick boys are stinking up the show. The interesting thing about this is Biffle had the best car Sunday but lost on pit strategy at the end. Ed Hinton will have a great column on this stuff later this week. Don't miss it.
Rob (Colorado Springs)
Why is NASCAR so hung up on the so called larger market? People in California aren't going to watch a race just because it is in their state. Fans watch races on TV no matter where the race is held. If people don't show up at the track, it doesn't matter how big the market is.
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
It matters a lot Rob. Sponsors want to race in big markets because they get more bang for their buck. Here's one example. Let's say Acme Brick has two offices in a 50-mile radius of Darlington. But the company has 100 offices in a 50-mile radius of LA, and thousands more people who use their product.
I hope I don't jinx him but didn't Mark marting lose the Cup in the early 90's because of a illegal manifold in 1 of the last races of the season?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
That's not quite accurate Scott. Mark lost the 1990 title to Earnhardt by 26 points after receiving a 46-point penalty in the second race of the season.
Do you sense that Kyle Busch has any real animosity towards Joey Logano for their N'wide 1-2 finishes or is it just gamesmanship?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Kyle has animosity toward anyone who beats him. But off the track, I don't think they have any real issues.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Michael Waltrip can't really think Danica would drive for his organization, can he?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Sure he can. She's looking for the best deal she can get. But I have to think Honda wouldn't be thrilled if she drove a Toyota in the NW series. And I don't think Mikey can offer her a better deal than the JR Motorsports/Hendrick arrangement.
Terry, California economy has nothing to do with Fontana turn out. It's called B-O-R-I-N-G. Roger Penske didn't consult with me before he built the speedway, but he should have (kidding - sort of)... been going to races since 1971 and am as big a fan of racing as there is. I race locally and even do business in racing (put together Danica's first big sponsorship). ISC should have built a Bristol. 0r Roger should've gotten together with Jim Williams and turned Irwindale into Bristol. That would make Long Beach look like a kiddie party! Roger's worth billions, and I'm not, but I'm right on this one!
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Yes Mark, they should have built a smaller track but remember, the place was built for Indy cars, not stock cars.
Joe (Mansfield, MA)
I thought Danica was ruling out NASCAR in 2010? I have to think they'd put her straight in the Cup series and let her fail her way to NNS, to avoid having her fail at NNS as much as possible.
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
No one is putting here right into the Cup series. She just wants to run a limited NW schedule to get her feet wet and see if she wants to pursue it full time.
Joe (Mansfield, MA)
Since we're hung up on big markets, here's one: Montreal. The NNS race seems to be doing well there, and does Pocono or New Hampshire really need 2 races? I'd gladly go the extra 4 hours to see a race at a real track.
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I'm with you on Pocono. And I'd love to see a Cup road race at Montreal, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Do you think Danica's contract allows her to run NW races, without any complaining from the IRL or AGR?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
I'm sure that's already been worked into the deal she has with AGR.
I know this sounds crazy but I kinda think Cup has too many races. Its kinda like Econ 101 Law of supply and demand. Cut it back and let the fans get hungry for racing.
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
You're absolutely right, but no speedway wants to give up a Cup date. Even without a sellout, it's worth millions of dollars in profit.
A lousy Indycar season is coming a close on Saturday at Homestead, who ya got: Briscoe, Dixon or Dario? I've got Briscoe.
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Lousy? We'll agree to disagree on that one. NASCAR would love to have the Chase come down to a three-man shootout at the end. I really like Ryan. One of the best guys in racing. A real class act. At this point, Dixon probably is the favorite, but it would be cool to see Dario win it after all the disappointment he went through last year in Cup.
Hey Terry, do you think JPM can win the championship if his average finish is a 3 with no wins? How will he do in California this upcoming week?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
I think he's going to have to win a couple of races. He's the only driver in the Chase who has finished in the top 5 in all three events, but he's 51 points behind. With most of the Chasers finishing in the top 10 every week, you can't make up much ground without winning.
whats your take on the start and park teams who out qualify the teams that will race the whole event? and will the powers to be at nascar ever try to put a stop to it so the show will be a little better?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
I don't like it, but the truth is most events don't have enough cars to fill the field without a couple of start-and-parkers in the show.
Is there anything new going on with Addington as Crew Chief for the 18 team next year?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
I think people are making an issue out of nothing there. I expect Steve to return.
David Shiba (Chicago)
Evidently the only JPM fan here . . compared to other top Chase contenders, what do you see as his weakness that will keep him from winning the Chase? Equipment, attitude, experience?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
There's a lot of JPM fans out there David. And tons of them this week in Cali. What he has to do is win, but I'm not sure anyone can that much if they don't have Hendrick equipment.
ray (alabama )
r u you pulling for a tight finish for championship or a runaway? i prefer a tight finish.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Isn't that what everyone wants? Of course I want a tight finish. And I don't care who is involved as long as two of three guys get to Miami knowing one or two positions in the race can decide the title.
do you think jack daniels is pulling out because they lost clint?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
No. That has nothing to do with it. It's just a financial decision that goes with the times.
i like jpm but how much longer are non-chasers going to put up with his driving? i like it but he's doing a lot of leaning on other cars!
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
JPM races hard. I have not problem with that.
Your top 5 at Cali Terry?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Johnson, Edwards, Martin, Gordon, Biffle.
Any word yet on what went wrong with the 88 engine failure?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I believe it was the oil pump.
Jack (Brooklyn, NY)
Does Dale Jr have any plans to ever move JR Motorsports up to Cup? Obviously they weren't ready to do it next year with Keselowski. Could you see possibly developing a Cup team around Danica in the next 3 years?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
It's certainly possible. Dale Jr. wants to move his team up to Cup at some point, but it depends on sponsorship and being able to hire the right pepople to be competitive.
If you could pick 3 drivers to have a shot going into Homestead, which 3 would you want to see in an "epic battle for The Chase"?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
Johnson, Martin, Stewart and maybe Gordon.
ray (alabama )
what do you truly think about danica's possible move to nascar. Good or bad?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
It's always good to bring in someone who has national appeal beyond the sport. It helps bring in new fans. Whether she can race competitively is a big if, but it really doesn't matter. She would generate and huge amount of attention to NASCAR.
What will the final standings look like after the Ford 400 at Homestead? Give me the top 5 Terry
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
I picked Gordon before the Chase started, but I don't think he can get their now. I'll go Johnson, Martin, Stewart, Gordon, Montoya.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Terry, in your opinion, if Mark Martin still the favorite? How do you measure Smoke's chances now after his win?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Johnson is the betting favorite. Martin is the fan favorite. Tony's chances are good, but you have to wonder if a Hendrick satellite team really can beat Hendrick drivers in the end.
Do you think Kenseth being out of the chase and trying new things is the reason Roush seems to be running better?
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
Good point. They noticed what Matt did at Dover and probably applied some of those notes to Biffle and Carl's team.
ray (alabama )
although the chase has made it exciting to decide the championship ; it also sucks because you only have to be good for 10 races and not the entire season because the entire season only gets you in the chase but 10 races descides the chase? your thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
I'm all for the Chase. I believe it was the right thing to do to increases interest and excitement down the stretch. Twelve teams get new life for the final 10 events. It's a playoff, just like every other pro sport has a playoff. I know some fans hate it, but it isn't going away.
Pete (Chapel Hill)
Should there be a "Regular Season" bonus for the driver leading afer the races leading into the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
I'm not opposed to some type of points bonus, but I'd rather see them just give the regular season champ a big financial bonus.
Terry, is it possible to measure a driver's talent unless they are in a Hendrick car? You can't say Johnson is better than Kurt or Kyle Busch, since he drives a hendrick car...Your thoughts???
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I think JJ is a victim of driving for Hendrick in some ways. Johnson is a tremendously talented driver, but people think he wins because of Hendrick power and Chad Knaus on the pit box. Certainly, that helps, but I've seen Jimmie do remarkable things in a race car, pushing it to limits that few drivers are capable of doing. Even Mark Martin would tell you that.
ray (alabama )
i guess my point was that because of the chase johnson has had more opportunities to win the championship but if we were under the old system he probably would have only won 1
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
I know what you're saying, but you can't really look at it that way. It's false logic because everyone would have raced differently and used different strategies under the old system.
Tyler (Blacksburg VA)
Hey Terry, you heard anything about Scott Riggs? What's he up to? Could we see him in trucks, nationwide or possibly cup?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Probably not Cup. Defintely possible in NW or Trucks.
No love on questions about the 77? What's his deal for next year? Will Geisler be back on the pit box?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
San has made some progress this year, but I don't think it's enough progress to be satified with how things are. However, I haven't heard anthing about changing crew chiefs.
Eric (Columbia, MO)
TB, finally caught you on NASCARNow. You look nothing like your pic which accompanies your articles and chats. Living out of a suitcase for so much of the year changes a guy, eh? :)
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
As does age. That is is about seven years old. I ain't gettin any younger.
Larry (New York)
Terry,You're overlooking Hamlin...he's been the most consistent driver the last 10 races
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
I didn't overlook him. Denny has run well, but I don't think he can win the title.
Eric (Columbia, MO)
TB, you're still my fave. Good to follow you. @revicky
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Thanks Eric. It's takes a lot to make me half-pretty for TV.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
I've gotta scoot on to my next assignment. Great chat today. Really enjoyed it. Hope everyone has a super week. I'm out. Peace.