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 in the off-season.
Jodi (Fort Lee, NJ)
Tony Stewart went from leading in points most of the season to a sub-par 6th in final points. Do you rate Stewart's collapse about the same as the '09 Steelers collapse?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Finishing sixth in the Cup standings is hardly a collapse. Tony is very happy with what they accomplished this year. The Steelers, on the other hand, have problems.
I like the fact they're going back to a two-day qualifying format for Indy this year. Nothing worse than having a 6 hour qualifying day and only locking in 11 spots a day.
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
I agree completely Mike. Dragging qualifying out over two weekends just wasn't working. Very few people came to the track. I think it adds drama by doing in one weekend, and it saves the teams lot of money.
Does Danica need to finish in the top 5 in Nationwide to be considered successfull?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
Not at first, but later in the season she should post a top 5 or two because everyone knows her equipment is good enought to do it. But she probably will race on 10 or 12 events in 2010.
Do you really see Danica doing much of anything in a stock car? Or is she just going to be another media darling that does not win races, but sells lots of t shirts. Kind of reminds me of another big name in the sport.......
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Scott, as a wrote last week, it doesn't matter. She will bring added media attention to NASCAR at a time when it needs more pub. It she makes it, it's icing on the cake. If not, she gave the sport a boost.
Is Braun Racing really hurting for money that bad that they'll put Milka in an ARCA car for testing?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Milka may be better in a stock car than she is in an Indy car. I realize that isn't saying much, but it will be fun to compare how all these women do this wekend. I think nine are testing at Daytona.
Nelli (San Antonio)
Do you think it is a mistake for Kurt Busch to take his kid brothers, second hand, fired crew chief?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Sorry for the delay guys. Had a emergency call I had to take. I'll go longer today. But no, I don't think it was a mistake for Penske to hire Addington. I think Steve knows his stuff, and he's certainly used to dealing with the Busch family temper.
dz (phx, az)
where does jj's trophies rest?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I think he has them scattered around in his house.
Kyle Busch seemed very mature and professional at the KBM press conference. Is this new, Nascar team owner Kyle who we will see racing in 2010?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
Maybe being a team owner will have the same affect on Kyle that it had on Stewart. Added responsibility tends to mature a person in a hurry.
Betty (Ft. Pierce)
Michael Andretti said in USA Today that Indy cars are physically harder to drive than Sprint Cup cars. Do you agree and was that a factor in Danica coming to Nascar?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Definitely not true, especially on an oval track. The Indy cars are tough to drive on a street course or road course, but so it a stock car. Indy car have more downforce, less weight and wider tires. Shifting also is easier.
What makes you think that Danica won't pull another Brad K and learn Nascar at Jr Motorsports and then jump to Gibbs, Penske or Roush for 2011-12?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Because Rick Hendrick won't let that happen.
What changes do you see Hendrick making to help Junior rebound next year?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
What can he do really? They will change a few guys that work on the 88, but the driver, crew chief, cars and motors are all the same. The key is to find out how to set up the car to take advantage of the way Jr. drives. No easy task.
With the announcement about Indy and practice not starting now until May 16 , will we see Danica in a Nationwide car at Dover on May 15?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
I seriously doubt it. I don't think she would want to run a NASCAR event to day before Indy 500 practice begins.
is denny hamlin gonna re-sign with gibbs? he only has one year left
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
I would be very surprised if he didn't stay at Gibbs.
Harvick had his worst season ever this year, what do u think are the chnaces of him moving somewere else next year or even improving?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
I think it's likely Harvick will switch teams in 2011. Howveer, RCR made dramatic improvements at the end of last season. If Harvick starts 2010 winning races and contending for a title, Childress might convince him to stay. But I doubt it.
How well do you think Kasey Kahne will do since he is driving a Ford next year?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
If the new Ford engine is as good as Ford officials think it is, Kahne should do well.
Kyle said that Joe Gibbs Racing fully supports Kyle Busch Motorsports and will sell transmissions etc. Does this make KBM the official Toyota Nascar factory truck team?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
No. In some ways Red Bull and MWR are more a factory team that JGR because JGR builds it's own engines. RB and MWR do not.
Julie (Baton Rouge)
Do you think Kyle will add 2 Nationwide series cars to KBM in 2010 or wait for 2011?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I don't see him adding NW next season. I think Kyle nees to take it slow and concentate more on his Cup ride.
Is the reason that Dale Jr and Harvick are going down and Tony Sterwart faltered in the chase because they have too many outside interests and don't focus on cup?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
No. I don't think so for those guys. But I do think it's a problem for Kyle by racing so many events.
Julie (Baton Rouge)
Do you think KBM will be the next DEI with Kyle continuing to run for Gibbs in cup but having 2-3 sprint cup cars for family like Kurt or friends like Scott Speed and Almirola?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
If that happens, it is way down the road, many years away.
Did you seen the Charlie Rose interview with Jimmie Johnson and his physical trainer?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
I didn't but who ever would have thought a NASCAR driver would be on that show? I think it's a wonderful thing for NASCAR and JJ.
Sheldon (Bratt, FL)
How funny would it be if Milka Duno got a shot in nationwide serious and ran better than Danica, Braun racing is a pretty good race team.
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
Believe me, people will be watching to see if that happens.
Mark (Mount Airy,MD)
Hello Terry, Merry Christmas to you and your family. What is the status with the Kentucky lawsuit against NASCAR???? Will the Cup Series be racing at Kentucky in 2011?????
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
If I had to guess today, I'd say yes. NASCAR won a big battle last week on the Kentucky suit. It isn't over, but it's looking more likely the previous owners can see the handwriting on the wall now and give it up.
Joe (Pembroke Pines, Fl)
What happens to Nascar if 2010 is a repeat of 09 with Johnson winning the championship and Little Dale finishing 25th in points?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
JJ's place in history would continue to rise and Jr. would become a also-ran with far less attention going his way. But I expect Jr. to finish much better in 2010. And I have to believe JJ can keep this up forever. Can he?
How will Addington be an asset to Kurt and Penske when he couldn't get it done with Kyle at Gibbs?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Chemistry is a big factor in Cup teams they their success. A lot of Kyle's problems were caused by Kyle. But he also had more success with Steve than he ever had before. Steve learned for the good andf the bad. All those lessons will help this year going to Kurt.
Doesn't Kyle Busch deserve a ton of credit for investing in the future of Nascar by starting KBM in tough economic times while Nascar owners like Childress are cutting back?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
Absolutelty. It's always good with drivers start teams and try to help the sport grow.
tom* (parkville, md)
Are you enjoying the NASCAR off-season, or are you as busy as ever?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
I'm always busy, but part of being busy at the moment is getting ready for Christmas and having a dozen people at my house.
Assuming the #88 team and Dale improve for 2010 but that Kyle, Denny, Carl and Jimmie also improve won't Dale Jr still be a 25th placed finisher?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
No. There are pleny of people he can pass up besides those guys to finish better than 25th.
devin (whitmore lake)
terrry in a few year do you see kbm as good as khi as is in the truck serie
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
It wouldn't surprise me. It's all about putting the right people in place.
Jerry (Del. )
How can Nascar talk about parity and competiveness when Henricks cars finished 1-2-3 in final points? Doesn't that show a lack of parity and lack of competition?
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
Yes it does. Roush, JGR, RCR all need to step up and challenge Hendrick in 2010, and I think they will.
Brandon Jehoich (California)
Do you think Johnson will win 5 in a row or is his winning streak over?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
I would guess it's over, but I didn't predict him to win four in a row. So he showed me.
Do you think it is a mistake for 41 year old Michael Schumacher to un-retire to race in F1 for Mercedes?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
I don't think he's too old at 41. Schumi's in great shape. But he hasn't raced in three years. That's a long time to try to get back and race at the level he raced before. If anyone can do it, he can.
Scott (Northern Virginia)
Love any driver who just wants to race a lot, no matter what the car: Stewart, Kyle Busch, Edwards. Applies to Danica, too.
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
It's great if one doesn't take away from the other. In Kyle's case, I feel racing the full NW sked doesn't help him win the Cuyo title.
Brady (San Diego)
We read that the GM management shakeup cost the jobs of the biggest Nascar supporters. Do you see further reductions in GM's Nascar spending?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
No. GM has to be in NASCAR. It's a marketing arm they can't ignore. But all auto manfacturing for trimming budgets these days. GM made some major cuts last season. I think it will level off.
How would you try to fix the #88 car for 2010?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
They either need to set the car up where Jr. can race up high, where he likes to race (very tough to do with this car) or get Jr. to start racing lower on the track. That's a start.
Sheldon (Bratt, FL)
When do you think we will know where Kevin Harvick will be racing in 2011.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Probably not until at least the middle of this summer. If he leaving, he wants to delay the news as long as he can so his team doesn't view him as a lame duck.
If Tony Eury jr didn't get another cc job in cup after Henrick fired him how come Addington deserves to get a cc job at Penske after Coach and JD fired him?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Wow. Lots of Steve haters today. Steve is a highly respected crew chief. It's a little like coaches in football. Just because it doesn't work out with one team doesn't mean you want lead a different team to the Super Bowl.
How much a factor is fitness and diet in the success of Jimmy, Carl, Kyle, Denny, Mark and Gordon and is that why Dale jr has gone down?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Frankly, I think all the fitness talk is a bit overrated. Certainly it helps to be in good shape, but Stewart is one of the best drivers in racing and he's not exactly Mr. Universe.
When will we get a NASCAR race up here in Minn.?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
When ISC and SMI builds a track that's worthy of a major NASCAR event.
Silvia (Ft. Myers)
Is the reason Dale runs right next to the wall-like at Homestead0- because he feels safer so it won't hurt as much when he hits the wall?
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
No. Jr. feels it can run faster and make passes more easily racing the high line at many tracks. But it's risky because a tiny mistake can cause the car to scrape the wall.
Is Randy Moss a "hands on" Nascar owner or is it just a Petty deal in name only?
Terry Blount (3:04 PM)
I don't think Randy is making a lot of technical decisions, but he is the actual financial owner. Petty is not at RPM. George Gillett is.
I hear there are few tracks thinking of changing to Figure 8 tracks. You hearing anything on that? How fun would that be!
Terry Blount (3:05 PM)
Not gonna happen Bob, but it would be a hoot to watch.
Pick one race I should go to this year. It can be anywhere since I am retired.
Terry Blount (3:06 PM)
John, I'd probablty say Richmond. Close racing, lot of passes, good location in the city and every seats enables you to see around the track.
Brett Favre (Minn.)
Should I retire next year and drive race cars?
Terry Blount (3:07 PM)
Well fake Brett, you proabbly would be a better race car driver than Mark Martin would be as a quarterback.
Terry,Is it a done deal that one of the two races on Memorial day weekend will change its schedule? If it is, do you see anyone trying double duty like JPM?
Terry Blount (3:08 PM)
I don't think that's going to happen in 2010. I think several guys might try to do both if the events didn't conflict time wise.
Why is Petty switching to Fords?
Terry Blount (3:09 PM)
Because RPM wanted to merge with Yates Racing, which runs Fords as a satellite operation to Roush.
Terry as of today who do you predict will win the cup in 2010?
Terry Blount (3:10 PM)
I'd pick Hamlin today, but I may change my mind before the season starts.
How many DNFs for danica
Terry Blount (3:11 PM)
At least one of two I'm sure. She knows she's going to have to take some bumps and a few wall hits along the way.
Terry Blount (3:12 PM)
Gotta run folks. Happy Holidays. Peace.
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