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)
Chase changes? Realignment? What your take on the latest talk.
Mike W (Rock Hill)
Terry, Is NASCAR considering changing the chase format because of JJ's dominance?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
That's one reason. Excpet for the first year in 2004, the Chase hasn't done what they hoped it would do in one respect _ have a championship battle between three or four drivers in the final race.
Better chance of happening in the Sprint Cup Race this weekend - Dale Jr w/ his fifth straight top 11 or a Roush Car in victory lane?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Probably Jr. doing well. The Roush cars have some issues to figure out.
When they showed a in-car angle after Jr. won the nationwide race...i swear it looked like Big E sitting in that car...Junebug drove a helluva race Friday and stayed outta trouble to notch a top 5 saturday...is this just cause its his best track....or can we look at the last few weeks and say he MIGHT be turning this around?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Nothing helps confidence more than winning, even if it's just an NW race. and confidence is a big pat of doing well at the Cup level. Dale caught some breaks in the Cup race Saturday, but the entire weekend gives him a lot of momentum moving forward.
What was the reaction from the drivers in NW in regards to the new cars? (Dodge, Ford)
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
First, the look at the new cars is fantastic, especially the Challenger. It's very similar to the nose of the street car. As for on the track, the cars are much looser with less downforce. Some drivers like that and some don't.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
Do think Iowa will ever get a cup date? let's be honest the last thing Cup needs is three more 1.5 mile tracks
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
Ever is a long time, but Iowa isn't on the Cup radar at the moment.
Do you see Jeff Gordon winning at Chicago this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
It wouldn't surprise me if Jeff won, but he wouldn't be my first pick. This is one of the few tracks where JJ hasn't won, but that could change Saturday.
so whats the deal with dinger? havent heard anything other than the report on here, will he be in the 43 next year?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
My guess is Dinger will move on, but anything is possible at this point.
Jeff (South Carolina)
NASCAR did some good things with the changes they made this year and are looking at next year. Now they are gonna take away race from New Hampshire . 1 step forward 2 steps backwards in my opinion. Las Vegas and Kansas races are kind of boring. Whats your thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
My thought is Kansas is better than Cali as for as two dates go. And I think it's better to have one race at Kentucky and one at NH than two at NH. The more tracks will only one race the better. But I agree that it isn't great to have more 1.5-mile ovals on the sked.
I think all of the changes that are being bantered about show just how out of touch NASCAR is with its real fan base. Do you agree?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
No I don't. NASCAR has a fan council and asks fans about lots of issues. But they also have to consider what makes the most sense financially. A lot of fans would like to see NASCAR go back to North Wilkesboro and Rockingham and race more in the Southeast again. thats' not going to happen because it iusn't what's best for the sport overall.
What's with Stewart-Haas? Is Tony going to get a win this year?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
I'm sure Tony will win somewhere. Typically, he runs well in the summer months. But I don't see him as a title contender this year.
Phil (Richmond, Va.)
As long as they keep two races at Martinsville, they can do whatever they want to the schedule. Do you think I have anything to worry about?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
No, not for next year. But Martinsville is an odd situaiton for NASCAR. People like the short-track racing, but the track has only 60,000 seats and it's in a rural location that hard to get to.
What do you think the 24 team is missing that is keeping them from Victory Lane?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
If I knew that they would hire me to work on the crew. they've had some bad luck a couple of times htis year and came out of the short in a couple of times in pit strategy.
Are the new cars only going to be in the Nationwide?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
They will race there more times in NW this seaosn and full time next season. But it appears the manufacturers are leaning toward using the distinct front ends next year in Cup.
Bobby Bo (Huntsville)
Do you see Martin Truex Jr in Victory Lane in 2010?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
No, but it's a slight possibility.
With Mark Martin running poorly this season, do you see it as a possibility that Kasey Kahne could be driving the 5 car next season?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
This remains the big unknown right now. Martin insists he will be in the 5 next year. but maybe the 5 will run under another organizations's banner and Kahne will run a foutth car at Hendrick. I know what I wouldn't do _ put Kahne in the 09. Kahne is the future. Put him in the best ride possible next year and don't make him move twice.
JOE (fleetwood pa)
Of course one fo the drivers who doesnt want the chase to change is Jimmie, poor baby, I think Smoke can win at Chicago, Indy and the Glen.
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
If Tony wins all three of those he's back in the hunt. Honestly, I think Jimmie could win the title in any format.
Gilbert (Long Beach, CA)
Who wins the truck race at Iowa?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I'll go with Almirola.
4xLeft (Low Groove)
If Dale Jr. was a legitimate title threat, do you think NASCAR would be so gung-ho about making changes to the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Maybe not, but that's not why they are considering it.
Donte' (Griffin, GA)
What changes to the Chase do you think needs to happen next year?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
I'm in a favor of an elimination system that would guarantee three or four drivers go to the last event with a chance to win the title.
Max (Ocala, Fl)
IF Jr makes it in the chase, does he have a shot to finish in the top 5 at least?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Not likely. Too many guys with better teams right now _ JJ, Jeff, Kyle, Kurt, Denny, Kevin.
I feel like Nascar is changing rules every other time I turn around as a longtime fan I am turned off by this...Does Nascar run the risk of making too many changes?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
That's why they didn't change much the last couple of years. You don't fix what isn't broken, but some things are broken right now and need fixing.
Max (Ocala, Fl)
if JR wins a race or 2 by the chase then would you say he could finish in the top 5?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Donte' (Griffin, GA)
An elimination system sounds good. I think that the schedule should be dramatically changed as well. When majority of the races in the chase are speedway race tracks, it makes for a boring chase because certain teams are going to dominate on certain tracks. They should mix things up in the Chase by adding different tracks.
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
I agree. Adding a road race at Sonoma would be good, for one. Ending the season at vegas, something that Bruuton smith wants, would be fun. But changing the sked is much more difficult than people realize. Every change has a domino effect on other tracks.
Brain (Detroit )
Does Delta Wing if choosen kill Indy car?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I don't think so. I think Indy car needs a big shake up. I hope they choose more than one chassis.
Josh (Columbia, SC)
Completely agree with you. The more tracks that just have one race, the better. Do you think we might see a shift toward that, so more markets can be served? Or is this just NASCAR politics as usual?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Politics certainly hinder that idea, but they're aren't enough quality tracks to have one race at each place.
Does Kurt's season remind you of the 2004 season he had when he won the Cup Title?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Not really, but I do think he's a contender. That team is much better than I expected this year as the only Dodge organization. Addington has been a huge asset.
JOE (NEW ORLEANS)
Why hasn't nationwide considered a chase? Kinda a three man fight for the title. Ok, Maybe just one, Brad.
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
One the fight is among Cup regulars. That's the real problem. I believe they should go to an 8-man, 8-race Chase for NW-only drivers to give those guys some recognition and make sure a NW driver wins the championship.
Since so many fans are so tired of all of the cookie cutters and want more short tracks, why don't they add more to the schedule. There has to be a couple short tracks out west.
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Not that meets NASCAR standards for a Cup race. ISC wanted to build new tracks in Seattle and Denver that would have been 1-mile ovals are shorter, but they couldn't get the public funding they wanteed so they gave up on it.
Matt (New York,NY)
Once the Austin F1 track is built, do you think theres any possibility that nascar coud use it?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I have serious douts the Austin track ever gets built. And no, NASCASR isn't going there if he does.
Kevin Harvick (Charlotte)
I take it your not a big fan of mine since you aren't posting my questions? Fan might not be the word, but you catch my drift.
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
I'm not a big fan of people pretending to be someone they're not.
JOE (NEW ORLEANS)
I like the idea Terry, but you know what Nascar will say to that (or should I say the tracks). "Steve Wallace doesn't sell tickets, Jr. and Carl Edwards do."
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
They have said that many times, but it's shortsighted logic. If you aren't building up new stars, you are limiting your future. And I'm not opposed to Cup drivers racing in the NW Series. I'm opposed to them running the entire schedule and competing for the NW title.
Do you think Reed Sorenson shows potential of being a full time cup driver?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
I think Reed has done a good job for Red Bull, enough so that someone may give him another chance. Reed is still a very young guy.
Did chevy stick with the Impala for NW races in order to get a jump on the new noses for Sprint Cup next year? also are the noses very different from one make to the next?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
The Challenger nose is drastically different from the others. Chevy should have gone to the Camaro, but said they didn't think it looked enough like the street car. Dodge made it happen. Why couldn't Chevy?
When you compare Harvick this year with last year, doesn't it show how unimportant the driver is in NASCAR now. There used to never be swings that big in one year for one driver.
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
The car alwqays has been more important that the driver. However, the worst driver won't win in the best car and the best driver won't win in th worst car.
Greetings Mr. Blount. What do you think about NASCAR going to a franchise type system. Let each manufacturer have 4 franchise partners with 3 car teams. That gives you 48 teams for 43 spots. Make everyone qualify on time each week. Or change the top 35 rule to the top 20 rule.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
The franchise idea has been discussed foer years, but I don't see it happening. I'm all for getting rid of the top 35 rule to make qualifying more meaningful. Give the pole winner a couple old points.
Matt (New York,NY)
Do you think nascar should have a rule where if you run X amount of cup races you can only run X amount of NW races?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
Yes, but I don't think it will happen. So the next best solution is a Chase that doesn't includes Cup drivers.
The great TB! Did you notice that the blue duce happened to be in all of the three final wrecks on Saturday? Also do you think that Kurt and Penske being the only dodges out there will hurt his championship chances? Thanks big guy!
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
I didn't notice that. Before the season started, I didn't think Kurt could contend since Penske was the only Dodge operation. I don't think that now. They've shown me they can get it done, and may even have some benefits by getting all of Dodge's attention.
Mike W (Rock Hill)
If all the past NASCAR champions were to race each in their prime in the chase format who would you pick to win?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
Great question! I might go with David Pearson.
Brett (Reno, NV)
How come Roger Penske, Jack Roush and Bruton Smith were not on the nominations into the Nascar HOF but Childress and Henricks were?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
It was up to the 50 people on the nominating committee. I think it's ridiculous that Bruton isn't on the list. Few people in history have meant more to NASCAR than Bruton Smith.
Why don't they start the 12 chase drivers up front during the chase races?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
They do it qualifying is rained out. but where you start doesn't mean a whole lot in many of these races.
My HOF choices would be...Lee Petty, David Pearson, Raymond Parks, Dale Inman, & Cale Yarborough. You agree?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Those are my five for the next class.
Is Teresa Earnhardt pretty much done with NASCAR? she wasnt there to congratulate jamie or dale jr when they won at daytona
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I know some people say she doesn't want to go to the track where her husband died, but if she is going to call herself a co-owner, I think she should be there, especially Friday night with the 3 on the track.
Denny or Jimmie? who looks to be the favorite right now?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
JJ remains the fave until someone proves they can beat him. But I picked Denny at the start of the season and I'm sticking to it.
Does Penseke pull the plug on Hornish after the season and put Algaier into the seat?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
He says no, but I think Sam needs to step it up. Allgaier is the real deal.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta run folks. Off to do NASCAR Now. We'll discuss my conversation today with Bruton Smith and his hopes for realignment, including his goal of making Vegas the season-ender. Don't miss it. Peace.