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 (1:59 PM)
The Chase has arrived. Who do you like? Can JJ make it 5 in a row? My Chase odds for each driver will be up at ESPN.com soon
RAYGORDONREID (DURHAM NH 03824)
QUESTION TO TERRY COUGAR BLOUNT AT 2.25 HOWDY TERRY WHO DO YOU HAVE FOR LOUDON SUNDAY
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
My man ALL CAPS RAY. Yes, and a pround UH Cougar I am. I'm picking Kurt Busch to win at NH Sunday.
Kai (Bristol, TN)
Terry- When the dust settled and you looked at the final standings did you scratch your head in amazement that Montoya was on the outside looking in? Does that show a scoring flaw?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
Not a scoring flaw that he didn't make it, but I'm surprised he didn't race well enough to make it. I thought he could challenge for the title this year. But the system does have scoring flaws. Drivers should receive more points for winning. And it's JPM's teammate _ Jamie Mac _ that's the big surprise not to be in it after winning the two biggest races of the season.
Does Denny Hamlin have what it takes to get his 1st championship this year? What tracks do you feel he has the best chance at?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
I picked Denny before the season started and he has a great chance to win it now. Denny's problem is he's been streaky. Really good a few weeks and not so good for a few. He can't do that in the Chase.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
I know you have some love for Houston sports so give me your thoughts on A. Foster and the Texans.
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
Foster was a monster on Sunday. They'll win that division he he continues to run like that.
Any word on who Kasey's crew chief will be next year?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
No word. I still think it will be Francis.
Brian (Woodbridge, VA) [via mobile]
Who had the worst weekend, Dale JR, Alex Barron, or the Hokies?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Excellent question. Not good for any of them, but I'll say Va Tech. Maybe the worst loss in school history. And it didn't do Boise State any favors either. My man Marty Smith (a VT grad) is still hurting.
Mark (Mount Airy, MD)
Hello Terry, Have there ever been this many drivers in the Chase without a win on the regular season????? Who will remain winless after all is said and done???????
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Mark, the bigger question is whether one of the winless five can win the Chase without winning a race. It could happen. For example, Edwards has an average finish of 5.5 in the last nine races, but hasn't won. If he does that in the Chase, he'll win it.
Who are your top 5 in Chase after Homestead race???
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
You're putting me on the spot Andy, but OK. Here ya go: 1. Hamlin, 2. JJ, 3. Edwards, 4. Harvick. 5. Kurt Busch
Marcus (Va Beach)
I like the good clean racing and all, but a dose of action sure spices up the races, I think. I was at both Richmond races, both were some of the most boring racing I've ever seen. Richmond has long been known for it's action. The lack thereof in the May race may have been a fluke, but do you think the last regular season race is having a negative affect on racing at Richmond?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
No, I think it's helped them keep attendance up in the Sept. event. that was a huge crowd there Saturday. The race had it's dull moments for sure. The big surprise was only three cautions, and one of those was for rain.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Hey Terry, what happened with Biffle on Saturday Night?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Everythiong went wrong. They missed the set-up, had a flat, pitted at thw wrong time, got a lap down and never recovered.
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Terry, big Alonso fan, he's 21 back with 5 races, can and will he win the driver's championship?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
He can, but I don't think he will. But it's good that the championship battle is close.
Do you think the more prestigious races (Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, etc.) should award more bonus points for winning, maybe 25 or as much as 50?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
No, but I think every race should have 25 or 50 points more for winning. And I also think winning a race in the regular season should guarantee a driver a spot in the Chase as long as he finishes in the top 20 in the standings. If that were true this year, Newman, Jamie, JPM and Reuti would be in the Chase, making it a 16-car field.
Mark (Mount Airy, MD)
Terry, Good point about a winless driver winning the title. How would NASCAR react to that if it were to happen??????
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Brian and Mike's heads would spin off into the universe. Seriously, it would force them to award more points for winning, so I'm rooting for it to happen.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
What tracks do see Danica doing next year in the nationwide Series now that the indycar has announced its schedule except the season finale.
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
If she's smart, she will race on tracks where she didn't race this year. But it doesn't matter. Until and unless she opts to do NASCAR full time, it's a failed venture.
Didn't NASCAR already react to a winless driver winning it? Isn't that what Kenseth did?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
Yes, a little. Kenseth caused the Chase, but that was more because he ran away with the points title. After that, they started awarding a few more points for winning, and a few years later, they seeded the Chase by wins. But it's still not enough.
Terry, a lot of people are writing off Carl, with their only excuse being he hasn't won yet, despite the fact that noone over the last few months is running better. 1. Do you see Carl giving these top guys a run for their money, and 2. With 5 intermediates coming that Carl runs well at, do you think he can get a few wins before this year is over?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
Yes and yes, although, as I said earlier, I think he could win the Chase without winning a race. In my handicapping the field column, which was just posted, I list his odds at 7 to 1, third best of the 12.
Terry, who is your sleeper for the Chase this year?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
My sleeper pick is Kurt Busch. I think he could surprise some people.
Lane (Boulder, CO)
Why did ESPN pick Rowdy for the Riding Shotgun with Kyle show instead of one of the other chasers?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I don't know, but my guess is it's because he's, well..., Rowdy.
Would you like to see more of a mix of tracks in the chase?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
It's a pretty good mix, but I think Sonoma should be in the Chase.
can jeff gordon make a run at the cup this year
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
He can, but I wouldn't call him the favorite. I list his odds at 20 to 1. He has to prove he can get it done in the playoff format.
Hi Terry -- Any chance Kenseth will finish any higher than 12th this year? My hunch is NO.
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
You're probably right. I listed his odds at 50 to 1, worst on the Chasers. But Matt is the best at getting the most out of so-so equipment. That alone could move him up and keep him from finishing 12th.
Liz (Coral Springs, Fl)
Have you ever seen Dale jr look worse than #88 did Sat. night at Richmond?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
Honestly, Liz, no. It was awful. However, he said afterward they were experimenting with a new set-up. What was it? Ropes and a tall ship sail?
Who do you feel is the favorite to win the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
I still list JJ as the favorite in my column today. He's the four-time champ going for five in a row. The 48 teams knows how to do this playoff stuff. You have to say they are the favorite until someone proves they can beat them. But I think this Chase field is the closest it has ever been.
Will we ever have a Dale Jr-less chat? He's not running good, and is irrelevant. I'd even settle for a chat in which he was only mentioned once or twice.
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
Won't happen Chris. He's still the most popular driver, despite his struggles.
Terry, for the past few years, there has been one surprise driver who essentially came out of nowhere to make a strong run (Bowyer in 2007, Biffle in 2008, Montoya in 2009). Which driver will assume that role this year?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
I'm going with Kurt Busch.
Thomas (Bowling Green, KY)
Hi Terry, Do NASCAR teams have team orders like Ferrari in F1 and did Joe Gibbs order Kyle not to drive Denny too rough?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Absolutely not. No team orders. But Kyle wasn't going to take out his teammate in that situaiton. However, it it came down to the same situaiton at Miami with the title on the line, Kyle said it's every man for himself.
If Jimmie Johnson does get his 5th straight, will we see even more changes to the chase format next season?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Yes we will, but we probably will see that whether he wins it or not.
Thomas (Bowling Green, KY)
Other than Mr. H, Pops and Kelly who does Dale jr go to for advice?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Dale is pretty close to Tony Stewart, and he has some close friends who aren't in racing. I can tell you who he doesn't go to for advice _ Teresa.
Jenny (Elizabethtown LA)
Hi Terry, Are you friends with any of the nascar driver? (put the races on espn 3) thanks for your time
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
I'm friendly with many drivers, but not what you would consider close friends. That can be a problem since I sometimes have to write columns that are critical. I'm have known David Starr for many years and we speak regularly. We both grew up in Houston.
would moving more races to Saturday night help with attendance?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
It depends on what part of the season you do it. I think the best thing to do is start more races at noon ET on Sunday. I would mind seeing them try a Monday night race in the spring.
Kyle had nothing for JGR leader Denny at Richmond, so even if (I know there was not) there were orders....Denny was long gone by then and Kyle had not tires.
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
You're right Tracy. Kyle had a shot with about 20 to go, but he burned up his tires trying to get past Denny and Kyle said so on his radio. After that, Denny was long gone.
Any chance Alan Gustafson goes over to the 88 next year and Kenny Francis moves over to the 5 team a year early to get ready for KK?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Rick Hendrick says it isn't going to happen.
Terry, how crazy is the 2011 Daytona 500 going to be with the new surface?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Actually, it may be less crazy. The smooth surface will have a lot of grip, but when that happens, the fastest way around is down low. It may take a year or two before the racing is what we're used to see there.
Why do you think it was such a clean race on Saturday? I was there, and there would have only been two cautions if it were for a third caution for rain.
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
People say cautions breed cautions, which is true. But the opposite also is true. A long green-flag run spreads out the field, as we saw Saturday night, so there's less chance of anyone wrecking.
Now that he's officially not in the Chase, any chance Kahne moves over to Red Bull before the end of the year?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Good question, but I don't see that happening. If that was going to be his full-time team for the long run, it probably would happen.
I think a box of parts was delivered to the 88 crew with a note inside saying "These parts work great! Luv, Kyle B"
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
Very funny TG. But if those parts had been in a box from Rowdy, the box probably would have exploded.
Terry, over/under 1 mulligan for this year's champion?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
Some Chasers say no, but I still think you can have one terrible finish and still get it done.
Mark (Mount Airy,MD)
Terry, any chance someone other than a Penske or Ganassi driver wins the Indy Car race at Montegi on Saturday night???????
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
Well, Danica did win there once on fuel mileage.
Trevor (Lancaster, PA)
After Richmond, Rowdy said that Dave got tire pressures and setup stuff from Mike during the race to help Kyle. How come Lance doesn't go to Chad or Letarte during the races too?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
They have, but that stuff doesn't work unless your drivers race a similar style.
Tyler (Zeeland, MI)
Which of the 12 drivers in the Chase do you think is the most underrated?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
I don't know that any of them are underrated, but I think Clint Bowyer is proabbly better than most people think.
Does Kyle B and Jr still dis-like each other or has kyle just decided to lay off of Jr with the way he has been running?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
I don't think they send each other Christmas cards.
Other than Sonoma, what track would you like to see in the Chase that does not have a spot?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Do we have to refer to Kyle Busch by his nickname of "Rowdy"? It always bothers me when someone gives themselves a nickname.
Willie (Raleigh, NC)
Do you buy into theories that HMS gives #88 inferior equipment or that Chad and those guys intentionally mislead Lance or that #88 is the test team for HMS?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
No. No. and No.
Ricky (Yuba City)
GUESS WHO?? Biffle. Biffle went to the slate with success and powerand is now in 7th in the point standings. Where do you see him finishing? If he wins another race, shrimp cocktails for all Biff fans!!
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Wow Ricky. You used you're real name. I list Biff's chances at 25 to 1. But he has proven he can get off to a good start in the opening Chase races.
People(obviously not you) seem to forget that Kurt Busch finished 4th(with a lame duck crew chief) in the chase last year only losing to the 3 Hendrick cars, I think he can make the final push to get past them this year with Steve Addington
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I didn't forget Andy. That's why I list him as the sleeper pick this year. I think he can surprise some people.
Terry, do you think Bruton Smith will actually win and get Las Vegas a second date and/or get the final race in the chase moved there?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Smith will have to move a race from one of his tracks or buy Pocono or Dover to get another race for Vegas. Even so, the finale isn't leaving Miami anytime soon. Ford has a long-tern deal there as the title sponsor of the event.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta run folks. It was a fun one today. Check out my column on the Chasers odds of winning it. Have a great week. Peace.