Chat with Terry Blount
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
What's up chatters. Five down and five to go in the Chase. What's on your mind?
Boy, that 2011 Bud car Harvick's gonna drive sure looks a lot like an old "Goodwrench" sponsored car I remember from about a decade ago...
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Yes it does. I really like it. The car has a very sleek look to it.
Terry, watched the Tim Richmond 30-30 show on ESPN last night and it supprised me how much more competitive the racing seems today then back then. Isn't it true that we have way more potential winners today than back in the day?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Way more today Michael. People tend to look back through rose-colored glasses. But many races back in the 70s had only four of five cars finish on the lead lap. But the time Tim came along, it was improving, but more cars have a chance to race competitively today than ever before.
Courtney (Fontana Ca)
Do you think this will affect Kasey and Kenny's Relationship?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Not at all. Kasey has no beef with Kenny. He feels like RPM isn't giving him the best stuff right now, but why would they? They are focusing on AJ. As I wrote today, divorce never is easy, whether it's a husband and wife or a race team.
Did you have any favorite drivers growing up? Do you have any now?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
My favorite driver as a kid was A.J. Foyt because I grew up in Houston and A.J. knew my dad. As a journalist, I don't really have favorites now, but there are many drivers I respect greatly _ Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dario Franchitti, Jamie Mcmurray and Jeff Burton, to name a few.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
With Danica announcing her 1st 4 races for 2011. What do you think the rest of Danica 2011 nationwide series schedule would look like?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
I don't think she will run a lot more races next year, but she'll probably pick different places. This will contiunue to be a part-time deal as long as she's racing full time in the IndyCar Series.
Do you see Danica Patrick making her cup debut in 2012 if things progress nicely?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
It's need to progress quite a bit. At this point, I don't see her running full time in Cup in 2012, but she might run a few races to get her feet wet.
I agree people tend to look through rose colored glasses to the "good old days", but did not see a lot of cautions back then for debris, no wave arounds, no lucky dogs, and more short tracks which all contribute to few cars on the lead lap. Just saying.
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
That's true, but I'm all for wave arounds. I don't think cars almost a lap down should resart in front of the leader. It's unfair to the guy leading the race.
Hey Blount, love watching Martinsville races. who do you got for both Cup and Trucks?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
It's would be foolish not to pick JJ or hamlin in the Cup race since they have dominated there the last three seasons. I'll take JJ. In trucks, I'll go with a surprise pick and take Peters.
Who ya got this weekend at Gateway? Ill be there. And since you cant go 5 minutes talking about NASCAR/racing without talking about Danica, how do you think she'll fare on Saturday? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
I think she'll struggle at Gateway, and odd-shape and a track where she hasn't raced. I'll go with Brad K at Gateway.
It's nice to see the Biff and guys giving JMac props for such a great season. Seems that team is a good fit for him. Do you think RPM is a better fit for Ambrose, esp with Ford backing, as opposed to JTG Daugherty?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
You never know how the chemistry will work out, but I'm optimistic about Marcos next year at RPM. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh start. I think Marcos has a lot of talent, but a lot depends on who ends on the crew next season.
Ryan: (Erwin NC) [via mobile]
Lets say at Homestead, Hamlin trails Johnson by 5 points and he's right behind him, final laps, does he take him out?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
That's the ultimate boys-have-at-it scenario. I think he would try to get on JJ's bumper and force him up the track, but not deliberately take him out, although that might be the result.
Kyle Busch was very smug in his post-race interview, blaming himself, but his undertones seemed that he was actually trying to send a message to his team. His team gains him spots on pit road every time he pits, and just because he didn't get the job done on the racetrack doesn't mean he needs to find someone to blame. He's got a ton of talent and an intense desire to win, but his attitude rubs alot of people the wrong way and he needs to learn to win and lose as a team before he'lll ever be a champion.
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I agree somewhat, but I do think Kyle has come a long way this season in how he handles things. I thought he was pretty professional in how he handled the whole Reuti thing. He's getting better, but his dark side still come out now and then.
Ted (Columbus, OH)
I think NASCAR should have 2 hall of fame elections a year for now. They could induct 5 in the Spring and 5 in the Fall. That way you get more honorees in quicker and the Hall of Fame gets 2 big events a year. Thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I disagree. I think it would water things down a little. I think only having five a year adds to the drama, whether we agree or disagree with the picks, and I definitely had some disagreements.
The Dale Jr./Lance McGrew situation is starting to resemble the end of his tenure with Tony Jr. They aren't even relavent in the race and actually seem to be digressing instead of improving. What does the future hold here?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
I don't think it's going to change anytime soon. But something needs to change. The whole situation around that team is a downer.
Several observations after watching the Tim Richond doc on ESPN:tracks today look 1000% better, cars 1000% safer, drivers healthier and more fit, fans today whine about everything. Why, don't the fans today realize how much better NASCAR is today than back in the day?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Good obervations, but keep this in mind. It isn't so much that the fans complain more now, it's that they have a much larger forum on which to complain with the internet and email and texts, etc. So we hear a lot more from the malcontents than we did in the past. Most people who are happy about things don't normally make a comment.
Jake (Irving, TX)
Will Sat's race at Gateway be the final NASCAR race before the track shuts down and does Rusty Wallace still own the track?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
I believe it is the last race and Rusty doesn't own the track. He owns the Iowa track, which is a fantastic facility.
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Terry, saw the documentary on Tim Richmond last night and for a Nascar fan since 2000 I've only heard stories. The documentary was awesome and gave me better insight.
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
It was extremely well done. Tim was on his way to becoming a real star in NASCAR. It's truly tragic how it turned out.
Fred (AL) [via mobile]
So will Justin Allgaier head ta Gibbs or RPM
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Neither team has made him a firm offer yet, but I hope they do. It's ridiculous that this guy doesn't have a ride, and shows how the Cup takeover in NW has damaged the series.
Fred (AL) [via mobile]
Wats the latest with Kasey k. Will he head to Red Bull for the rest of this season
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
I don't think so. It would require a lot of sponsrs to agree on it and a lot of contractual things to change. I think they have to live with it for five more weeks.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Hey Terry, what kind of race should we expect on Sunday?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Typical Martinsville bumping and banging, which many fans love. But passing is very difficult on the little flat track and you have to make your car turn on the inside line to get to the front. JJ and Chad are the masters at it, but Denny and the 11 team are pretty good also.
Lily (new jersey)
Is the Nationwide series going to do anything with the cup guys? Did anything new come out of the meeting they had with NASCAR?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
They continue to discuss putting limits on Cup guys and not allowing them to earn Cup points. But I'm still not sure they will do it.
Terry, I agree that there are more competitve teams/drivers now than at any point in NASCAR history. I think what the fans miss from the old days are the blue collar drivers that made the sport more interesting...just seems it has turned into more of a white collar sport.
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
The goal was to become more of a mainstream sport to garner more fans, which NASCAR did over the last 20 years. But some traditional fans don't like it and want things to remain the same or go back to the way they were.
What does it matter how many cars are on the lead lap? Back then only 3 or 4 cars had a shot at winning the race and take away all the suspicious late-race debris cautions and today the same amount of cars have a legitimate shot. At least back then they could actually pass back and forth for the lead and the dreaded aero-push was a minimal concern. Now its follow the leader and exciting battles for lead only happen about once a month.
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
That's absolutely false Chris. There are more passes and more lead changes now than ever before. And way more than four cars have a chance at winning. Twelve different drivers have won this year. Aero push is more of a problem because they race on bigger tracks more often.
do yo think gordon will be an owner in nascar
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
Officially, he already is. He owns JJ's car, although that's really only a paper designation. But I don't think Jeff will become a full-time owner like Rick. Jeff has a lot of other interests in his life.
tyler :illinois [via mobile]
are jeff gordons chances of winning races winding down because of him? or is it the crewchief?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
I think Letarte gets way too much criticism. Jeff has made some mistakes in recent races that hurt him, like speeding on pit road. It's never just one thing.
Terry, do you envision Mark Martin coming back to the 6 in 2012 for one last goodbye season with RFR?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
John (Auckland, New Zealand)
Sorry another jnr question, but with the cars getting new noses next year and jnr only fluking one win in the COT will the nose help him win?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
It might, but I don't know how much of a difference the new nose will make. The design is very similar to what the front end is now, it just looks better without the support pins.
Phil (Richmond, Va.)
Any news about where Sadler might end up next year?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
He said yesterday that nothing new is going on. I expect him to end up driving for Harvick in NW or Trucks.
paul eudora, ks [via mobile]
Why has rick hendrick given up on the 88? martin has guftason, gordon has lettarte and johnson has knaus but yet jr has a unproven mcgrew
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
He hasn't given up, but he doesn't want to make a changer unless he's convinced it will improve things. If it were me, I'd make a change. It just ain't working.
Wayne (Warner Robins, GA)
If all these "old shool" old fans don't like 2011 NASCAR then why don't they shut up and find something else to do? We are so sick and tired of the same old geezers bellyaching about the good old NASCAR!
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Hey, old geezers in Brooklyn still complain that the Dodgers moved to LA. It just goes with the territory.
dennis walker (north carolina)
Does no one want to be Junior crew chief is that why Rick Hendrick doesnt want to make a change?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
No. You're talking about a big money job. Plenty of guys would jump at the chance to make it work. And at this point, there's no where to go but up. You could look like a hero for salvaging the career of NASCAR's most popular driver.
Since Dale jr has basically been uncompetitive since 2004 why do fans still expect him to race like Rowdy or Jimmie?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
Simple. Because they love him. He's an icon who transcends the sport. Most people want to see him do well, and it would be great for NASCAR if he does.
Wouldn't Junior be in the same place as Sadler if he last name wasn't Earnhardt?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
No. Dale Jr. has 18 Cup victories. You don't do that because of what your last name is. It's not luck. But something has changed for him and he has lost his confidence.
whats the number 14 cars chances of winning it all?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
At this point, slim and none.
Terry, what's your opinion on how Richmond's career would've ended up had he not contracted HIV/AIDS. I wish that 30 for 30 was longer than an hour. I bet there's alot more that could be included.
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I think he would have won two or three Cup titles and lots of races. But even had he not become ill, his lifestyle would have shortened his career. The man liked to party.
Jr reminds me of John Daly. Had some success and was/is wildly popular but can't get it together to find success again.
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I would say Junior's career more closely resembles David Duval, who at one time was challenging Tiger for the top spot in Golf, but somehow lost his Mojo and never got it back.
Jr was 3rd in points most of the year (pre-chase) in 2006 with the COT. I don't think his issues are the COT, how about the loss of Darien Grubb as his Car Chief?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
And think that's a stretch Andrew. As I said on the SpeedFreaks radio show Sunday night, I'm no psychiatrist, but what's happening with Junior goes deeper than crew chiefs and cars.
When Mr. H named Lance as #88 cc we remember reading that 3 other people turned down the job before Lance was forced to take it. Is that true and do you know who the 3 who refused the job were?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
That's not true.
To Wayne in Ga -- its not just the old folks complaining. I'm 27 and have watched 99.999% of the races since the mid-80's and with each passing year NASCAR moves further away from its roots and takes away the things got most long time fans interested in the first place. THAT is our biggest complaint.
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
In 1985 you were 2. Now that's a fan.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta run folks. Te nex assignment beckons. Hope everyone has a great week. Enjoy the Martinsville action. I'm out. Peace.