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)
A lot of going this week folks. A news points system, angry Tony and testing at Daytona. What's on your mind?
Jake (Irving, TX)
Hey Terry, since 2008 Jimmie and Rowdy have 35 combined wins, that is more than any other 2 drivers. Do you think Jimmie considers Rowdy to be his single greatest competitor?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
No I don't. Most of Kyle's wins came in the feeder leagues. Kyle is tremendously talented, but there are half a dozen guys out there who can challenge JJ.
AJ (Charleston, SC)
With the new rules that you can only get points in one series, does that mean that even if a team like Wood Brothers gets full sponsorship for Bayne that he couldn't make the chase? (fairly unrealistic admittedly but at least worth considering)
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Yes, but as yopu said. Thisd is a moot point. Not going to happen.
Jeeves (Charleston, SC)
If it's true there are only 30 cars right now planning to run the entire season. Which teams have top 35 pts but are only planning to run a part time schedule? And doesn't NASCAR require a team to attempt every race to stay in contention for the locked in top 35?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
No. The top 35 is the top 35 regardless of how many races you run. Points are being swapped around, which I think is a bad thing and needs to be revised. But they'll be 50 cars at Daytona. That's misleading. Everybody wants to get in on the big purse, but many of those teams won't run the full sked.
Terry, with the proposed new points format (43 to winner, 42 to second, and so on), how in the world are they going to award leading a lap and leading the most laps? In each case, 5 points would be way too much now.
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
It won't be five points. And frankly, I think bonus points for leading a lap is ridiculous. Anyone can stay on the track under caution and lead a lap. That's not worthy of a bonus.
Good afternoon, Terry! I think NASCAR is making a big mistake making so many changes. It makes things seem so watered down. The car gets changed every year, the eligibility of the Bud Shootout gets changed every year, and now the point structure gets changed seemingly every year. I may not speak for everyone, but all of these incessant changes are frustrating many fans. Am I wrong?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Actually, this scoring system hasn't changed in decades. But I don't think this 43/1 plan makes much of a difference except that it's simplier to understand. What needs to happen is more points for winning.
I think the points system is fine how it is now, just increase the amount of points the winner of the race gets.
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
I could live with that Sam. At least 20 more points for winning a race. But I do like the idea of filling the last two Chase spots based on races won.
wheeling west virginia [via mobile]
Where has Ricky Rudd gone too?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
Not sure what Ricky is up to these days. Probably enjoying retirment in Virginia. But one thing I respect about Ricky now. He doesn't come back much and race here and there for quick cash when he would have no chance of competing. More than I can say for some old guys.
RAY GORDON REID ( EDGEWATER FLA 32132)
QUESTION TO TERRY BLOUNT AT 2.15 HI TERRY ARE WE GONNA SEE YOU NEWTON OR HINTON OR GURU ON HALF HOUR OR HOUR ESPN NASCAR NOW
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
You'll see each of us on the show from time to time. One thing we are going to do more of this year is videos from our flip cams. I did one for my column today. Not exactly studio quality, but I ain't no technician.
Jacob (Wellston, OK)
I was wondering if a 43-1 points system is to add an emphasis on consistency during the regular season, but winning during the chase. when it matters.
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
It will be about consistency all the time, including the Chase. I'm all for consistency, but this goes too far. For example., a guy who won five Chase races and finished 35th in the other five wouldn't score as many points as a guy who finished 16th in all 10 Chase races. Call me cracy, but I want the guy who won half the Chase races to earn more points that a guy who didn't have a top 15.
Gary (Statesville, N.C.)
What are your thoughts on the Red Bull team, with Brian Vickers coming back and teaming up with Kasey Kahne? Will either of them make the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
I think it's possible one of them could make the playoff, but the odds are against it. However, RB will be much improved this year with those guys behind the wheel. And everyone wants to see Brian make a successful comeback.
Moose Lightnin (Denver)
Why do people talk about lame duck years ? Do racers really throw away years ? I'd be trying for the most cash I could get.
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
People talk about it because lame-duck years rarely turn out well. It's hard for the whole team to stay focused when you don't know what your future holds, so guys start looking elsewhere.
Terry, if you ask me, this points system could work right into the hands of Gordon because he is the model of consistency, your thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
It could because he runs up front a lot without winning. But I think JJ stills wins the title in most of these last five years even in this system.
Jenifer (Round Rock, TX)
Samantha tweeted a pic of her and Rowdy out grocery shopping-looked like Target-last Fri. nite. Can Rowdy go out like that without getting mobbed by fans?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I think people in the north Charlotte suburbs are used to seeing drivers out and about, so it's not really a big deal to them.
Marc (Malden, MA)
I want a point system where only the top 20-25 finishers earn points. I'm tired of watching beat-up cars, going at minimum speed, hoping to go from 36th to 35th and earn a few more points.
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
You're preaching to the chior Marc. I couldn't agree more. It's dangerous for guys to come back on the track with slow and damaged cars.
Terry, you gotta love Smoke. Tony handling a grievance in the only way he knows: with a fight. Is he back to the old Tony, or just letting out his anger that he can't do anymore in the States since he is now an owner?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
We'll see, but a little of Smoke's younger fire could help him keep his edge during the season. I don't mean he needs to pick a fight every week, but Tony is at his best when he riled up about something.
why cant nascar have a points system like F1? they have more points for winning and some guys dont even get points if they dont finish high enough? Do you think this type systne could work for nascar
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
NASCAR has twice as many cars in each race, so you would need to tweak it. But I think a system where only the top 30 finishers get points is a good idea.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
43-1 is about the dumbest idea I've ever heard. As a huge NASCAR fan, it is stuff like this that makes me wonder if it is all worth it.
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
It's still worth it Cory no matter what system they use. But we still aren't sure what the new system will be. It's all specualtion at this point. NASCAR is notorious for putting out these trial balloons to see how people react. They still could tweak it before they make the announcement next week.
Moose Lightnin (Denver)
So the Kahne team, Martin team and Ragan team etc. are going into this year already defeated and looking for better jobs ? I don't buy it. From drivers or the teams.
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
No. In Ragan's case, he's still hoping to save his job. In Kahne's case, those guys are thrilled about having such a quality driver behind the wheel, even if it's for one year. And some of them will go with him to Hendrick. As for Martin, I'm not so sure. The pit guys will want to do well to try to earn a spot on Kahne's team in 2012. The worst lame duck deal is when a guy announces at mid-season he is going elsewhere the following year, or they know the sponsor is leaving and that team might now exist the next season.
Dan (Grapevine, TX)
Does elimination of the over the wall "catch can man" hurt or help any teams?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
I really don't think it makes much of a difference. Pitting times might be slighter slower.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Do you think with the 43-1 Point System, do you think it will come down to more than 2 or 3 drivers to make the final chase spot in the top 10?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I hope so. The real battle will be spots 11 and 12. For example, let's say two guys and two wins each, but know a third win in the last two regular-season races would guarantee them a playoff spot. That will be fun to watch.
Is tony stewart geting that fire back, where has it been.
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Well, he's almost 40 and he has a big business to run with over 100 employees. You can't walk around screaming all the time. But a little more of his fiery nature might help him get back to the top.
how do u think j logano will do this year
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
I expect big things from young Joey. He made a huge step forward at the end of last season. Listen, that boy can wheel a race car, but it appears his experience and his agressiveness are catching up to his talent. I think he can make the Chase.
Is this the last hurrah for RPM?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I don't think so. Richard has regrouped with solid investors and regained control. I think going back to a 2-car tam will help them place more quality people on each team.
Ricky (League City, TX)
you think Stewart will show up a Daytona with that black eye or send a test driver?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Tony couldn't care less if anyone sees him with a black eyte. Heck, he'd love it, like a nadge of honor.
do u see him being a contender for the title , if u look at his stats from the end of the yr if he wld have been in the chase he wld have like 5th in points
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
No, I don't think Joey is ready to contend for the title, but it will happen soon.
With Richard taking back control of RPM any chance that we will see Kyle Petty racing again?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
Slim and none.
with the new pavement at Daytona, do you think the "have at it boys" will be more aggressive since the track is smoother or will they play it safe until the end like before?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
I think it will keeps the cars bunched up more, as will the smaller plate, which means more bumping and probably more accidents.
How do you think Junior will do with Letarte as crew cheif?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Better, not not a championship contender. I think they're personalities will mesh well. They get along well away from the track.
how much drafting shld we see during the test tomorow
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Probably quite a bit because teams need to find out how these cars, with the new front splitter, will react on the new pavement.
Is Kenseth due for a season in which he contends again?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
I think so, but I'd be a lot more confident of it if Robbie was back on the pit box.
Rudy (Hialeah, FL)
do you agree that Dale jr's season usually goes like his Daytona 500 performance?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
No, Daytona is such an anomoly. It's a little like what people say about going to Las Vegas. What happens in Daytona stays in Daytona. But certainly a good finish in the 500 would boost his confidence, something he really needs.
Adrian (Richmond, VA)
Is there any organization that has a shot to make a jump this year and play with the big boys? (Hendrick, Rousch, et al)
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
I know the people at Michael Waltrip Racing think they can get it done this year with Reuti and Truex.
Does JPM make the chase this year? That team should be able to put some wins together this year.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
That's another team that could step up. Both McMurray and JPM will be Chase contenders. I'm predicting Montoya will win on an oval this year.
about how much money does a joey logano compared to a jimmie johnson make a yr
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
Just a guess, but with endorsements and the Cup title money, JJ probably made around $20 million last year. Joey probably made $3 million or $4 million.
With some of NASCAR's big talent getting up there in age as far as racing in their prime goes, (Smoke, Kenseth, Biffle, Gordon, etc...) is there a big crop of young guys right now showing signs of that same talent to replace these guys?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
There are talented young drivers, but the problem is they don't get enough opportunties because Cup drivers dominate the NW Series. That's what has to change, and the new rule limiting title contention to one series will help.
Vinnie (Freezing in America)
Why not offer points in qualifying to make it matter more? I still believe F1 qualifying is the best in motor sports. I would love to see NASCAR teams scramble the way F1 teams do to make each cut.
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Me too Vinnie. Qualifying now is almost meaningless and many tracks, and incredibly boring. The truck seriues had a right idea last year by having five trucks on the track at the same time at some events. But the best answer would be eliminating the top-35 rule.
David (Marietta Georgia)
Who do you think got the best end of the deal in the Hendrick driver swap? Which of those drivers do you think will benefit the most?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
I think Gordon is the clear winner. Gustafson is a great crew chief and he'll make Gordon better.
Maybe I missed this but, is the new nose on the car going to be the one they run all year and do you think it will change the handle on the car any?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
It's a new splitter without the braces and will be on the cars all season. It's a much better look than the old one, but it's not adjustable. The teams will have a lot to learn.
Douglas (Medina, Ohio)
Has NASCAR ever considered using hydraulic jack systems like DTM, F1, Indy cars?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I'm sure they've considered it, but they want to keep as much human involvement as possible. Having a jackman do his thing is part of what makes the team good or bad.
What's wrong with a simple pts. system where the driver who wins the most races is champion or in case of a tie, most 2nd's , 3rds........?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
NASCAR doesn't want to do that because one guy could win 10 races a clinch the title with five races to go. But giving a bigger reward for winning is the right way to go.
Who do you think will be the title contenders come the last three races of the 2011 chase?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Johnson, Edwards, Gordon, Kyle Busch.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta run folks. I really enjoyed it today. Testing should be interesting and we'll see what happens with the points system. Have a great week. Peace.