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)
Hi everyone. Quite a week last week on the media tour. So let me hear your thoughts.
Alex (Memphis, Tn)
Is there any chance of there ever being a weekday night Sprint Cup race?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
Hi Alex. It has been discussed recently, especially a Monday night race, but I don't see it happening in the next couple of years.
Donald (Ocala, Fl)
Is Earnhardt Ganassi Racing close to getting a manufactures deal like with Volkswagen or Hyundai so they won't have to be a satelite team any more, leasing bodies and engines from Childress?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
No. VW is in the very early stages of considering a move into NASCAR. But even if they announced it today (and they won't) it would be several years before they were ready to go. But EGR is happy with Chevy. They are using the best engines in the Cup right now with the partnership with Childress.
Drew (Bloomington, Ind.)
Who's more responsible for the #48 team's five consecutive Cup titles -- Jimmie or Chad -- and why?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
That's a great question, but if I had to choose one I'd say Jimmie. JJ is truly underrated for his skills as a driver. But it's also true he has the best CC in the business in Chad. That doesn't mean either man would do as well with someone else.
Donald (Ocala, Fl)
When Brian France announced the changes from the HOF he sure seemed to have great trouble in speaking or finding the right words. Is he always that nervous or does he need some training in public speaking?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
Brian's actually pretty good most of the time at a podium. I think they were having some teleprompter issues at the Hall.
Kurtis (Houston, TX)
Don't you think Texas needs another track, that isn't a cookie cutter. The Houston Area would be great for the sport, what do you think?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
As a Houston boy Kurtis I would love to see it, but it ain't happening. When I worked at the Chronicle there was always some group saying they were going to build a track, but it never happened. If you don't have a guarantee of a Cup race, it's an enormous expense without much financial return.
Zack (Jacksonville Beach, FL)
Hey Terry, with DNF's and 43rd place finishes now so devasating, is "have at it boys" still in place knowing that a boneheaded move like Reuitmann's on Rowdy at Kansas can ruin a teams season?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
That would depend on where your are in the standings at that moment and how much you stand to lose. But we'll still see plenty of have-at-it chaos I'm sure.
Ben (Roanoke, VA)
Why have the recent Daytona 500 winners-Jamie, Kenseth, Newman, Harvick, Gordon, Dale jr- missed the chase?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Ben that's a great point that I never actually noticed before. I think I smell a column out of that one, if you don't mind.
Oscar (Sunrise, Fl)
Sounds like Rowdy and Dave Rogers like the new pts. system with the 3 bonus pts for winning and Rowdy's ability to turn bad days into top 10's. Do you think #18 will master the new pts. system faster than the rest?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
No, but I think Kyle can win a championship if you keeps his composure and focuses more on Cup and less on NW and trucks.
Tyler (Southern Arkansas)
Mark Martin got the short end of the stick just to make Jr Nation happy with the crew chief swap. Do you think his performance will drop and do you think this was just a set up to get him out the door after this season?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
No question that Mark got the short end of the stick (on paper at least) in the swaps. But he's the lame duck, so I would have done the same thing if I were Rick. However, you never know how a CC and driver will bond. Maybe in the end this will be exactly what Lance and Mark needed.
In Harvicks career, he has always been inconsistent finishing top 10 one year and then the next season slumping out of the top 10 . Do you expect him slump again in '11?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Not really, but he'll be hard pressed to show the same consistency he had last season. I don't expect him to fall off much, and he could improve if he wins a few more races.
Penny (Ft. Myers)
On Waltrips black paint scheme and book tour we've seen more negative comments indicating that most fans consider it Dale exploitation. What is your take?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
I don't see it that way at all. Mikey truly wants to honor Dale. He loved him, and to this day, can't talk about 10 years ago without getting a lump in his throat.
What are the chances at having 2 races at Watkins this year?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
If you mean two Cup races, the chances of that are the same as the chances of me moving to Newark _ ZERO.
Heard about a businessman planning to build a track south of Branson. isn't Gateway, which just closed, near Branson? Why not buy Gateway? Then again, probably just another dream track that will never be built.
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Here's the deal. Unless ISC or Bruton Smith is building it, it either isn't happening or it isn't worth the effort.
Brent (High Point, NC)
Starting next week with the shootout, isn't there a NASCAR race every weekend until Thanksgiving? Do you think Sabates and Hendricks might be right when they say there are too many races?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I absolutely think they are too many races. But no track wants to lose a race.
your thoughts on martin truex,jr. for the daytona 500 and being a factor in the chase for 2011?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
He has a decent shot at Daytona (doesn't everybody?0 and an outside shot at the Chase.
Brian (DC) [via mobile]
How about for the all star race, they have a lottery system to randomly pair each driver with a different crew cheif, then have a fantasy draft with the pit crew members with a rule stating that the driver nor crew cheif can pick a crew member from their original team?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
Now that's a wild idea Brian. Not happening, but any NASCAR all-star race is a thousand times better than what we saw in that ridiculous Pro Bowl Sunday.
Newark (New Jersey)
What did I ever do to you, Terry?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Oh I'm just kidding Newark. I love you. Go Rutgers!
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
When do you think Jr Motorsports is going to announced the rest of Danica 2011 nationwide series schedule?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Don't know, but it won't be much different than last season, and that's the problem. She needs to be all in or all out. But new RPM co-owner Andrew Murstein loves her. He wants to sign her next year, and he also wants Clint Bowyer. Good thing NASCAR doesn't have tampering rules.
So what happens when 3 guys outside the top ten have one win each and are sitting 18, 19, and 20? (Yes I think the wild card thing is pure BS)
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
The wildcard spot would go to the guy in 18th in that scenario because ties are settled based on points.And I love the wildcard, so we'll agree to disagree on that one.
Well im from watkins and they say there is going to be a second during the chase
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Larry, take your meds. That's not part of the 2011 sked. I will state for the record here and now and The Glen will never have two annual Cup races. But I would be all for moving a road race into the Chase.
carl childers (nervous hospital)
is there a chance in hades (some people call it hell, i call it hades) that nashville ever gets a cup race?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
Stay clam Carl, but no. That won't become a reality.
Dont yell at me terry im just asking about what i heard
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
I don't yell Larry. I'm a calm guy. Peace brother.
Art (Gainesville, GA)
Why do people continue to whine about the new pts., chase, Toyota etc.? Why don't they just accept it and enjoy NASCAR racing?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Art, complaining is part of the fun.
Jacob (Wellston, OK)
This would have been a great week for the Daytona 500, with all the people snowed in. 15 inches of snow so far down here.
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
And there's an ice storm today in Dallas for Super Bowl Media Day. Thank goodness they have a roof.
Sorry but consistancy is a good thing. Reut, Montoya, Kyle, Logano, etc who have won and been in the low teens in the stnadings did not then and do not now deserve to be in the chase.
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Sports is about winning Tracy, not finishing 12th every week. But the consistency factor still comes into play. In fact, I would like to see NASCAR allow the regular-season points leader to start the Chase on top with the guy who won the most races, assuming that isn't the same person.
Mr. Blount, do you like the "wild card" addition to the chase?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I love it. It will create some wild moments at the end of the regular season. But I wish it would have Win-You're-In for guys in the top 20.
How do you think kasey kahne is going to do
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
I thihk he'll have a good season and possibly contend for a Chase spot.
Do you see Bobby Labonte being competitive again?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I guess that depends on what you mean by competitive Lily. He's not going to compete for the title, but he will post some top 10s and race a lot better in the 47 Toyota.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
No catch can man this year. How much longer will a pit stop be nowPs 60 degrees and sunny
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
There's always teams trying to get a foothold in Cup, but it very difficult. For some, start-and-park is the only option. For me, I think they should run in NW or trucks if that's the only way they can do it. NASCAR could stop it by paying less money to the bottom finishers and placing more of the purse at the top. That might mean they wouldn't have 43-car field, but so what? I'd rather have 36 real competitors.
I like Trevor Bayne, think he's a good talent. Do you see him doing good in the 21 and if so could he be a candidate for the 6 ride if Ragan doesnt perform?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
Yes and yes. Trevor is the real deal, but he doesn't turn 20 until the day before the Daytona 500. so be patient. He'll post some solid finishes this year the Wood Bros. I wrote a little about him in a preview column that will run on Feb. 7.
Brett (Odessa, TX)
How long will it take before the Dale jr fans start whining about Steve Letarte and how Hendrick should have given him Knaus or Alan G?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
One race if they don't do well at Daytona, but I think they will.
do you think the dodge teams will be stronger,weaker, or about the same?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
About the same, but I expect Brad K to improve. But they only have two cars. That hurts them.
I cant believe nobody has any interest in Scott Speed. Guy can drive or he wouldnt have been in Nascar and F1. He seems like he would be great for sponsor. Red Bull screwed him. Any chance he gets a ride?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
He didn't help himself by suing Red Bull. That type of thing scares other owners. Don't burn your bridges.
Luis (Bechtelsville, PA)
Do you think Juan Pablo Montoya will win on an oval this year?
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
Bank on it.
Hey Terry, did you enjoy media week and how much are you looking forward to getting this season started?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
I enjoy some of it, but some of it is a big optimism club with everyone saying the same thing, like, "Our guys really worked hard in the off-season." Yah, so did everyone else.
Let me see if I understand. Alan Gustafson is a serious engineering type that will compliment Jeff Gordon and Stevie Letarte is a cheerleader type who will give Dale jr self-conficence? Did I get that right?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
That's the going theory, and I tend to agree. But I think Jeff is the real winner in this Hendrick swap.
Ok Terry, the latest winter storm is a "Terry Texas Low". What's up with that? Where do you see Denny finishing this year?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
Colleen, I've lived though many of those Texas winter storms. As for Denny, history isn't on his side. In recent year, the guy that finished as the runner-up didn't finish as well the next season. But Denny just might break the trend. He learned a lot last year and he 100 percent healthy, something he couldn't say last year.
Terry, Did you see the new F1 Ferrari yet? What did you think?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I saw a photo comparison of the 2011 to the 2010. Quite a significant difference. We'll have to see how it races.
vida (new hampshire)
Terry, who's your Jamie Mac of 2011, the guy who is not on people's radar that could surprise?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
Joey Logano, but I guess he is on a lot of radars. Other than that, I'd say Allmendinger.
Excited about seeing the new HUGE screen in Charlotte this year?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I think it'll be awesome. I know the fans in Dallas love the giant screen in the new Cowboys stadium. The Super Bowl crowd will love it also. And the one going up at Charlotte is 15 percent larger.
how good do you think that dael jr will do with steve latarte and you think he will be in the chase this year or maybe next year..
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Junior will be better. I have him on the fence for a Chase spot.
chip (new hampshire)
Who is your dark horse pick for the championship?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Hmmm? I guess I would say Biffle. If you want a really super darkhorse, I'd say McMurray.
Loody (Bloomington, IN)
Fantasy racing question..Pick one of the following and why I should believe you...KK, JPM, Dinger, David R, or JL20?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Joey. He proved at the end of last season he's ready to race with the big boys.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta run folks. Great questions today. Stay warm and we'll do it again next week. Peace.