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)
Hello gang. What's on your mind today. You can go to our NASCAR page and vote on the poll question that goes with my column. What would you choose: A boring race with a great finish or a great race with a boring finish?
Nathan (Tyler, TX)
Hi Mr. Blount, can you help me understand these NASCAR fans who are complaining that ACS was a boring race? We've had 5 different winners and awesome, on your feet finishes. Are they complaining only because it was Kyle Busch leading 151 of 200 laps?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Having a different winner every year doesn't make a race exciting Nathan. I thought Sunday's race was a huge snoozer until the end. The problem at Fontana is the cars get sopread out on long green flag runs and there's littl;e action on the track. However, I thought the 400-mile race there last October was pretty entertaining. Every race is different.
How do you respond to the people who claim that NASCAR is not a sport?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
I don't know. The question isn't worthy of an answer.
Joanne (Ft. Myers)
Hey Terry, how can people say that #88 is improving when Dale dropped 3 places in the standings and was a non-factor all race when Chad's other car almost won the race?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
Are you realy going to compare Junior to JJ and Chad? That's as unfair as comparing him to Dale Sr. Junior finished 21st in the standings last year. His 12th now. Things are better, but he still has a long way to go to satisfy his fan base.
Mark (Mount Airy,MD)
Hello Terry, With Denny struggling right now, do you think Jimmie will be the favorite at Martinsville this weekend.
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
JJ always is the fave there, but I expect Hamlin to do well. Engines usually aren't an issue at Martinsville. Brakes and how you use them decides it a lot of times.
where do u think edwards ends up next year?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
I think several teams were offer him big money. but if he keeps running the way he has, he'll probably stay at Roush, assuming Jack will back up the Brink's truck and hand Carl the cash.
I know you get a million Dale Jr. questions every day but i would like to get your take on Jr's season so far.
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
It's an improvement, but nothing to start dancing a jig over just yet.
Terry, any chance of Atlanta getting a second cup date again? I know the drivers love that track. Its a shame the fans didn't support it. Fun place to watch a race. Thanks
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Not any time soon Jeff. That ship has sailed.
Zack (Highland Park, IL)
Do you believe this story about World Champ Kimi Raikkonen joining a NASCAR team? What team would that be?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
It's a new team that Foster Gillett is starting. They were start out in the truck series with hopes of moving up. But I find the whole thing incredinbly bizarre, especially that the Gillett family could walk back into NASCAR after everything that happened last year.
Zack (Highland Park, IL)
Were you disappointed to see Tony Stewart running from the media and hiding in his hauler like Rowdy used to do?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
No. Tony was upset about how it turned out. It isn't the first time he's done that and won't be the last. but overall, Toiny has been great since becomign a team owner.
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Terry, who do you think will be the driver line-up at Roush next year?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
If i had to say today, I think Jack's line up will be the except Ragan. Biffle sais today he expects to sign a new deal soon. Edwards is the one that a little iffy, but I think he'll stay if he keep running they way he has.
Hey Terry, decent run for Montoya this week. I am going to the Texas race in two weeks.....Any chance he rewards me with his first oval victory in Texas??
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
It's certainly possible, but I wouldn't pick him.By the way, some folks are saying the Kimi story is an early April Fool's joke. If so, it's a bad one.
With the attendence being low and the race minus the end being boring yet again should cali be dropped in favor of a new or different track?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
No. NASCAR needs to race on the SouCal market. And any track that can produce a finish like that one is worth keeping.
Bryan (Lansing, Michigan)
Will there be races on espn3.com??
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
NHRA events are on espn3.
Aj (Indy )
Did you watch the IRL race ? I can see it now....IRL fans blaming the double file restart for all the wrecks. To me, it's more about the drivers goint 4 wide VS the double file restart. No one makes a driver go 4 wide, other than the driver. Your thoughts ? OH...I thought the same thing about the race...BORING, until the last 20 or so laps. Can't have your cake and eat it to, so I will take the exciting finish anyday.
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
I agree about the IndyCar race. First of all, the same thing would have happened at the start no matter what the rules are. The drivers were warneed to take it easy into Turn 1, but didn't listen. This isn't a rule problem, it's a track design problem. You go from a super wide runway down to a hard right turn. Guys are gonna wreck.
Steve (St. Anthony, MN)
What's the deal with all engine troubles at JGR? Did they switch engines? or hire a different engine builder?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
No, it all the same guys and same engines as a year ago, so it's puzzling. Most of the problems seem to center around the valve train, but not all of them. JGR builds it own engines, but they met with Toyota officials Monday in Cali to try to pinpoint what's happening. They still don't know for sure. But they better figure it out before going to Texas in two weeks.
Mark (Mount Airy,MD)
Terry, With TRG switching from Chevy to Ford, will we notice much of a difference??????
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
I doubt it. Ford may give them a little more attention because it doesn't have as many cars, but I don't see any major moving upward happening.
Roger (Rapid City SD)
What is happening with Jeff Gorden and the 24 team?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Good question. Things looked great after the win in Phoenix, but they have fallen back a little since then. I expect Jeff to run well at Martinsville, but the real test will come at Texas.
frank (burlington ontario canada)
whats your opinion on the bristol race ,,,i was there and loved the race ,, but lots of folks were complaning that the progessive banking made the race boring .
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
It's just the fact that the race is so different now then it used to be with all the bumping and banging and crashing. The racing actually is pretty good with side by side action, but fans want the old demo derby that Bristol used to have.
Hi Terry. Who has the biggest ego among the Nascar drivers? Simultaneously, who is the most down to earth ... McMurray?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
Most drivers, like most sports columnists, have big egos. Goes with the territory. But for the most part, NASCAR drivers are very cooperative and friendly. If I had to pick one as being the best I'd say Jeff Gordon.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Junior got a top 12 at his worst track Sunday. Does that indicate that the pairing of him and Letarte is the real deal and that we can start taking the mserious now? And tell Joanne that Junior is only 1 point out of 9th place. Lets not act like he did a free fall in the standings this week....
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Good point Chris. I think Steve has been good for Junior and he seems much happier these days. That's half the battle right there.
Hi Terry. Thanks for the chat. Why does winning one cup plate race as a upper end minor leaguer suddenly make people clamor about how much potential a kid has and how good he is. There is still a big learning curve involved in cup. Brad K has been proving it. And for those who haven't been paying attention, T-Bayne is proving it again. It's time to temper expectations isn't it? After all, in each case it's only 1 plate win. And ask the drivers...just about all of them will tell you that anyone could happen into a win at any given plate race.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
If you win the Daytona 500 in your first try, people are going to expect big things. It's human nature. But Bayne was highly regarded before Daytona. He just needs a lot more experience, and frankly, he will need a better team before we see a lot of gopod things from him.
Aron (Grapevine, Tx)
Terry, I've attended 8 or 9 Daytona 500's, but this May i'll be attending my first Indy 500. Very excited. How different are the two events, and is there anything I HAVE to do with my time in Indy?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Two two events or night and day, but Indy is one of the great experienced in sports. I would highly recommend going to the museum in the infield. And I'm sure they will have a lot of extra stuff this year for the 100-yr. anniversary.
Pick one who will be the superstar in a few years...Bayne, Logano, Austin Dillon. I personally have it Dillon, Bayne, and Logano.
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Very hard to say. All three are talented, but I still think Joey has the most potential even though he's off the a bad start this season.
Connie (Naples, Fl)
We read that Jeffrey Earnhardt got fired from his full-time truck ride. Why doesn't Dale jr help his nephew with a ride at Jr motorsports?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
It's comlicated. Jeffrey and his dad were closely tied to Teresa at one point.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
What do you think about the whole Jeffrey Earnhardt/R. Ware Racing deal today? Jeffrey got released for shopping his services and sponsor around. And the sponsor wasnt his to shop around from what I undrstand.
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
So far, we've only heard one side of that story. I think I'll wait to hear what Jeffrey says about it.
Nigel (San Diego)
With Jeff Burton on the decline and out of the chase do you see Richard Childress putting Austin Dillion in the #31 or #33 for 2012?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
No way is 2012. Austin will race in Nationwide next year. And Burton isn't out of the Chase yet. He still has plenty of time to move up.
Where does NASCAR go from here/how do they expand? New tracks, new markets, new countries... and will the NFL lockout help attendance/viewer numbers?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
NASCAR/ISC wants to build new tracks in Denver, New York and Seattle. But all that has come to a stop with the down economy.
Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)
To answer the question, I'd much rather have great races with the winner taking the lead a few laps before the finish as opposed a great finish and awful race. Track owners would probably prefer a great race too. If I lived in California I certainly wouldn't go out to that one...
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Your vote is noted Rob, but the poll is running 2-to-1 in favor of a great finish.
Bart (East Bay)
Hi Terry, as a journalist are you sorry to see the new, happy, nice guy Rowdy who doesn't provide very good material?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
Even the nice-guy Kyle still provides us with plenty of good stuff. And I thought it showed a lot of class Sunday after the race.
Drew (King, NC)
To answer your questions, hasn't Hinton written that back in the day Petty and those guys used to lap the field like 5 times and nobody ever compliained about boring races?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
There were many races like that back in the day, but fans didn't have the forum to complain the way they do today with the social networks.
At the track I would rather have an exciting race/dull finish. On TV a great finish
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
That's an interesting perspective Tracy. I never thought of it like that, but it makes sense. If you pay your money to sit in the stands, you want to see good racing most of the day.
What do you think of Kimi Raikkonen coming to NASCAR and what will his impact be?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Not aure this is actually happening, and if it is, he'll have no impact racing for Gillett.
Is there any possibility of Elliot Sadler returning full time to cup in the future? I would think that sponsors would support him and that with a top organization, he could run fairly decent. Say a 4th car at JGR or Roush. Or maybe even a 3rd at EGR. Or have his skills really slipped that much?
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
And chance of Elliott going back to Cup probably depend of how he does in NW. He probably needs to win the championship to get another Cup ride in the future.
After 5 races do the espn anylysts still believe Jr will win a race(s) this year? I say no. But he's improved.
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
I still think he can win a race this season.
Bryan (Lansing, Michigan)
So do you have this chat every Tuesday at 2:00 ET?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
Usually, but not every Tuesday. Depends on where I am and what event I'm covering. I'll be at Texas next week, then two NHRA events _ Charlotte and Houston.
PJ (Durham, NC)
Hey Terry, will the offseason Hendrick swap help Dale Jr or hurt Jeff Gordon more this weekend at Martinsville?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
I don't think it will make a big difference for either of them at Martinsville.
Jason (Hollywood, Fl)
Is the reason Rowdy is successful in trucks because he let's his crew chief Eric Phillips make the pit calls while Harvick and Stewart make bad pit calls and bad decisions?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
No. The reason Kyle is successful in Trucks and NW is because he's a better driver with better equipment than almost everyone else out there.
do u see jgr bouncing back from there slow start
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I do. I don't believe this engine situation will continue all season. And Kyle is racing well. He's fourth in the standings.
I know he's got what it takes, but I just don't think the stars will ever line up again for Dale Jr. Other than that though, What do you think about his tone and his attitude? Sounds like a new man, and I like it.
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
No question he's happier this season and more confident. That can make a big difference in the long run.
Who you got this weekend? And a dark horse if its not too much trouble. Im figuring JJ and Denny are gonna be favs all weekend
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I sure wouldn't count out Harvick.
How many more races do you it'll be before JJ gets a win? I do believe this is his second longest stretch without winning a race?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
That could change this weekend.
HMS vs. the field @ Martinsville. Who you taking?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I would have to go with Hendrick on that one. Jimmie is tough on that track and Jeff could win it also.
If Jimmie gets the chance to put the bumper to Harvick you think he will do it?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Without a doubt, especially on a short track like Martinsville. But JJ isn't made at Kevin. Sunday was just good hard racing.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
is Kyle winning in the minors all the time really that impressive if his team and cars are way better than 99% of the other teams on the track?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Cup drivers dominating in NW doesn't impress me period. I also don't want to see Albert Puhols hit 40 home runs in Triple-A and I don't want to see the Boston Celtics play in the Final Four, but that's just me.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta run folks. Have a great week and enough the bumping and banging at Martinsville this weekend. Peace.