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 was recently inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame for his contribution as a reporter and columnist.
Send your questions now and join Blount Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hi there chatters. Good to be with you today. What's on your mind?
Michael (Hoboken NJ)
Good afternoon and congratulations. Do you have any interesting stories or comments from your experiences being inducted to TMS Hall of fame?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
Thank you Michael. It was quite a night for me and my family. My daughter and future daughter-in-law had their photo taken with Richard Petty, and John Force stopped our family photo under a HoF sign so he could get in it. Force was a hoot in his induction speech, managing only a couple of cuss words. And Kyle Petty was great introducing the King. He made fun of all the talk about the Burton/Gordon incident last Nov. at TMS, calling it a "girl fight." It was a fun night.
Brian (Oklahoma City)
What does Roger Penske think about being the only only multi-car Dodge team in the Sprint Cup Series? Does he want more Dodge team in the series?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
The Penske folks say they like getting all the attention from Dodge, but I'm not so sure it's working that well now with only a two-car team.
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Terry, I have to say that as a Ford fan what a difference a year makes. Also, how impressed have you been with the "new" RPM? I read an article about the CEO over there, she's seems very impressive.
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
I believe RPM is on the right track. And it doesn't hurt to be in Fords, clearly the hottest manufacturer so far in 2011. They have dominated to two 1.5-mile ovals, which is where you really need to shine.
Hi Terry, with Ford's finishing 1-2-3 at Daytona and would have been 1-2-3-4 if Ragan hadn't gotten that stupid penalty, do you think Roush-Yates power has overtaken Childress as the premier plate program?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Way to early to say, but we'll find out more this weekend. Pairs racing really makes it a whole new ballgame. So much of it is being in the right place at the right time.
We read that in the Martinsville media center that a number of writers openly cheered when Jr. bumped and passed Rowdy. Is that true?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
I wasn't in Martinsville, so I couldn't tell you for sure. But I haveb't seen any cheering in the press box or media center since the Bayne incident at Daytona.
Joanne (Ft Myers)
About his lack of aggressiveness at Martinsville, Jr said people can say anything on the internet. Does that mean that Jr. reads the comments in this NASCAR forums?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
He's a big computer geek, so he made read a few things, but I don't think is spending a lot of time worrying about chat forums.
Jake (Irving, TX)
Hey Terry, last year Gordon-Letarte were a consistent top-5 team and this year, with the exact same stuff, Earnhardt-Letarte is a consistent top-10 team. If Gordon couldn't win with Letarte why do people think Dale will?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
Because it all depends on how you match up with a guy and hopw much chemistry you have. What worked with one guy might not work without another, and vice-versa.
y do u think j logano is having such bad luck it seems like he cant catch a break ,there cars r running pretty good but smthing diff happens every race
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
He's had terrible luck, but it's more than that. I thought Joey was ready to ste up big time this year. I'm shocked as what has happened to that team. It can't go on like this indefinitely without some type of change.
Are we going to see any pack racing this week or is Talladega going to be as boring as Daytona was until the last 3 laps? Those 2 car hookups are not fun to watch for 500 miles.
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
I didn't think Daytona was boring at all. Tons of passing up front and a lot of vying for position all around the track. I expect we will see more pairs racing at Dega. Carl Edwards said last week that even if they slowed the cars down to 100 mph, they still would pair up because that's the fastest way to get around the track.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Terry, do you expect the Roush Fenway cars to contend at Talladega?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
Yes I do. I expect RFR cars to contend everywhere these days.
Will EGR engines be back this week at dega like they were at all the plate tracks last year?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
I'm sure they will contend, but the game has changed since last fall. The nose of the cars are different and the pairs racing format has taken over.
do u seem jgr making a driver chamge with the 20
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
No, nothing that drastic. But it wouldn't shock me to see crew chiefs move around if things don't improve.
Terry, is Martin Truex jr in any danger of losing a ride?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Not that I know of, but the truth is any driver who doesn't get the job done that the team owner expects from him is in danger of losing his job. It goes with the territory.
In your opinion, has the "Pick a Series to Drive For a Championship" made any difference - other than in the championship standings? Or is it too soon to tell?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
Frankly, I'm disappointed with it. I'm glad the Cuppers can't win the title, but Kyle or Carl still are going to win almost every race they enter, which is almost every race. I was hoping the new plan would cause them to cut back more in NW, but it hasn't yet.
Last week it looked like Bowyer was getting back on track... any hope for Burton to turn things around soon?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
Certainly. RCR has great equipment and there still plenty of time before the Chase. And he also could win a race or two to find a way in the Chase. But historically speaking, the odds of Jeff making the Chase now are not good.
Terry, what is wrong with the 24? Are they really that off or are they experimenting with setups right now? If Gustafson is that smart why are they so far off....or is it the team engineers or lack of equipment from Rick?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
This is another team that has surprised me. I predicted big things from the Gordon/Gustafson pairing and thought I was right when they won at Phoenix. Now I'm not so sure. I don't think they are far off, but Hendrick isn't on even par with Roush at the moment.
Who do you see having a breakout year this year like jamie mcmurray had last year?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
It might be his teammate. Montoya has run well at times and looks on the verge of that first oval victory.
i think nascar should consider a talladega nite race that wld b one of the cooest races ever,
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
No lights at Talladega, but that would be fun.
Hey Terry, in your story today about drivers, crews and racing technology Stewart admitted that he's not good in that area and yet it seems that race after race he's trying to do the crew chiefs job and keeps failing. Why doesn't Stewart follow his own advice?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
It like telling your kids: Do as I say, not as I do. Stewart is saying he knows he should leave it to Grubb, but sometimes he can help himself. And there's is more pressure being the team owner.
Congratulations, Terry!With all the chat about driver's "breaking the losing streak," it seems like everyone is picking Jr. to win at Talladega. Who is your pick?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
I wouldn't pick Jr because a lot has changed since he dominated at Dega. However, almost anyone can win these plates races if they catch a break at the end and find themselves up front. I guess I would pick Edwards, but's it's really a crapshoot.
Kyles NW CC complained about the young driver over the radio that cut a tire. Asking what was he doing out there. Does the whole 18 team not understand that they are the ones that don't belong there?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
Can I get an AMEN for Billy.
I thought the whole idea of pit road speed limits was for safety, not changing the outcome of the race. NASCAR needs to get in the 21st century and have "Rev Limiters" like every other series
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
NASCAR is slow to change on some techno issues, but at least at Texas TV viewers actually saw the speeding violation for Stewart.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Thank you Bryan. I'm feeling it.
Vern (Ft. Lee, NJ)
Isn't it sponsors, team owners and NASCAR who decides who does and who doesn't belong racing in NW?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
It isn't NASCAR. But yes, a sponsor can say: "We will sponsor your NW car if you put a big-name Cup in the car." Team owners need to be string enough to say, "No, we aren't doing that, but we'd love to have you help sponsor his Cup team."
Terry, do you think Matt Kenseth is a Hall of Fame caliber driver?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
I'd say he's on the bubble for that one. If he wins a Cup title now, he's in because he would become only the second driver to win under both championship formats, joining Tony Stewart.
Vern (Ft. Lee, NJ)
Would these Rowdy Busch haters be happier if Gibbs, Roush, Harvick closed down their NW programs and put 100's of NASCAR employees out of work?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
They are Rowdy haters Vern. They are haters of a system that allows Cup stars to dominate in Triple-A and taking a ride away from a young guy trying to learn and move up.
First time on one of these chats. I heard a rumor some Kenseth guy got a lucky break and won a race last weekend. He is so lucky carl had a bad stomach, chad and jimmie chose to take the night off, kyle had a hangnail, etc... Sorry, but as a Kenseth fan it is so frustrating for him to get top 10's, and get less mentions then the weekly "whats wrong with Jeff Gordon", or "has Kyle changed" articles. This week has been rather enjoyable.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I didn't see anyone say Kenseth got lucky. He had a dominate car and deserved to win. Had Stewart or Kurt Busch stole it on fuel mileage, that would have been lucky.
I don't hate Kyle. He is a great Cup driver. I dislike him racing in the minors along with Carl, Brad, etc. I want to see JGR concentrate on Brian scott and Matt D, I want to see RFR concentrate on Stenhouse and Bayne.
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
Well said Billy.
I agree with you about MK, Terry. He's my favorite driver, but I'm objective about things as best as I can be. A couple more "major" wins to go along with Daytona 500, Coke 600 wins could also sway voters to, in lieu of a championship. Thanks for your insight, and congrats on your much deserved honor at TMS.
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Thank you Jay. Matt may be the best in the business at getting the most out of the equipment he has in any given race.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Is it officially panic time for the 11 team? Are they still hungover from last year?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Not panic time, but it's time to get going. Denny typical runs really well in the summer months. the good news from Texas was no engine failure.
Manny Ramirez (Tampa Bay, FL)
Congrats on your Hall of Fame Induction. Will I be joining you?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Oh fake Manny. You have a little baggage that may hinder your chances.
I just wish the cup guys ran every once in a while, never 2 races in a row per driver, dont let them get a rythem
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Full-time Cup drivers never ran the full NW series before 2004. They always raced in the series, but not every week.
Cole Trickle (Eagle Rock)
Make a Denny Hamlin fan feel better about the current situation.
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
OK Mr. Cruise. Some of his best tracks are yet to come _ Pocono, Richmond _ and 11 of his 16 victories have come after June 1 on the sked.
kevin (new york city) [via mobile]
How fast would cars go at restrictor plate tracks of there were no restrictor plates?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
A few years ago, Rusty Wallace ran a Cup car without at plate at Dega and did 228 mph without even trimming out the car. They probably would approach 240 mph. Way too fast.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Logano seems totally devestated by how his season has gone so far. Do you think he can get his mind right and turn it around or is his confidence pretty much shot for the season? There is pretty much no way they make the chase.
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
He's definitely down. You know, Joey was placed in a tough situation and brought up too soon because of Tony's unexpected departure to start his won team. But I thought he was over it with the way he ran at the end of last year. Something is amiss here and no one really knows why.
You predicted Jeff Gordon to have an awesome year with Alan Gustafson. Is Alan the brilliant crew chief people think he is, because Jeff is struggling big-time right now. Do you think they're gonna turn it around and be title contenders?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I still think they can, but as I said earlier, I've been surprised at what I've seen since Phoenix. But none of the Hendrick cars are running top notch consistently, with the possible exception of Jr. But it's easy to look good when he was so bad last year.
Thoughts on Bowyer's potential this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
I would say excellent. I'll be surprised if he doesn't contend to win.
Who will reach 20 Cup wins first between Biffle, Hamlin, or Harvick? Each driver currently has 16 wins apiece.
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Good question. Even though they've struggled, I'm still going to go with Hamlin.
What's it like to drive without power steering?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Ty, are you implying that I'm old? If so, you're right. I have driven a car without power steering. An old track, actually, when I was a teenager. It gets you arms in shape.
PJ (Durham, NC)
Hey Terry, how is Trevor Bayne feeling? Will his current condition affect him this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
No, he's fine. As a Texan, I can tell you that you have to be careful where you put you elbows. A spider might be waiting.
i must say.. its nice being a dale jr fan and finally being disappointed with a 9th place run again..
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Junior is having a fun comeback year and I think we'll see even better days ahead.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
I've got to head out folks. Really fun chat today. You guys know your stuff. Have a great week and enjoy crazy Dega this weekend. I'll be at the crazy 4-wide NHRA event in Charlotte. Take care. Peace.