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)
What's cooking gang?
Do you think Dale Jr is finally getting his confidence back enough to win a race and make the chase this year?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
Yes. I think Jr will make the Chase and probably win somewhere. But I don't see him as a serious title contender.
Terry, you were spot on with your article. Brad Daugherty too. Both articulated the thoughts I've had about the sport this year about who is good enough to win it this year. Two excellent articles. With that said, are we finally seeing the issues many expected with Stewart-Haas in their 3rd season? What can Tony do as an owner-driver to get things turned around?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
I'm not convinced it's possible to truly compete for a title if you are getting your equipment from another team. It looked like Tony might do the first year of SHR, but until they have their own engine program, I have my doubts.
Hey Terry, I have a question that is a little off topic. How come Dale Jr never goes to the Pit Crew Challenges and do you think he might attend this year seeing how he's so much more engaged with the new team?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
He might, but he said himself that the whole all-star weekend isn't that big a deal to him.
Gus (Winter Park, FL)
Hey Terry, liked your Prove it story on the Big 3. If #48 doesn't win the 600, that used to be his personal playground like Dover, will that be enough to show that #48 isn't the team it used to be?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
I don't think so. Hendrick overall might be half a notch below last year, but Chad and Jimmie are still the guys to beat once the Chase starts. I will say that I think they are more vulnerable this year and that Carl has a better chance to beat them than anyone I've seen in the last few years.
hey man iam a huge joey logano fan do u think its time to give up on him ,from wat i seen this year he isnt to good idk if its the cars or the crewchief wat do u think
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
I think his confidence is down, and it really surprises me considering how well he ran at the end of last season. Frankly, I don't think the chemistry is working with Joey and Zippy. But Joe Gibbs said they have no plans to change it.
Matt (Rochester, NY)
People seem to be making a lot about Dale Jr. being honest, as usual, and essentially saying he does not know when and where the next win will come from or IF. Isn't this Junior just not taking anything for granted. He knows how hard it is to win a cup race. They have been 3 times as good as last year, the points prove that. I think they are missing one adjustment per race to get over that hump, except Martinsville. What is your take on this?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
I agree. Junior is painfully honest and some people don't quite understand it. He doesn't want to sound overly optimistic. They are much better and he knows it, but he also knows they aren't quite there yet.
Barb (Naples, Fl)
Hi Terry, I understand that Danica will be good for marketing NASCAR but if it's about performance and winning for the top teams what good is it for her to run 20th every week? Can you seriously tell me you can see Danica mixing it up with Kyle, Kurt, Edwards, Juan Pablo, Jimmie and those guys?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
No, I don't see that, but I did think she is capable of having some decent finishes if she's in good equipment and has more seat time. Danica is a decent driver, but she can't make it work by only racing a dozen or so NW races a year. She has to make a full commitment, and I think she will in 2012. I expect her to run one full year in NW, then go full time to Cup in 2013. I think we will try to continue to race in the Indy 500 as her only open-wheel event.
Pat (Long Island, NY)
Hi Terry, with the new wild card spots this season do you think Regan Smiths 1 win (for now) will hold up to grab 1 of those spots or he have some company by the time Richmond rolls around? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Hi Pat. His one win won't be good enouh unless he works his way into the 20. You have to be in the top 20 to get the wildcard, and even then, it might take two wins to get one of the two wildcard spots.
Do you think we might see Tony Stewart at Indy on Sunday for bump day in 1 of Foyt's Hondas?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
No, I'd be very surprised if that happened. First, I don't think Tony believes Foyt's car are good enough to compete for the win and I don't see Tony ever considering doing it again unless he believes he could win. Second, he's still in the Chase race and he's can't risk messing that up by running at Indy and getting back to Charlotte too late. His sponsors wouldn't be too happy about that.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Given the 88 teams consistancy that they have had as a new team through 11 races, do you think that in the second half of the season when they start going to some of these tracks for the second time together that they will start seriously contending for wins?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Chris, I don't see them consistently contending for wins, but I can see the 88 team getting there one of two times. I expect them to be good at Michigan next month.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Nice article today about the 3 contenders for the title and I totally agree. Do you think if Kyle keeps making enemies on the track that it will cost him another title? Him wrecking Reutimann bit him in the butt last season. I know everyone talked about Kyle/Kevin after Darlington but in a seperate incident he also wrecked Labonte on the last lap heading to the checkers there.
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Honestly, I really don't think that stuff will matter in the end unless he's racing Harvick for the championship. And even then, once it gets down to it, these guys are pros. I don't see anyone dumping a driver who is racing for the title unless he blatantly wrecks that guy.
How much longer do you see Richard putting up with Harvick throwing the #29 team and crew under the bus like he does almost every race?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
Kevin is the first one to do this (Kurt Busch, for example) and he won't be the last. You know what relaly matters on this is what they do on Monday or Tuesday at the shop. Do they walk in a apologize or do they act like those guys don't matter. Crew guys know driver get mad in the heat of the battle, but how do they act during the week? That's what they really notice.
Jeff (Henderson, NV)
With Kyle already in Championship form, what are Coach and JD doing to make sure that the equipment doesn't let Kyle down again like they did in '08?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
The main thing they are doing is making sure everything is in order in the engine dept. They feel like it is, but it's something they need to stay on top of considering what happened earlier this year.
David (Tucson, AZ)
Who's your favorite to win the all-star race?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I would have go go with Kyle.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
One of the Indy TV stations reporters said that Danica's nascar deal is already done.
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
I've heard those rumors and I believe it probably is close to getting finalized, but I don't think she wants to announce it until after the 500. I think the part of it that may surprise people is the team she signs with. It may not be Hendrick.
James P (Milford,CT)
Tony Stewart.......Will he be in or out of the chase?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
If I had to gues today I'd say out, but Tony tends to run his best in the summer months, so he could pick up the pace and get it done.
Any updates on the Austin F1 track? I know we've seen video of dirt being moved, but will it be complete in time for the first race?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
It looks like this really is going to happen, something I didn't believe when it was first announced.
Seriously, I thought Alan Gustafson was a good crew chief, but he's not doing good with Jeff Gordon. Is it him or Jeff that's causing their struggles?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
AG is a great cc and Jeff is a talented driver, so I'm not sure what it is. I really expecting them to work well together. It puzzles me, as I'm sure it does the 24 team.
Gail (Thompson, CT)
Will the trucks ever come to a small track like Thompson, CT? They probably would get as many fans as they do when they are in New Hampshire. CT is ESPN's home!
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
Yes, we love the mother ship in Bristol, CT. But no, the truck series won't be racing in CT.
So you think Danica will run a full year of Nationwide and then go to Cup in 2013 but you don't think it will be with HMS? Does that mean she's switching Nationwide teams from Jr Motorsports to someone else in 2012? Share the gossip! lol
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
It's just rumors at this point. I don't know where she's headed (I'm still working on that), but I was told it may surprise some people.
Cole Witt said he was honored just to be on the same race track with Kyle Busch. Is Kyle the hero of all these young dudes sort of like Jeff Gorson was Kyle's hero?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
I wouldn't say Kyle is a hero to the younger drivers, but they all realize how talented he is, so they watch him and try to learn from him. By the way, Cole is pretty talented himself.
What do you think is chads game plan for saturday given what happened on sunday?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
Saturday is a compltely different animal from a long Cup race, so you approach it much differently. But I think Chad and all the cc's are starting to see that track position this year is more important at the end of the race than fresh tires.
Hi Terry, during the Dover Nationwide pre-race show, the Kyle Busch-Mark Martin mutual admiration society interview made me wonder if we might be seeing Mark in a KBM Tundra next year?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
If I'm Kyle, I certainly would have him drive one of my trucks if Mark wanted to do it.
Danica gossip sucks. Danica sucks. She will continue to suck in Nationwide and she'll suck in Cup. She'd get worked by young bucks like Darrell Wallace and Ryan Truex in the K&N East Series.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
Danica's biggest fan ladies and gentlemen.
Cole Trickle (Eagle Rock, CA)
Dover looked pretty empty on Sunday. Are they at risk of losing a date?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
I don't think so, but it's what I would do. I would much rather see to Cup races at Vegas instead of two at Dover, but that's just me.
besides kyle,kurt or jimmie who would you like to see win on saturday night and the 600?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
I would like to see someone win it who hasn't won it before. Like Regan Smith maybe.
Terry, Keselowski blamed Carl for racing too hard at the end of the NW race Saturday. Does he not realize that a.) that is sort of the point of racing to win, b.) it was a green white checkered restart, and c.) Carl didn't even touch Joey?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
I think when said they he thought Carl ran into Joey. I thought so too at first until I saw the slow-mo replay. Crl didn't do anything wrong, well, other than racing in the NW event. Ha!
Sean (San Diego)
Is the Newman-Hoss Indy car team owed by Ryan Newman and his NASCAR owner Gene Hoss?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Neither. It's owned by Carl Haas, who was the racing partner of Paul Newman for many years before Paul passed away.
Kyle Busch (Donkeyland, USA)
When will I stop feeding my HUGE ego and let some of the NW guys have a shot at winning? I think Lebron James should play in some D-League games to boost his ego too!
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
This weekend apparently fake Rowdy since you aren't on the entry list at Iowa. But Carl and Brad K are on the list, so it'll probably be the same old stuff. And nice location there.
Chris (Des Moines, IA)
Terry - While Dover was far from a sellout I as a fan prefer that track and it's uniqueness over another "cookie cutter" track like Vegas. I'd prefer to see tarps and sunlight glistening off of aluminum seats at a track with lots of racing over one that the drivers just drive around for 3/4 of the race before they really start mixing it up at the end. Those big behemoth tracks have already stolen enough races away from the smaller tracks. Yes, paid attendence is good but attendence in front of TV's where we have dozens of other things vying for our attention (internet, gaming systems, etc) is where the sponsors really put their money in terms of commercials and advertising. Millions more of us at home than at the track each week looking for a great race.
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
I hear you Chris, but it isn't just about attendance. It's about the location and the market and how much it helps sponsors. And frankly, Ididn't think the racing was so hot on Sunday most of the day. In a perfect world, almost every track would have only one race, but there aren't enough quality tracks to do it that way.
Jeff Gordon Fan (World)
How come only Jeff and Dale Junior were whining about the Goodyears after Dover while all the other drivers just got the job done?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
A lot of drivers were griping about the tires, but it was the same for everybody.
TO all the Nationwide Series Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards haters ...Int the famous words of Ric Flair "In order to be the Man , You gotta beat the Man WHOOOOOOOOO
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Lasst time I checked, Ric Flair doesn't fight people half his size.
Do you think maybe Junior needs to run some more Nationwide races or truck races to get more track time, experience with the tires and pit practice?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
No. More track time isn't the answer for Junior. Look, the guy is fourth in the Cup standings. I'd say he doing pretty well this season.
Can anyone in cup win a race and get so little pub as kenseth? he needs to start doing backflips or something to get some attention!
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Just not his style Tom, as you know being a Wisconsin guy. Kenseth knows he isn't Mr. Personality, but he's a heck of a nice guy and a very skilled racer.
Kyle Busch Fan (Juniorland, USA)
Do you agree with what the guys said on NASCAR Now yesterday that a 4th for Kyle is a disappointment while a 12th for Junior is a good race?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Pretty much. Kyle expects to win. Junior expects to race competitively. But Kyle is learning that 4th is OK in the big picture, and Junior is racing well enough now that he wants to do better than 12th.
Matt (Rochester, NY)
I think Kenseth should do the sprinkler when he wins...
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
I would bet money that Matt doesn't know what the sprinkler is, except for the real one he might have in his yard. I told my son I'm going to do the sprinkler at his wedding reception this year. He said I will be the crazy old man entertainment.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta run folks. Super chat today with some great questions. Have a great week and enjoy the All-Star race.