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 (2:01 PM)
What's up gang?
Is Danica going to stay with JR Motorsports for 2012 when she comes full time or will she go to a different team?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
That's still to be determined Ali. But my gut feeling is she is headed in another direction.
Hey Terry, who is your top five this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
JJ, Carl, Kyle, Biffle and Kenseth
Scott (Burlington, NC)
Terry, do you beleve Mark Martin might have started a phase: Do you see a driver like Jeff Gordon going into retirement, only to return in a few years and still having his competitive edge?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
In Jeff's case no. When he quits, I think he's done. Jeff has a lot of other interests. But he still plans to drive three of fours more years.
devinbachman (whitmore lake mi)
hi terry where will kimi ralkkonen finshed in the nation wide race and will he race full time in the truck next year
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Kimi still is feeling his way through all this. He doesn't even know yet if he wants to do this full time. But it appears he will race a Cup car in Sonoma next month He tested today in a car for Robby Gordon.
Scott (Burlington, NC)
Terry, Do you see Jr. Motorsports starting a Sprint Cup team in the near future?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
No. It all depends on sponsorship. It takes an enormous investment to move up to Cup.
I read that Junior and Rick are close to signing an extension, any word if AMP & National Guard are staying as sponsors or will they try and get someone new?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
I think they could stay in some capacity, but maybe not with the same presence as they have now.
I think the bump out qualifying would hurt attendance. I always buy my tickets months in advance and if I spent all that money on tickets/hotels/gas etc and got to the track only to find out my driver didn't make it in the race.... I'd be some P.O.!!
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
They would be a few people who feel that way Nikki. But it would be extremely rare for a Cup star to get knocked out, especially is he had more than one attempt.
Great "Go or Go Home" Story and an idea that is way past due. Everyone knows sponsors are important but do you think part of the attendence and ratings problems are because fans are sick of the same old drivers and lack of excitement that new blood would bring to the sport?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Honestly, I think NASCAR is more than holding it's own in these tough economic times,. If yopu watch any baseball games these days, there are tons of empty seats everywhere. Sure, I think people woul klike to see new guys win, which is why it was so excitiong when Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Can we sue NASCAR for false advertising? That was the most boring All Star event that I can remeber for a while. Even the drivers mid pack were riding around. What can be done to spice this thing up?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
I'm hoping that was just a 1-year fluke. Typically, that's been a great event. What hurt this time was Carl took off on the last restart and was long gone. No one expected to see that, but it shows how good Roush is right now on 1.5-mile ovals.
Cory (Arlington, VA)
Hey Terry. Love your articles, but I have to disagree with the qualifying article. While I do think qualifying should be more relevant (a few points to the pole, etc) I don't think having the main guys possibly miss the race would be good. I understand the drama/excitement, but I'm not paying the price for tickets, camping, gas to potentially not watch the top guys in the sport.
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
As I said, this would rarely happen. But the chance of it happening would add huge excitement to qualifying. But you don't have to worry Cory. NASCAR isn't doing it. It's just my take on how fun it would be. And I agree, a plan to add a couple of points for qualifying certainly would help.
If Danica does not run for JR Motorsports next year, where does your gut tell you she is going? Please tell me it's not Gibbs.
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Eric, I honestly don't know. My sources wouldn't say. But if you ask me to guess, I could see her running in one of Harvick's cars with some sort of agreement with another Cup team that she would go to in 2013.
Derek (at work, ky (shhhh))
I believe this qualifing method would be epic, but only at one track, the one where it is now, the brickyard! what track would you like to see it happen this way other than Indy?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
I'd love to see it everywhere, but that's a pipe dream. However, I'd settle for just Indy. That would be a perfect to spice up that Saturday since the NW race isn't at the Brickyard.
Do you think Rick Hendrick is kicking himself for not trying to sign Carl Edwards instead of Kasey Kahne?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
No, I think rick is happy with Kasey, and i don't think he thought Carl was going to leave Roush. I still think he's staying at RFR.
Terry, do you think I should stay at Roush or jump to some other team like JGR, RBR, or RCR?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
Fake Carl, I think you should go wherever they back up the Brink's truck.
Loved the "Go Fast, Go Home" piece you wrote. I suggest this. Come chase time, those 12 drivers are locked in the show, like the Top 35 are now. During the 'regular season' maybe have 2 spots, 41,42 designated for top points place for drives not making it on time, and 43 as a past champions provisional.
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Not a bad idea. But it has about the same chance at hapening as mine, which is zero.
Scott (Chapel Hill, NC)
Terry, I believe the full-time Sprint drivers are hurting the Nationwide series. It was great to see Steinhouse win Sunday, but we know that Kyle or Carl will win a majority of the races. I realize that NASCAR wants full-timers in Nationwide races too improve ticket sales, but it's a double edged sword when #18 wins all time. Do the full-timers hurt the integrity and importance of the Nationwide series?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
I'm with you Scott. This has been my soap box issue for a long time. I think the short-term gain of a few Cup stars winning the NW races hurts the long-term goals of developing future stars who could make a name for themselves by winning NW events. Stenhouse is the talk of the garage right now after his victory at Iowa.
Pipe dreams Terry, come on now, you just gotta believe! :)
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I know better Adam.
Jack Trae (KCMO)
Could Kimi be the replacement driver for the #4 next year? Do you believe Kimi is in for the long haul or is Kimi just doing what Kimi wants to do?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
More the latter. Even with his Rd Bull connection, I don't see Kimi going to Red Bull in Cup. Tey are very high on young Cole Whitt, a very talented driver. And Kimi wuld come at a big price to go with the learning curve. If they wanted to spend that much money, why not go after Carl or Clint?
Marcus (New york city)
Hey Hey Terry..Is it safe to say Sebastian Vettell is the best driver in the world right now? He has no KERS and still holds off Lewis..unbelievable
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I's not safe to say that for me because I don't automatically assume the No. 1 F1 guy is the best driver in the world. Who knows. The disciplines are so different that it's really impossible to say.
Great story today and the proof in your theory is I watched Indy bump day and only switched to the NASCAR Iowa race during commercials!
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
I was glued to my seat watching the Bump Day drama. The best it's been since before the split. and the top-9 going for the pole on Saturday was fun, also.
Jake (Las Vegas)
Even with Danica being in NW full-time in 2012, I still want her to run the 500 next year, any word if this affects it?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
That's the plan from what I'm told. She still wants to run Indy, which won't be a big problem next year, but it could be in 2013.
Say what you will about Danica, but the look in her eyes when it started raining for the second time at Indy Bump Day tells how much she cares about the place.
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Sorry about the delay guys. A lot going on here today. Anyway, Scot, yes, she loves Indy. She despeartely wants to win that race.
Jim (Kansas City)
After #48's all Star performance and the reports of problems between Jimmie and Chad are you getting the sense that Carl and Kyle have shown the cracks in the HMS armor?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I think Carl and Bob Osborne are confident they can win the title, but I guarantee you that are not counting out JJ and Chad. They know how good the 48 is in the Chase.
It wouldnt surprise me to see Danica run some for Stewart/Haas. What do you think?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
That wouldn't surprise me at all, but I don't know if that part of the plan.
Al (Scranton, PA)
How could Kyle say "have at it boys" direction from NASCAR is crystal clear to him but Harvick and Stewart say they don't understand it?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Everybody has a different take on it. I think it's subjective, but generally, those guys can do whatever they want.
Does Red Bull Racing find a temporary fix for Kasey's vacancy as they wait for Cole Whitt? Do they bring Whitt from trucks directly to Cup next year? Or will there be a third team brewing?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
I think they want to give Cole at least one more year before moving to Cup.
Bob (Lubbock, TX)
Do you think there are "team orders" at Roush? 18 to go and Carl moves over for Stenhouse? Looked sispicious to me. Your thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
I really don't think so. Ricky had a great car. But maybe Carl didn't fight it as hard as he would have another driver.
If Danica wants to win Indy and run full time Cup, why not Penske?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Maybe. If she wins the Indy 500, the sky's the limit. All bets are off at that point.
How soon do you think we will hear something on Dale Jr's contract status?
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
Very soon, probably no later than early June. It's a done deal, they just have to run it by all the attorneys.
bg (columbia sc)
Any chance Danica goes to Petty for Cup and Roush for nationwide? The money behind Petty said he wanted her earlier in the year.
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
Anything is possible. A lot of teams would love to have her simply because of the sponsorship money she can bring.
If Danica leaves JR Motorsports, how attached is she to the #7? Or will Josh Wise get to keep it?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
I don't think she cares about the number.
Henry (Little Rock)
It took Dale SR 19 tries to win the Daytona 500 so it could take Danica 20 more years to win Indy, if ever. Is Scott Dixon your favorite to win the 500?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
I think this is the most wide-open Indy 500 in many years. At least 10 drivers culd win it. But it's good to see some new blood up front like Tagliani. And Ed Carpenter looks competitive in Fisher's car. But having said that, Ganassi's two guy probably are the favorites.
Why so many questions about Danica????
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
And that surprises you, Cory? It shows why Danica is a big deal.
Who do you think Kasey Kahne's crew chief will be next year?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
I think it will be a mix of the guys there now and a few of the guys he has at Red Bull. But Kenny Francis is coming with him.
Danica is not going to win the 500 or a Cup race..EVER!! wake the hell up people!!!
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Tom will not be working as Danica's PR rep.
to be honest i think Kasey Kahne is overrated. What do you think
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
I disagree. I think he can win and compete well is top equipment.
Didn't get a chance to hear/watch anything about the Indy 500 coverage...did Scott Speed make any noise over in Indianapolis?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
He made some noise by complaining about his team, but he's not in the race.
Other than sponsorship and marketing, why does HMS want Junior on that team? How does Junior contribute to the goal of winning races and championships?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Jr is fourth in the Cup standings. I'd say that a pretty decent contribution.
Who wins a race first: David Ragan or Junior?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
If you count the Showdown race to get in the All-Star race, Ragan already won.
Do you think Matt Kenseth will get another win this year?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Yes I do, probably on a 1.5-mile oval because the RFR cars are dominant on those tracks.
Im tired of Nascar teams rating place 2nd through 10th as a good finish, whats the chances that they will change the points to make racing more exciting?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
The just changed it ths year, and it made the last two spots of the Chase based on winning. I don't think another chance is coming any time soon.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta go folks. Time to dress up for NASCAR Now. Hope you can watch tonight. One note: The show airs tonight at 7 pm ET. Have a great week. Peace.