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 up gang? Still in Kentucky anger mode are has everyone moved on?
Hi Terry,Do you think Jr. can hold on to make the chase? By the way, I think he needs a hair cut.
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
I think he's in trouble Teri. They need a good run to regain their momentum. And yes, it bangs are interesting.
Sofi (Oak Park, IL)
Nobody ever mentions Danica going to Joe Gibbs Racing. Do you think they might surprise everyone and sign Danica to run in Nationwide and a few races in a 4th Gibbs Toyota?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
It's possible, but I think she may be leaning toward SHR.
Paul (Farmington Hills, MI)
Terry, if Dale Jr. doesn't win a race, which seems likely, Juan Pablo, Biffle, Stewart or Boyer will probaly make the chase at his expense. What do you think the impact will be of Jr. missing the chase again?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
It would hurt because the season started with such promise. But they still have plenty of time to run well and prove they can do what they did earlier this year.
Perry (Travis City, MI)
In the post Kentucky race interviews, Reuty, Kenseth, Gordon, Newman, Jimmie and Edwards all mentioned Kyle Busch by name. Has Kyle gotten into their heads or is that because Kyle is recognized as the so-called, King of Restarts?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
He hasn't gotten into their heads, but they realize how talented he is and know he's good on restarts. I don't think they fear him or feel like they can't beat him.
Perry (Travis City, MI)
Terry, if Dale Jr. goes winless and misses the chase do you think Mr. Hendricks will offer him a new contract?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
Yes. He already has.
Do you think that the nationwide series needs more stand alone races at short tracks?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
No, it just needs fewer Cup drivers racing in so many events.
Thanks Terry that picture on the main page of the traffic on 71 is giving me flashbacks! What a waste of a weekend!
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
It was a huge mess without question, but as I wrote today, everyone deserves a second chance. I think the people at SMI are smart enough to make the necessary changes for next year.
As a Matt Kenseth fan, I am really excited about his season (so far). Do you think he'll end up in the top 3 when all is said and done?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Very good possibility of that. I think Matt can contend for the title in the Chase.
Terry you may think it deserves a second chance but I for one will never go back nor will I watch a race from that "track" on TV. My weekend was ruined and they don't even care to apologize to me! In fact I may never go to an SMI track again.
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
I hear ya Tracy. No question they will lose some fans who had a terrible experience.
Drew (Bloomington, Ind.)
I understand that Junior winning and contending for a title would be huge for NASCAR, but is it overlooked how big Kyle Busch winning his first Cup championship could be? I think he moves the needle in the mainstream more than some people might think.
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
Anyone winning it other than JJ probably helps, but nothing compares to Junior winning it.
ray (alabama )
Whats the hold up with Danica's announcement? Also, I doubt she would sign with Gibbs due to Go Daddy Sponsorship and promotional image.
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
Good point Ray. It wouldn't surprise if DP wants to get to the end of the IndyCar season before making an announcement.
How similar will the 2012 Cup schedule be to the 2011 schedule?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
I expect it to have only minor changes, all the same tracks but maybe a few moves in the place on the sked.
Is Kevin Manion's job in danger if the team doesn't turn their season around like what happened to Greg Erwin?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
It's a performance-based business at the highest level of the sport. Everyone knows they have to get the job done or be in danger of losing their job.
Isn't there a bigger problem at hand with the Kentucky track, namely it's another mile and a halfer that had hardly any side by side racing, virtually no passing, and was pretty boring to watch? NASCAR should've avoided that place for those reasons and needs to expand to tracks where the racing is better.
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
The racing can be improve with track changes that probably are coming in the next couple of years.
Do you see the 24 going into the chase in 2nd or 3rd place? Possibly even tied for 1st if he picks up another win?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
Obviously if he wins again he could do that. It's all about winning as to where you start the Chase.
How much influence will Bob Parsons have on Dannica's decision?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
She says none. But it's clear Bob wants her to make the move to NASCAR. He has some issues with the IndyCar Series.
zach (md) [via mobile]
is tony gonna win a race this year and if he does where do you see him getting it at?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
Smoke could win at the Glen, for one. But he's capable of winning almost any race if things go his way.
Totally disagree that Kentucky was boring. There was 3 wide racing and awesome battles everywhere. Were those people who moan about cookie cutters watching another race or is that just Kyle hate?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
I disagree Alex. The only three-wide racing came on a few restarts.The track didn't produce a great race in my view.
Matt (Bloomington, IN)
I hate to be a cynic but I can't help but think that Bruton Smith knew that these problems were going to happen. Like you mentioned in your article (another good read, by the way), how could he NOT know, with all his years of experience? All of his pre-race comments lead me to believe that he was trying to leverage all of the increased media attention into getting the improvements from the state for a stretch of road that only gets that volume of traffic on maybe 2 days out of the year...
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
I think he knew it was going to be a problem, but no one knew it was going to be complete chaos. That was far worse than anyone could have imagined. but it's true Bruton wants the state to pay to improve the roads around the track.
Honestly how can Bruton blame 71? It could have been 10 lanes wide and there still would not have been enough parking. My other big issues is that Bruton said he knew there would be traffic issues and did nothing but sell standing tickets! It's not like Bruton doesnt know how to run a track or a race.
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I agree that the I-71 complaints are a cop out. It's a interstate just like any other with two lanes in each direction. The problem is exiting the interstate. The facilty doesn't have enough roads to get people in and out.
Hey Terry, great work as usaual. Didn't Kentucky officials learn anything from the NW races they were already having? Or was just the bigger cup traffic?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
They should have learned. How could they not know if 60,000 was a problem that 100,000 would be a much bigger problem.
Jeremy (Talent Oregon)
Hey Terry, who is your top 5 drivers right now and who are your dissapointments at this point in the season?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
My top 5 at the moment are Edwards, Kyle, JJ, Kurt and Matt. I wouldn't count out Harvick either. Clearly the biggest disappointment this season is Jeff Burton. Biffle also is running as well as he should, which is why they chnaged crew chiefs this week. And I thought Jamie would be much better.
Matt (Charlote, NC)
Hey Terry, Why in the...heck...can't chad knaus get a decent friggin pit crew for the 48? what is the problem? it's ridiculous week in an week out Jimmie has to constantly make up spots on the track that he loses on pit road. They never gain spots on pit road. what is the problem?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
I'm beginning to wonder is this new team concept they have was a mistake. They post the pit crew for each race a few days before that race. It seems to have hurt their continuty.
Matt (Bloomington, IN)
Just out of curiosity, with all the talk about sponsorship leaving, moving from team to team, etc... how much (ballpark) does it take to sponsor a car for a weekend? for a season? Are the teams pricing themselves out? Are they unwilling to take less than what they got say 3-4 years ago?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
For a season to sponsors a contending team, at least $15 million, and $20 for some. And yes, sponsors are balking at that amount in this economy. Teams have to take less and spread it out among several sponsors. The entire cost structure needs to change, but that's very difficult to do.
Having a "ticket exchange" is lame. Fans who were turned away should get full refunds for the tickets bought, AND free tickets to the race of their choice. It is simply inexcusable to not have enough parking for your seats.
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
I agree John. And while I'm willing to give them a second chance, they should have given the fans the option of a refund.
Knaus' "rotating " pit crew members seems to have backfired possibly due to the stress they are put under
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Maybe, although there's stress every week. If you don't get the job done, they will make a change.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I'm afraid they're out of luck Pete.
Sorry I'm late, Terry. Internet traffic. Why not shake things up here in Indy in the future and have the Brickyard race on the street course?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
I assume you me the infield road course. That might happen at some pouitn for NW, but it ain't happening for Cup.
They sued Jerry Jones after the Superbowl. Why not Smith?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Some people might try, but it probably would cost more in attorney fees that what they lost.
Does Bobby Labonte seem to have the worst luck of any driver this year. Every time he is in an altercation it is of someone else's doing. Poor qualifying and thus running mid-pack is much of it, but lady luck has not been on his side.
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
It's more than bad luck Daryl. It's just not a very good team.
If SMI is smart enough to fix the problems (your words) how could they not be smart enough to prevent them? I could have looked at the facilities and told them there would be major problems.
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
Clearly, they greatly underestimated how severe the problem was. But I think they get it now, one race too late, as it were.
Mitch (London, Ontario, Canada)
Did Richard or Kevin have any comments after to butt whupping Kyle put on RCR and KHI in the truck race Friday night?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
No, and in my opinion, Kyle should focus on Cup and end his bully act in the Truck series. As I said that night, in related news, King Kong stepped on an ant pile.
Jeremy (Talent Oregon)
Hey Terry, How come no Jeff Gordon in your top 5?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
I can't put everybody in there Jeremy. If I left out Matt, someone would say, "What about Matt." Same with all the rest. Jeff has a chance this year to contend for the title. I'm not convinced he can beat the other title contenders.
Is having guys like Ragan and Keselowski in the Chase better for NASCAR than having Stewart and Bowyer make it in?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
I think it's always good to have new blood in contention. And I really like the wildcard format of having to win to get in.
Will you please be one of the sane media people that don't do any stories when Kyle wins 100 (probably in the minors)! Please please!!
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
You're preaching to the chior Tracy. Look, I think Kyle is the most talanted driver in NASCAR today, but his 100 wins don';t compare to Petty's and Pearson. And lok at it like this. In his first 6 season Gordon had 42 wins and 3 Cup titles. In Kyle's first 6 seasons, he has 22 Cup wins an no titles.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
Hi Terry, Didn't the 1st truck race in 2000 have the same gridlock so the cup race was their 2nd chanceThank you
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
No comparison. Sure it had some gridlock, as many NASCAR events do. But nothing even close to what happened Saturday. Only the Texas race in 1997 compares, but that was a different situation. It was the first ever event at the track, there were 200,000 people there, and floods that week took away a lot of TMS's grass parking lots. But no one was turned away.
of all your experiences at tracks which track has the best traffic route's?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
It's hard to compare because some tracks have a lot more seats than others. Phoenix is very good.
Hello, do you see a guy like Ron Malec on Jimmie's crew replacing Lance McGrew as a crew Chief with HMS?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
The man who will have the No. 5 CC job next year is Kenny Francis. But Ron is a very talented guy who deserves to be a CC somewhere.
J. Archer (NY)
Heading to the Glen next month for the first time. How is the traffic at Watkins?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
Not terrible. And it's really a beautiful drive going by the Finger Lakes. I usually stay by the Ithaca airport and the drive to the track is a pleasant trip.
Where do you think Bowyer is going to end up next year?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I think he's staying RCR. All this stuff depends on sponsorship, but when the dust settles, I wouldn't be surprised if Carl, Clint and JPM all stay where they are.
do you think Kyle Busch will be more remembered for his attitude or for his stats? and do you see any similarities to Darrel Waltrip with Kyle
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I think Kyle is a huge talent who will be remembered for winning several Cup titles before he's done. But I don't give him any props for running up his win total in NW and Trucks.
Mike B (Ohio)
Do you think Brad k is turning the Corner and will earn a chance to get in the chase with a 2nd win ? It was nice kurt giving the 2 team credit for the setups now!
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Without question things are looking up for Brad. He's benefitted from the improved performanmce overall of the Pesnke Dodges, but I also thought it was cool for him to say how much Kurt is helping him now. I think Kurt is starting to respect Brad a lot more and Kurt realizes the better Brad does the more it will help the 22 team.
Since most people said the drivers who ran the NW race had an advantage at Kentucky, doesn't that show why Rowdy is smart to run as many NW and trucks races as possible?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
No, and I don't think that mattered. The Cup teams had a whopping six hours of testing/practice on Thursday.
do you see any new manufactures coming into the sport in the next ten years I know VW was rumored to come in but backed out
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Tens years is a long time. Anything could happen. But I don't see any coming in in the next couple of years. VW said they were interetsed last year, but the switch to fuel injection could bring in more manufacturers in the long run, including Honda.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta run folks. Another good one today. Have a great week and let's hope for a much better race day Sunday at New Hampshire. Peace.