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)
Hey gang. Check out Turn 4 today on mad Danica and crazy Kansas: http://tinyurl.com/8n3hry6
Claudia (Western NY)
Kenseth wins twice, Gordon runs strong, and they have no chance at the title. Isn't it time to revamp the Chase point system, so that one bad race doesn't end your chances?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
Yes it is. My answer is to not score any points for finishing worse than 20th, basing it on a 25 points system.
Sue B. (Seattle, WA)
I have been totally entertained by the funny articles/tweets about Danica wrecking herself. Humor aside, though, even though it didn't quite work out the way she planned, I like that she is feeling more comfortable in the cars to try it. It wasn't clear to me what Cassill did to warrant the Danica Wrath? Zippy clearly wasn't amused - I thought her teams wanted her to assert herself more? In any event, she looked great on Saturday in the NNS race and I'm looking forward to seeing her in Cup fulltime.
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
I agree that she needs to stand up for herself, but in this case, I thought she should have let it go and kept racing. She was well on her way to her best Cup finish of the year. She could have confronted Cassill afterward and told him payback was coming. As Zippy told her, "You know better than that."
S2H411 ( FLOYD VA) [via mobile]
Hey . Terry . If jr is taken his drive test today why go to a track in ga . When u have short tracks around like concord , ace , or motormile.
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Can't test on a NASCAR-sanctioned track and the Georgia track is very similar to Martinsville.
hey terry! If logano had wrecked stenhouse saturday would he had been punished the same a kyle busch last year at texas? if not, why?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
That would depend on the severity of the incident. But I don't like it that a Cup guy came darn close to influencing the NW championship. Joey is racing for fun. Ricky is racing for the title. Stay out of it.
I was disapointed in the 11 on Sunday, does he still have a shot?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Yes, he's still only 20 points back. But he may need to win two of the last four, and he could.
hi Terry, i'm an RCR fan and i think Jeff Burton is a great guy but after the last 4 years of 19th, 18th, 15th and 19th place finishes, shouldn't RC think about paying off the last year of Burton's deal and moving Austin Dillon up?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
That would depend on what Caterpillar wanted to do, and they love Burton. And I think Richard wants Austin to stay in NW one more year.
Zach (Fennimore, WI)
Well, it appears that short of an engine failure, Regan Smith wouldhave made consecutive Top 10 runs filling in for Jr.I'm not a Dale Jr. "hater", but what would you say to those who say "Well if Regan can jump in the car and look so impressive, how can Jr. not do better than 2 wins in 174 races driving the 88?"
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
Regan didn't win either. He finished 7th at Kansas. Dale Jr. has averaged a 7th-place finish on all the 1.5s this season, posting a top 10 on all of them. So Regan basically did what Jr has been doing.
Terry, great chat! My question is; Did Jimmie lose his best and last chance to catch Brad this past weekend? It seemed like he had a great car and was a true threat to win it which would have edged him out over Brad. But he still finished a slot behind Brad, and with Brad continually running in the top 10 (Top 5 really) it doesn't seem like ANYONE will be able to catch him (with the obvious exception of a wreck.) Thanks!
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Absolutely not. In fact, the 48 team may have saved their chances with the incredible effort to keep that wrecked car going and post a top 10. Even Brad was impressed. JJ is seven points back with 4 to go. Anything can happen, and he's listed as the favorite today in Vegas. He's 7-5 and Brad is 3-2.
Terry is Denny Hamlin shooting himslef in the foot for at times playing to safe and over analyzing race scenarios.
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
No. He's still in it and he has the crew chjief that got it done a year ago.
I hate that the in Sprint Cup overshadowed Danica's performance in the Nationwide race. Hands down her best race in a stock car (better than Vegas) She past alot of good cars and at times she did drive like a "maniac". That was fun to see.
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Officially, it wasn't her best, but she did have a good run. Both the JRM cars were good Saturday.
Hey Terry! What is the scenario now with Phoenix racing going with Dinger in Martinsville after initially saying Regan would drive it? Seems as if Regan is getting the screw job don't you think?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
No, I think they know Regan is likely to sign with JR Motorsports for the full time NW ride in 2013, so Finch wants to see what AJ can do a couple more times. It's still up for grabs and they might go back to Smith, but they are pleased with what they've seen from AJ.
If you throw out a bad race, don't you have to throw out a good race? Wouldn't that also penalize someone who finishes every Chase race inside the top-10.
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
In a way it would, but the system as it is now discourages guys from going for it and taking risks because of the huge penalty for a bad finish. I don't want to see a guy win the title who finished ninth 10 times.
Keith H (Seattle)
As soon as Regan Smith brings in the bankroll of Dale Jr., he can drive the 88.
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
In other words, never.
Are we starting to see that the Eurys really were the problem at JR Motorsports? Cole Whitt as improved to pretty consistently finish in the top-10, and even Danica has shown dramatic improvement, especially this past weekend at Kansas.
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
I wouldn't go that far yet, but the performance has picked up since Ryan Pemberton arrived.
Since for all practical purposes, Gordon has no chance to win the Chase, do you see him dumping Bowyer at Martinsville in retaliation for the accident Bowyer triggered in the spring race that cost Gordon either a 1st or 2nd place finish?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
Of course not. Gordon is a pro. He's not going to deliberately punt someone who has a shot at winning the title. And NASCAR won't put up with that.
I just loved that Danica wrecked herself while trying to take out Cassil. It shows that she still has a lot to learn. How many years do you think she gets at the higher level?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
As many as a sponsor is willing to pay.
Molly Maid (Terry's Kitchen)
Hi Again Boss! If the #48 team does not win the cup this year, then I quit!! I know that you are standing by the #11, but what are my chances of working for you next year? Thanks as always!
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Molly, I hate to break it to you here, but we're done either way. You spend way too much time on the computer when you should be working.
What will it take for Bowyer and the #15 team to come out on top at the end of the season?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Win once, or maybe twice, in the last four and have the three guys ahead of him have at least one bad race.
With Regan looking so good the past two weeks in HMS equipment and likely to sign with JRM, is he being groomed to be the sucessor to Jeff in the 24?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Way too early to speculate on that.
What do you think about Cassill's on-track behavior with Danica? Was it justified as part of racing or was he out of line?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Apparently they have a history that goes back several races this season. In general, I think a few guys have tried to push her around and she's tired of it.
How long do you Gordon will race for?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Hard to say, but I think two more years at least.
Terry what do you think about NASCAR going back to the fastest 43 making the race? Do you think that the start & parks will just throw a qualifying set-up in with trick oils, etc. to make the race and then park after a couple laps leaving teams that would have ran the whole race going home (Stoddard, Baldwin, etc)
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
It's not the fastest 43, I wish it was. It's the fastest 36, then six provisionals based on points and one past champ, if needed. A lot of the S&Pers can make the top 36, and even if they don't, they might make one of the six provsionals because there aren't more than 45 or 46 cars at most events. The new rule is better, but it won't change the field much.
Your top 5 at Martinsville? And a darkhorse?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
JJ, Gordon, Hamlin, Bowyer, Truex. My darkhorse is Dinger.
Steve (Da Big Island)
Terry, How about those Giants? Who's your pick for the series
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
I tweeted last night that I'm changing the hat I want if I'm ever on life support. Last week I said give me a Cardinals hat. Now I want a Giants hat. Remarkable what they've done this post-season when they were one game away from elimination. But I have to pick the Tigers since they have the top of their rotation up first and SF doesn't. Verlander is a big advantage.
Change the field to 36 and only give points to top 20. Works in F1.
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
You're preaching to the choir Vinnie, but it ain't happening. And I'll be at the F1 race in Austin next month.
Do you think NASCAR will park Rowdy when he takes his revenge on #39?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Not unless it's blatant and someone is put in danger. It's easy to do paybacks at Martinsville.
What are JRM's plans for Cole Whitt?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
They will run in in a second car if they find sponsorship.
Out of 2 and 11 who runs better in the final 4 races?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I'm guessing Hamlin, but it wouldn't surprisee me either way. Two outstanding crew chiefs guiding two of the best drivers in the sport.
How can you say that qualifing is better? Micheal McDowell qualified 23rd went seven laps packed up and went home. If next year that happens and a full time team gets booted it will be disgraceful.
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
No full-time team is getting booted Scott. If the new system for 2013 was in place this year, no full-time team would have missed a race. But I'm no S&P defender. I hate it. I think it flies in the face of everything holy about true athletic comnpetition.
Who is the best overall team in Nascar right now, HMS or JGR? Or is there a better team?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Hendrick, although that might change a little next year when Kenseth goes to JGR. But the team on the rise is MWR.
Can NASCAR tell these S&P teams that they have to run at least a quarter of the race, or prove they really broke before they collect their payment?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
They could, but they won't. They can't have a 43-car field without them. And my thought on that is, so what? Who needs em? If 43 start and seven go to the house after 20 laps, what was the purpose of having them in the first place?
What do you expect in Austin? Ferrari or Red Bull? Vettel or Massa?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
I still think Alonso an hold on, but it has turned into a great battle. But one thing I'll be watching there is how everything goes in the inaugural event and how football-crazed Austin accepts it. Luckily, UT is off that wekeend.
Should 51 pick up Dinger or Smith?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
What they need to pick up is a sponsor. So I would go with the guy who a sponsor felt good about.
Brandon (Hornell, NY)
In your personal opinion Terry, what are the chances of Regan Smith driving for Dale Jr full time in the Nationwide Series next year?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
What if for every two poles you are rewarded a point in the Championship. If might actually buy a pole ticket for that.
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
They way to make qualifying exciting is a point for the pole and the top 43 makes the field, with one exception. Each car ranked in the top 30 gets two provisionals a year. That's it. If you need more than that, too bad. I'd pay to watch that. And get rid of the past champ provisional. No past champ in the NHRA gets a provisional. I love Terry Labonte, but he doesn't deserve to make the race just because he was a champ 16 years ago.
Dinger said he was talking to other teams in addition to Phoenix. My question is who are those teams and does Dinger have sponsorship he can bring to a team?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
He doesn't have a sponsor to bring and every driver says he's talking to other teams. It ups your value.
brian (mansfield ar)
will kyle bush and carl edwards run more nw races next year they seem to have done better on the cup side when they do your thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
I disagree. I don't think theyire decline this year had anything to do with running fewer NW races. They don't need more seat time. The teams just had issues this year.
Blount, why do people stack a bunch of cardboard boxes on the winner's car in victory lane? Isn't that hazardous?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Advertising brother. Everyone has something to sell in front of the TV cameras.
brian (mansfield ar)
do you think jr decllne before the chase was due to medical or just everyone catching up
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
That's a fair question, and really, no one other than Jr knows how he was feeling. Being off a little bit can make a big difference at 200 mph. I don't know, but my guess it it didn't have a huge affect on his performance.
Unless Kenseth brings his RFR guys with him to Gibbs isn't he starting from scratch?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
No. He's going to a team that has a lot of quality guys.
Do you still believe 11 wins the cup?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I'm sticking with me pick. I think Grubb has a few tricks up his sleeve, but it's an uphill climb now.
All this talk in your chat about changing the Chase points to help guys that have had bad races... Don't you get it? The Chase format means you have to be nearly flawless in these ten races, you need top 3's and Wins to be the champion. Or, you need to be Superman like Jimmie, crash a car and come back to finish in the top ten and race another week. And that's the way it should be.
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Actually, John, you dont need to win, mathematicaly speaking. Carl almost won it last year without winning in the Chase. I'm all for consistency, but this system gives too large a penalty for one bad finish.
I think 48 and 11 will have a chance to win at Martinsville, where you see 2 finishing?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Not his best track, but he was ninth there earlier this year. I think he can post a top 10.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta go folks. Lively chat today. The way I like it. Enjoy the bumping and banging on the paperclip Sunday. Have a great week. Peace.
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