Chat with Terry Blount
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (1:59 PM)
Hey gang. Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. It's been a strange year in NASCAR, and here's my list of 12 strange things that still could happen in 2013: http://tinyurl.com/lw7p3jl
After the JGR 18/54 team dominating NW again with cup drivers will we finally get a rule to limit cup drivers in NW next year?
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
I doubt it, but something needs to change. It's hurting the series because the guys competing for the title are not getting any attention.
Alex (Pinehurst, NC)
Inside the industry and the garage, what is the potential of Jeb Burton? Could he reach the Cup series, and if so, any chance he could be better than either his dad or uncle, or comparable to either?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Way too early to tell Alex, but Jeb definitely has turned some heads this season in Trucks. And he's just a wonderful young man. They way he was moved to tears when he knew he made a possible pole run at Charlotte really showed me this kid appreciates where he's at and what he's doing.
Who do you think is having the most improved season over 2012: Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwars or Other?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
I'd go with Edwards, and he's done it kind of quietly except for the win at Phoenix.
Phil (Upstate NY)
If you had to pick one to make the chase who would it be and why.. Kurt(18th), Logano(19th), or Stewart (20th)?Thanks
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
I'll shock you and say Joey. He's had a lot of runs near the front of the field. He just needs a little more consistency and a win or two. But honestly, I don't think any of them has a great chance.
With #88 only scoring two Top 10's since Fontana should us Dale Junebug fans start being concerned about him missing the chase?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
No, he'll make the Chase. But can he win the Chase? No, not unless the pick up the pace.
Do you think Jack Roush is concerned that Stenhouse might race the SHR #10 differently than the other competitors due to his relationship with the driver?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
No, and he didn't do that at Charlotte, basically causing the 3-car wreck with DP and Brad.
Andrew (W. Kentucky )
Which INDYCAR driver who raced in NASCAR do you consider the best: Danica, Montoya, Villenueve, Hornish, Stewart, John Andretti, Mario Andretti, Foyt, Gurney or Dario?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Well, Mario and AJ didn't race full time in Cup and that was a much different era. I consider Foyt the greatest race car driver in history. But of the drivers who went to Cup full time, Smoke wins in a landslide
Turk (Mich. )
Since that tv cable gettting caught up on Rowdy's #18 probably cost him the Charlotte 3-peat sweep, do you give Rowdy a good chance to win all 3 Dover races this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Gosh I hope not. I would much prefer to see a Truck and NW regular win those events.
Jake (Irving, TX)
Hey Terry, did you see BK's tweet after Kurt qualified on outside pole, "Kurt Busch=most talented driver in NASCAR. Happy to see him run well" What were your thoughts on that?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Don't know about he most talented, but he's way up there. In my book, I rated Kurt as one of the most underrated drivers. He has incredible car-control skills.
Do you agree with Rowdy's statement that if he wasn't winning the NWS races some other cup driver would be and it's the other cup drivers problem that they can't beat him?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
No. It's like an MLB star saying, "I'm going to play in Triple_A because four of my MLB friends are doing it and I'm going to prove I can beat them in the minors." Who cares?
Phil (Upstate NY)
Any solid rumors on who will be in the 29 or 31 next year?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
I'm guessing Austin Dillon will be in one of those cars. And Ryan Newman may be available.
Keith H (Seattle)
Good morning, Terry. Assuming you wouldn't be covering a race on Memorial Day Sunday, which race would be "destination viewing" for you? Indy, Monaco or Charlotte and in what order? Also, it was disappointing that Indy had their lowest rating in years. If you can't get behind 68 lead changes and an average speed of 187 what is it going to take?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
Just for TV viewing, you have the order I would chose. To attend, one, Monaco wins hands down. TV ratings often are a factor of what people have seen in the past, not what they watch at that moment.
What young/rookie driver has impressed you the most this season?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Easily Kyle Larson. What a future that kid has. But I also was blown away at how well Carlos Munoz raced in the Indy 500. I think F1 might be in his future.
Dale Junebug Fan (NC)
When Mr. H assigned Gustufson to #24 and Stevie to #88 we all thought Junebug got the short end of the stick. Do you think Mr. H might make that cc swap with both those teams running sub-par?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
I'd be very surprised if that happened in the middle of the season. Junior really likes Steve. But something needs to change soon with the 24.
Hey Terry, who are your picks for the Truck, Nationwide, and Cup races this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
Well, I will pick what I hope happens in Trucks and NW, which is a non-Cup winner. Any non-Cup winner would do, but it would be cool to see Jeb Burton win in Trucks and Larson win in NW. For Cup, it's hard to go against JJ at Dover. He can set a record if he wins it, which would be his eighth Cup win there.
Phil (Upstate NY)
With Harvick leaving RCR. Don't you think that RCR needs to step up with their driving talent. Menard, Burton and Dillon vs Kenseth, Hamiln, and Busch or Gordon, Johnson, and Kahne. Doesn't add up to me.
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Burton's future is uncertain. Menard just re-signed and has raced well this year. The Dillon boys are destined for Cup no matter what.
Do you think Smoke's finish in Charlotte might be the start of his summer resurgence?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
I know Greg Zipadelli was really encouraged about how they ran. He thinks they made a turned a corner on their set-ups. And Tony typical runs well in the summer months.
Andy (Newton, IA)
Kurt Busch is closer to 10th place in points than 2nd place is to 1st place. If he keeps running as well as he is right now, I think he makes the chase regardless of wins.
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Maybe, but it isn't so much the number of points behind as the number of people he has to pass to get there. That makes it more difficult than catching one person ahead of you.
Would you say Denny would be a good fantasy pick this week?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
Most weeks yes, but I wouldn't pick him this week. Dover isn't one of his better tracks.
Kyle Busch is 11th in points. I guess running an almost full NW schedule isn't helping him.
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I don't know if it helps or hurts him. Kyle has had a lot of bad luck in the Cup races, two engine failure, three DNFs and a cable falling from the sky. But he has two wins, which likely will get him in the Chase. I think he can contend for the title.
Brad K beat JJ at Dover last fall. Any chance he does it again?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
It's possible, but I wouldn't pick him over JJ. However, I looked for Brad to step up this week with Paul Wolfe back on the pit box
Digity Dog (NC)
Is cup in danger of becoming too predictable as in JJ favorite at Dover, Kahne at Charlotte, Ambrose at road courses, Kenseth plate tracks, Edwards 1.5 milers, Rowdy everywhere?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
No. It's always been that way. Certain guys and good a certain tracks. But there are far more drivers capable of winning today than there were 20 and 30 years ago.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
Can you tell me why Danica wasn't shown leading a lap when tv showed her as the leader during green flag pit stops?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I don't know, but does it matter?
How imprresssed have you been with Kurt this year? Not only driving but his attitude?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
I agree. He's doing everything right, one and off the track. Part of it is he's in a very happy relationship with a great lady. And that team is much improved through the alignment with RCR and a new a pit crew. Kurt got a bad break at Charlotte with the battery issue or he might have won.
Would dale jr be a good fantasy pick this week?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
Dale runs well at Dover. Might not be a bad pick this week.
Bryan (Pacific NW)
Couldn't the argument be made for Aric Almirola having the most improved season to date?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
It could. He certainly has been consistent. But he still hasn't posted a top-5 finish. He will need to do that a few times to stay in the Chase 12.
Since it is all SHR's fault that Danica is not getting the cars she needs to win, do you see her taking her GoDaddy dough to JGR?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
The first part of the question is wrong and so is the second part.
Eileen (Harrisburg il)
Do you see Jeff Gordon making the chase
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
My guess is no, but they could get their act together this summer and turns things around.
KB Nation (Global)
Just because Rowdy is beating Kenseth, Kezolowski, Joey, Harvick, Hornish, Vickers, Sadler, Stewart, Dale, Menard and all the other Cup drivers running NNS is that any reason to single out Rowdy?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I against all Cup stars racing the majority of NW events. But not Sam, Brian and Elliott. They are full-time NW drivers because they couldn't get a ride in Cup. I have no problem with that, just like a former MLB player who now plays in Triple-A to try to earn his way back to the majors.
Running races 2 weeks in a row at CMS hurts attendance. That is why they should move All-star race.
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
You're preaching to the choir Mark. I've been saying this for years.
So do you suggest I watch paint dry or the grass grow instead of watching Cup lite Friday and Sat?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
I suggest you watch and root for a Truck and NW regular to win.
Great to see that 4 wide indy lights finish last week. No blocking. That's how it should be.
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
That was cool. And you know what else it shows? Slower speeds will result in batter racing a lot of the time.
So with so many talented young drivers in NNS and CWTS, do you think that they'll all find rides while they're still young, or will a number of them get bottlenecked in the pipeline due to older drivers and sponsorship concerns?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Great question. They are less than 30 quality rides in Cup, so there isn't much room for guys to move up. You have to really stand out or have a sponsor that loves you.
GWC is needed at Indy. Disappointing to see such a great race end under caution.
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
A lot of debate over this, including our first Turn 4 questions this week. I went against my colleagues by saying I would like Indy to have a GWC. However, I was thrilled to see Kanaan win it and so were most of the fans. I know it goes against tradition, but I think tradition is over emphasized at times, especially if it gets in the way of better competition and a better show.
ted (cape cod)
Are you a fan of F1 Racing?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Absolutely. And the racing in F1 has improved dramatically the last few years.
Phil (Upstate N)
The All-Star Race in Bristol would be awesome!
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Let's start a petition.
Do you think adjusting the start times of Indy and/or Charlotte to allow drivers to do the "double" would be good for BOTH series? I do. It would perk a little crossover interest. Why the resistance?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Jenny, I still don't think many drivers would do it. But I would like to see the events run on different days.
Molly Maid (Terry's Kitchen)
Ok Terry, back to work!!! Who is your pick to win on Sunday?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Jimmie, of course. He is the monster at the Monster Mile. Now mop the kitchen floor please.
Jerry (PA. )
Isn't it an insult to the fans, sponsors, teams, ESPN, NASCAR, tracks who support NASCAR Nationwide Series to bash the series because Cup drivers race in that series?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
I'm not the PR director Jerry. My job is to tell it like it is. And I want to see the series be all it can be.
Do you think Henrick Motorsports and Goodyear team up for secret tests like Mercedes and Pirelli just did? Is that part of the HMS advantage?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
No. All but impossible to do that without someone knowing about it.
Which truck driver do you believe will be the next to win his 1st race?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
I'll say Ryan Blaney.
I agree about slowing them down. So how? V6 engines?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Just won't happen. Way too expensive a transition. No easy answers on that one.
Shorten the 600? I don't see any reason for that length anymore. You certainly don't have many cars dropping out because of mechanical issues anymore. 4 hours is too long for any race.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
That's a great point Jim. When the race first started, if was more about endurance. It was hard to make the engines last until the end. That's not much of a factor now. I'm in favor of shortening most races from 500 miles to 400 or 500 laps to 400.
Ted (Downtown NY)
With Rowdy having someing like 2 cup wins, 5 Nationwide and 2 truck wins a Dover does Rowdy have some special skills racing on concrete?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
Kyle has great skills on any track, but he clearly likes Dover. The concrete can get slick at times, and Kyle is a master at handling a loose race car.
A fan (here)
Um, Ryan Blaney already won his first race last year
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
My bad. I forgot about that. He's a really talented kid. So I'll go with Jeb.
Could you slow them down by making them heavier? Add 500 pounds to the car? What would that do for the racing?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
You could, but they won't do that. The Gen-6 actually is lighter then the COT was. Adding weight also would add to fuel costs and consumption.
Andy (Dayton, Oh)
Why is everybody questioning Harvick move to SHR. If its because they're not running good, I would also say Bowyer could have been questioned about his move to MWR, a once perceived mediocre race team. Once Bowyer gets there all of a sudden MWR a powerhouse. Every race team ,even the good one can be off once and a while. Maybe SHR needs someone like Harvick to pick'em up again.
Any rumors where Newman might be driving next year?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
Not really. Still to early to say and there won't be many rides available. And it's still possible he could stay at SHR if they find sponsorship.
People need to look closer at the facts about 24..This year, like last year, they have had horrible luck..They were in 4th at Charlotte when they came down pit road and got caught under caution, they were leading at Bristol then they blown a tire, they were 3rd at Texas with 20 to go before more mechanical problems.Its not so much getting better, just finish when they have a good car.
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Those things certainly are part of it, but the morale is down there at the moment. They need to have a few good things happen to feel better about their chances.
Is Budweiser going with Harvick or staying at RCR? The #3 Budweiser chevy with Austin Dillon driving would be a gold mine.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
TBD, but I doubt SHR would have signed Harvick without knowing they had sponsorship in place.
Just me or does Kenseth seem the happiest he's been, well, since Roush brought in "The Carl" as Reiser has referred to him in the past?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
What wouldn't he be happy. He's having one of the best seasons of his career.
Did you do anything fun over Mem weekend or just work?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Sunday was a chat marathon, Monday was writing the rundown. So not really. And it was pouring rain here.
Ian (Los Angeles)
I have never seen the 24 so dejected after a race as last week. Gustafsson made one of the worst calls I have ever seen by having him pit instead of just passing through. Bad Luck, or does something need to change?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Ian, I thought the same thing when I say Jeff's interview. He usually takes those things in stride, but you could see he was really frustrated. That's as down as I've ever seen him.
Economic realities being what they are, could the Nationwide series exist in anything like its current form without Cup drivers? I think not. Cup drivers bring the money and sponsors, and are a necessary evil for the series.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
I disagree. If the NW regulars were winning, they would become stars and gain attention that sponsors would notice. For example, imagine if Larson had already won three times this year. He'd be the talk of NASCAR. But Cup guys winning in NW just brings a ho-hum. "Yay. They won their practice race."
Terry Blount (3:04 PM)
Gotta run folks. Very lively chat today. Makes it fun. Have a great weekend and enjoy all the racing at the Monster Mile. By the way, that's my favorite trophy in the sport. Peace.