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October 24, 12:39 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Hello Folks. What's up?

Jill (FL)

Of the young guys making their debut's this year, who do you see having the most success next year and beyond out of Almirola, Speed and Hornish?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Good question. Speed has tremendous talent,and he's with a team on the rise. Hornish needs the Penske operation to improve for him to move up. Aric just has to worry about a ride for next year with the tough times at DEI.

Brandon (cincinnati,ohio)

Which track would you like to see a cup date at. Rockingham,Kentucky,North Wilkesbro or Eldora speedway.

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Eldora would be a blast, but not going to happen. Kentucky will have a Cup date soon.

Roger Florida

Since Jimmie is so good, do you think when his contract is up that he may get lured to another team with big bucks or what? Could he finally sign that life time contract?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

I can't see any scenario where Hendrick would let Jimmie get away.

Roger Florida

Heloo there Terry SIR! Any way do you think with all you wisdom that if Jimmie pulls this three-peat off that he would be considered the best "DRIVER" in nascar right now and in the Top 5 All-Time? Also when I say driver I mean skill as a driver, excluding car, crew, team, etc.

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Jimmie is the best driver in NASCAR right now. Not sure about the top 5 all-time yet. That's an impressive list.

becky,tn

will reed ever win a race in his carrer

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Becky, you may be the only person who cares. But yes he will.

Pete C (Newark DE)

Is it just a formality at this point that JJ wins his third straight?

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

Almost, but he has to avoid a big wreck or a engine failure. Actually, he could have that happen once in the last three races and still win it.

Mike (Dallas)

Do you see a problem with the tires in Texas?

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

No more so than any other 1.5-mile oval. Texas has a lot more grip than Atlanta, so we may see a few more tire failures.

Brandon (cincinnati,ohio)

How many cars do you think will be fully sponsored next year

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

Probably 35 to 38. Teams will opt to run partial seasons like the new deal with Max Papis and Germain Racing. But we'll still see 43 cars at every Cup event.

Pete C (Newark DE)

Has DEI found any new sponors for next year? What if they dont find someone soon how many cars are they going to field?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

DEI still hopes to field four cars. I don't see that happeningunless there's a merger.

Paul from Joisey

10 races started bsed on points? That's about 1 out of 3 qualifiers rained out! Does Nascar need to try a llittle harder to get qualifying done.

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

Absolutely.Do it on Saturday morning, at least for the go-or-go-homers. Qualifying has become almost meaningless now for most teams.

Pete C (Newark DE)

What can we expect from Stewart Hass, I know they are in the top 35 in owner points , but can we expect them to be competitive for the chase next year?

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

That's a tall order, but Tony is hiring a lot of good people. That team will get up to speed faster than most people think.

Roger Florida

D you think it is possible to Jimmie Proof the chase?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

No. The 48 is by far the best team. No matter what system you use, they would rise to the top. But adding more points for winning would make things more interesting.

Mike (Dallas)

Thank you Terry, one more...Will they be cutting back the number of overall races next year. or for some time to come?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

No. NASCAR will keep 36 races for the foreseeable future, but cutting back to 32 or so is a good idea.

Roger (FL)

Who do you think is the most talented driver in the cup series? Pure skill wise?

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Probably Kyle Busch, but Jimmie makes fewer mistakes.

Pete C (Newark DE)

Terry, don't you find it a problem that you can win 8 races or even 6 and still not be close to the chase lead? Doesn't that lessen the value of winning races during the year? Thats a big knock my non-Nascar buddies have.

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

I've always felt the system needs more emphasis on winning. NASCAR did that by seeding Chase drivers on wins, but they need to do something to reward winning more in the Chase.

Paul form Joisey

Jeff Gordon: In a slump or toast? (as far as being a dominant driver)

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

Not toast by any means. But they may need to shake things up there.

Scott (Indy)

Any teams in real danger of folding in this tough enviroment?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

Bill Daving Racing neeeds to merge with another team to stay afloat, as does the Wood Bros. But a lot of teams need to merge or they'll have to cut back.

Pete C (Newark DE)

Will we see a betterPetty organization next year now that Boston Partners has invest into them? Will they be more competitive then the last 10 years?

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

Kyle Petty said Boston Ventures hasn't helped them. They still need a sponsor for the 43. I don't see them getting significantly better without a merger.

Mel (Houston)

Do you think Mark Martin will make the chase in '09?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Excellent chance of it with the No. 5 car. I'd say it's 60/40 he makes it.

Brandon (cincinnati,ohio)

Who is your top 5 and who is a dark horse for Texas

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

Top 5 _ Edwards, Johnson, Kenseth, Gordon and Burton. Dark Horse _ Bowyer.

curtis (nyc)

when you win the pole without qualifying do to weather or may have you..do u still receive the bonus pts ?

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

There are no bonus points for qualifying, but there should be. Winning a pole is more significant than leading a lap under caution.

Scott (Indy)

Are we still looking at the same teams at the top of the food chain in the forseeable future? Can anyone really muscle in to the top tier of teams right now?

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

The one with the best chance is Red Bull, bu they need to add a third car.

Jill (FL)

What are your thoughts on the turnaround of the 26? Do you see them making the chase in probably his last year with Roush?

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

They've been better, but I'd be surprised if Jamie made the chance next year.

Scott (Minneapolis, Mn)

Terry, Great work as always, Carl Edwards=Jeff Gordon 2007, a bunch of wins and top ten's but not going to win title, it just shows how good Jimmie has been, what he did at Atlanta to go from 11th to 2nd was amazing.

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

That's why they are the champs. They make the most of every situation and outsmart the competition consistently.

Sid (Atlanta)

"they need to do something to reward winning more in the Chase" the 48's won 2 chase races (along w/the 16) while the 20, 31 & 99 have 1/ea and 0/ea for the remaining 7 - how would this change things (other than maybe flipping the 16 & 99)?

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

If a driver received 50 more points for winning, Carl would be only 133 behind now. Jimmie could increase his lead by winning, but that's OK. If you win, you deserve it.

Mark (Louisville)

Huge Jr fan here. Once again Jr has a fast car at time this past weekend, but towards the end of the race he loses speed again. Is this because of Jr's skills as a driver or not making the correct adjustments to the car... Or both? Frustrating!!!!

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

Complicated, but they need to reevaluate the team structure. One other problem: Jr. likes to race up near the wall, but that's tough to do in the new car with these tires.

Scott (Minneapolis, Mn)

Any news on A.J? Had a pretty good run at Atlanta.

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

I don't know what AJ has to do to prove he deserves a Cup ride. He outraced both his GEM teammates the last two races and was ninth in his last Red Bull start. He has it figured out and a tough learning curve. I'd hire him.

Melanie TX

What are the chances of David Ragan, Jamie McMurray, or Matt Kenseth "getting loose" at Texas and taking Johnson out of contention?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

None. No one would deliberately take out the points leader.

Matt Jacksonville, FL

He would not be 133 points back, it would be more like 233. Johnson would get 100 extra for his two wins as well!!!!!

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

You're right. My bad. But again, if you increase your lead by winning, that's good. Also, a driver has a better chance of catching the leader if you can earn more points for winning. For example, if you went to Miami 50 points down and won the last race, you're win the title no matter what the leader did.

BB (mpls)

If the 24 makes changes...when would you start hearing those things in the garage? And what changes would you make to the 24 team if you were Rick?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

Jeff really likes Steve Letarte, so Rick has to decide if he thinks Jeff would be better off with a new crew chief, even with an adjustment period, or if it's better to stay the course believing they will improve next year. Not an easy decision.

Mark (Louisville)

When you say reevaluate the team, what do you mean excatly???? Doesn't make sense that they are very fast almost every race, even though its for a short period of time.

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

That's an indication they aren't making the right adjustments on the car, so someone has to answer for that.

whitney canada

where do u think mr riggs is headed in 09....15 41 .22 or where...thanks

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

I don't know that Scott is headed to any of those rides. It's still up in the sir. Two of those cars don't have sponsors right now.

Nan (NY)

It appears GEM is a mess right now. They're not running well and now they want to switch to Toyota, when they're the flagship Dodge team...what's the real story over there?

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

The real story is every team is trying to position itself to catch up to th super teams. That's means considering mergers or swapping manufacturers.

Steve, Ohio

Terry, does Jeff REALLY like Steve, or is he just saying that to not disrupt the team?

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

No. He really likes him. But sometimes a driver doesn't know what's best for him.

BB (mpls)

Appreciate your answer....but you didn't answer either question. As an outsider I would like to understand if changes to a team are going to be made what timeframe for rumblings does this occur, and since you are close to the garage and have better perspective on the 24 team than any of us what would you do with them? Thx

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

I would leave it like ti is for now because I don't think they are that far off. They sdtill cna get back to where they were in 2007. Changing crew chiefs is like changing head coaches. It's a gigantic step and it takes time to adjust. I don't think Rick feels like they've reached that point.

curtis (nyc)

would there ever be a series like the IROC series again ?

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

It's possible, but not in this ecomony. Too expensive to produce.

Scott (Indy)

Do we see any design changes in the new car next year? If they go to the bigger and wider tire, don't they have to do something with the wheel well?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

NASCAR said they don't plan to make any changes to the car next season. A wider tire is coming, but not next year.

Scott (Indy)

How many years does Jeff Gordon continue to race? And, what does he do afterwards? Owner? Driver coach? Ride his Dupont Chevrolet into the sunset?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

Probably four of five years. I don't know that he will stay actively involved in racing. Jeff has a lot of interest outside of the sport.

Mel (Houston)

How do you think Brad K will do this weekend in his Cup debut?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

Brad has a lot of talent and has a bright future in Cup, but I wouldn't expect too much this weekend in a fifth car for Hendrick.

Pete C (Newark DE)

What young drivers should we watch for next year? Who do you expect to step up to contend next year?

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

I think David Ragan can do well in 09. And Brian Vickers is on the rise at Red Bull.

ken north syracuse new york

would the way that jimmy johnson was entering his pit box and trying to make it more difficult for edwards exiting his pit be considered bush league

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

As Chad said yesterday, the 99 team could have pick 42 other pit boxes and not pitted next to Jimmie. That was a bad decision.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

Terry, I heard a rumor that the Wood Brothers and Hall of Fame would merge to form a 2-car team under the Ford banner, any truth to this? I think it would be good for both sides.

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

It could happen. They both need to do something. But even a two-car team isn't enough these days.

Roger Florida

What type of contract do you think Jimmie will sign come 2010 when his current contract is up? Do you think he will by far be the highest paid driver and do you think there might be a sponser change?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

I can't imagine why Lowe's would leave. Exposure doesn't get any better than that. JJ will be well compensated, somewhere north of $10 million a year.

Paul, Cincy, OH

Can you explain in more detail how pit selctio works. For example; Can you revise your pick if someone you don't like picks in front of you.

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

You pick you pit inthe order you qualify. No changes. Teams want a stall where that has an opening behind them of in front of them.

Mel (Houston)

Which 2 Chase drivers won't make the Banquet (top 10)?

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

I'll guess Busch and Earnhardt, which would greatly disappoint the TV viewers. They lose their favorite person and boo and their fave to cheer.

paul from joisey

Speaking of 'outsmarting the competiion"; When is the last time Steve Letarte outsmarted the competition or will the next time be the first. Don't mean to pile on but as a frustrated Gordon fan it sure does hurt to watch Chad Knaus out maneuver us week after week after week after...

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

Chad outmaneuvers everybody, so you aren't alone.

Mark (Austin)

Any chance DEI would be going too Toyota? I saw where Max Siegel was going to speak at a Toyota event and found it interesting since he works for a chevy team.

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

DEI signed a new deal with Chevy last year, so I don't see them switching manufacturers.

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

Gotta run folks. NASCAR Now awaits. Have a great week. I'm out. Peace.