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December 12, 9:48 AM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (1:59 PM)

Happy Holidays everyone. Hope you're staying warm in this major cold snap across the country. What's on your mind today?

Wanda, Fort Worth

Just read your artice, so what's the easiest way for NASCAR to save the most money?

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

Probably find a way to have a salary cap. Not easy to do, but if NASCAR to cap what every team spends in would help a lot.

Buzz, Pompano Beach

Give me a worst-case scenario for car count. 35?

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Probably 38 or 39 at some events, but that won't happen at Daytona. You'll still see 47 or 48 cars attempt to qualify forthe 500 in February.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

Seems we keep hearing about how NASCAR is struggling...do you see tracks going belly-up? They've got lots of empty seats (not just now...I know its the off season).

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

No, most of these major speedways still are making tons of money. You have to keep it in perspective. Some places have over 150,000 seats. If you sell 100,000 of them, that's still a heck of a crowd.

Joseph (Aramithea)

So, Robby Gordon's in a Toyota. Trying to remember, has he now officially run with all four manufacturers?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

Good point. Yes, he's run with them all at some point. I think this is a good move for him because Robby will get a lot more technical and financial support from Toyota than he would anywhere else.

Bob, Baltimore, Md.

What is going to happen to the chevrolet teams (money wise) when chevrolet goes under and the money stops flowing or the government calls the shots about how the money they give will be spent!!!

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

Every team is going to get less manufacturers support no matter what happens with the bailout. For some teams, it's a huge amount of money. Hendrick, for example, probably receives over $10 million a year in GM support.

Ned

What do you think of this 74 year old trying to qual at Daytona. If he can do it, I think its great. Newton ain't a fan...where do you stand?

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

Totally against it, and I like James Hylton. He's a hell of a good guy. But no one that age has any business racing a car at 200 mph inches away from 40 other cars.

Tank

Tery -- When dos you're book com out? Pictrs or just words? Next time you is in town, you shood join for a cup of coffe!

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

Well thanks Tank. Haven't heard for you in a while. The book (The Blount Report: NASCAR's Most Overrated and Underrated Drivers, Cars, Teams and Tracks) comes out Feb. 1 in bookstores across the country. But you can pre-order it now online at Borders, Amazon, etc. It will be controversial to say the least.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

I saw neyer had a baseball chat today where he wrote an article about Jake Peavey and then fielded questions about the article...kind of an interesting way to frame the hour's dicussion. Ever thought about doing the same?

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

We can do that now if you like. I have a column up saying NASCAR will survive and the sky isn't falling.

Brian (NY)

Who has a better year (higher points finish)in 2009, Speed or Hornish?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

Excellent question. Having a full year under his belt should help Sam tremendously, but I have a feeling that Scott is going to surprise a lot of people, on and off the track. He'll be a hoot to watch and cover.

Ned

So what's the cut-off? I know he's been out of it and hasn't proven himself lately, but what if Johnson were still running strong in 40+ years? i thought it was crazy 2 years ago until he requited himself well in the Duals...he didn't look 74 over 150 miles...

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

But that wasn't 500 miles, 200 laps, wuith 42 other cars on the track. Trust me, JJ won't try to qualify for the Daytona 500 40 years from now. As for a cutoff, I'd make it 60.

Johnny (NYC, NY)

You doing any booksignings in this area?

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

Not planned as of now. But that could change if the interest is there. I love NY. Most book signings will come at tracks and cities where I'm covering races.

JOey (UNC)

Did Rodney Childers leave the 19 voluntarily or was he canned? Any idea who may replace him?

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

I think is was a mutual deal. No word yet on the replacement.

David Washington DC

What are the chances Bobby Labonte goes to DEI? Having Truex, Labonte, Montoya, and Almorila (SP?!) would be a pretty good lineup in my opinion.

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

I'd say that's all but a done deal. The two guys who will benefit from it are Montoya and Aric, both of whom could learn a lot from Bobby. And having Labonte will help DEI/Ganassi sell sponsorship for the organization.

Ned

If a guy can do it, I say let him on the track. maybe they should make him qual the way other guys do...run a few Nationswide races and then go from there. Not sure he can be any more dangerous behind the wheel than JPM or Kyle Busch!

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

Kyle Busch won 21 races last year. I'd say he knows what's he doing out there. Here's the bottom line: You don't have the refelxes, the eyesight or the overall physical stamina at 75 as you do at 35. I'm 53 and I can't run as fast, jump as high or see as well as I could 20 years go. That's just a fact of life.

Catfish

What do you think of my idea of a $5M winner take all race at Dega on New Years...starting as the year changes over!!! Would be A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!! YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAW!!!

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

Glad that excites you Catfish, but it can be darn cold, even freezing, in that part of Alabama on Jan 1.

devin michigan

is there any news on Ricky carmichael

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

Not that I've heard, but the economic downturn can't be good for developmental guys like Ricky.

Jon (Strasburg PA)

Speaking of eyesight, do you know if many drivers have vision correction of any sort? Petty is the only one I can recall wearing glasses.

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

Sure. Many drivers wear contacts. Some have undergone laser surgery. I know Johnny Benson did that I few years ago, but he still wears glasses.

Craig (Cupertino, CA)

Point Blank...What happens to the GM teams if GM goes bankrupt and quits offering support? Does Hendrick, RCR, etc. switch to Toyota? 2009, 2010?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

No. Toyota can't take on many more teams. They are hurting also, just not as much as the American manufacturers. What wil happen is every team adjusts and gets by with less.

Craig (Cupertino, CA)

It has to be a double whammy for Mr. Hendrick since he makes his money in selling cars? I guess what I'm getting at...should I start organizing bake sales to keep the 5, 24, 48 and 88 on the track next season?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

Absolutely not. Times are tough, but these teams, and NASCAR, will survive and keep racing.

devinbachman

give me your rockie in all 3 serie

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

I'll go with Joey Logano in Cup. Too many unknowns in the other two to pick that right now.

John (Spokane WA)

So, with the likelyhood that so many teams are going under, and not fielding 43 cars every week, sponsorships will be hard to find, Do ya see lots of new teams trying to form, to maybe get a toe in the water, while the getting is good? or are we destined for a smaller number of cars, on limited teams, with so many talented drivers left to wonder what if?

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

I don't see many new teams coming in because the cost is so high to try to do that in this economy. The point is it doesn't really matter if they have 43 cars. Having 38 quality cars is better than starting 43 cars if five go to the garage after three laps and get their paycheck. NASCAR still has far more cars than other major racing leagues.

Billy (KY)

We all know there is a NASCAR mandated freeze on testing at santioned tracks. But I keep reading where drivers say they will test at non-sanctioned tracks, how does that save any money? Thanks

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

It doesn't. They want to spend the money to try to get an advantage. I wish NASCAR would say anyone caught testing an any track will be penalized. NASCAR says it can't do that because the teams are independent contractors. So what? NASCAR still can tell them what to do if they want to compete in NASCAR events.

Craig (Cupertino, CA)

Last question (I promise)...does Chad Knaus have any aspirations of leaving Jimmie's pit box anytime soon (i.e. Ray, Robbie Reiser) or does he want to try rewriting the history books with Jimmie? Thanks for all of the answers.

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

Chad is happy where he is for now, but the crew chief job is a real grind, much more time consuming than being a driver. It's tough, but Chad wants to chase history and get that fourth title in a row, and they honestly believe they have a shot at eight championships.

John (TN)

Thanks for keeping the weekly chat on during off season. What is your opinion on the comments made by Aflac about Cuzin Carl keeping his cool? I think most fans love the modern day chariot races and love to see emotions.

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

Aflac signed the biggest deal in Cup history, so they have some pull. They don't want Carl to be a robot, but they want him to keep his focus and not allow his emotions to affect his performance on the track.

Saul (San Diego)

Last season, Kyle Bush Toyota horsepower dominated (before the chase), what do you expect for him next year.

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

Kyle will be up there competing for the title. He's an extremely talented driver on a top team. What he went through in the Chase this year will make him better.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I like the 2 day race weekend, but there should be more Saturday night races, expecially once football season starts.

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

I think a better idea is starting races earlier in the day on Sunday the way it used to be. Saturday night works better in the summer before college football starts.

Saul (San Diego)

Top three top stories we should be following going into Daytona.

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

How the economy will affect teams. Can JJ make a serious run at 4 straight. Will Dale Jr.'s second year at Hendrick show major improvement.

justin )durhm nc)

riggs in 09 where do u see him at

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

No where at the moment as far as Cup goes. Maybe back in NW.

Nick Rolando

Thoughts on Crew Chief change for Kenseth?

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

That one really surprises me. I thought Matt and Chip were gettiong things together late in the season. But maybhe things weren't so rosy. But the Roush folks are very high on Blickensderfer. For me, that's a lot tougher to write on deadline than Bolin.

Larry (Mo)

Would you think that Stewart/Haas will begin to place in the top ten after 8 to 10 races?

Terry Blount
  (3:03 PM)

I think they can place in the top 10 at Daytona. But doing that consistently will be tough.

Saul (San Diego)

How do the drivers decompress or do they? After 500 or so miles, they seem so casual during the interview on TV right after the race. Terry, you being down there as they finish, is there a difference after the race finishes and the next day or a couple of hours later?

Terry Blount
  (3:05 PM)

Absolutely. But that's true in every sport. Immediately after the event, guys are tired and often freustarted if they didn't win. The emotions are on the surface, but that's why its good to talk to them when they get out of the car.

Terry Blount
  (3:06 PM)

Gotta run folks. Hope everyone has a great holiday season. Cheers and Peace.