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January 16, 2:22 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

Good afternoon folks. Lots of things happening around Tour Week. What's on your mind?

shawn (NY)

Now that Scott Riggs has a ride do you think you will stop being inundated w/ questions about him? It seems like every week the ESPN Nascar chats are filled w/ questions about him. Now to more pressing matters, why don't Mayfield, Blaney, J.J. Yeley or Ken Schrader have full time rides yet?

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

Simple. No cars to put them in.

JR (CO)

What is your opinion of the combo of Kenseth and Blickensderfer for the 09 season?

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

I think it will help Matt. Things never really clicked with Chip Bolin and Blicks is a really bright guy with innovative ideas.

justin(durham nc)

hey terry ...only bout 26 days to go man...hope ur holiday was well...how do u think riggs will do with a vet like baldwin at tbr.....and do u see them buying the 22 points to guarettee him in the races....eventhough im sure he can quilify for thema ny way....thanks and get rested up for the long season

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

Baldwin doesn't hav a sponsor at the moment. Unless that changes, this team is destined to be one of those that just makes laps.

Jeff (Rochester NY)

What are the three biggest storylines going into the 2009 season?

Terry Blount
  (3:03 PM)

1. The economy and it's affect on NASCAR is really 1,2 and 3. The other big story is JJ going for four straight.

Saul (San Diego)

Terry, What races do see not being able to field 43 cars?

Terry Blount
  (3:04 PM)

Cali could be interesting the week after Daytona because its expensive to haul cars cross country. But I still believe most races will have 43, and if they don't, so what?

Steiny (NYC)

What are your thoughts on Tony Stewart to enter Daytona Nationwide race for Hendrick Motorsports?

Terry Blount
  (3:05 PM)

Another Cup guy races in Triple-A.

Steiny (NYC)

Is Penske right for Stremme?

Terry Blount
  (3:06 PM)

It's the best situation he could possibly hope for with his limited success.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you expect big things from David Ragan this season?

Terry Blount
  (3:07 PM)

I do. Wouldn't surprise me one bit to see him win a couple of races and contend in the Chase.

Wes, Republic, MO

Why did Ask.com's sponsor money go to hall of fame which has unproven results instead of the multitude of other teams that aren't fully funded, was Labonte being in the car the deal breaker or what

Terry Blount
  (3:09 PM)

A lot of times these sponsorship deals come down to the relationship a team owner has with the company executives. I'm guessing that's what went down here.

JPM (Miami, FL)

Chip hasn't been too vocal about what is going on at our team am I driving the 42 with Target Sponsorship or the 41 and is Aric Almirola going to actually get a chance to race or are we going to only have 2 cars again? At least Truex is here so I will finally have a fulltime teammate who has actually won a race in the Sprint Cup Series.

Terry Blount
  (3:10 PM)

Probably two cars fake JPM and a part-time ride for Aric. EGR is laying off more employees this week.

Steiny (NYC)

How do you think Ryan Newman will do this year?

Terry Blount
  (3:11 PM)

I don't see him making the Chase with the new team, but he will have some competitive races where he finishes well.

Steiny (NYC)

What are your thoughts on Riggs joining the new Tommy Baldwin Racing team?

Terry Blount
  (3:11 PM)

I think he didn't have any other options.

Jeff (Rochester NY)

Aside from Logano, who else has a shot at Rookie of the Year?

Terry Blount
  (3:16 PM)

Only Scott Speed, but it should be a good battle between them.

Saul (San Diego)

Your article on Fix Nascar, slap somebody. Are today's drivers mold moved on past the "bring back the old days mold of drivers." Was the good old days more a perception, or was there truly a lot of punching going on.

Terry Blount
  (3:17 PM)

There was more rowdiness because the drivers didn't have to answer to sponsors paying $20 million to back them.

shawn (NY)

With the economy and the difficulty teams are having getting sponsors it seems to me Nascar should stop taking potential sponsors away from teams. Telecom companies would be more than willing to step up to the plate to sponsor teams but because of Sprint they cannot. Coors went the official sponsor route instead of sponsoring a team, etc. This also caused the eventual confusion regarding the Bud Shootout because they sold Coors the pole award but kept Bud for the shootout.

Terry Blount
  (3:19 PM)

I agree. NASCAR should stop giving sponsors exclusivity rights, but they are tryng to help teams get new sponsors.

Hook (Southern Maryland)

What do you think Harvick will be able to do this year?

Terry Blount
  (3:20 PM)

It realy depends on whether RCR can gain speed to go with its consistency. Adding a fourth car could help because of the additional data that brings.

Kevin (Anderson, In.)

How do you see Jr. season going this year? Better than last year or about the same?

Terry Blount
  (3:22 PM)

I sincerely believe Junior and the No. 88 team will improve this year. Last year was a big transition (especially for Eury Jr.), but they still ranked in the top five almost all year until fading in the Chase.

Saul (San Diego)

Is there an age, where an A-type driver begins to lose the mojo, the skill, the competitive edge. Top NFL running backs seems to begin to drop fast after they reach 30. Is there such a thing for the NASCAR driver?

Terry Blount
  (3:24 PM)

Definitely not 30. Many drivers don't peak until after 30. What often happens as drivers get older is they become unwilling to take chances and run aggressively. They have too much to lose. It isn't so much physical as it is mental.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

Terry - Would NASCAR really allow SMI move the October race from Charlotte to Kentucky? Charlotte is the heart of NASCAR!

Terry Blount
  (3:25 PM)

Yes, but Atlanta also is a candidate to lose a race in the SMI chain.

Kevin (Anderson, In.)

Who do you think will be the biggest surprise of the year?? and biggest disappointment?

Terry Blount
  (3:27 PM)

I think Scott Speed will surprise some people. If I had to pick a disappointment I would say Montoya and/or Truex because that organization seems to be in disarray.

Fake Carl Edwards (Mo)

When I tried to "slap" Harvick Aflac made it known that they did not want their driver getting involved in physical altercations. If you get hurt and miss work get Aflac it seems it would be a good promotion for Aflac. Anyway maybe the drivers have been told by their sponsors to watch their act.

Terry Blount
  (3:28 PM)

It depends on the sponsor, but generally speaking, corporations want their reps to walk the straight and narrow and not create controversy.

Kevin (Anderson, In.)

Who is the cutest driver in all of racing?

Terry Blount
  (3:29 PM)

That's not something I notice, but judging by the teenage girl interest, it's probably Kasey Kahne.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

Terry, do you see NASCAR lifting the test ban midway through the season seeing as it is saving teams zero money because everyone is still testing?

Terry Blount
  (3:32 PM)

No. It is saving money for some teams, but it probably isn't keeping competition closer because the mega teams still go test somewhere. The real issue is safety. These teams are testing at tracks which don't have the SAFER Barrier and don't have qualified safety personnel.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

Besides The Big Three, as in JJ, Carl, and Rowdy Busch, who do you see as a legit title contender this year?

Terry Blount
  (3:35 PM)

Possibly Junior and Biffle.

Fake JPM (miami, fl)

It would seem to me that w/ Truex on our team now and me being able to have another competitive car to share information with that would make me a candidate to have a better year than most expect, especially since everyone expects so little due to all the turmoil w/ sponsors and the merger. Last year I had Dario and Reed so I basically had 2 inexperienced drivers in Nascar w/ me now if Martin's team has a good setup we can borrow from them instead of having to figure out everything on our own.

Terry Blount
  (3:37 PM)

That's an excellent point and I hope it plays out that way for JPM. But the vibes around EGR right now are a real downer.

Danica Patrick (Indiana)

Terry how can you say Kasey is cuter than me? He said in all of racing so you could have chosen the Force girls or me, but instead you chose Kasey?

Terry Blount
  (3:38 PM)

Sorry fake DP. I thought we were talking about NASCAR. But I'm done with the cuteness questions.

Kevin (Anderson, In.)

Who is your prediction for IRL champ?

Terry Blount
  (3:38 PM)

Tony Kanaan.

stacey-raleigh

u think tbr will buy points to guarentee riggs in

Terry Blount
  (3:39 PM)

I don't think they have any money.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

Do you really see Mark Martin running a partial schedule in the 2010, or do you think Rick Hendrick will give way to Keselowski to run the No.5 the entire season?

Terry Blount
  (3:41 PM)

I think the plan is for Brad to run full time in 2010. That's why they have him running seven Cup races this year. But someone could end up at Stewart's team, which has a partnership with Hendrick.

Craig (Cupertino, CA)

Have you heard of any changes on the 48's over the wall guys? I thought I head Ron Malex was moving to the pit box on raceday.

Terry Blount
  (3:42 PM)

Malec is moving the the pit box.

Saul (San Diego)

First track to experience tire issues to have Tony Stewart to roar at?

Terry Blount
  (3:44 PM)

Goodyear is doing a tire test at Atlanta, so hopefully it won't have the problems we saw last March when Tony went off.

Rick (VA)

Has Tony mentioned when he'd like to expand his team to 3 or 4 cars?

Terry Blount
  (3:45 PM)

It's all about sponsorship. He would do it next year if the money is on the table and he can hire the necessary personnel to do it right.

Shawn (NY)

Do you agree that it seems possible that Tony Stewart could win the 500 as he is good at plate racing and has a teammate who won the 500 last year? If this were to happen everyone would assume the team was in great shape, but as last year showed plate racing doesn't necessarily translate to success at other tracks. Penske and the Dodge teams finished strong at Daytona but struggled the rest of last year.

Terry Blount
  (3:49 PM)

Excellent point Shawn. What happens at Daytona, stays at Daytona. It doesn't relate to other tracks. But it wouldn't surprise me if Tony ran well in the 500.

Kevin (Boston, MA)

Terry, what changes do you expect from Kyle Busch. Does he try to drive the wheels off every car/truck in every series, or will he learn how to pick his spots to try and win a championship?

Terry Blount
  (3:51 PM)

Kyle says he going to run the entire NW sked this year, which I think is a mistake. But so is Carl. The truth is it was Kyle's team that let him down in the Chase, not running all the other races.

Rick (VA)

When McMurray gets booted to Yates, will it go to 4 teams or will Kvapil get the boot? Let me guess...it depends on sponsorhip...

Terry Blount
  (3:53 PM)

Yes Rick, you're starting to understand. Sponsorship rules in many team decisions.

Kerstin (Bloomington, IN)

What happens in a few years when Jeff Gordon retires? Does Mr. H pseudo-retire the 24 like RC did with the 3, or does he put someone else in it?

Terry Blount
  (3:54 PM)

Good question, but I doubt they have thought that through yet. NASCAR could make it easy by agreeing to start retiring numbers.

Craig (Cupertino, CA)

I get to go to one race this year (wife's rule)...should I go to the first Phoenix race? Keep in mind I'm a 48 fan, and we all know who has won 3 straight at PIR.

Terry Blount
  (3:55 PM)

Not a bad choice because JJ is good there and it's a fun race to watch. I hear that hillside view it pretty cool.

Rick (VA)

I would think Martin Truex would join him, bring Bass Pro, take Tony's points and Tony will use the provisional

Terry Blount
  (3:56 PM)

It's possible, but if Truex runs well this season, he will have a lot of options.

Rick (VA)

Yates going to have Kvapil run a car this year? I saw his points are going to Labonte.

Terry Blount
  (3:58 PM)

I think Menard os getting Kvapil's points, but Kvapil still will run.

Terry Blount
  (3:59 PM)

Gotta run to the next tour outing. Have a great week. Peace.