Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 13, 1:02 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Hi folks. Plenty to talk about from Daytona. How'd you see it?

John (Fullerton Ca)

Just read that David Gilliland get 4 races in the 71 car. Is there any realistic chance he can leverage this into a full time ride on a competitive team?

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Doubtful, but you never know.

Matt (Sterling Heights, MI)

So Terry, it's the question everyone has been talking about: did Jr. spin Brian out intentionally?

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

No, but lots of factors played into what happen _ the yellow line, starting lapped cars up front, the fear of rain coming and aggressive driving by Junior and Vickers.

Nate, Nebraska

After a 25th place finish at Daytona I think Scott Riggs and TBR have a good start to a great season, I wouldn't say a team to deal with but a team that can run in all the races...what do you think inside the top 35 at the end of the season?

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

It's possible, but don't read too much into what happened at Daytona. It's like what people say about Vegas. What happens in Daytona stays in Daytona. It has nothing to do with what will happen at other tracks the rest of he season. So let's see how they do in Cali this weekend..

Scott D.C.

Terry will Nascar ever put the lap down cars at the back of the pack where they belong? Clean air seems to be so important at the 1 1/2 2 mile tracks and once the leader gets by the lapped traffic he is gone.

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

Great minds thik alike Scott. NASCAR took a good step by saying lapped cars start in the back this year for the last 20 laps, instead of just the last 10. But they should start in the back all the time. And while we're at it, don't start cars on the tail end of the lead lap in front of the leader.

Dale Leone (Union Springs, NY)

Terry - What a run for the 'Dinger!!!! Do you see them getting enough sponsorship to race a full schedule withe the 44, or do you see him switching over to one of the other RPM cars? He's clearly better than Sorenson, and probably Sadler too.

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

No switch will happen this year, but AJ could get more sponsorship if they stay in the top 35 in next few races. AJ deserves it.

AJ - Indianaplis

I am getting tired of everyone defending Goodyear. They are the tire company in NASCAR and NASCAR has tire issues. Period. Stop blaming the car and the car setup. Tires should be made for the car setup, not the setup for the tires. What's your take on the tire issue? This keeps up and fans (like me) will stop watching and stop buying tickets to races. Regardless of what NASCAR says is the issue. FIX IT !!!

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

I disagree AJ. Tthe problem is this size tire doesn't work well with the COT. Goodyear is designing a bigger tire, but it won't be ready until next season.

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

Why didn't NASCAR finish the race Monday, or even start the Race a few hours earlier on Sunday, the last few laps of Daytona are more exiting than most of the race. I think the fans got robbed of the most exciting part of the 500... And we end up with a completely underwhelming Race, finish and top 10.

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

TV dictates te start times, but I also wish races would start earlier. It gives bigger window for rain problems. Once a race reaches half the laps, they can't restart it the next day. That's the rules. The race is official at that point if it rains.

devin howell michigan

if that rain did not happen would matt still win the 500

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

I doubt it, but he did have a good car and they were smart enough to get to the front at the right time.

dustin(halifax va)

after watching the truck series race friday and seeing the entry list for the weeks race is the state of the truck series better than most people thought? What did you think of the truck race friday? By far the best race last weekend to me!

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

The truck series has some very talented rookies that are going to be fun to watch _ Malsam, Austin and Fitzpatrick. None of them has reached 21 yet.

Jason (Denver)

How do you predict Juan Pablo Montoya's 2009 season will go? Will he be in the chase and win some races this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

No Chase, might win a road course race.

Ed, Hartford

Montoya seems to be running better now than with Gnassi alone. Do you think It is because the Chevy is better than Dodge or that the DEI cars are better?

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

One Daytona 500 is no way to judge how he will run. Give it a few weeks.

Jake, Dallas

Do you think Hendrick's poor performance at Daytona was the result of trying to run the 5th and 6th cars for Stewart and Newman?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

Absolutely not. Remember, Hendrick supplied engines for that car last year. Junior messed up in the pits Sunday, Gordon had tire issues, Jimmie was involved in a wreck.

dustin (halifax va)

how many empty seats will california have this week?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

Quite a few probably. But they won't be the only one this year. And it's crazy to sked this Cup race head to head with the Academy Awards in LA.

Samuel (Salt Lake City, UT)

Terry - Do you think that the RPM cars will be competitive on the 1.5 mile and other tracks, or do you think that their success at Daytona is a fluke, similar to Waltrip's success at plate tracks?

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

I don't know that's it a fluke, but again, it means nothing about how they will do this weekend. I hope they do well. They will have to show me.

Josh, Irving, Texas

Now that the real season starts in California, do you expect Kyle and Carl to resume their 08 battle for our sports #1 position?

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

I believe JJ would argue with tha No. 1 position thing. And he's darn good at Cali.

Josh (Richmond, VA)

Which D-List actors will be showing up at Fontana this week?

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

The one who don't have an invite to the Academy Awards.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

Terry - What are the chances that Scott Speed leaves NASCAR next year for the new Formula One team, USF1, based in Charlotte?

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

I think Scott's done with F1. I have have my doubts that team will ever come to fruition.

Ken (Richmond, VA)

Terry you just said that they can't finish a race the following day once it reaches halfway because those are the rules but we all know that NASCAR makes up the rules as they go along. If Selig can change the rules in the middle of the World Series then NASCAR can change the rules in the middle of the Daytona 500.

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

Goodness knows NASCAR has a rep for changing rules on the fly, but they aren't changing this one.

Alfonzo (Hoboken, NJ)

Mr. Blount - Do you see Bowyer being in the top 10 all year? He had a great run at Daytona. If he makes the chase, he should get extra recognition for doing it with a new time, after being wronged by RCR.

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

I agree, but let's see how he does the next couple of weeks. If he races well this season he deserves huge props.

Scott D.C.

Even with the poor finish it looked liked the 26 team has carried over the confidence from last year. Do you think Jamie and Donnie can make the chase this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

It wouldn't shock me, but it's still an uphill climb. If they click right off the bat, Jamie can get there.

Rick (Pittsburgh, PA)

I am trying to plan a trip to my first NASCAR race this year... Should I plan for a Pocono or Dover race, which would be better for a first trip to a track?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Not two of my favorites stops, but I'd do Dover. More excitement on the high banks and it has a casino.

Billy (TN)

Slow start for Jimmy Johnson, similar to last year. Do you know if the cut finger is an issue?

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

Not at all.

Ryan Charlotte, NC

Other than yourself, wouldn't you have to say that Ryan McGee is probably the best looking NASCAR writer working today?

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

Maybe, but it's a long road to the top and I'm not giving up my spot.

devin howell michigan

will joey logano run all laps at cal

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

I predict he will and he'll do well. It's the type of track that suits his driving style.

Brad Griffin, San Angelo, Texas

One note on Jr. 'over hte line call' - what was Jr. supposed to do by the time the official made the call the car was jacked up and the right side lugs were off? can't really drop it and move it?

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

Hed was suupose to get in the box in the first place, which he didn't.

Scott(NC)

why is everybody blaming Jr for the big clearly he was beside vickers already when he tried block that caused jr to get loose and come back up the track so vickers should be blamed and not Jr.

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

The yellow line rule is a big factor . The question is whether the rule causes as many wrecks as it prevents. I wrote about this for tomorrow.

Josh (Richmond, VA)

Recent Daytona 500 winners haven't fared well the rest of the season (Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman). Do you think Kenseth will win again and change this recent curse?

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

I relaly do. I think Matt's found a winner in young crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. But what a pain that is to spell. We've got to get a nickname for that boy.

Bristow, VA

Daytona means very little going to the rest of the schedule, that being said major props for Michael Waltip Racing - all 3 cars in the top 17 and 2 of them were in position to be competitive if the race had run all 200 laps.

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

If there's one thing MW can do, it's race with the big boys at the plate events. Looks like he passed along a few secrets to his teammates.

Dalton (Tennessee)

was earnhardts attitude was good after the race

Terry Blount
  (2:29 PM)

He was ticked off, but who wouldn't be?

Brad Griffin, San Angelo, Texas

Ok - I get that, but after the fact what could he have done?

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

He could have waited half a tick and eased up the track a little. But as he said not much time to consider those things in the heat of the moment.

Dalton (Tennessee)

Do you think Kensethes performance could have been better

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

How can it be better than winning?

mark (san JUan)

horrible 500....fans should get a refund .....#17 should return the trophy ...

Terry Blount
  (2:32 PM)

I thought it was a pretty good race, just a shame they couldn't finish it.

Bristow, VA

There are some good deals to get to the tracks this year. I just bought tickets for Martinsville -- $25 a ticket on the backstretch. To go to the local short track by my house it costs $20. Race fans if the tracks are near by look at the prices this year. Bristol tickets are available this year!

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

Great point. That's true for Cup races across the country. There's never been a better time to buy quality seats.

Don (KY)

Any rain in Fontana? Do they have the weepers fixed?

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

Weepers are fixed. It has rained like crazy for two weeks, but the forecast looks good for this weekend.

Bo (TX)

How do you think Sam Hornish will do this year? He looked good at Daytona, just had the over-heating problem

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

I think Sam still has a long way to go. The real key is whether Penske Racing has improved overall.

Nick (Hastings, NE)

Hey, got in late to this chat, but this is a question I have been looking for the answer to. Have you heard anything about RPM's plans to try and field Allmendinger for a full season after an impressive run in the 500? I feel like this guy is getting better and better each race... I say throw him in for the first 5 races and see where they stand in the owners points.

Terry Blount
  (2:35 PM)

They want to run him the full sason, but they have to get the sponsoship money. The odds of that went way up with AJ's strong run at Daytona.

Richard, Tyler, Texas

With the way Kyle and Denny dominiated the 500 do you think they were sandbagging, not showing all that TRD horsepower until raceday?

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

No, but they were experimenting a lot in practice. Kyle even drove Joey's car to give that team some input..

Larry (MI)

Do you think the whole Dale Jr/Vickers incident is kind of what Nascar needed in a year that ratings and attendance were expected to be down? Do you think more people will tune in on Sunday to see what could happen next?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

I think a Jr. victory would have helped more, but getting Earnhardt's name in so many stories from the race doesn't hurt.

Derrike Cope

Terry, I will be back, and I will win the 2010 Daytona 500.

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

And I won't hold my breath fake Derrike.

Lester, Richmond

Do you expect Joey Logano to win at least 1 race this season?

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

I think he has an excellent shot it in that car.

Joey (PA)

Who do you see having the better season, the 82 or 77?

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

I don't see either one setting the world on fire. Having a full year under his belt will help Sam.

Dallas (Richmond, VA)

Is Jamie McMurray back this year after a strong running at Daytona?

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

Guys, let's review. Daytona means zero about how the season will go. But if Jamie takes up where he left off last year, he'll be a contender.

David Washington DC

Andretti had a nice top 20 finish for EGR...any prospects of getting that ride in for California or any other races?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

Andretti is on the Cali entry list.

Josh (Richmond, VA)

The next 1st time winner will be...

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

David Ragan

Larry (MI)

We heard from Kyle and Vickers about the big wreck but are the other drivers saying?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

Some blamed Earnhardt, some didn't.

Jay (Paducah, KY)

A few weeks ago Firestone ran a stock car tire test in Homestead. With all of the recent Goodyear tire failures, will Firestone or Hoosier ever get a shot to get back into Cup racing?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

Probably, but Goodyear has an exclusive contact for now.

Jay (Paducah, KY)

Any chance that Kentucky Speedway ends up with a Cup race in 2010 or beyond?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

Yes, as soon as the lawsuit against NASCAR goes away.

Wes, Republic

The real reason that all the lead cars got caught up in the big wreck is that the cars that was on the tail end of the lead lap was placed ahead of Busch, McMurray and all of the lead cars if the y had clean air they would not of got caught up in it

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

A agree. Don't start tail-end cars in front of the leader. Very dangerous.

Jay (Paducah, KY)

With the starting times of the Indy 500 and the Coke 600 being what they are, will Tony George or Bruton Smith ever change the start time of either to make "the double" possible again?

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

They should, but neither seems willing to do it. The real answer is to race one of them on the Monday, Memorial Day holiday.

Frank

I was at Daytona and I was willing to wait for them to dry the race track. Do you think NASCAR made the right call to end the race short from its schedule distance?

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

NASCAR can't win on these things. Most people thought they should have waited longer. But last year at Cali, they waited until 11 pm PT and then had to finish the race the next day. People were furious they didn't call it sooner. It's always a tough decision.

Sean (Sarasota)

What's up with Dale Jr's mental miscues in the pit? This was supposed to be his race. Should his car owner be worried?

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

Everyone has a bad, sort of like Peyton Manning throwing three inceptions. It happens.

Ron (San Clemente)

Nice column on Jr., but 4 pit mistakes in one weekend? And then the fiasco with Vickers? Mental mistakes aplenty.

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

Agreed. You can't have many days like that and win a championship. Lucky for Jr. his came in the first race.

Scott (Atlanta)

What was your take on Kyle Petty's angry reaction to his old 44 paint scheme for AJ (and seemingly bitter feelings about the demise of Petty Enterprises), and do you see any chance of him at least running some Cup races this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

I think Kyle needs to let it go. He might run a race or two, but it's more likely he's done.

Jay (Paducah, KY)

Have you heard any more about New Hampshire losing a date in favor of another Speedway Motorsports facility?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

New Hampshire will not lose a date. if SMI moves a race, it would come from Atlanta or Charlotte.

Sean (Sarasota)

After running all those races last year and then seemingly wearing out at the end, do you think Kyle Busch should just cocentrate on Sprint cup races this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

I would encopurage him to cut back on the other series, but he's young. He can handle it.

Jay (Paducah, KY)

It seems to me that, despite Brian France's comments last year at Daytona regarding "returning to NASCAR's roots," NASCAR gets farther away from them. This happened in IndyCar for several years and that's when Tony George forced a split (with IndyCar winning the painful war that followed). Bruton Smith could easily do the same thing. Any chance this could happen in NASCAR?

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

Not a chance in you know where.

Trixie (Tacoma, WA)

Why did you rate Jr the way you did in your book?

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

I listed Jr. and underrated in The Blount Report (available in book stores and on line sites) because he is a victim of his last name. He's won 18 Cup events. You don't do that on a fluke. And he won in the most difficult time of his life after his dad died. But people expect him to be his father. No on can do that.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

Gotta runs folks. Great questions today. Lets head to Cali, soak up some sun (hopefully) and see what happens. I'm out. Peace.