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March 6, 1:19 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

Hi folks. A rare off weekend coming up for Cup. Any big plans for you guys?

Scott Lugoff, SC

Big Jeff Gordon fan here do you believe Steve letarte should get a lot of credit for Jeff's return to glory this season?

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Jeff says so. His point is if Steve deserved the blame last year, then he deserves the credit this year.

Dave, Virginia

Do you think that Rick will make the move to split up Jr. & Jr. by the middle of the season or will he wait until the end of the year?

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Depends on how they're doing. If Earnhardt ranks 20th at mid-season, something has to change.

Deb, Oklahoma City

Why do Juniors problems asways get blamed on crew chief or some other excuse? When will people start comparing Jr. to Kyle, Kurt and Carl? Do you think Jr. could have done what Kurt did on Sunday?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Hard to say. Kurt and Kyle and very good with loose race cars. Junior probably isn't as good at that, but he is a quality driver.

Rick, Lake City, Florida

Bad luck is a popular excuse in Nascar. Have you ever heard a driver/crew chief say that good luck was the reason for success?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

Sure, quite a lot. I've heard Chad admit they got lucky by pitting at the right time or avoiding a big wreck in front of them.

Dave, Virginia

Great article. I believe that Dale Jr. has lost the "Earnhardt" swagger he had early in his career. Maybe a reunion with Pops would help but Dale Jr. needs some confidence again. I hope Rick makes a change sooner rather than later.

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

Thanks, but Pops isn't going to replace his son. As I said in the column, that combo wouldn't be the same now, but I do feel both Juniors needs a fresh start.

TG

I just finished reading your article and agree. Maybe a change for Junior's crew chief is a good idea. It should be Rick's decision since he owns the team. Do you think Junior would give it a try?

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

If Rick told him he needed to do it, I think Junior would accept it.

Jeff (East Bay, CA)

It's not good luck...it's strategy!!

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

Avoiding a big wreck isn't strategy.

Jordan (Candor, NC)

What's your favorite Cup racetrack?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

For watching the race, it's Richmond. For everything you can do inside and outside the facility, it's Vegas, Texas and Sonoma,

Derrick (California)

Do you think Scott Speed stays in NASCAR after this year? or Team Red Bull gets new guy for 82 next year?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

I think they have to give it more than one year to let Scott learn the ropes.

Matt, Virginia

Do you think that the problem is that Rick does not put as much emphasis into the 88 and 5 car?

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

No. Rick is a patience man who doesn't make rash decisions. He wants to be sure a major change is the right thing to do before moving forward.

josh tx [via mobile]

Do u think is the same jeff gordon we seen in 07 or is this a new jeff? And do u think it could be 'Five Time' next year. He seems to be the strongest so far.

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

I really see a renewed passion in Jeff. He has the eye of the tiger back, It's almost an anger tp prove he still has what it takes. That little extra edge can make the difference between winning a title and finishing 10th.

Scott Lugoff, SC

Do you see Darlington sticking around a long time I hope so because it is one of the last original tracks we have left. Thanks for answering in school right now.

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Scott, you should be studying. But to answer your question, yes, Darlington will continue to have a Cup race for a long time to come.

Derrick (California)

ya i agree Scott needs another year, but Hornish idk bout i think his time might be running out

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

Sam needs to really step it up this year or I expect to see him back in Indy cars in 2010.

Lyle, Atlanta

Kyle has already won 4 Nascar races in 09. Do you think he will break his record of 21 Nascar wins from last year?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

I don't tink he should try. I think he should worry about winning the Cup title.

Cory (Tuscaloosa)

Terry, do you ever get tired of answering the same questions about Dale Jr.? I sure get tired of reading them...

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

No because I understand he is the most popular driver in the sport. Love him or hate him, whenever we write about Junior, it garners more hits than almost anything else we do.

Rick Billing Mt

JR lives only because of his name. He is not a good driver and never will be.

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Junior has 18 Cup victories. You don't do that by accident. I think just the opposite is true. If he had any other last name, people would consider he a pretty decent driver. But he can't be Dale Sr. No one can.

mydrick taylor (miami,fl)

ok, i don't know much about cars but i want to learn about them who would you say is the best out there right now?

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

If we are talking about pure talent, the best driver is Kyle Busch. The best crew chief is Chad Knaus.

Mike Stationed in Jacksonville Fl

terry Great Article. Do you think lance McGrew is the answer to a new CC for Jr

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

Maybe, but Hendrick has a ton of talented guys waiting in the wings. If it were me, I'd go with Ron Malec.

pj (tx)

do you think that dale jr can still make the chase i got quite a bit of money says he does what do you think

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

Yes, he'll make the Chase. but the question is, can he win the championship the ways things are right now? I don't think he can.

Janet Jackson Belleville, Il

Who is the second most popular driver??

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

By merchandise sales, I believe it would be Jeff Gordon.

Jorge, Ft. Lauderdale

How can people expect a 50 year old man like Mart Martin to compete against 23 year old studs like Kyle Busch or Carl or Kurt?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

Mark's in great shape for his age, better than a lot of guys 15 years younger. he can hold his own, but I don't think he can win a championship at age 50.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

Great article, but I think there is another solution. Mr. Hendrick needs to motivate Jr & Jr, Big E never would have put up with the cousins bickering.

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

They haven't bickered much lately. And bickering isn't always bad. Carl Edwards and Bob Osborne do it all the time, but it works for them. Something is missing with the Juniors. The chemistry just isn't there.

Jeff, Pa.

Don't Ryan Newman's failures only prove that Stewart-Haas really is only qualified to run a 1 car operation?

Terry Blount
  (2:29 PM)

No, but it is proving that Tony is one heck of a talented driver, but we knew that already. The man could race a big wheel.

Tyler (Tampa, Fl)

Your Jr. parting from Jr. article was actually insightful. It's been obvious that Jr's career dropped off after 2004, but it never occurred to me the biggest change was losing Tony Sr.

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

Thanks. It's a point a lot of people miss because they just see the name Eury with Earnhardt.

Scott Lugoff, SC

Mr. Blount School needs to end early espically on Fridays so I can watch NASCAR qualifying.

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

Or maybe they could just move qualifying to Saturday to help you out.

Kyle, Corona, CA

Can Bowyer challenge for the Cup title this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

I really believe he can. It's remarkable what he done this year with a new team. Bowyer is the mosy underrated guy on the track these days.

Greg, Pine Mtn., GA

You hit the nail on the head. Both Jr.s need a change. Heard DW even mention about how "wicked" Jr's car was this week. Why do you think they can't get this car right for him?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

It's hard to get this car right for anyone. Even Kurt's car Sunday was a bear to drive. It's really about compromise. What do we give up in one area to get the driver to feel comfortable in another? As for what Jr. needs, I don't think anyone has the answer for that, which iss why a change might help.

Cr8on Lugoff,SC

Hey, im sittin next to Scott having to hear him talk about Gordon, but I'm all Johnson. How long do you think it'll take for JJ to finally get in the top spot again.

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

Just give it some time. They are 13th right now, but a month from now they'll be in the top 5. And don't be surprised to see JJ win at Martinsville.

Jimmy ((SD))

How many wins do you expect for Joey Lagano?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

This year, zero. In his career, many.

Sam, Titusville

Kurt and Kyle are two of the best at Bristol. Do you expect to see a battle between the brothers for the win?

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

It wouldn't surprise me,and don't think for a second either bro wouldn't bump the other out of the way to win it.

Cory, Geneva, IL

Does NASCAR have the power to give the laps back in a situation like the one we saw Sunday with the crewman and the tire. Seems like a well planned "accident" by a crew member could really change a race.

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

A good point and it did change the race dramtically. But that's a very tough decision to determine which cars would get a free lap back. I think NASCAR handled it the best way they could.

Tyler (Tampa, Fl)

Is there any chance of Jeff Gordone becoming the second most winningest driver by the end of his career?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

He needs 25 more wins to pass Pearson. That won't be easy. He'd have to average five win over five more years. I think the odds are against it

Mike Stationed in Jacksonville Fl

Terry why do you think that Dale Jr is so dependent on Tony Jr. You would thin thelack of results since 2004 would open his eyes.

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

He's comfortable with someone he has know all his life. But he needs to get out of his comfort zone on move on.

Derrick (California)

Do you think Jeff will win his fifth title this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

Before the season started, I would have said no way. Now I think he has a great shot at it.

Josh, Las Vegas

Do you agree with the estimates of 94,000 in attendance Sunday in Atlanta?

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

Preposterous. It wasn't anywhere close to that. Maybe 65,000.

Evan Johnson (SLC, Utah)

Will Jr. win the championship before he's done

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

If he and Eury Jr. go their separate ways, yes. If not, no.

Tyler (Tampa, Fl)

Wouldn't NASCAR have been forced to throw the caution with a tire in the infield grass anyway? A 3500LB+ car hitting a tire at 160MPH would be ridiculously dangerous.

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

Excellent point. yes, they still would have had to throw a caution, but they could have waited a couple laps until the pit stops cycled through.

T.O., Buffalo, NY

What do you think the next track to lose/gain a race will be? Any chance of Darlington regaining Labor Day weekend?

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

No, not anytime soon. Atlanta gets it's shot to see if it can make Labor Day work. Atlanta's spring race should move to Kentucky.

Matt (Oxford, MS)

Terry, What are your thoughts on Harvick being the only big name free agent this year? What do you see him doing? Taking Martin's place in the 5?

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

Truex is the biggest free agent this year. I beleive Harvick is still under contract. Adn I could see Truex going to the 5.

Cory, Geneva, IL

Similar to the last question, do drivers tone down the racing a bit during Green Flag Pit Stops in order to avoid bringing out the caution until they cycle through, or is it racing as usual and that is part of the luck you were talking about?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

No toning it down under green. You get what you can get and hope for the best when you pit.

Evan Johnson (SLC, Utah)

Why do you think Ron Malec would be a good choice for Jr's Crew chief?

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

He's learned a lot under Chad and he's got that fire in him that you look for in a leader.

Derrick (California)

Where will Jamie McMurray go when Roush downsizes to 4 cars, i belive that leave Jamie the odd driver out?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

If it's Jamie, he will go to Yates Racing, which basically is a satellite team with Roush.

Mike (Tulsa)

How many more years you think Jeff Gordon has in him racing wise?

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

I don't see Jeff racing much past 40. Not that he couldn't do it. I don't think he wants to do it. He has a lot going on in his life.

Matt Cassel, KC, MO.

What's next for AJ Allmendinger if sponsors can't be found to continue his season?

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

RPM will run him as long as it can, but they will have to shut it down at some point if the money isn't there. But AJ has shown he can drive if given a decent car.

Andy (Toledo, OH)

Why would anybody in their right mind want to crew chief for Junior? All he does is yell at his crew chief to get his car right. Don't you think Rick would just swap Eury Jr. and Gustafson?

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

Probably not. And if you can't handle a driver yelling at you, you shouldn't becomea crew chief. Just goes with the territory.

Woody, Baltimore

T. Bodine said he won't be at the next truck race without sponsorship and with US truck sales tanking how much longer can Nascar have a truck series?

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

The truck series is the best racing NASCAR has. I'd hate to see it go away. I think it's safe for now, but in this economy, anything is possible.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

Gotta run folks. Have a great off weekend. I'm out. Peace.