Well folks, that was quite a race on Sunday at TMS. It had a little bit of everything. Now it's on to Phoenix to see how the 24/48 crew trade works for Jimmie. And we also have a big showdopwn in the NHRA finale between Hagan and Force. I'll be in Pomona for that one and Newt will be in Phoenix. We have it all covered. Then the whole ESPN.com crew will be in Miami for the Cup showdown.
Can you assess the Rousch cars performance in the chase (minus California) and how it affects the team heading into next year?
The cars continue to run well on the intermediate ovals like Texas, but still a half a click behind at other tracks.
Since it doesn't look like any major changes on #88 should we expect to see Jr run pretty much like he did this year?
I think the major change thing remains up in the air. Jr. had run well lately until another bad showing last weekend at Texas. The crew chief situation for 2011 remains uncertain.
Were there enough storylines on Sunday for you? Also, Is Harvick basically eliminated?
More things than I could write about in one column. Kevin definitely isn't out of it, but he'll need the other two guys to underperform in at least one of the last two races.
Maybe Dale Jr could get the 48 crew next year? Including Ron Malec?
Not as crazy as it sounds. Especially the Malec part.
Terry, what happened to "you win as a team and lose as a team?" Do you think this will have any long term impact on morale at HMS? Thanks
Here's my take: I had no problem with Chad swapping crews in the race at Texas. Just like an ace starting pitcher who is having a bad outing you take him out, but you don't keep him from making his next start. I thought the 48 crew would be back at Phoenix after the little wake-up call. I don't know if it's right to replace the guys who helped you win four consecutives titles. But here's what Chad was thinking. Mybe he really only wanted to replace the front tire guys. However, all these guys are accustomed to working together, so he felt it was better to switch the whole crew so the same guys would be working together in the last two races.
Why is #48 taking the better #24 pit crew a big deal when Childress did exactly the same thing with #29 and #33?
I guess it's a bigger deal because they are replacing the crew that has won the last four championships.
Do you think godaddy.com & Jr Motorsports will announced the rest of Danica nationwide series schedule for 2011 at Phoenix this weekend?
It's possible since that's where she lives, but I dounbt it. I'm not sure they have it all figured out yet.
Do you think shorter fields are a possibility for next year?
Maybe, but I don't think it matters. In fact, I think it would be a good thing to race 36 cars that actually intend to comete instead of 43 cars with several that are start and parkers.
Great run by Trevor Bayne Sunday. Do you see him in #21 next year or is he the heir apparent to David Ragan? Thanks
Trevor has big things in his future, but probably not until 2012. He really opened some eyes with his run Sunday.
At Texas the Rowdy Busch and Danica merchandise trailers had the biggest crowds. Do you think Rowdy is starting to become a fan favorite?
Typically, a drivers many people say they hate also is a driver many other people love. that was true for Dale Sr. and Waltrip and it's true for Kyle. And despite all the complaining about Danica, she moves the meter and increases interest in the sport.
We were extremly disapointed with what the child in the 18 car did. doing that to an official who did not speed down pit road was uncalled for. M&M's should can him. Children are buying his gear and that is just wrong!
Yes it was wrong, but he isn't the first driver to make an obscene gesture, or the first athletes for that matter. No one is firing him. He's one of the best drivers in the sport. He's no role model, but plenty of star athletes fit into that category.
Who do you believe is more of a lock for a top five finish this weekend at Phoenix and why...Martin, Edwards, or Bowyer?
I'd say Martin because he really runs well at Phoenix and the 5 team is on a roll.
Terry, better weekend fight: Jeff vs. Jeff, or the Jockeys at the horse racing event?
I liked the little jockeys going at it. By the way, the two fights and Gossage with the monkeys were three of the most populat videos on our entire website over the weekend. Kind of tells you all you need to know.
would u consider the 5 a darkhorse for sunday
I don't know I would call him a darkhorse. I'd say they are one of the favorites to compete for the win.
Who do you think is having the better year? Cowboys or Dale jr?
The Cowboys are way worse than Jr. this year. Dallas is competing for the worst team in the NFL The 88 isn't close to the worst team in Cup.
Hi Terry...Is Lance McGrew's job safe for 2011?If so, what does HMS need to do to make the 88 competitive again?Thanks for your time.
No, it's not safe. If they mail it in the last two races, I have tio believe Rick will make a change. Apparently, judging by this week, we may see and lot of changes at HM in the off-season.
Kyle Busch's penalty for the one finger solute, wrong or right?
Absolutely right. Had that happened in any other sport, the player would have been ejected.
I was willing to give Jeff B. the benefit of the doubt based on his past reputation. But after reviewing the tape a few times his rationale seems a bit implausible. He has been racing Jeff G. his entire career and probably has ample cause to seek payback or maybe as the mayor he was doing the deed for his constituents who have been bumperized by the 24.What do you think?
Just a moment ago on the conference call, I heard Burton vigorously deny that he intentionally wrecked Gordon. I've known Burton for 15 years. He's a man of his word and I believe him.
Do you think the ratings will be up for Phoenix and Miami after the wild antics this past weekend?
I'll be very surprise iff the Texas race doesn't cause a buzz and get fans fired up. And they know a new man is leading the Chase.
Will Kyle get further penalties from Nascar? How about Jeff and Jeff?
My guess is no on both counts. It's part of the have at it boys era.
Burton intentionally-according to Gordon-wrecked out #24 under caution. How come Burton doesn't get penalized like Rowdy?
That's a judgement call as far as intentionally wrecking someone. No judgement call on Kyle. He made an obscene gesture to a race official.
Terry, can you please start referring to Denny Hamlin as "The Ringmaster"? I think that would be appropriate now.
I'm not big on nicknames, but it may catch on.
You are saying that it is okay to flip off an official who is just enforcing a penalty that Kyle deserved? Also if other drivers get points taken away because they swear on TV then Schub should get points taken away. Oh wait, I forgot, NASCAR and the media love him.
If you think everyone in the media loves Kyle you haven't been paying attention. And I said NASCAR did the right thing to penalize him.
Doesn't the word of 4-time Cup Champion and 85 cup race winner Jeff Gordon take precedent over Burton's?
No, it doesn't. Both men always have conducted themselves in a classy manner. But you are missing the point folks. Whether the wreck was intenational or not, nothing will happen under the have at it philosophy this year.
So I guess Kyle didn't really mature this season like many thought he would? I think he has had just as many temper tantrums this season as last.
He's been much better at times this year, especially when Reuti wrecked him at Kansas. But Kyle has his moments where he backslides.
Hi Terry, how come NASCAR is so inconsistent in rules enforcement, like they let Edwards get away with jumping the start by 3 car lengths ahead of the double red markers stealing Rowdy's win?
One thing people are forgetting here. The leader is responsible for pacing the restart. Did Carl go early? Probably, but Kyle should have been ready for it and gone with him.
Do you think Chad's move was one of desperation, as Mike Ford put it or just to shake up the team? I just don't agree with this being a "team" deal. The 48 is a team, separate from the 24 team.
Mike Ford is playing mind games. Chad did what he thought was best at that moment. His job is to do everything he can to help JJ win. If that's hurt the feel;ings of the guys on the crew, so be it. This isn't kindergarten.
Any changes to the Chase format anytime soon? Eliminate it entirely? Don't add any more cars to it.
The Chase isn't going away. Since things ahve gone so well this year, I don't foresee any major changes for 2011. They may add drivers, but I hope they don't.
In response to Barb from Bakersfield, there have been numerous times when Kyle has messed with the field on restars (jumping them or deliberately bottling up the field) and NASCAR did nothing to him. What goes around, comes around.
The biggest crime of a restart if for the second place car to cross the line before the leader.
Any chance Hendrick replaces Letarte? Gordon 4 time champ, pit crew better then Johnson's....reason that 24 team struggles so much.....Letarte.
I doubt it. Jeff likes Steve and frankly, I think he gets far too much criticism.
How long does Danica have to prove herself before people start questioning her ability? I may be wrong but doesn't she only have on Indy win? Is she like Paul Menard except Go Daddy is her sole sponsor?
Danica is a quality race car driver with very little stock car seat time. She isn't the best driver in IndyCar, but she would rank in the top 10. She's a long way from that in NASCAR, but she's also much better than a lot of drivers with so little experience in these cars. And Paul is proving to be a darm good driver. Danica gets sponsoroship because she is a mainstream national celebrity. That may not be fair, but that's the real world.
What do you think - does Elliott have a real chance at the Nationwide title in a KHI car?
Absolutely. NW will be a real series again next year with guys who aren't running full time in Cup in 2011 competeing for the title.
Does Gossage's PR storm this past week/end make all the other tracks reevaluate how they promote their events?
Eddie is the best promoter in the business, far and away. Sometimes he's over the top, but the man knows how to garner attention.
QUESTION TO TERY BLOUNT AT 2.45 PM HI TERRY WHO DO YOU HAVE FOR PHOENIX SUNDAY
Jimmie with the 24 crew.
Do you think a driver ever running a full NW or a great number of NW/and or truc race will ever win the Cup title at the same time?
I don't think NASCAR is going to allow that to happen in the future. I certainly hope they make that change. Cup stars bullying the NW series has become a joke.
Over/Under 20 points as the winning margin in the Chase this year? (And who is the winner?)
I hope it's under and I'm picking Denny. I'm not a bandwagon jumper. I picked him before the season started.
In your opinion would Denny winning the cup be good for the sport, or would Jimmy winning his 5th in a row make for better history, and his legacy in NASCAR ?
Nothing against Jimmie, but without a doubt, Denny or Kevin winning would be better. People don't want to see the same guy win all the time.
Since all the drivers use profanity over the radios that everyone can hear why isn't that behavior penalized like Rowdy's gesture?
Because they aren't directing it at one particular official. And all drivers don't use profanity.
Is Harvick mad or does he relish being kind of the forgotten man in this 3 man battle for the championship?
He doesn't relish being 59 points back. He knows the odds are against him with two to go.
What would NASCAR's reaction be if the 18 or 20 took out the 48 or 29 or a teammate of the 48/29 took out the 11?
That's a good question, but it's a moot point because it's not going to happen. These guys are pros. They won't decide the title by deliberately taking out a rival of their teammate.
Do you think Harvick has choked because of too many outside interests like KHI while Denny and Jimmie focus 100% in the championship?
First, I don't thihnk Harvick has choked, but it is an interesting question. For example, I don't think it helps Kyle's Cup performance to run so many NW and truck races. In Kevin's case, Delana handles a lot of the day-to-day operation at KHI.
see, if NASCAR would have rewarded the regular season champ with a 50 point bonus, Harvick would be less than 10 points back. I think NASCAR needs to reward the regular season champ...all other pro sports leagues do (with home field/court/ice advantage)
I'm with you on this one Emily.
Do you see Chad Knaus pulling a Everham and starting his own team with big $$$ from some manufacturer like Honda or Hyundai?
Maybe down the road, but I don't see other car manufacturers coming in during these tough economic times.
If they really wanted to mix up the championship, they should have Talladega as the last race - that would be a real crapshoot..
That would be a wild show, but not happening.
Gotta run folks. Have a great week. two greats events this weekend, the Cup race at Phoenix and the NHRA final at Pomona. Read Newt's stuff from RIR and my columns from Cali. Take care. Peace