Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 8, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Hi Everybody. Before we start I just want to say how truly humbled and grateful I am to be honored by the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. It means the world to me.

Dan (NY)

Does the new points system make it easier to fall out of the top 35? Congrats on your award.

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

Thanks Dan. The new system makes it harder to make up ground, so yes, it would be easier to find yourself outside the top 35. Jeff Burton is 34th in owners points after three races, a huge surprise.

Michael (Cleveland, OH)

Dale Jr would probably be sitting 3rd or 4th in points had he not blown a tire at Daytona, what is his easier path, staying in the top 10 or winning a race or two?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

Probably winning a race, but I also think it's possible he could end up in the top 10. He is happier right now than I've seen him in a long time.

Josh (Elgin, IL)

How bad of a beating did Conway take from Robby and do you think it is fair to put Robby on probation when they gave Jeff Gordon a pass for Texas?

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

I didn't see it, so I can't say. However, what Robby did and what Jeff did are completely different. One was in the heat of the moment after a crash. The other was premeditated.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

One more quick question, is someone going to drive the #7 when Danica is doing the IndyCar thing to try and keep the points up in the top 35 or isn't that owner points but driver points for the 35?

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

Top 35 is based on owner points.

Josh (Elgin, IL)

No matter what Danica says about not being sure about her '12 NASCAR plans, doesn't the planning have to be happening now if she is going to run Sprint Cup full time?

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

It has to happen soon. I think the odds are strong she is coming full-time to NASCAR.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

Terry, do you think that Johnny Benson coaching Danica has made that much of a difference in her driving and better finishes, or is it just the seat time that really did it? Or both?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

It's both, and the fact that she is racing on some of these tracks for a second time. But Johnny has made a huge difference for her. He has shown her so many little things about driving these cars that have helped her. This may be Johnny's new calling. He's very patience and really good at explaining things in a way she can understand and put to use.

PJ (Durham, NC)

Hey Terry, what's up with JGR's engines? Logano at Phoenix then Hamlin and Kyle last week at Vegas. Could this be an ongoing issue or will the off-week give them extra time to figure it out?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

The off week will help and it is a concern for them. But JGR has a great engine dept and they'll figure it out.

Josh (Elgin, IL)

Hi Terry, with Rowdy's disappointments at Phoenix and Vegas do you expect the #18 to unload at Bristol ready to dominate?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

They hope so and it's one of his best tracks. But lots of crazy things happen at Bristol.

Rick (Buffalo, NY)

Wouldn't Danica be crazy to jump to Cup full time in '12 (sans the money)? She would be well better served running a fully year in NW and doing 10 or so Cup races. She hasn't even strung together more than 5 NW races in a row. Would be a huge dent in her development

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

I agree Rick. She would need to run a few Cup races at the end of the season first to have some idea what it's like. I think the best move would be for her to spend 2012 full time in NW while running five or six Cup races.

Billy (Alabama)

By the way, congrats on the Hall of fame!

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Thanks Billy. The response today has been overwhelming. It's really humbling.

Josh (Elgin, IL)

Have to disagree with Rick of Buffalo, Tony Stewart jumped right into Sprint cup and so did AJ and others.

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

Tony ran almost a full season in NW first. AJ didn't, but I think that hurt him intially.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

What would be a good finish for Danica at Bristol?

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

Oh man, I think she's in for some serious schooling there. A top 20, or even finishing the race with most of the paint still on it, would impress the heck out of me.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Here is a question I can?t get anyone in the media to answer, and I have emailed it to a bunch of NASCAR writers/reporters. I thought with the driver swap at HMS that Mark Martin was supposed to be driving Juniors old 88 cars this season. But so far he has had a new car at all 3 races and is sure to have another new car at Bristol. Was something wrong with the old 88 cars that is causing them to not be driveable this season? (Gordon and Junior have driven cars from last year already this season FYI)

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

HMS builds new cars all the time. Martin is racing with Junior's No. 88 team from last year.

Mark (Iowa)

What did you think of Dale Jr.'s comments after the race on Sunday? Do you think Hendrick has given him an indication that he improve or else he's out? I thought they were working on a contract extension, is that still in the works?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

They haven't given him any ultimatums. That's just Junior's personal feeling about it.

Charlie Sheen (via mobile)

Terry Blount, glad you are here. You are all about #winning!

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

Thanks fake Charlie. And you're in the Tiger Blood Hall of Fame.

Pete (SC)

Will you mess up Marty Smiths hair next time you see him. That is only thing in Nascar I dont like. Martys gel hair

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

Are you kidding me. MDawg's hair is legend. He needs to put a patent on it. Women all over the world want to touch his hair. And you can't mess that thing up with a wind tunnel.

PJ (Durham, NC)

Blount, any news or rumors on what Mark Martin will be doing next season?

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

It's way too early to say for sure. But we might have gotten a hint Saturday with him racing for Turner Motorsports. They would like to move up to Cup next year.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Jeff Gordon gets in a fight with Mike Bliss back in the day, gets no punishment. Stewart fractures a guys eye socket in Australia and gets no punishment. But when the little guys do something, like Robby Gordon and Carl Long, they get severe punishments. Is it safe to say NASCAR has a double starndard when it comes to its superstars?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

No it's not. NASCAR has no jurisdiction over what Tony does in another country. And by the way, all Robby got was NASCAR's virtually meaningless probation.

Freddie (Ft Lauderdale)

Other than camera time for sponsors what is the point of Mark Martin running Nationwide races?

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

What's the point of any veteran Cup driver racing in the NW series?

DR (TN)

Terry, SHR expaning next season? Several FA's any Potential suitors if so?

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

All that depends on sponosrship. If they know they can get a big money sponsor by signing a certain driver, they'll do it.

ben (uk)

why all of a sudden are people (dale jr included) talking as if this could be his last year in cup if he doesn't turn things around

Terry Blount
  (2:29 PM)

No one is saying that, not even Junior. His point is if he doesn't show improvement he will end up racing with a less competitive situation.

Tom (Geneva, IL)

Terry, congrats on your recognition. After the first 3 races with 3 different winners and JG finally finally breaking his losing streak, do you think the moves that Mr. Hendrick made is paying off for all teams?

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

Thanks Tom. Without question, the Hendrick moves have made a difference. Jr. is better and much happier. Jeff is better suited to work with Alan. It was a risky move that I think it paying off.

TG (PA)

Junior makes it sound like he couldn't get another good sponsor. Do you think Amp & National Guard will stick with him after his contract is up in 2012?

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

That's very iffy. They both pay a huge amount of money to be on that car. He is makes the Chase and wins some races, they might stay. If not, they're out.

Dan (Grapevine, TX)

But not paying off for Jimmie and #48

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

It's early Dan. Don't count him out. He'll be there at the end.

Tom (Geneva, IL)

Terry, one other question; if Junior shows a great turnaround in 2011 makes the Chase, makse some noise do you think Mr. Hendrick will work out a contract like he has with Jimmy and Jeff?

Terry Blount
  (2:35 PM)

They've talked about a new contract, but I don't think it will be one like JJ and Jeff have. Jeff has a lifetime deal. But contracts often are based on what sponsors are willing to pay.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Do you think maybe Kyle Busch is being more mellow lately is because he is tired of being disliked by so many fans and not neccessarily because he is more mature?

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

No, he's just growing up and learning how to handle situations better. It also helps owning a team and seeing things from that perspective with sponsors.

bryan (va)

How about the progress of RPM and its drivers AJ & Marcos?

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

They are thrilled with how things have gone so far. It really means a lot to run well on a 1.5-mile oval like Vegas because that 1/3rd of the sked. And wait until Marcos gets that car on a road course.

Les (Westerville, Ohio)

Is this an all Jr chat? how come a guy who hasn't even finished top 20 the last 2 years gets so much attention?

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

Because his name is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Where have you been Les?

Corey (Ohio)

Hey Terry. Two questions: Will you be in Gainesville for the NHRA race this weekend and what are your thoughts on Kurt Busch's first foray into the Pro Stock ranks?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

I won't be there, but I can't wait to see how Kurt fares. Most people have no idea how difficult it is to make the show in Pro Stock. Sometimes the entire field is separated but than one-tenth of a second. He has his work cut out for him. If he makes it, that will be a major accomplishment.

Emily (NJ)

If Jack doesn't re-sign Carl, is Roush Fenway in big trouble in the future?

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

No. RFR will be fine. But they really want Carl to stay. It won't be easy to keep him. The money-train is coming his way.

Virginia (Tx)

Terry, are you certain that Amp and NG are out if Jr doesn't make the Chase or win races? Absolutely certain?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

No. Both are signed up through 2012. But if he has two bad years, I don't see either of them paying the kind of money they pay now.

Mark (Iowa)

You wrote on your blog a couple weeks ago that GM won't reveal what their Cup entry will be in 2013... have you heard any rumors about what car it will be? It sounds like it won't be the Camaro, which is disappointing

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

I agree Mark. I don't understtand why GM is so opposed to racing the Camaro in NASCAR, although they haven't ruled it out entirely. If I had to guess the 2013 model today I'd say the Malibu.

PJ (Durham, NC)

Is there any chance David Ragan gets the boot before the season ends?

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

Not likely before the season ends.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

How come NASCAR didnt penalize Carl Edwards Sunday when a tire got loose and left his pit stall on his next to last stop? Isn't that against the rules?

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

No, not if a crew member retrieves it before the car leaves the pit.

James (Ft. Worth)

Do you think the better attendence and strong tv ratings are because Rowdy, Edwards and Bayne are bringing new, younger fans into the sport?

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

Bayne's victory certainly brougt a huge buzz. Carl and Kyle have been around a long time, so I don't think that's a factor. But a big name like Gordon winning again also brought a lot of attention.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Terry Chevy wont race the Camaro in Cup because they cant get it to fit in the templates and still retain the looks of the Camaro

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

That's what they say, but Ford did a great job with the Mustang and Dodge did an incredible job with the Challenger. Why can't Chevy do it?

Aron (Grapevine, Tx)

Already losing ground in my fantasy leauge...Is it too early to drop Logano for 'Dinger?

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

Joey's had a tough start but I wouldn't count him out just yet.

yuccadale (ca)

Shame on nascar for coddling Kevin Conway once more.Two involved,only one suffers.

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

Unless you saw it, how do you know?

Paul (Ft. Myers)

How much technical assistance does Joe Gibbs Racing engine department get from Toyota Racing Developments in Coast Mesa, Calif?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

JGR builds its own engines, but if there's a problem, everyone huddles to try to find a solution.

mike (atlanta)

my theory on the lack of a push from chevy to put the camaro in NASCAR is purely a marketing tactic. chevy doesn't need to sell more camaros, the need to sell more mid-size sedans, which is why they use the impala body. thoughts?

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

I think that's an excellent point Mike.

Marc (Winter Park, FL)

Do you really think Rowdy Busch gives a hoot what Dale jr fans think of him?

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

No I don't In fact, he probably likes it if they don't like him.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

How come everyone acts like Junior is a huge failure in NASCAR? 95% of the drivers in the garage would love to have his career stats. And judging by how he is starting this season, a whole bunch of people might be eating crow soon.

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

I agree Chris. People want to comopare Jr. to Sr, which is ridiculously unfair. Junior isn't the best driver in NASCAR, but you don't win 18 Cup races on a fluke.

Jamerson (Georgia)

I'm surprised NASCAR doesn't push harder for Chevy to adapt the Camaro to stock car. I would think that would be a boost to their ratings... I'm sure Chevy fans would tune in faster for Camaros than Impalas.

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

I'd love to see it, but I don't think it's gonna happen.

Jack (Brooklyn, NY)

Terry, would you agree that the best thing for Danica next year, if she does indeed want to move to Nascar full time, is to run a full year in the NW series rather than race the big boys in cup on some tracks that she's never even been to?

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

It's all about what the sponsors want to do.

Vinnie (ATL)

Any chance we see an American racing in F1 in the near future? Any open wheel prospects out there?

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

I don't see one on the horizon, but having the race in Austin (assuming that happens) will help bring more US attention.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

Great chat today folks. Lots of interesting debate. I like it like that. Enjoy your week. I'm out. Peace.