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October 19, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Hi gang. It's been a tough few days for aurto racing, as everyone knows. What's on your mind?

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! If you were a driver in the Chase and you were sitting dead center in points, let's just say 20ish out of 1st, what would your strategy be at 'Dega to survive and have a good points day?

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Everyone strategy at Dega is just to get through it without an accident. If you do that. ti was a good day.

Chris (Crestview, FL)

Do you think Rowdy, Harvick and Edwards are making mistakes running in truck and nationwide races instead of focusing 100% on winning the championship?

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

Yes I do.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! Do you see Denny pushing Kyle to the win or Jr. pushing JJ to the win given the points situations or could you see the teammates dueling it out at the end?

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

It really depends on the situation. But when it comes to winning the race, all of these guys want the victory.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! Of the non-Chase drivers, who do you think has the best chance of winning this weekend?

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

Bowyer probably, but almost anyone can win at Dega.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! It seems that after this weekend we should have a good idea of which drivers are in it to win it. That being said, what do you believe is the points threshold leaving Talladega to still be in the title hunt?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Probably 25 to 30 points at the most. But you may need to be withing 20 points.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

How great will it be for NASCAR to have a 1st time Sprint Cup champ like Kyle Busch or Carl Edwards?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Most people would day having anyone other than Jimmie win would be a good thing.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! With the changes to the cars at Talladega this week, do you expect to see "the big one" or many "little ones"?

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

No one really knows. I think we'll still see pairs racing, but maybe not the entire race. The cars will be a little faster and they won't be able to pair up as much because they can't lubricate the bumpers. That could make it more dangers. But as I wrote today, Wheldon's death will be on everyone's mind so they probablty will be more cautious than usual.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! Which drivers in the Chase could sustain a DNF or a relatively poor finish at 'Dega and still remain in Championship contention?

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

Probably only the top 3 guys _ Edwards, Harvick and Kenseth.

MD [via mobile]

Do you realize Alan has asked four of the five questions in this chat? One more and we'll have to start calling him 'Five Time'.

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

A new world record.

Matt R. (Pittsburgh)

What driver do you think is most looking forward to getting this year over and done with in order to start getting ready for next year? Burton? Kahne? Bowyer?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

Probably Burton, but Kasey certainly is fired up about next year. I expect big things from him at Hendrick next season.

Wade (FL)

Terry, how far is 27 points back...realistically?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

It's basically 27 positions in one race. But it isn't just how many points back a driver is. It's how many drivers are ahead of him.

Wade (FL)

If the #22 wins, does that put him right back into the thick of things? Or do the others HAVE to do really bad?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

Kurt's still in it. I wouldn't count him out yet unless all the talk of Steve leaving becomes too big a distraction.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

Do you think Las Vegas Motor Speedway was Danica last indycar race?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

No. I expect her to race in the Indy 500 next year.

Sonya (wisconsin)

Do you think nascar drivers would have called the race if the same situation had happened here?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

Probably not, but it's really impossible to say.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

AJ Foyt's reaction to Jimmie Johnson's comments: ""He's never drove (an IndyCar), and he's pretty stupid to make a statement like that." Thoughts, TB?

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

Jimmie is a great guy, but I disagree with what he said. IndyCar has to run high speed ovals if it wants to remain a viable series in the US. the truth is the vast majority of racing fans in American are oval fans. If IndyCar went to only street and road courses, it become nothing more than a niche sports at best. The answer is to make th acrs safer on those tracks. Some things are going to change.

Vinnie (ATL)

I love IndyCar as much as NASCAR. What happened Sunday was a tragedy. F1 had problems in the early 90s with safety and a couple of drivers died including Senna. When are these Series going to listen to the drivers?

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

You can't just listen to drivers. Decisions must be made based on the ability to make a series successful. Drivers don't always have that in mind.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

If Kasey has a big year at HMS doesn't that make it more unlikely that Dale Jr. will have a good year?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

No, but he could.

turk (Michigan)

Kyle running trucks this weekend with no sponsor. Is he going the way of KHI?

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

I don't think so, but times are hard and sponsorship is difficult to get for everyone.

Ned (Ohio)

If most Americans are oval fans how come Baltimore drew 75K and the ovals are lucky to get 50K fans?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

That's misleading. First, it's impossible to say how many people actually pay to watch street races. And most street races are a passing novelty that do well for a couple of years and move on. It's perception. A crowd of 40,000 at a street race looks full. A crowd of 40,000 at a big oval looks empty.

Adam C (Vermont)

Terry, what was the first thought you had when you witnessed the accident in Las Vegas?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Fear and sinking feeling in my stomach. I knew it was bad.

Teri (Burbank)

Considering Matt Kenseth is doing so well, do you think that team will attract a sponser before the 2012 season starts?

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

It doesn't hurt, but it's getting late in the game to line up a big-time primary sponsor for all of next year. Most corporations set their budgets Oct. 1.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

Response to Ned: Baltimore drew pretty well on account of it being the first race there...it will be interesting to see how they draw next year.

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

Baltimore was a big success, no doubt about it. i hope it continues to do well. We'll see.

Vinnie (ATL)

OK, Terry. I agree with you. Series to do have to make them as successful as possible, but what IndyCar did is take the driving out of the race. My point is racing is about braking at the last possible moment, getting into the gas as early as possible, and driving through traffic. Racing is not about mashing the gas in a bunched up group at 220 MPH. IndyCar used to have cars that could do this. Will this be fixed with the new car next year?

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

Some of it will yes. Clearly, they will reduce the speeds. but the new car also will be safer with a bigger tub and more body work around rear tires. But by your theory, NASCAR should arc at Dayton and Talladega.

Christian (California)

Terry What about the Long beach grand prix.... every year easily draws in the hundreds of thousands of people and its been going strong almost 40 years now....

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

Long Beach is an anomoly. It's become a festival weekend with the celebrity race and other events around it.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

Do you think Talladega should be around 250-300 miles? Maybe even 200? This is the one race where only the last 30 laps matter, why risk all the cars with everything else? I say 100 laps and keep it exciting all day.

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

I don't think any race should be 500 miles (or 500 laps) except the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Do you think jimmie Johnson will win the championship this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

It'll be tough, but I wouldn't count him out yet. If you're asking me to guess, I would say no, not this time.

Shayne - NY [via mobile]

Terry... Who do you got winning it all this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

At this point, I'd say Carl.

Scott (Charlotte)

I hate the fact that people who don't know the sport think Indycar is this wreckless sport. Few realize that Indycar was in the forefront in safety that has saved lives in NASCAR. Also, if that accident happened 15 years ago there would have been a lot of fatalities instead of the tragic 1

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

That's true Scott, but it's still a situation where changes are needed.

greg (la)

do u think logano can when this weekend

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

I think almost anyone in the field can win at Dega, so yes, he could win it.

Scott (Coon Rapids, MN)

Can a driver when the chase without winning a race in it? Such as the 99?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

I assume you mean without winning in the Chase, and yes, he certainly could.

Sandy (NY)

Do you think drivers running in other series hurt their performance in races on Sunday? I'm thinking of the guys that are flying around the country to do one-off races.

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

I think drivers contending for the Cup title should focus only on Cup. But it's entirely possible Carl or Kyle or Brad K could win it while doing both.

Aj (Indy )

Jimmie wasn't commenting on the what Indy car needs to do to say viable. He was saying for safety issues, they shouldn't race on ovals. I think he's right. It's not safe for 34 of those cars to run 3 wide at 225mph...and they do that at about all their ovals.

Terry Blount
  (2:35 PM)

No they don't. They never have raced that many cars before on a track like that. And some of those driver didn't have the experience they needed in that type of race. I agree, 225 is too fast, and that will change. But cars are going 235 on the straights at Indy. Granted, it isn't pack racing, buit anyone who thinks this type of thing couldn't happen there is foolish and uninformed.

Scott (Charlotte)

I agree Terry that changes are needed in Indycar. The one thing that scares me in NASCAR is that someday "Boys Have at It" is going to get someone killed. To many drivers think they are bulletproof.

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

I agree. Most of these drivers have never been in a race where someone was seriously hurt. They feel invincible in these cars, and that's wrong. Yes, safety has made gigantic advancements, as we witnessed in JJ's accident Saturday night. But the danger remains.

stump (MO)

I don't think IndyCar needs to scrap all ovals, but only limit it to the ovals such as Richmond and Iowa. Cars get seperated there and they can't hold the throttle open for the entire.

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

I disagree. IndyCar needs to run big ovals in major markets to bring more casual fans and more interest from young American drivers.

Aj (Indy )

Also - Comments coming out from Andretti and other owners that state the car next year will be FASTER, not slower. They said faster speeds would spread the field out. Agree or disagree ?

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

If you're flat out on the throttle, they will run together whether its 250 mph or 150. So it's better to slow them down. And there are numerous ways to do without much problem.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

NASCAR have anything planned for Wheldon on Sunday?

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

That's a good question. I don't know, but I would expect to see a moment of silence before the race.

Jamerson (Georgia)

I noticed that Mark Martin continued to reiterate that he won't be full time "in the Cup series". Is it possible we'll see him full-time Nationwide, possibly for Turner Motorsports?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

That's a decent possibility if they find the sponsorship.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

A contributing factor in Vegas was the # of cars in the field, might NASCAR finally shrink their fields which seem to have the final 3-5 spots filled by start and parkers? 38 would be a safer number.

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

I doubt it, but I wish they would. A race would be just as good with 35 cars, and maybe better, than it is now with 43, especially since four or five of those are really racing.

Seth Arnott (Michigan)

Why would Mark Martin go FT in Nationwide but not Sprint Cup? Why not Truck Series?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

He'll go wherever be can find a ride. The options are limited.

Jamerson (Georgia)

Rumors persist that we will see Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski both cut back on their Nationwide schedules for next year. Do you expect Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick to do the same?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

I hope so. The Cup dominance is NW is ruining the series in my opinion.

RAYGORDONREID (33769)

BLOUNT, DO YOU SEE DANICA RACING A STEWERT CAR AT PHOENIX?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

No. I asked her reps about that earlier and they said SHR only wants to concentrate on its two drivers in the Chase.

Charlene (Bolingbrook)

Such a tragic event that happened Sunday. Still not over it at all. Danny will sure be missed. Do you think IndyCar will consider not ever running 34 cars in a race ever again?

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

It's something they will take a hard look at. I'd be surprised it they race that many cars again on that type of track.

Jared (GA)

Why pay to go to a NW race and not want to see your favorites racing there too? I would not go to NW anymore if cup regulars weren't racing.

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

That's your right Jared. Personally, it's does nothing for me to see Cup stars run roughshod over lesser competition. Just like I don't want to see Albert Puhols hit home runs in Triple-A.

Tim (IA)

Concerning the fans that go to Nationwide races, what percentage do you think actually go just to see a Cup regular race?

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

I think it's less than people think. Here's the point: If only NW drivers were running those races, they would become stars because they would be winning. Fans would start rooting for them and know who they are. Guys like Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickerts, Bobby Labonte and even Dale Jr. made names for themselves winning in that series.

Carl (Chicago)

Terry, I've heard that it cost as much as 50-60K basically just to show up to the track, let alone excel. With drivers also getting a portion of the winnings, do teams make any money at all off their take of the race purse?

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

Yes they do. If you race the same car every week, run, only 10 laps and don't use a pit crew, you're making money.

Tanner (Lubbock)

What about ex-Cup drivers like Hornaday who ran 50 plus cup races running roughshod over lesser competiton in trucks?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

That's ridiculous. Ron doesn't race in Cup now. I have no problem with former Cup driver running in either feeder league, including Sadler. But I do have a problem with guys ranked among the best in Cup taking money and victories away from the guys who need it.

Matt (Charlotte)

Do Jimmie and Chad just go all out for wins and nothing but wins now?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

Not this weekend. Just try to stay out of trouble and get a decent finish. If you have a chance to win it at the end, great. But that's not the top priority at Dega.

tony black (Rich,VA)

Why don't you acknowledge the fact that sponsors only want the Cup guys in their cars? N also the fact that without those Cup guys alot of guys in the garage don't have jobs? And the AP comparison doesn't work. It's ridiculous to compare NASCAR to any other sport. It's not the same. They have to race in the same car as everyone else. They aren't bringing their cup car to the races in NNS.

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

We'll agree to disagree Tony. Yes, sponsors wnat the Cup guys. But what needs to happen is owners telling sponsors, "Sure, you can have the Cup guy, but only in the Cup car. This is a developmental league and we are using other drivers." But the owners are shortsighted and want the money. It they want the series to be a warm up race for Cup, so be it, but it will hurt the development of young drivers and make it impossible for NW only teams to compete.

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

Gotta run guys. Working on a story about ideas for changes in IndyCar. Have a great week. Peace.