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March 20, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Hey gang. Here's the link to our Turn 4 answers today on Bristol, Kahne, Vickers and NW boys spanking the Cup stars: http://tinyurl.com/737thfs

Fred (DC)

Do you think Hendrick really believes that Chad didn't mess with the car?

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Does it matter? What he believes is Chad will do everything he can to win races, and that means pushing the envelope.

Sue B (Seattle, WA)

Terry, I like the "New Bristol" as much as the "Old Bristol." How do you not love side by side battles, close contact and hard racing on a short track? It is such a refreshing change from LVMS/Fontana/Charlotte/Ken/ATL, etc. The one thing I would have changed was maybe a different tire - make pit stops come into play more. Thoughts?

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

Bristol is a victim of public perception and it's old ways of wrecking and fighting. The racing really is better, but they wreck less and that's what people wanted.

Boston 15 Fan (Boston)

Three years ago there was the big 4 and not much else. Now with MWR, SHR and Penske's talent and performance, you can't really say there's a big 4 anymore. True or false?

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

It's becoming true and that's a good thing. I think the Waltrip gang definitely is on the rise. Penske is strong with Brad, but we'll have to wait and see how this season goes overall as a lame duck with Dodge.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Terry: What type of changes do you think Bruton Smith will do to Bristol?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

They could increase the banking back to 36 degrees, but really, you can't get back what it was, a gnarly old one-lane track.

Rena (Alpharetta, Ga.)

Hi Terry, what happened late at Bristol where the RCR of Brendan Gaughan ran Tony Stewart into the fence? Was that just a racing deal?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Yep, nothing personal.

Lacy (Scranton, Pa.)

Hi Terry, I'm a big fan of Kurt-27th and Kasey-32nd and wanted to know if they're suffering growing pains with their new teams getting accustomed to Hendrick Motorsports equipment?

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Kurt's on a team that isn't going to do a lot, just a small operation trying to get by. But Kasey's start is shocking. I thnk he has felt pressure to perform and overdriven the car. Now he just needs to settle down and get a few good runs under his belt.

Camview (Georgia)

Hi Terry, as a Toyota fan, it was great seeing Vickers getting that top 5 for MWR so do you think it is too early to speculate about Brian taking that #55 full time for next year?

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Way to early. But it was an encouraging run for Brian.

Drew (Johnson City)

Is it possibly that Robby Gordon has burned all the bridges with manufactures? That may be a first, a driver who is forced out of NASCAR because no manufacture will endore him!

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

Not a first, but Dodge doesn't dislike Robby. Dodge needs a bigger and more established operation than Robby can provide.

Joanne (Ft. Meyers)

Kevin sold his truck team and is doing well in Cup this year. Kyle has expanded and is running poorly in both Cup and NW. Do you think Kyle will realize this and divest himself from team ownership?

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

No, not for now. But Gibbs would like for him to do it.

Joey fan (sunnyvale)

With Joey loganos performance whar are his chances for a ride next year

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

Good if he keeps running like this. Not so good of staying in the 20 if he doesn't.

Ron (OH)

Biffle from his chat. "I enjoy the old car with the old Bristol better. It was a little tougher, a little more challenging. Now it seems all of the cars go the same speed. You can't pass all that well."

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

Interesting, but I don't think he's in the majority. Most driver prefer a track where there is less chance of wrecking.

Hank (Pa.)

Why does it seem when Roush or Gibbs get penalized the fans scream bloody murder but when RCR and Hendrick does the same, people want to give them a pass?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

That's not what I'm hearing. Many people think Chad is getting what he deserves. But some people think the penalty is harsh for a car that never went on the track. I disagree. They intended it to go on the track. That's all that matters. But was it payback for Chad's comment last year at Dega?

Bart (East Bay)

Do you think Dale Jr. wins before Mich. in June or does he run his record to 4 years, 141 races?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

He's been running well and could win at a lot of places. Richmond or Dega come to mind.

Ron (Smithville)

What does Rowdy do to keep his #18 guys motivated in the fab and engine shops after the Bristol devastation?

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

Nothing. That's not his job. That's Dave's job if you are talking about Cup.

Shannon (Hampton Ga.)

Terry... who are your top five this weekend and who would your underdog be?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

Harvick, JJ, Kenseth, Carl, Biffle. Underdog would be Bowyer.

Mark (WA)

Martinsville tickets $37-79. Bristol fall race $75-130. Double. Bruton Smith is just gouging the fans for an inferior product.

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

Don't know about that, but hotel rates in the Bristol area are ridiculous. Over $300 for some places that are dumps.

Todd (Georgia)

Hi Terry. I like what I heard from Dale Jr after the race. He was not really backing down from anything and I think for the first time in a while he feels that team is getting close to victory lane.

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

He's knows they are headed in the right direction, but they need to close the deal and get to Victory Lane.

laura (manhattan beach)

Hi TB - Do you think Denny Hamlin might get fined for his twitter post about the Goodyear tires at Bristol? COmment is along the lines of BK's last year about EFI.

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

I doubt it, but if he does, at least we will know about it, unlike the secret fines of the past.

JrGuard (Florida)

Do you buy Jr's weak excuses for wrecking out Mark Martin at Vegas and now Jeff Gordon at Bristol and do you expect payback, maybe at Martinsville?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Martin is not a payback kind of guy. And Gordon won't do that to his teammate unless a win is on the line at the end.

laura (manhattan beach)

The round table article is awesome! Kudo's to all the ESPN Motorsports writers!

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

Thanks Laura. It's been really well received. We enjoy it because it gives each of us a chance to let loose and have a kick opinion on hot topics.

Kristin (NYC)

If the 48's appeal is denied, you think that will affect the team this weekend at Fontana?

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

Not really. It's just like a NFL head coach getting suspended for a game on Sunday. All the prep happens during the week, and Chad will still be at the shop each week. And I'm betting a few text messages might find their way to the pit crew each Sunday.

CD (Iowa)

It really looks to be a long and trying year for Kurt. Does he have a true shot at finishing inside the top 15 or is top 20 his best bet?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

It's possible to reach the top 15, but more likely is a few good runs, maybe even a win at a plate track. The important think for Kurt is to keep is cool and accept the limitations so he can eventually get back to a quality ride.

Cletus (Apex)

Everyone keeps talking about the hotel prices. Part of Bristol is the camping and field parties. The Bristol problem is in the banking. Track lost its character when the Heavy Equipment rolled in.

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

True, but no track gouges hotel customers like Bristol. And every track has campers. But every track also had tons of people who come in from out of town and stay at hotels.

Ben (Virginia)

Isn't the low attendance at Bristol and Dover proof that those tracks only deserve 1 race each?

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

Bristol no. Dover yes.

Bill S. (High Point, NC)

It seems like with Jr. the last few years pit stops have been a place he has lost a lot of time. Without all the testing at tracks we use to have where do they go now to work on improvement in theses areas?

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

Teams work on pits stops outsdie the shop almost every day. You don't need a race track to do it.

Suzyanne (Norfolk Va)

Terry, why don't you (or other who just cite how much they liked Sunday's race) want to see variety on the schedule? Sure Bristol now provides high speeds, high banks, concrete, and 2 to 3 wide racing, but if I want to see that I'll go to Dover which is a better location anyway. There's nothing that unique about this place (Bristol) anymore. We need a track that was a test like old Bristol somewhere on the circuit. (Notice how it was the greats like D.W., Earnhardt, and Wallace who won there so many times.)

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

Iget it, but the place had to be repaved. The rebar was showing through at some spots. Where they messed up was the progressive banking.

Jason (Cupertino)

What do you think will happen with 48 today

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

The penalty will stand, but they might get a slight reduction in the fine and the number of weeks Chad and Ron have to sit out.

Todd (Georgia)

What car do you think chevy will be running next year?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

A new Caprice is the rumor.

Ryan (real one) (Ventura, Ca.)

I don't think it's fair that small NW teams like Turner and KBM have to compete against big cup team like RCR in NW and wondered why NASCAR doesn't limit RCR from entering so many cars in NW? Thanks.

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

I'm OK with Cup teams having NW cars as long as they put NW drivers in those cars _ as RCR does with Dillon.

DepotSmoke (Key West)

You don't think Chevy will run the Volt in Sprint Cup?

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

Now that would be something. The most quiet ride in NASCAR history.

Todd (Georgia)

Do the crew chiefs who have motorhomes stay in the same lot as the drivers do?

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

Yes.

jimmie fan (santa clara)

will we ever see the cup cars run on dirt. I know the arca series runs on dirt. Thanks

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

Not gonna happen

Tom (Jackson MS)

Do you think they will change Bristol back for August? I want to go to that race if it's like the old track again but I won't waste my money if I'm just going to get the same thing as Sunday

Terry Blount
  (2:35 PM)

They may try to change it, but it won't be just like the old Bristol. You can't get that back.

laura (manhattan beach)

This is from Las Vegas race. Jimmie Johnson said after the race he/Hendricks would be getting from SHR on the EFI setups, etc, especially since 14 was "Set up like NHRA on restarts". How quick do think this info was shared?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

NASCAR is making some decision on the EFI mapping. But trust me, this isn't going to be some revelation. Tony was just better than the other guys because he's good.

smoke 14 (gilory)

How do you think austin dillon will fair in the cup series once he gets there and when he does will it be the number 3

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

Probably 2014 for Dillon in Cup. I think he can do well. The 3 for Cup is still up in the air, but I think it's possible.

Dave (NY)

With the success of Nationwide Regular drivers, how cool would it be if Nationwide had their own chase format? Could we ever see that?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

I've been an advocate of that for years _ a shorter version with fewer drivers, maybe eight races for 10 drivers. But NASCAR officials have said they want to keep the Chase exclusive to Cup.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

TB! Will Richard Childress keep running the 33? If he doesn't, then the 10 car (which he provides engines to when Reuty's driving) will rise into the top 35.

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

Childress doesn't have the sponsorship to run the 33 all season.

Bill S. (High Point, NC)

With all that surrounds the track at Charlotte, will they ever add a night of dirt racing or drag racing to All Star week? or did all that change when Humpy left?

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

I think it would be cool to have an NHRA event on Sunday after the Saturday night race in October. But I don't think it will happen.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

The 5-week break for the Truck Series really doesn't make much sense. If we assume that Nascar really wants a Truck race at Daytona, could they make it non-points?

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

That wont hapen, but I agree the break is a little too long.

Kristin (NYC)

Some say Martinsville has become what Bristol used to be....

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

Not in my view. Frankly, I think Martinsville is overrated. It's one lane, but without the steep banking that made Bristol so wild. However, Martinsville hot dogs rock.

Cletus (Apex, NC)

Since I became an ex-Bristol ticket holder I've been going to 1 different track each season. Its the Darlington or Atlanta this year.... please advise

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

Both are fun tracks, but all NASCAR fans should see the Lady in Black once.

Phoenix (AZ)

How impressed were you with the Top 10's of Juan Pablo and Jamie in their Earnhardt cars and do you think Teresa and Chip have finally got EGR going in the right direction?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

I think Chip Does. I really don't think Teresa has much involvement.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

I don't think you could do NHRA with NASCAR anyway because they have a day or so of qualifying also. That would be too much of a problem.

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

Why? You could have the first day of NHRA qualifying Thursday. NASCAR qualifying Friday and a NW race. NHRA qualifying Saturday afternoon before the Cup race that night. Problem solved.

frank ( the Q)

who wins one 1st this yr #18 or #99..?

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

I take the 99 on that, and maybe this weekend at Fontana.

Bill S. (High Point, NC)

If the 55 were to win the "owners" points in cup, would this get NASCAR to look at the rules they have in other series?

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

No, and that's not going to happen.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Terry: How much credit do you give the 29 team for pitting 8 times under caution from that first accident and still getting a top 15 finish out of it?

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

A ot. That was remarkable. You have to do a few things at a time very quickly to stay on the lead lap at Bristol.

Fred (IA)

The only thing I would change at Martinsville is shorten the race. Other than that it is far more entertaining than Bristol.

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

I agree on both counts Fred.

8Tbone8 (Texas)

Were you impressed that Kurt Busch could bring home the #51, 18th while Junior was only 15th in a race winning car?

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

Jr's car was much better than where he finished. He had a pit road issue.

laura (manhattan beach)

TB - your opinion on how/if BK's win in the Dodge this weekend affect 2013 for Dodge and potential team alliances?

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

It doesn't hurt, but I don't think it has a big affect. However, I do thnk we'll see a decent team sign with Dodge for next year.

Bryan (Michigan)

Hi Terry, i am trying to think of an XBOX LIVE Gamer Tag but can't think of anything, I am a 88 fan and a general sports fan, any ideas? Thanks

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

I know about as much about XBOX as I do and quilting, which is to say, nothing.

silly bunz (orange ca)

does Danica deserve to be out there in our opinion? or do you think it has to do with getting more people involved in nascar.

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

Yes, she deserves to be out there. She has raced at a major level for a long time and posted a heck of a lot of top 10s. Does she deserve all the attention she gets? Probably not, but it does bring attention to the sport from people who normally don't watch it.

frank ( the Q)

from nyc & trying to decide a 2nd race to go to should it b @ pocono or another trip to new hampshire?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

Pocono is closer for you, but I'd take NH any day on that choice. And have some lobster while you're there.

Sam (UT)

based off JJ's speed at vegas thin he gets pappa hendrick his 200th win this sunday?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

It wouldn't surpise me.

Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)

Have you ever seen Mike Helton smile?

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

Yes, once is 1997. I kid, but really, Mike's a good guy. He's just very serious about his job.

Bill S. (High Point, NC)

What time will we hear the results from the Hendricks appeal?

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

I expect we'll hear any minute now.

Sam (UT)

Going to bristol for the first time in august. Know any good places to get an awesome steak?

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

One famous and fun place to eat there is Cooter Brown's. Good food, fun atmosphere.

Blake (Belmont)

Do you think Mikey is happy that Sadler turned down the #55 ride with the 5th that Vickers earned for the team at Bristol?

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

I just think Mikey is happy with how well all their cars are running.

laura (manhattan beach)

TB - thanks as always! Really enjoy the ESPN writer chats, the questions/comments from the awesome NASCAR fans, opinions from writers and fan interaction. Gotta get back to work :)

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

Thanks Laura. Me too. Gotta run folks. Great BRSiR today. Have a great week. Peace.