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July 10, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Hey gang. Lots to discuss today. Let me hear your thoughts.

Cory (Genena, IL)

Does NASCAR have to announce that AJ failed a drug test? Can't they use a little more discretion and suspend him for a race without annoucning why? Even if the B comes back clean, the court of public opinion has already spoken is most cases. He can't run from that at this point, even though he may be innocent.

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

It would be way worse to say nothing. That would cause rampany speculation. You have to be up front and let things play out.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! Do you think the excessive heat throughout the country is a driving force behind poor ticket sales? I was at the Kentucky race a few weeks ago when the temperature was 100+ and honestly, at a track like that with minimal action, it's not something I would do again.

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

I think the heat had very little to do with Kentucky attendance. A lot of fans who came last year wanted to see if the speedway could correct its traffic issues and they did a much better job.

casper (DC)

what prompted the 2car tandem in the first place.. bump drafting used to be the way to do it, i can't recall what made them start tandeming. Did the drivers just not figure it out until a few years ago?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

Yes. Drivers learned in the COT that two cars by themselves were faster than a line of cars.

Brandon (UTEP)

If AJ's B test comes back positive, Joey and Brad would make an excellent team. To entertain the notion of Sam Hornish Jr. driving the 22 in my opinion is stupid. I know Roger Penske loves Hornish but he has not proven himself in the NW (winning) why would it be any different driving in the much harder Sprint cup!

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Roger is a loyal guy and I think he'll give Sam the chance. But I still things things will work out for Joey to stay at JGR.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! Who are your picks for this weekend?

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

I'll go with Tony, Bowyer, Joey, Hamlin and Newman.

Jay (Ga)

Does Army leaving Nascar pretty much end Newman's tenure at SHR? IF so, where do you see him landing? Can't imagine a 16-race winner, Daytona 500 winner without a solid ride

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

It depends on what rides are available. I'd be surprised now if Ryan is back at SHR, but one possiblity for him might be the 31 at RCR.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! Do you think they should announce what the banned substance is at the same time that they announce the suspension for a driver? I think it is unfair to the driver that a ton of criticism is levied his way without knowing what the specific drug is. While they are banned for a reason, I would think much less of the situation if a driver tested positive for a muscle relaxer as opposed to heroin.

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

A fair point, but the drivers may not want it released. There are privavcy issues involved.

Alan (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Terry! As Kyle fans, my wife and I are beginning to lose faith in Dave Rogers. I see so many teams that continuously improve their car throughout a race and can go from the back to the front. With Kyle, it always seems like his car is just the same or worse from the start to the finish of a race. Am I placing the blame on the wrong person?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

I think it's too early to make that call. They had three engines failures, which is a really odd fluke.

Rob (Scott AFB, IL)

If AJ does get suspended indefinitely, do you see Hornish in the #22 beyond this season? He does have a good history on the Indy side with Shell/Pennzoil which could help matters.

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

That's my guess, if for no other reasons than Roger is loyal Sam and Sam is a clean-cut family fan not likely to get in trouble. But Sam basically is in a bit of a tryout mode right now.

John (PA)

With the Army terminating its NASCAR sponsorship, along with pressure from some congressional members, do you think we will see less of a military presence at NASCAR events?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

No. NASCAR always will have a military presence regardless of sponsorship issues.

Karen (So. CA)

While I am in complete agreement w/pulling a driver from racing if he fails mandatory drug test, I DO NOT agree with doing it in a public & televised announcement. Penske Mgmt

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

What are they supposed to do? Hiding the facts won't help anything. Better to be up front about it.

TSM (California)

I have gotten into the IRL racing a lot more this year. It is really pretty good with the new cars and all, and that kid Kimball, he seems to be making some good moves. Saw him do a 3 wide pass in a corner of the road course they ran last week that about took my breath away. I didn't think they could go 3 wide there.

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

The Toronto course has some good passing zones compared to most street courses, and Charlie had a solid run. He's getting better every race.

laura (manhattan beach)

Who do you have in the MLB All Star tonight?

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

Hi Laura. I'll have to go with the AL on that one. They have so much more power. And I'm really mad at La Russa for not starting Dickey. He earned it and deserved to start.

Ted (MD)

If Ryan Newman can't find a cup ride next year would he be willing to accept a ride in nationwide?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

You do what you have to do, but I think he will have a Cup ride with someone.

Jammer (Utah)

If the US Army is pulling their sponsorship, when will the National Guard pull theirs and what will Jr do?

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

I believe the NG signed a new deal with Hendrick last year. And Jr doesn't have a problem finding sponsors.

Matt (Chicago)

Terry, in your opinion, what does Kasey Kahne need to do to get a wildcard. One more win? Two more? Top 5s/10s get it done?

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

I'm not sure one more win is enough, but I'll say another win and at least five more top 10s.

Greg (La)

How bout johanna long wow shes been very impressive lately

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

She has talent, but she needs a quality ride.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

Should I even be the least bit worried about Clint making the Chase at this point?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

A little. He's not a lock, but I think he'll make it. And he usually races welll at Loudon.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

How safe is Regan Smith. His team seems to have went backwards this year

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Just not a top-tier ride so it's hard to judge.

Chris (NH)

Is there any one thing in your opinion NASCAR could do today to improve their on-track product? I love this sport, but the NASCAR decision makers have to realize that even the most loyal fan doesn't want to watch cars make 100 green flag laps with little to no action.

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

One thing, which Brian France brought up last week, is making rces shorter. Fewer laps leads to more urgency by the teams and drivers. Also, the racing probably will improve next year with the new cars that have distinct noses like the Nationwide cars.

Jenny (Chicago)

I soooo wanted to see Kenny Wallace in the 22 on Sunday! With him being tapped as the backup driver for two Cup teams, why isn't he being offered a ride somewhere? Surely those teams had other choices, yet they both picked Herman.

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

Kenny is a good pick in those siuations because he's a veteran that isn't likely to tear up equipment, a big risk for any driver at Daytona. As far as a full-time Cup ride, I'm afraid that ship has sailed for Herm.

jesse (iowa)

i got into an argument with a friend about who had more talent: i said danica, while he said johanna long. danica might not now but remeber it usually takes 3 years to see if an open wheel driver can make it in nascar. am i right or wrong?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

It differs with every driver. But comparing DP and JL is apples and oranges. Johanna is only 19. DP is 30 and has tons more experience. They both have talent. I think Johanna has the potential to be good if she ever gets a chance in a good ride.

Bob (TX)

When are we going to hear Matt is going to JGR?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

It may be a while. They are trying to line things up for Joey.

Tim (Ohio)

Did you see JGR has no cup drivers entered in the NW race? I never thought I would see the day! Only Ryan Truex in the 18

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

Can I get an amen! Put young talented drivers like Ryan in these cars and give them a chance to learn their craft.

Kristin (NYC)

New Hampshire will be my 2nd race ever, and it will be the 1st time I have hot passes. Are there "do's" and "don'ts" that I should know about?

Terry Blount
  (2:29 PM)

Just be very careful where you are walking if you have a hot pass. Cars are zipping around corners and can catch you by surprise. And don't just walk into a garage stall and look under the hood. A crew chief might bite your head off.

Ronny (NJ)

Okay so if AJ's B comes back posative, what happens to the 22 at races where Sam is running NW across the country?

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

I don't think they have many conflicts. But Roger has private jets for that.

jesse (iowa)

what news was a bigger hit to nascar: ajs deal or army leaving?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

Far and away AJ. And type of drug-related news is huge. And the Army thing isn't a big surprise. It's been rumored for months.

Tim (Ohio)

Why Kansas and not Indy for Danica?

Terry Blount
  (2:32 PM)

Because she gets extra testing at Kansas since it has a new surface. All the teams get to test there on the new pavement. So it's extra track time for her.

Tony (CA)

Terry - I was the guest on today's turn 4. What's your thoughts on the timing of the announcement on race day? I say AJ should've never been able to practice or even qualify and to see Penske scramble was ridiculous.

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

I assume they results only became available shortly before the announcement.

Kristin (NYC)

Which championship race is more exciting now-Truck, NW, or Cup?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

The Truck Series is awesome right now with four guys within nine points of the top spot. But the chase to the Chase is great, also. Those wildcard sports are up for grabs. Newman is one point behing Joey, who holds down the 12th spot, and Kahne is two points behind Newman. And another win could change things for each of them. Plus, Carl and Gordon still could get in the hunt if they win a race.

Jammer (Utah)

Will The US Army be pulling their sponsorship away from Tony Schumacker?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

That's an excellent question and one I will ask the DSR folks this week. My guess is no. It's far less money than sponsoring a Cup car.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

Hey Terry, did you think the Roush Fenway drivers would be more competitive this season?

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

They are competitive. Kenseth leads the standings and Biff is running well also. Only Carl is down from last year.

Kyle (NC)

If the NFL can start their games after an hour of pregame, NASCAR should be able to throw the green flag 1 hour after prerace on televison starts as well.

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

I would love to see the races start right after the top of the hour. Those calls are made way above my pay grade.

Dwane (ky)

what is the latest driver rumors ?

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

I guess the hottest one right now is whether Burton will return at RCR, but he helped himself Saturday night.

Rusty (UTEP)

How much does it cost to sponsor a premium team nowadays.

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

At least $15 million, and more for a true champiopnship contender. But that's changing. Teams realize few companies are willing to pay that in a down economy.

jesse (iowa)

im with shortening the races. but not the daytona 500, or coke 600, or even the bristol or martinsville races. what do you think?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

I'm with you on Daytona and the 600, but I disagree of the short track races. I think 500 laps is 100 too many at both those tracks.

Lee (Syracuse)

When the nascar teams move to the new cars next year do they essentially throw out their set-up books?

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

They don' throw them out because it's still the same COT chassis. But they will have to make changes and see what works.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

Why does any race at Daytona or Talladega need to be more than 40 laps?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

In light of recent events at those tracks, that a fair statement. But that's not going to happen, of course. Just like the NBA isn't going to play only one quarter.

Teri (North Hollywood, CA)

I hope RCR keeps Burton another year... On another note, is your gut instinct that Matt's sponsor will the Home Depot? He is the perfect fit for then. I think Joey ill be in a 4th car at JGR.

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

I think HD is going with MK.

Dwane (ky)

what will happen if aj fails the second test?who will be in the 22 car if he fails the test for next year

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

Hornish is in the car for now, and he'll probably be in it next year if he does a decent job.

Karen (S. CA)

I do not agree with any military spending to sponsor any professional sports. Especially since it's not private $ their using. It's our $. It just perpetuates this ongoing infusion of politics in sports -- more so in Nascar. I prefer sports to be politics-free.

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

I agree that sports should about politics Karen, but I'm not against military sponorship in sports. Unless the country goes back to a draft, the military needs to advertise to help recruiting.

Matt (Chicago)

Terry, I respectfully disagree about shortening the short tracks...those are the only spots that the "500" plays a role via equipment attrition.

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

That's rarely true any more Matt. It was 20 years ago, but engines and equipment are so reliable today that part failures don't come into play much. The truth is we live in an instant gratification society with the social media outlets, and the under 30 crowd wont watch for 3-plus hours.

Cory (Geneva, IL)

If I had to guess today, the finish of the chase will be Smoke, Jr, JJ and Kenseth in that order. Am I crazy? I knock JJ back due to his terrible luck on plate tracks.

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

That's a huge guess at this point. We're still eight races from the Chase. Tony is a true champ contender, but I don't see him winning five Chase races like he did last year.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

Does NASCAR understand that most fans dislike so many 1.5 mile tracks.

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

Yes, but what do you want them to do? They aren't going to eliminate those tracks. They are in some of their best markets and best facilities _ Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, to name a few. They aren't going away. They key is to make the cars race better on those tracks.

Shayne (Denver)

Will we ever see a track larger than Talledega? Would we ever see IRL cars at Talledega?

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

No and no.

Dwane (ky)

have you heard anything about where matt will be driving next year beside jgr?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

Yes, rumors run wild in stuff like this. One was he would go to and new Dodge team owned by Andretti. But he's going to JGR unless something goes shockingly wrong.

Andrew (NJ) [via mobile]

If Menard wins Indy again, how intense would that make the wild card chase?

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

It's already intense, but that would add to it for sure.

jesse (iowa)

indycar should go to richmond or even rockingham. they need more ovals

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

They need to stay at the high speed ovals in big markets, but they aren't going to do it. That's how it looks.

Shayne (Denver)

Why and Why?

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

Way too fast for IndyCar. And a track larger than Dega would mean another plate race, which NASCAR doesn't want, unless it wasn't banked. And it isn't conducive to making a profit for putting so many seats around it.

Ross (Albany)

Why does it take so long for the results of a drug test to come back? I drive truck and we get the results in usually 3 days .

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

I'm no lab tech Ross, but I know they are testing for more than 100 substances.

jesse (iowa)

thats not true. the road courses are bigger than dega

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

I thought we were talking about ovals. But NASCAR isn't adding another road course, either.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

The military should be allowed to advertise in sports. No way you want a draft again. Trust me. Been there done that. Not fun

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

I hear ya Tim

Dwane (ky)

where would burton go if he is not with rcr for next year?

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

Home maybe. A great guy who has had a solid career, but he isn't getting any younger. Maybe it's time to run for office, which many of us assumed he would do when he retires.

Chris (NH)

Would you like to see any changes to the track at NHMS?

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

A bigger and better media center, but that's just my prob.

Chad (Minneapolis)

If they want to make the racing competitive again, why don't they take the handcuffs off the crew chiefs? Mandate safety items and then let the crew chiefs and engineers be innovative.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

They plan to give a little more leeway next year Chad with the new cars.

Tony (CA)

Burton to take Robin Pemberton's job!

Terry Blount
  (3:04 PM)

Burton would rather root for North Carolina, which isn't happening since he's a Duke fan.

Terry Blount
  (3:05 PM)

I'm out gang. Really great chat today with well-thought questions. Have a great week. Peace.