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July 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

K. Lee Davis
  (2:05 PM)

Terry is having technical difficulties, but will be on shortly ... we hope.

K. Lee Davis
  (2:12 PM)

As long as I have your attention, have you checked out today's "Turn 4" feature? http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/story/_/id/8193582/nascar-turn-4-burning-questions-sprint-cup-series-heads-indianapolis

K. Lee Davis
  (2:16 PM)

OK, this chat is on hiatus while we sort out Terry's tech issues.

Terry Blount
  (10:30 AM)

Hey gang. I'm in Indy, so hit me up with your questions today at 2 pm ET about the Brickyard 400 this weekend, or any other topic that's eating at ya.

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

Hey gang. Sorry I'm late. Crazy day at Indy. But I'll stay on long today.

Virgil (Bayala)

Hello Mr. Blount, since the brickyard can't sell out the race do you think NASCAR will move the race over to IRP where us old fans would like to see it run?

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

You know that's not going to happen Virgil. Not now. Not ever.

Teri (North Hollywood)

Do know when the official announcement about Matt Kenseth's 2013 ride will be?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

No. They still are trying to work out things on a fourth car for Joey. I think the Kenseth end of it is done, but they don't want to say until the get Joey's deal worked out.

Mark (MD)

Hey Terry, Is Penske planning on running a 2 or 3 car team next year????? I thought Sam would be back in Cup in 2013 anyway.

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

That was the plan, but as always, it depends on sponosorship. I'm guessing it will still be a two-car team ow with all that has happened.

Saul (San Diego)

Does NASCAR provide a list of ban substances to teams/drivers?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

Yes, and it's a long list.

Saul (San Diego)

Would rather win the Daytona 500 or the Brickyard?

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Most drivers would say Daytona, and they should.

Jack (San Diego)

I am liking the news about the Top 35 automatically qualify! John Force doesn't a free ride into Sunday Elims.

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

I think you means the news for the top 35 won't automatically qualify in 2013. However, the teams still are protected. It will be the 38 cars getting in on speed, one on a past champ provisional, then the top 4 in points who didn't qualify. But it's way better than what they do now.

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

Hey Terry, Great piece on RFR today. I like the 17, but I think the 16's past Indy performances are going to lead The Biff to victory lane. I believe I read somewhere that Greg has the best average finish at Indy of all the active drivers. Can you confirm or deny that for me? Thanks again for doing these chats, really makes being on hold at work a WHOLE LOT MORE enjoyable!

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

Thank you Cameron. I'm glad we finally worked out some tech issues we had over a new system we're using. I'm not sure on the Biff stat, but he's been in the top 8 here the last four races. He certainly could win it.

Bowtie51 (Old Line State)

Besides money, what is the driving force that keeps you covering Nascar? What keeps it exciting for you?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

My answer to this is what I tell people about why I love being a sports columnist. I enjoy seeing someone overcome their station in life and be more than anyone thought they could be. And that happens more in sports than almost any other endeavor. Isn't that really what America is all about? So whether it's NASCAR or the NFL or MLB, the basic premise for me is the same.

Matt (Chicago)

Terry, I've got some prime seats for the Chase opener here in 7 weeks...am I gonna see my boy Kasey Kahne in the Chase when they get to town?

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

I'd be shocked now if he isn't in the Chase. Two wins should be enough, and he may win again before the Chase starts. I believe Kasey is going to win a championship within the next two of three years.

Marion (SC)

Terry, any idea on who may drive the Penske 22 in 2013 ?

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

I think it's Sam's car to lose at this point.

Chris Fiegler (Latham, NY)

Hi Terry, do you think RCR will keep Diloon in NW for 2-3 years to gain experience so he doesn't get pushed up to cup too soon like Joey at JGR?

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

Richard said this week he will keep Austin in the NW car through next season. He doesn't want to rush him up to Cup too soon. He saw what happened to Joey doing that at JGR. So I think Austin will be in Cup in 2014.

Zach (Cross)

Who's a better driver Cole Whitt or Danica Patrick

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

That's not a fair question. Cole has driven stock cars longer than Danica. And she would be way better than Cole in an Indy car. I think Cole is a good young driver with a bright future. And I think Danica is better than her critics want people to believe.

Krewe_Chief (Louisiana)

Does Kurt Busch get in an RCR car next season?

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

I would think Ryan Newman would be Richard's first choice if a ride is available, assuming Tony doesn't get the sponsorship to keep Ryan. But earlier this week Tony seemed to hint that he felt they could run three cars next year.

Jack (San Diego)

Any rumors when Ashley Force-Hood will get back into a Funny Car?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

Frankly, I'll be surprised if Ashley ever returns to driving. She's a mom now, and she's very busy as prez of JFR's entertainment company. Her sister, Brittney, will race in a Top Fuel dragster next year. And little sister Courtney has been a rock star as a Funny Car rookie this season, already making two finals. Trust me on this, Courtney is the real deal. She is her dad made over and that girl can really drive. She's also fearless in the car.

Andy (Kentucky)

yesterday on ESPN NASCAR Now Shannon reported that Danica said it is 50/50 she runs the 500/600 double next year. do you think GoDaddy will put Stewart in a car alongside Danica so they can both do the double?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

No. It would cost a fortune and I don't think Tony wants to do it.

Zach (Cross)

If Ryan Newman or Kurt Busch get in a 4th car at RCR which two drivers are gone when the Dillon boys move to cup

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

Burton is near the end. Too early to speculate on Ty becuase he's a long way from Cup yet.

Chris (Pennsylvania)

Hey Terry thanks for the chats. I always enjoys them and your columns. I'm a big Kasey Kahne fan and was excited to see your above prediction. Just wondering what makes you feel he will win a championship soon!

Terry Blount
  (2:35 PM)

I've always felt he had the talent, but needed the right situaition with a great team. He has that now at Hendrick, and he has the continuity with crew chief Kenny Francis. They got off to a slow start this year with the transition, but they are on it now. And Kasey is starting his early 30s, which is the time many drivers shine.

txtechjmacattack (lubbock)

hi terry, with so many great young drivers chomping at the bit to get into cup why would penske ever consider aj for the #22 for 2013?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

Because Roger is one of the most loyal men I know. The man's word is his bond. Look how he stood by Helio in the whole tax evasion mess. And that's wht he is giving Sam this chance now.

David (Florida)

why exactly has a ford not won at indy in over a decade? is it dumb luck or do the chevys and perhaps the drivers who drive them (gordon, stewart, even montoya) being good at indy have some distinct edge?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

It's a combo of things. Bad luck is part of it, but this type of track never has been a Roush strength. However the Fords have a ton of horsepower now, along with the most advanced cooling system of any engine program. That could come in handy Sunday with temps over 90 degrees.

Ross Cunningham (Havana)

Hi Terry, Do you see Dale Jr in contention for the championship all the way through the chase? I hope so! Thanks

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

I think he could be because the 88 has been so consistent this year. The Vegas oddmakers sure think so. They list him 8 to 1 to win the title, which is fifth best overall.

James (Bayala)

Do you think the main reason so many older fans are down on Danica saying she's not ready for cup etc. is because they don't like seeing her as Stewart's teammate at SHR?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

I think some people hate Danica because of her enormous national popularity, and some of them feel she hasn't paid her dues. The woman raced in IndyCar for eight years. I'd say she has paid her dues. But it's a big step for her to go to Cup next year. I'm also not sure she is ready for that, but it's going to happen.

Savraj (United Kingdom)

Hi Terry, do you see an additional auto maker entering NASCAR in the near future, and who?

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

No, not any time soon. I thought Honda might do it eventually just to compete with Toyota. It's very expensive to do and the auto manufacturers are still overcoming the economic downturn.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Hey Terry, do you think part of the reason Rowdy and Edwards are struggling this year in cup is because they cut out much of the Nationwide racing?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

Some people believe that, but I'm not one of them. Those guys don't need the extra track time. I think late in the year it hurt them to race so many events because they wore down.

Vernie (NJ)

How can Danica not be ready for cup when she's run 43 NW races and 3 cup races and 23 year old Landon Cassill is running full-time in cup and only has run 33 NW races?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

And how well is he racing Vernie?

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

Any chance Johanna Long would be able to get a better ride for next year

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

I think she's under contract, but I hope she gets a better ride becuase I think she has a lot of talent.

Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)

Who do the Vegas Oddmakers lists as #1 to win the title and at what odds?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

JJ at 3 to 1.

Turk (Mich)

If it had been Dale Jr. who failed the random drug test instead of AJ do you believe NASCAR would have suspended him or handled it privately?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

They would have handled it the exact same way.

Vernie (NJ)

Last time I check Landon has won over $2.0 M in prize money.

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

You can run last every week and win more than that in one season.

Todd (Georgia)

Terry do you think JR can keep his streak of finishing on the lead lap alive this weekend and what is your top 5?

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

Unless they have a part failure and a pit raod error, he will be on the lead lap. MY top 5 for Sunday are Kenseth, JJ, Gordon, Kyle and Martin.

Matt R. (Pittsburgh)

For NNS races, have you noticed any difference in the composition of the fans (or even media people) due to the presence of notable drivers (Danica or Travis Pastrana for example)?

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

Not much. That won't happen until one of both of them start winning.

Jack (San Diego)

You are in charge of NASCAR for a year, what would you change and why?

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

I would shorten the schedule and shorten some races, but I probably couldn't do that ever if I were in charge.

Mark (MD)

Terry, Have you heard anymore information on Dodge for next season??? I wish Ganassi would find a way to make the move. They couldn't run much worse.

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

I agree Mark, but with each passing day, I'm starting to think Dodge is out. It's almost August now and they still don't have a deal. It isn't looking good.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

Can you recall a year when there has been less passing on track for the lead than this year

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

Jackie, there were many years back in the day when NASCAR has way less passing for the lead. Many races only had three of four cars finish on the lead laps. Sometimes only one guy who be on the lead lap. What's unusual this year is so few cautions. Long green flag run spread out the field and cause fewer passes up front.

Ross Cunningham (Havana)

You gave JJs odds. Now who is your pick to win the championship? Don't worry, we wont hold you to it.

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

I tend to agree with the bookies, but I might chance my mind to Brad before the Chase starts.

Ben (Henderson, NV)

Is SHR going to become another Penske/Ganassi team running both Indy car teams and NASCAR?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

I don't think so. Just a Indy deal for DP.

Lee (Ohio) [via mobile]

Any chance of James Buescher running a full NNS schedule next year? He has impressed a lot more then the other more well known young guns out there right now.

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

I agree Lee. James is a great young talent. I've known him since his Legend car days at TMS. But it depends on sponsorship and what he can line up.

Ross Cunningham (Havana)

Will Gordon get in the chase in your opinion?

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

No, but if he wins on Sunday, which isn't out of the question, he still has a shot at it. he easlity could win at The Glen.

Kevin (PA)

How will Rowdy do this weekend at the Brickyard? I think he is being underrated.

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

I expect him to run well and I think most of the Toyotas will be strong.

Ben (Henderson, NV)

For ratings and fan interest, Is it more important for Rowdy to make the chase or Gordon?

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

I don't know that either one of them just making the Chase makes any difference either way. Now if those guys were contending for thr title at the end, I would say Gordon because he would be going for his fifth title.

Ross Cunningham (Havana)

Did they find any problems with Rowdy's cars, or is there a chance it has been the driver?

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

Kyle didn't forget how to drive, but he can be over aggressive at times. However, they've blown three engines.

Jack (San Diego)

When do predict Jeff Gordon hangs it up and who do think will replace him?

Terry Blount
  (3:03 PM)

I think Jeff will race a minimum of two or three more years. Just impossible to say now who would replace him, but I know they young guy Rick is grooming for a future in Cup is Chase Elliott.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

Maybe NASCAR should say the cars have to look excatly like thier showroom cars would that be feasible

Terry Blount
  (3:04 PM)

No. that shipped sailed long ago. However, the cars next year will look more like production cars than they have in 20 years.

Ron (Smithville)

Do you think part of what is holding Danica back is equipment? Do you rate JRM Nationwide equipment up their with what Gibbs, Roush, Penske and RCR put on the track?

Terry Blount
  (3:05 PM)

It's not the best in the series, but it's isn't bad.

John (Grand Rapids, MI)

Terry, you suppose during the chase, they might expand the protected drivers to include all chasers, regardless if they missed making the field...course I can't remember an instance where a top 12 car wouldn't of made the field, but stranger things have happened.

Terry Blount
  (3:06 PM)

No, they won't have to do that because the top 12 in the standings would always be among the four highest ranked drivers who didn't qualify.

Martin (Buffalo NewYork)

any reason why rcr is strugging this year

Terry Blount
  (3:07 PM)

My guess is they really miss Scott Miller running the show. He has doen a great job this year at MWR.

Jackie (Spring Lake NC)

I hope Danica does well but I think part of her problem is she isn't aggresive enough is that a legit concern

Terry Blount
  (3:09 PM)

Partially, but it's because she's still learning when to do that and when not to. She has to work on her braking entering the corners and try to feel comfortable braking later. But it takes time.

Frank Travers, IV (North Carolina)

Honestly..... Which Driver Do you least get along with?

Terry Blount
  (3:11 PM)

Honestly, I don't have a problem with any one driver. Different guys can get angry at times, but that comes with the territory. These guys tend to be cooperative compared to other sports. Now don't ask me about Barry Bonds.

Ben (Henderson, NV)

Do you think Darien Grubb is coaching the #11 and #18 teams to utilize the strategy that won the #14 the championship last year?

K. Lee Davis
  (3:12 PM)

No. One thing crew chiefs always tell me _ you can't look back. If you plan of using a strategy that worked a year ago, you will be running 15th every week.

Keith H (Seattle)

Great sportswriters don't live by work alone. So what are the favorite stops this week on the restaurant tour?

Terry Blount
  (3:13 PM)

St. Elmo's is my favorite restaurant here and one of my favorites anywhere. But for pig-out food, it's a stop at Skyline Chili.

Terry Blount
  (3:14 PM)

Gotta run folks. Great questions today and have a great weekend. I'm out. Peace.