Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

October 16, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Hey gang. Turn 4 answers some big topics today. Will Dale Jr. return this year? Will he retire? And where was everyone at Charlotte? Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/blbdxys

Frank (Boston)

Terry, I've read people saying that they hope this ends Dale Jr's career, how can someone be that classless?

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

But agree Frank, but some people are hopeless.

Boston for 15 (Boston)

Please tell me that if Junebug hangs it up, the new most popular driver isn't the one checking her lipstick in the rearview mirror.

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

I assume you mean Danica with that sexist remark, but yes, she is very popular. And Junior isn't hanging it up.

Shannon (Hampton,Ga.)

Who are your top five and a darkhorse?

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

This one is tough to predict because of the new pavement at Kansas, but what the heck. Brad K, Hamlin, JJ, Biffle and Kahne. My darkhorse is Smith.

Burt (TN) [via mobile]

Bowyer's last 4 wins have been at Charlotte, Richmond, Sears Point, and Talladega. Pretty impressive. Is he a threat for the championship long term since he can win on such diverse tracks?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

Bowyer is the real deal at an organization (MWR) which is zooming upward to elite status. I think it's still a tough hill to climb this year with five races to go and three guys to pass, but Bowyer is going to win a Cup title soon.

Fred (SC)

So is Bruton going to "fix" the track at Charlotte because fans aren't coming? :)

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

It's the cars that need fixing, not the track. The new car should help some next year, along with the fact that NASCAR is opening up testing.

scott (denton,tx)

what is up with the fuel milage racing hear towards the end of the season and it seems like we gets caution and the begining of the race and maybe some debri cauton hear and there but it always comes down to fuel why is ther your opinion thanks...

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

Longer green-flag runs mean more chances at a fuel-mileage finish. The cars get spread out on the larger tracks and there's less change of a caution. It's a trend we've seen all year.

brian m (bethlehem ga)

why dont nascar try restrictor plates at mile and a half tracks to keep racing closer and make fuel mileage a non issue

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

Because they don't want giant wrecks on the lap last like we see at Dega and Daytona.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Do you ever see Charlotte only getting 1 race a year? I'd be fine with that.

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

Not happening because Charlotte is a home event for all the teams and saves them tons of many when they don't have to travel. But I would like to see NASCAR move the All-Star to a different track every year.

Keith (Detroit)

What are your thoughts on Nascar dumping the top 35 qualifying rule for Sprint Cup? I think its been a long time coming.....

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

I say a big AMEN Brother! Going back to a provisional system is better, but it's still not much of a risk any big team would miss a race. I would line em up for qualifyiung a say: "Top 43 on speed get in the show boys. Go for it." That won't happen, but qualifying would be a blast to watch if it did.

brian m (bethlehem ga)

do you think that the tire compound is making a big difference in the racing we are seeing this year opposed to the previous few? why doesnt goodyear bring a stiffer compound to these tracks so everyone slips and slides and its more the driver than the car or the track?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

It's too stiff Brian. That's the problem. The tires down fall off much and don't wear out. But that's a difficult line for Googyear. Too much fall off and you have a disaster like we saw at Indy a few years ago.

Saul (San Diego)

Any updates what NASCAR concussions way ahead plan.

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Newt wrote a stoty today that NASCAR is considering using a baseline neuro test that is used in IndyCar to help evaluate head injuries.

Matt (NC)

If NASCAR put a car on the track that produced racing with the top 5 like the first 20-30 laps of the Nationwide race had Friday night, people might start to show up again.

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Since the 2013 cars in Cup are very simuilar to what we see now in Nationwide, we may see more of that.

Sam (Iowa)

Does the no top 35 rule really change a thing? I mean there are still all sorts of provisionals with no limit for the final 6 or 7 spots (depending on past champ). My bet is that the fields would be the same as they would be with the top 35 rule in place next year

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

It won't make a huge difference, but having 35 cars with a freebie was ridiculous.

Dane (NJ)

NASCAR needs a shorter season and some shorter races to avoid burnout from its fans. There are 23 tracks on the schedule - how about 1 race at each plus Iowa and Road America? End the season at Richmond on the Saturday night before the NFL kicks off. Then have a 5 month offseason to build a lot of hype and anticipation for the next season.

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

These are good ideas Dane, but it's just not realistic. No track wants to give up a Cup race because they all make money, even if attendance is down. But I agree that fewer events and shorter races would improve things. It's all about supply and demand. Right now, the supply exceeds the demand.

Saul (San Diego)

Do you think ?concussions? are more prevalent but no one in the garage wants to admit there is a issue or a problem?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

No. If anything, they are less prevalent now with all the safety changes. But no one talked about it years ago. Guys just kept racing. Heck, Ricky Rudd raced once when he has to tape his eyelids open.

Jeff (Georgia)

Terry, just curious, since you live in Seattle, who has a bigger following in Washington, Kahne or Biffle? Thanks

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

Kahne. He grew up in the Seattle suburb of Enumclaw, so he has a big following in the biggest metro area. Biff grew up in Vancouver, which basically a suburb of Portland. But both guys are very popular up here.

Jay (GA)

Do you think Biffle has a title on the horizon before he retires? I really hoped he'd do it this year, but a mishap at Dover killed that chance.

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

It's not impossible, but I'd say the odds are against him at 43 (which he turns in Decemeber).

Michael (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania)

What do you think of the new qualifying and testing procedures for 2013 as well as the max field for the Nationwide Series? Do you love it, hate it, or are you somewhere in the middle?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

Love both of them. I hated the top 5 rule. NASCAR also made a wise decision in reducing the NW field. There just aren't enough quality cars to race 43. But I also think that's true in Cup.

Saul (San Diego)

I have been wanted to ask if the Seattle area has a large NASCAR fan base?

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

It's hard to say since there isn't a race here. But I firmly believe if they built a track here in the future it easily could fill 80,000 seats for a one Cup race a year. This is a big sports town. The Seahawks games have the loudest fans in the country. The Sounders had over 60,000 for a soccer game with Portland recently.

Jay (GA)

Why doesn't Michael Waltrip ever mention or credit David Reutimann, I mean he is the guy that got MWR above mediocrity. It's like he's forgotten about Reuty.

Terry Blount
  (2:29 PM)

Reuit did a nice job for the team, but the thing that got them above mediocrity is hiring Scott Miller as the comp. director.

Jane (NY)

Is there any downside to reducing the length of a race. I see lots of savings and a great audience if less of a time commitment on a Sunday.

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

The downside for the tracks is they sell fewer, beers, hot dogs, etc, so most speedway promoters dont' want to do it. But for me, the positive far outweigh the negatives.

Kristin (NYC)

Do you think a few more Cup races on Saturday night might improve attendance?

Terry Blount
  (2:33 PM)

Not really, but I would like to see them try having a Cup race on a weekend night in the summer. Sort of Monday-Night NASCAR like Monday Night Football.

Luke (Indianapolis,IN)

With Aj Allmendinger running Saturday night, does that mean he's back in NASCAR, or does he still have his options open, Like a possible return to open wheel racing in INDYCAR?

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

He's keeping all his options open. Right now, he doesn't have a 2013. A good showing in the 51 will help him.

Tamy (Ohio)

What stats do you look at for the up coming race, and what order of importance?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

There's a lot took at it, but things that can tell you a lot or the average speed a car has in practice instead of looking at one fast lap. Also, in this case, who looked good in testing is a big kep with the new pavement.

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

Your Seahawks didn't look so bad on Sunday, huh? They actually looked like an NFL team, which is FAR more than can be said about the 49ers. My big question is regarding Mr. H and JRM. His statement about Smith driving for a championship tells me he's playing a bigger role than i had previously thought. What percentage of control does Mr. H have at JRM?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

Rick has some input at JRM, but not as much as you might think. Kelley and Jr. make the final decisions, and they both really like Regan. As for the Seahawks, they have a rising star in rookie QB Russell Wilson. But I fear he's going to get roughed up Thursday night by a angry bunch of 49ers.

Billy (MS)

Will Dale be back in the car at Martinsville? Thanks.

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

I think it's 50/50. I would wait one more week because the cars do so much bumping and banging on the short track at Martinsville. It's moves your head around a lot.

Tom (LaFayette)

How was Commodores concert you talked about in race chat sat night. We love oldies woud love to take me wife to a show for date nite

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

It was awesome _ like going back in time. Those three guys all are in their 60s now, but you wouldn't know it by the way they jumped around on stage. They threw out T-shirts at the end and I caught one that read: "36-24-36. Looking for my Brickhouse"

Billy (MS)

With the re-pave and addition of progressive banking, what other track(s) are most like the "new" Kansas? Thanks.

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

I'm guessing it will be a lot like Homestead, which has produced some of the best 1.5-mile oval racing in recent years.

Jim (VA)

What do you think of Denny's championship chances at the halfway point of the Chase?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

Excellent. He's still my pick to win it.

Nick (Traverse City, MI))

In turn 4 it was brought up that JR could sit out the rest of the season, if that happens, does Smith get the call in the 88 or will it be another driver?

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

I think they would stick with Regan. But I think Jr. will be back before the year ends, if for nothing else, to end all these ridiculous retirement rumors.

greg (la)

what do u think helped logano get better hes been pretyy good as of late

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

He's been pretty good in Nationwide races, but that's because JGR has the best NW cars. He has eight NW wins this year in those cars. Kyle Busch, who won 39 of his 51 NW victories in a JGR car, is winless this year driving his own NW car.

Jason (Palo Alto)

Should jr sit out the rest of season and really heal since he now cant win the title

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

Some peopole think so,. He really has nothing to gain by returning, but I think he wants to return before the year ends.

Tom (LaFayette)

haha nice shirt my wife woud never letme wear it though you must be single thanks for answering

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

I am, but I still ain't wearing it unless I want to get slapped in the grocery store.

Cameron (Palo Alto, CA)

If i were Harbaugh, I'd fly the 9ers out to Youngstown for the week, just to focus! No question, just making sure you know that YOU'RE THE MAN TERRY!

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

Well thanks Cameron. The 49ers will be fine, but aren't the Giants the talk of the Bay Area at the moment?

Greg (South Bend, IN.)

Hey Terry, been a few weeks. If your James Finch. Who do you put in the 51? Dinger or Brian Vickers?

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

It's not that simple Greg. James may be looking to find a driver who can bring money to the table. He needs sponsorship to keep going.

Chris (Al)

When is Nascar going t get back to actual racing andstop tryingto be olticalorrect

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

You'll have to be more specific on that one Chris. I don't know what you mean.

Jimmy (STL)

What do you think of Clint's chances at stealing the Cup from the 3 frontrunners?

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

I'd say it's way less than 50/50. It's not that he's too far behind; it's that all three of those guys are running well and likely to post more tops and a victory or two.

Keith H (Seattle)

In my opinion, the last couple NASCAR seasons have been the most exciting in years. The depth of field and cars on the lead lap are unprecedented. Or are people complaining because "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

It's always subjective, but people do tend to look back through rose-colored classes. Three decades ago you might have four cars finish on the lead lap, or less.

George (Smith Mt Lake, VA)

How about someone like Brian Scott in the 51. He's out at JGR and can bring Daddy's money to Finch.

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

I've heard he has been considered, but I don't know if James would do it, even for the money. He still wants a quality driver in the car and I don't think most people view Brian that way. Not yet, anyway.

Teri (CA)

I think it would be awesome to see Regan Smith win a race in the 88. He seems like a really good guy.

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

He's one of he classiest guys in the sport Teri.

brian m (bethlehem ga)

also my last question for you.....will we ever see chad knaous crew chif for the 88?

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

No, I don't see that happening.

brian m (bethlehem ga)

will the sport ever see a run what you brung race again?

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

If you mean an actual stock car, no.

Saul (San Diego)

Are not chasers basically testing packages for next year? Racing for pride and sponsors.

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

I don't think any of the 11 remaining Chasers have given up yet. And it's hard to test well this year because they will have a different car next year.

Kellen M (VA)

Other than Jimmie Johnson who do you think has the best chance to catch Keselowski

Terry Blount
  (3:01 PM)

Hamlin. He was my pick to win it at the start of the Chase and I'm sticking to it.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

I gotta run folks. Great chat today with some well-thought questions. Have a great week. Peace.