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December 13, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Hey gang. Happy Holidays. Here's my column today on five driver questions for 2013 that I'm answering with a no. Next week will be five more I'm answering with a yes. http://tinyurl.com/bcwpbdl

Andy (Washington, DC)

Hi Terry - do you believe there is anything to the '2nd place' curse or is it just a coincidence? Do you think Bowyer will struggle next year a la Carl (twice), Denny, Biff, etc? It seems like Clint is poised to be very strong next year but this 2nd place thing is the trend. Thanks!

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

I don't expect Clint to struggle, but it is true that the runner yup hasn't raced well in recent years in the following season. With the new car this season, everyone has a lot of unknowns.

Tim (San Francisco)

Hey Terry! Hope you are enjoying the off season. Which manufacturer does the new car/rule changes benefit most? Anyone have an edge on the competition? If so, why? Thanks!

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

Way too early to tell Tim. The Chevy camp was really happy with their performance at Charlotte. I think it probably will come down to teams more than manufacturers. And as usual, it will be the teams that invested the most time and money in testing it.

David (Tucson, AZ)

Do you think danica going to cup full-time is the wrong decision? I think she should stay full-time nationwide/part-time cup, and at least win 1 nationwide race before she considers going to cup full-time

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

She certainly could use more time, but you have to hit the iron while its hot, so to speak. Go Daddy is willing to invest the money for her in Cup now. That might not be true a year from now. You take the money while its there and hope for the best.

Ryan (WI)

Hi Terry, What gives? I thought this car was going to have less downforce? It does look good though

Dwane (Ky)

who is rumored to be in the 2nd car for jtg racing in cup?

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

David Reuitmann

Mark (Iowa)

I don't really disagree with any of your predictions...were you at any of the test sessions and if you were, how did the cars look?

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

I wasn't at the sessions, but I've heard the teams are thrilled with the car. Everyone seems to think it will race better, and some drivers who didn't like the COT (Earnhardt, Gordon) love it becuase it's better suited to their driving style and more like the car used before the COT. This still is a COT chassis, but it's shorter and drives much different with the new noses and tails.

Mark (Ohio)

Do you think Jeff Gordon is still capable of winning a championship?

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

I will give everyone a preview here of my five Yes answers next week. This is one of them, so there's your answer.

Scott (Charlotte)

Any word if Danica will be running RCR cars in Nationwide?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

I think that's the plan, but only for 10 races or so.

Dwane (Ky)

have you heard anything on travis kvapil for 2013 season where he will be driving for?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

Haven't heard a thing on Kvapil, Dwayne, but I bet he's glad you're a fan.

Jay (GA)

Will Bowyer-Gordon feud resurface in 2013? Or will it kinda die down like the Ky. Busch-Harvick feud?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

Unlikely anything happens here. These feuds are overblown. Both these guys believe they can win the championship. Playing bumper cars with each other is counter-productive.

Brooks (Richmond)

Top Five and a Dark Horse for the Brickyard? Seriously though, Do you think that limiting drivers to say 50 starts across all three series is a better system than you can only run for a championship in one? It would give someone like Trevor Bayne the opportunity to consider racing more in Sprint Cup after a Daytona win, while keeping someone like Logano from making 22 NW starts.

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

No, I don't think that would work and I don't see NASCAR ever doing it. But I tell you what would work. And top 25 Cup driver who races a NW event doesn't earn purse money. That money goes into a pool to be distributed to NW teams ranked in the top 35. That would change things in a hurry. I've been a huge critic of Cup stars racing in NW. I'm not against them picking five or six a year to race in, but 20 is too many.

Joe (NC)

It's 2:16 and the Auto-Update is still off. I have refreshed the page 10 times.

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

You ya go Joe, but I don't see a question.

Brian (Savannah)

What is your opinion on the Rookie of the Year award in NASCAR? Let's look at the last three winners...2012: Stephen Leicht2011: Andy Lally2010: Kevin ConwayThere are at least two full time Cup competitors competing in 2013 with Stenhouse and Danica, but I feel like the award has become meaningless recently. Any thoughts?

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

I agree Brian. It's been a joke in recent years, but not in 2013. Although I'd have to say Ricky is a prohibitive favorite to win it.

Ryan (WI)

This car going to eliminate tandem drafting?

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

Highly unlikely. But it will be intersting to see how the cars line up for drafting with the new noses and tails.

Tom (IN)

Since the new car is faster, is this going to increase the debate about tracks like Michigan being too fast?

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

Not sure it's going to be faster everywhere, but 200 mph pretty much is the limit of where NASCAR wants to go on lap average speed. These cars are much more adjustable than the previous one, so NASCAR will have more options for slowing them down. In general, faster isn't better for quality racing.

Jay (GA)

If RCR returns to 2010 form, do you think Menard can make the Chase?

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

It's not out of the question, but I wouldn't pick him to do it. He's managed to finish in the top 17 two years in a row. Any driver who can do that has a shot at making the Chase, but winning a little more often would help.

Bryan (PacificNW)

Fords seem a little behind early. Any thoughts from those guys?

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

Just way too early to say that. It's just one test, and Brad was very happy with his car.

Scott (Charlotte)

If the season is too long why am I watching a replay of a race while I am chatting with you?

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

Scott, you are addicted to racing and a true fan. Good for you.

laura (manhattan beach)

I think Christmas came early, based on the reactions of the Charlotte testing. Besides drivers / teams being happy, do you think this will help with the noise of "boring racing"? Or does the 1.5 oval still have too much influence with this? And me, I like Fontana so any race is a good race for me!

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

I think it will help some, but I wouldn't expect a dramatic change. And for the record, I thought the racing at Homestead in the eason finale was outstanding _ lots of side-by-side action up front and tons of meaningful passing. However, don't put too much stock in driver optimism. Everybody is optimitic this time of year looking forward. I wish I had a dollar for every media tour comment every January that said: "We worked hard in the off season." "We are going to see big improvement." "Everyone at (name youe team) Racing is super exicited about this year."

Steve (Da Big Island)

Terry, If NASCAR were to add more road couses, Which ones would you pick?

Terry Blount
  (2:32 PM)

Montreal for Cup and Austin. Laguna Seca. Portland. Birmingham and Atlanta have great road courses, but it will never happen because they are too close to Dega and AMS. Same for Luguna Seca's proximity to Sonoma.

Ryan (WI)

This package reminds me of the early 2000's (Each manufacturer had different aero ) Will we see mid season changes like we did with that?

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

It could be like the old days where one manufacturer screams to high heaven that another one has an advantage, so one manufacturer gets a change that another one doesn't. But NASCAR says the cars still are aero identical. We'll see.

Dwane (Ky)

what is the latest driver rumors as of today?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

The driver rumor today Dwane is they are all Christmas shopping. I heard on Sirius that Austin Dillon was shopping to get something for his grandma. That's about it.

Keith H (Seattle)

This time of year reminds me of preseason football in the NFL. Everybody's optimistic. Reality will set in later, folks.

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

True is every sport, which is why you have to take it with a grain of salt. For example, last January Chip Ganassi said EGR was "pathetic" in 2011 and they would be much better in 2012. Not.

Dwane (Ky)

are there still going to be a start and park teams for 2013 season or are there going to try and run the whole race?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

Sadly, start and park will return. Just not enough real teams to fill a 43-car field, which is the problem. They don't need to run 43 cars.

Jay (GA)

Any word on BK Racing's driver lineup? Wouldn't Reutimann and Allmendinger be an upgrade from Kvapil and Cassill?

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

Jay, the drivers are not the problem.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

I think everyone is going be happy that there is going to be a rookie of the year battle with Danica vs Ricky.

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

Much better than recent years, but I don't see it as much of a battle. Ricky should take it with ease.

Joe (NC)

I suspect the finishing 2nd curse is more for vets who have been regularly finishing in the top 5 of the chase, had a good chance to win, but came up a little short. Bowyer doesn't fit that profile. But he did get lucky that many others, JJ denny, Gordon, Kenseth had problems. Allowing him to get 2nd.

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

Good point Joe. Clint was only second for about 50 laps in the last race after JJ had problems. But I honestly think Clint can contend for the title in 2013. He might be one of those questions that I answer "yes" too next week.

Dee (Vegas)

Gotta say that what is going on right now with collegiate sports and the conference shuffling nonsense is making NASCAR's silly season look like a walk in the park. What will be the big move this year? Harvick we know about. Kyle Busch maybe?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

Hard top say this early. but I agree on college realignment. It's ridiculous that West Virginia is in the Big 12 and Houston isn't, just one of many examples. They are headed to four 16-team conferences when the musical chairs stops, and everyione is trying to get one of those 64 seats. Some good schools will get left out.

Teri (Burbank, CA)

Hi Terry. Is one of your "Yes" questions related to Matt Kenseth winning a championship for JGR?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

He would be, but I already sort os answered yes to that in a blog last week on two things to ponder for 2013.

Steve (HI)

I saw in your "NO" story that Danica won't crack the top 20 in final standings. How many top 10 finishes will she have?

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

She'll have three or four, I think. Really anyone can finish in the top 10 at Dega or Daytona if they are in the right place at the right time and avoid the last-lap carnage. And she's been surprisingly good on the road courses.

Scott (Charlotte)

If Kevin Harvick goes on one of his tiriads on the radio, do you think Childress will goes "Days of Thunder" and eat ice cream.

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

I don't think Richard is much of a ice-cream guy, but he might go back the the motorcoach and pour a glass of wine from his vineyard.

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

I've got to cut out a little early today folks. Thanks for another quality chat. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and Santa brings you everything you desire. Peace and Joy to all.