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February 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:00 PM)

Hey gang. Here's the link to my column today on seven guys who missed the Chase last year, but have a chance to make it this year. And three cheers to NASCAR for deciding to redistribute purse money to discourage start and parkers. http://tinyurl.com/a7349oz

Don (MO)

Do you think Kyle, Denny and Matt were "sandbagging" at the Daytona test last month to not show how strong those Toyota Camry's really are?

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

No, but I think a lot of cars will run better when they return.

Deb (Ohio)

Hi Terry, as a Kyle Busch fan we'd like to see Rowdy win the Daytona 500 next month but the winner rarely wins the Championship. Why is that?

Terry Blount
  (2:02 PM)

Because, as they say, what happens in Daytona stays in Daytona. The restrictor-plate races have nothing to do with how a car will run at all the other tracks.

Bill (St. Louis)

Clint finishing 2nd in final points proved that he had a legit shot to win it all so it can be argued that Gordon effectively ruined their season. Do you think Clint get's his revenge early or waits to the end of the season to return the favor to Gordon?

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

No I don't. And Gordon didn't ruin their season. Clint still was going to finish second. Too much is being made about this payback stuff. Both drivers are title contenders. Trying to wreck each other now is counterproductive.

Matt R (Pittsburgh, PA)

With NASCAR "adjusting" the payout structure to deter start-and-park teams, what happens if fewer than 43 teams show up for a given race?

Terry Blount
  (2:05 PM)

That won't happen, but who cares if it did? In my opinion, the event would be better with 38 cars actually racing than 43 when five of them are just there to run 20 laps at go home.

Wolf Blitzer (CNN)

Dude you have stolen my look. I'll let it pass because your chats are AWESOME! As well as the others on ESPN. Looking forward to the season. Thanks again for all the great coverage

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Well thanks fake Wolf. And by the way, you stole my look. Deal with it.

Baseballman (Florida)

Great story today Terry! By leaving Burton off the "Lucky 7" list are you basically saying that Burton has entered the Bobby Labonte, has-been phase of his career?

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

I don't see Jeff contending at this point, not so much because he isn't capable, but that team just isn't very good. Jeff has a bright future, probably as a senator.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

By any measure, Danica is the most successful professional female race car driver in history. Do you think she deserves more respect than she sometimes gets online?

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

Yes I do, but many people dislike her because she using her looks to market her brand. The truth is, male drivers do the same thing.

demon reading pa [via mobile]

How will kurt busch do this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:09 PM)

As I wrote today, I think the Furniture Row group could surprise some people this year. They race well at the end of last season and Kurt certainly has the ability to run up front.

Tammy (Ohio)

Since the new cars do not "push" well, who do you think will do better in Daytona?

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

I expect Junior to run well, despite the fact that he caused the craqsh in testing. He learned what he can and can't do with the car. I think Gordon will run well, and the Toyotas were strong at testing.

Ross (FL)

Should GoDaddy be allowed to do any more comercials after their spot in the SP? I still want to puke thinking about it.

Terry Blount
  (2:11 PM)

It got plenty of attention, which of course, is exactly what they want.

Garrett Isbell (Oklahoma City, OK)

What do you see Kevin Harvick accomplishing this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

It's hard top say, but I tend to think lame ducks have a tough time making it work for the entire season.

Vinnie (ATL)

Poor Bar Refaeli!

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

Don't feel too bad for her. She made a huge sum on money for a little kiss.

Phoenix (Havana Cuba)

Do you agree with Edwards that winning 2 races early guarantees a Chase berth?

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

It could, which is why I listed Ambrose and JPM as possible Chase qualifiers since they are capable of winning both road-course events. Two wins might be enough to earn one of the wildcard spots.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Which 2012 Chase driver do you see having the toughest go of it in 2013?

Terry Blount
  (2:15 PM)

Maybe Harvick because of his unusual situation.

Steve (HI)

Have you and the crew hashed out what tracks you'll be covering this season?

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

Not entirely. We'll all be at Daytona and Indy. I do most of the West Coast events and both Texas races. Ed will do both Dega races. I also will cover a few NHRA events and three of four IndyCar races, including the Indy 500.

Scott (Charlotte)

I thought it was funny how people on twitter were so sanctimoniousabout the Godaddy ad and then were twitting about the "Bachelor" and WWE RAW. Also, thanks Godaddy my 14 year daughter says she is never going to kiss a boy!

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

Don't take any bets on that one Scott.

Rene (Canada)

If tweet pics from the superbowl Rowdy looked like he'd lost some weight. Has Samantha put Rowdy on a work out program like Mark Martin's?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

Maybe he lost weight doing that Gangnam style video.

Saul (San Diego)

Who is your early fravorite to win the Daytona 500?

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

Saul, picking a Daytona 500 winners is almost like picking a name out of a hat. Almost anyone can win it. But I'll play along and pick Kyle Busch.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Have either Roush or Tony Stewart voiced publicly any concern that either Danica or Ricky might give each other inside setup information? Do you think Privately they worry about it?

Terry Blount
  (2:22 PM)

No, not at all. Neither driver is going to give up the keys to the kingdom, but as I wrote last week, it will be fun on Daytona media day (Feb. 14, believe it or not) to see what Tony and Jack say. Tony may have a meltdown and Jack may sound like Einstein trying to explain the birds and the bees.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Has RCR voiced publicly any concern that Harvick will be giving inside setup information to HMS via SHR?

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

No, and drivers really don't know that much technical info to give up. And SHR doesn't need any RCR info. It's the other way around.

Chris (Little Rock)

How much info do you think Roush and Penske will share?

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

Good questions. Everyone is saying the right things as part of the One Ford concept, but I'm betting it won't be much. Biffle said they have a much different way of setting up the cars.

Bob (Gansevoort, NY)

Any word on top drivers still looking to fill some sponsorship for races? Jr has some races to fill as well as Bowyer. When should we expect announcements on this? before the season or will they filled as it goes along?

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

Most teams have sponsorship to fill. It's just part of the drill these days. Some will get it, some won't.

Scott (Charlotte)

With everyone concerned about attendance in almost every sport, how can The Waste Management golf tournament do over a half million people for the week. That is amazing!

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

It was impressive, especially 180,000 on Saturday. They love their golf in Phoenix.

Andy (DC)

Thanks for your time! If the new car excitement dies down quick due to boring racing...will we see a shake up in schedule, tracks, etc by Nascar for 2014? Or will they give it a go for a couple of years?

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

NASCAR has hinted they may shake up the Chase races next year. I hope so.

Christine (Saratoga Springs)

Hi Terry - do you think NASCAR will ever go international (outside of North America...Canada doesn't count!). If so, by when?

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

Ever is a long time. They would like to run some type of race in Europe and have looked into it. But I don't see it happening anytime soon in the top three series. The expense of taking the cars overseas is huge.

Claudia (Western NY)

Does Danica best Jr for Most Popular Driver?

Terry Blount
  (2:30 PM)

I doubt it. She joked about it on the media tour saying she didn't want to make all those Junior fans mad.

Von (TX)

It's been nearly 20 years since RCR last won the championship. Do you think Austin Dillon is capable of being the first RCR driver since Dale Sr. to win the cup?

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

Possibly, but RCR has to improve as an organization for any driver there to win the title. And most people think Ty is better of the Dillon boys.

Chris (Little Rock)

Do you think that sense the 6 is avalable Mark will ever get to drive it again?

Terry Blount
  (2:32 PM)

Mark isn't going to drive full time again under any car number.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Does MWR take a step backward this season after the huge strides they made last season?

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

It's a fair queston because they jumped up so far last year. So anything less than two guys in the Chase and one as a runner-up would be considered less success. But MWR is the real deal now with great personnel from top to bottom.

Joe (Troy, NY)

If Biffle doesn't win a cup this season, is it his last at Roush?

Terry Blount
  (2:35 PM)

No. Biff's a quality driver that's hard to find, whether he wins a title or not.

Jim (FL)

Dale, Stevie and the #88 are consistent top 10 runners, in the best equipment/team but not consistent winners or even threats to win. What does that team need to do to become elite?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

They are hoping the Gen-6 helps them take the next step. We'll see.

Scott (Charlotte)

What is your opinion of Tony Gibson? He has worked with alot of great drivers, but did not seem to click with Newman

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

I think Tony will do an excellent job with Danica. He works better with younger drivers.

Von (TX)

Dale Junebug's last multi-win season was 2004. Do you think he'll ever get back to that level or has that ship sailed?

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

It's now or never Von.

Joe (Troy, NY)

Will there be a battle for Top Dog at Roush? Will Biffle be the banner carrier or will Cousin Carl?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

I'll go witgh Carl. He has a lot to prove this season and Fennig should help him to do it.

Walter (Washington, NC)

Which of the ESPN NASCAR crew would you least want to fight in a Cage match?

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

Our boss, K. Lee Davis, would crush me in about five seconds. He was a star offensive tackle on a great high school team in Fort Worth. I was a skinny defensive back in Houston.

Carl (PA) [via mobile]

What do you think of the super Bowl? It was a great game!

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

I didn't think much of it in the first half, but it ended up fun to watch once the lights came back on. And Beyonce wasn't bad, either.

Doug (IA)

I read where some people say Danica isn't ready for cup but then 22 year old Dillon is entered in the Daytona 500 and other cup races? What gives?

Terry Blount
  (2:42 PM)

It isn't about age. It's about how much you know and how capable you are. Austin is a Truck Series champ who finishing third in the NW standings last year.

Mark (MD)

Terry, I agree with you about Carl. Jimmy Fennig should improve Carl's performance this season. Outstanding crew chief.

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

It's all about chemistry, and I'm betting those two will have it.

Chris (NJ)

Hi Terry: I know that you just typed that picking the 500 winner is like picking names out of a hat. How do you like Matt K's chances this year? Thanks!

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

Matt has a great chance. He's the defending champ, and the Toyotas were really fast in Daytona testing.

Joe (DC)

At Hendrick, if Jimmie is the present, Jeff the past, Kasey the future; where does that leave Dale?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

The money maker.

Steve (HI)

How much do you see in way of the fueling the Gen-6 cars effecting pit stops?

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

Haven't given it much thought, but I don't expect any major problems.

Claudia (Western NY)

If Danica fails, how long before we see another woman in Cup?

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

Others are coming up. there are more young women racing today than ever befre. But Danica is different. She is a huge mainstream celebrity.

Carl (PA) [via mobile]

What are Tony Stewart's chances to win his first Daytona 500?

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

Tony is always a threat to win. It's a little like Earnhardt Sr., who was a great plate racer but was snakebit at the 500 until he finally won it on his 20th try. Tony will win it soon.

Blake (Tenn)

Since you're no fan of cup regulars racing in Nationwide or trucks what was you take on Johnson and Kahne announcing they will be running in the minors?

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

I have no probelm with JJ doing a one-off in Phoenix. My problem is guys like Kyle running 25 or more NW races.

Scott (Charlotte)

What does Brad K really think about the move to Ford. I think Dodge and Fiat would have made him an international star.

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

Brad is 100 percent confident they will take up where they left off. I'm not so sure.

Saul (San Diego)

Do you see any major with the elimination of the Top 35 rule

Terry Blount
  (2:53 PM)

No. The new system, which really is the old system before the top 35, won't cause any big names to miss a race, but I'm glad the top-35 rule is gone.

JT (Mich.)

Does Jack Roush dislike Toyota in NASCAR because some of those Toyota Racing Development people used to work for him?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

That's one of many reasons. Jack feels Toyota pours money into its teams and drives up costs. I think the more manufacturers involved in the sport the better.

Blake (Tenn)

What's difference does it make how many NW races Rowdy runs vs. Johnson, Harvick, Kahne etc. Isn't your point that cup regulars should not be in the minors?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

I understand tracks believe having Cup guy or two in the NW races helps sell tickets. I would prefer they not do it at all, but the world is about compromise.

Joe (Troy, NY)

If Danica was going to sneak up on the boys and pull out a victory in ONE race this season, where would you think the most likely place it would be and why?

Terry Blount
  (2:58 PM)

Probably one of the plate races. She enjoys those events. But she showed last year she can get I done on the road courses. Frankly, I don't expect her to win this year, but stranger things have happened.

Steven (Kingsport (TN))

Issue is if cup guys don't run some nationwide, sponsors don't sponsor cars and ESPN doesn't televise the races and people don't show to buy tickets.

Terry Blount
  (3:00 PM)

Not true. If owners told sponsors, to get a Cup guy, you have to buy a Cup event. If only NW drivers were in the races, they would win consistently, obviously, and become stars that sponsors would want to back. But owners want the money, so they let sponsors dictate who gets in the car on the feeder leagues.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

I'm out folks. Enjoyed mixing it up, as always. Daytona is a blink away. We'll have a full crew their for Media Day on the 14th. No telling what we'll hear.