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April 11, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Terry Blount

Terry Blount
  (2:01 PM)

Hey gang. It's a beautiful blue-sky day in Texas, but a little nippy. Here's something that should get your juices flowing. My column today saying JJ is the greatest NASCAR driver ever. That's right. I said it and I'm not alone: http://tinyurl.com/ccb547s

Jeremy (GA)

who do you think is in the HOF this year? i like joe weatherly, raymond parks, benny parsons, fireball roberts, and tim flock

Terry Blount
  (2:03 PM)

Not bad picks, but it's really tough to say. First, I think NASCAR needs to stop inducting five at a times. That's too many. Just pick the ones that get the majority of votes. I'm glad to see Bruton finally was nominated. I want to see Roberts get in this time, for sure, and Parks.

Jeremy (GA)

With the importance of sponsorship, do you think that RCR is going to push to resign Menard?

Terry Blount
  (2:04 PM)

Why wouldn't they? Paul also is running well and has a chance to make the Chase.

Jeremy (New Roads, LA)

Do you think the #99 can get his 4th win at Texas this year?

Terry Blount
  (2:06 PM)

Maybe, but he wouldn't be my pick. The Roush cars always are good here.

mark (virgina)

Once again you show your true colors. Talk about how wonderful Danica is when she has a decent run, but never say anything when she has a horrible run

Terry Blount
  (2:07 PM)

Absolutely not true. When she's bad I say she's bad. As a matter of fact, when Hinchcliffe won in IndyCar a couple of weeks ago, I tweeted this: "Look, it is poossible to win in a Go-Daddy car."

Jeremy (GA)

I see your one of the media members trying to promote Johnson to us. Sorry not gonna work. He's just not someone race fans tend to care about. Maybe after he retires he'll get some appreciation, but for now, his presence in the sport is more annoying than inspiring.

Terry Blount
  (2:08 PM)

That's you right, of course. But I do think it's sad that people don't apprciate how good he is, whether you are his fan or not.

Andrew (W. Kentucky)

Hey Blount, as a huge Danica fan even I was surprised she finished in the top 15 at Martinsville. Is this a sign she has finally figured out the Gen-6 car?

Terry Blount
  (2:10 PM)

I don't think so. It's just one race, but I think it was her best performance ever in a NASCAR event. However, I will believe she has more things figured out if she runs well this weekend at Texas.

Claudia (Western NY)

Even though I have been a longtime NASCAR fan I unfortunately will not watch the Cup race this weekend because Texas Motor Speedway endorses the exact sort of violence that got innocent people killed at Sandy Hook. I am disgusted that NASCAR let this happen and I encourage others to boycott the race in support for the victims.

Terry Blount
  (2:12 PM)

It's isn't NASCAR's call Claudia. They can't legally tell TMS not to have the NRA as a sponsor. Agree with their position or not, they are a national organization with millions of members and they have every right to sponsor a race. And you have every right to boycott.

Vernie (NJ)

Will Rowdy, Dave, and the #18 guys finally break through this week and win at Texas?

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

They have a shot, but they would make my top three picks, which are JJ, Biff and Brad K.

Dan (NC)

The dislike for Johnson is because of his sponsor perfect personality, his criticism of Brad for speaking his mind, his whining when things don't go his way, the cheating on the 48 team (Knaus "crack the rear end if you win"), his refusal to answer the question at Phoenix about the race and instead thank his sponsors and team. Boring. That is why I dislike him.

Terry Blount
  (2:13 PM)

Jimmie never is going to be a controversial guy. It's not his personality.

Ron (OH)

The #48 may be the best NASCAR team ever. I'm not sure JJ is the best driver ever.

Terry Blount
  (2:14 PM)

A fair point, but my point is no one else would have done what Jimmie has done in the 48. He has made the most of his assets.

Tyler-18-78 (SD)

Hi Terry, do you think NASCAR was sendng a message to the #2 team/driver by penalizing them for the M'ville pitlane infraction that they have had more than enough of #2 crossing the line on questioning HMS rear end housing, abusing the pit lane timing system, questioning NASCAR management, questionable EFI fuel management trickery and multiple on-track incidents?

Terry Blount
  (2:16 PM)

Absolutely not. The NASCAR official just made a mistake, same as an unmpire might make a bad call of a bang-bang play at first base.

Sarah (NC)

I don't like Jimmie, Chad #48 because they were supposed to help Jr win races when he joined HMS in '08 but he only has 2 wins. When will HMS and Knaus focus 100% of making Jr into a JJ?

Terry Blount
  (2:17 PM)

The 48 teams is supposed to do what is best for the 48. As is the case for any team.

Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)

Do you know why Kevin Harvick spun Brian Vickers after the race at Martinsville?

Terry Blount
  (2:18 PM)

Yes, so what? But for the most part, payback was non-existent last weekend compared to what everyone expected.

Scott (Charlotte)

I like JJ because I have met him several times and he is a class guy, but I pull for Smoke becauses he is far more entertaning on the track, in the pits or in the pressroom

Terry Blount
  (2:19 PM)

I can't argue with that.

Zach Cross (Church hill TN)

I think Steve Wallace is a better driver than Danica Patrick.

Terry Blount
  (2:20 PM)

Ridiculous. Do you think Steve could win at IndyCar event? Do you think he could finish in the top 5 in the Indy 500? Do you think he could almost win a NW road course race?

Kristin (NYC)

Other than the Dillon boys, which NW driver has the best chance of getting a full time Cup ride?

Terry Blount
  (2:21 PM)

Kyle Larson will have a Cup ride with Ganassi within a couple of years.

Andy (Dayton, Oh)

Any chance RC lets Harv take the 29 number to SHR. I sure hope so, gotta lot of swag tied up in that number. Dillon is using the number 3 anyway.

Terry Blount
  (2:23 PM)

I doubt it but I really don't care about cvar numbers.

CJ (Philadelphia)

As an IndyCar fan first, I hope Jimmie keeps winning. He seems to only get great respect - which he deserves - from Indycar's drivers!! Was A.J .ever hated by so many? I think Mario was, but look who I am referencing by comparison!

Terry Blount
  (2:24 PM)

No. AJ is a good-old boy from Texas and fit in well. But I don't think Jimmie is hated. I think, as Eddie Gossage said in my coloumn, it's more apathy.

Pete (Maine)

Is the national Anthem the hardest song to sing?

Terry Blount
  (2:25 PM)

Good geustion. Most singers will say yes, it's really difficult to sing well.

Neal (Denver, CO)

Nice to see a guy like Jack Ingram on the hall list. Will Sam Ard ever make it in? He was absolutely dominant in the first couple seasons of the Busch Series and would likely have done a lot more had he not gotten injured.

Terry Blount
  (2:26 PM)

He may at some point, but it's way down the road.

Joanne (Ft. Myers)

Do you think the reason JJ gets so much disrespect is because the Jr fans see how badly he has made his shopmate/teammate look in direct comparison especially after the high expectations for Jr at HMS and in the same shop with Knaus?

Terry Blount
  (2:27 PM)

No. JJ is just a victim of winning too much, just like fans don't want to see one team in baseball or football win all the time. Right now, Bama is the most hated team in college football. Same deal.

Zach Cross (church Hill)

Why don't you like Steve Wallace.

Terry Blount
  (2:28 PM)

I like Steve, but comparing him to Danica has no merit.

Penny (Ga.)

Some people question Danica's talent level in NASCAR and I wonder how you think Dale Jr. would perform in an Indy car if the roles were reversed?

Terry Blount
  (2:29 PM)

Just impossible to say, but I don't think he would do very well. He's never raced open wheel and would be learning from scratch.

Zach Cross (Church Hill TN)

Do you think Clint Bowyer will ever win a championship.

Terry Blount
  (2:31 PM)

It's possible because MWR has improved so much, but if you're asking me what I think the chances are of it happening are, I guess I would say 50/50.

Mark (NC)

Mount Rushmore of NASCAR drivers- Petty, Earnhardt, Gordon. I say that because not just on the track- but they helped change racing or were major icons or symbols for the sport. I look at Jimmie like Allison, Yarboro,or Waltrip. Lots of wins, lots of titles- but has had no major effect on the growth of the sport.

Terry Blount
  (2:32 PM)

That's a good point Mark. I certainly can understand that reasoning.

Penny (Ga. )

So what Danica is doing-successfully switching from Indy car to NASCAR-is the same as what Stewart, Hornish, Juan Pablo have accomplished?

Terry Blount
  (2:34 PM)

Not even close to what Smoke has done. The others haven't done a lot yet in NASCAR.

Sam (Fort Worth, Texas)

Terry,How is the racing going to be this weekend?

Terry Blount
  (2:36 PM)

Please let it be better than the race here one year ago, which may be the most boring race I ever sat through. And I think it will be. The teams get more accustimed to the Gen-6 every week, and they have 4 1/2 hours of practice today to figure things out. At the moment. Kurt Busch has tuned the fastest lap.

Scott (Charlotte)

Terry, would you like to ride along with the Coke family of drivers?

Terry Blount
  (2:37 PM)

Yes, I would would drink a Pepsi just to stir things up.

Ed (Tenn)

On HOF, other than off track folklore stuff like a book and movie about his life, do you think Junior Johnson really deserved to be inducted in the first class?

Terry Blount
  (2:38 PM)

I do. Few people know this, but Junior was instrumentally in bringing NASCAR into the big time because he brought Winston to the sport.

Jamerson (Georgia)

I think Jimmie Johnson could be a good spokesman for the sport if the fans would let him. But the fans have this irrational hatred of Jimmie. He's done nothing to deserve it, in my opinion. He's a hell of a driver, and doesn't get enough credit for how good he is. And I think he's always shown plenty of personality... he's just not controversial. He doesn't get into a bunch of fracas. He just wins races.

Terry Blount
  (2:39 PM)

Can I get an Amen for brother Jamerson.

Daryl (Iowa)

When Petty and for a lot of Earnhardt's career there were maybe 5 to 10 guys that had cars that could win. JJ is in an era where 20 could.

Terry Blount
  (2:40 PM)

As AJ Foyt would say, that's quite true.

Ed (Tenn)

So more off track stuff. Did Junior Johnson deserve it for what he did accomplished as a racer, winning races and championships?

Terry Blount
  (2:41 PM)

Maybe not, but it not just about what a person does on the track, so it's not a valid argument. But the way, Junior won a lot of races.

Neal (Denver, CO)

My biggest peeve with Danica is that we've become so myopically focused on her that there may be something better on the horizon that we aren't seeing. Danica's done a lot of good things, but I don't see her as a transcendent figure capable of putting the guys and the gals on level footing.

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

Danica already transcends the sport because she is a national celebrity outside of racing.

J.K. (Georgia)

Do you think Kurt Busch can help do for Barney Visser what Earnhardt did for Richard Childress and turn a midpack team to a championship caliber team?

Terry Blount
  (2:43 PM)

Very little chance of that happening.

Scott (Charlotte)

You said that Ricky would blow Danica doors off in the Rookie of the Year. So far Danica is one point up

Terry Blount
  (2:44 PM)

I'm sticking with Ricky on that one.

KB Nation (Global)

Until Kenseth improves as a road racer and wins Sonoma or the Glen can he truly be considered elite along with Jimmie, Rowdy, Gordon, Stewart, Kurt, Kahne etc.?

Terry Blount
  (2:45 PM)

Really? Matt has won a championship. Kyle and Kasey have not.

Keith (Seattle)

You ESPN writers are so predictable. Always about how much Dale Jr. has improved with a few good runs and never the real truth when he runs like he did at Martinsville.

Terry Blount
  (2:46 PM)

So everytime a driver has one bad race we're supposed to say he's terrible?

Scott (Charlotte)

That 14 year old kid is 1 over after seven holes at the Masters.

Terry Blount
  (2:47 PM)

Well that's depressing for me since I would be 14 over after 1 hole.

J.K. (Georgia)

In your opinion what should Newman do about 2014 and beyond? I would like to see him drive the #55 Aarons car. I think he's a better option than Vickers.

Terry Blount
  (2:48 PM)

Won't happen.

Rob F (Philly, PA)

Hi Terry, there's no disputing how good the 48 team is. But greatest ever? I disagree. They have thrived in a climate that's much more forgiving (lucky dog laps, The Chase, a tank for a stock car, etc.) to their style of racing. It's very unlikely Johnson would have won five championships in previous eras, let alone five in a row. I don't begrudge him the wins, but they have been and will continue to come less frequently. He will eventually get respect from fans the way Gordon won them over, but most won't consider him best of the best.

Terry Blount
  (2:49 PM)

Rob, your opinion certainly is shared by some others. We'll agree to disagree.

Todd (Georgia)

How about a quick top 10 rundown on the 1st practice speeds?

Terry Blount
  (2:50 PM)

Here ya go, in order: 78, 16, 48, 55, 9, 5 27, 14, 56 and 18.

J.K. (Georgia)

Why not on NEwman to the 55. too expensive?

Terry Blount
  (2:51 PM)

No, but it's Vickers job to lose, and I don't think he will.

J (NY)

Who wins the truck race at Rockingham this Sunday?

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

I'll go with Buescher. But I thought it was cool last weekend to see four tenngers finish in the top 10. That's good for the sport and shows the talent that's coming.

Joe (Troy, NY)

What do you think that the Roush drivers have to do to catch up with the Hendrick Drivers?

Terry Blount
  (2:52 PM)

Steal some of Hendrick's top employees.

Neal (Denver, CO)

Now that the economy is picking up will we start hearing track expansion talk again? I know NASCAR still has a desire to be somewhere in the Intermountain West and the Pacific Northwest.

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

They do, but I think that's way down the road now. Even if the money is there, it means some track has to to up a race for the new track. That's a tough political game, almost like a city losing it's NBA team (like Sacramento to Seattle). Hard to do.

Saul (San Diego)

48-JJ is a future HOF?

Terry Blount
  (2:54 PM)

Do you have to ask?

Jamerson (Georgia)

I like the part where Dale Jr. has one bad race, and everyone starts shouting "Oh, its back to normal! Junior can't drive!" And its not just the haters... it seems like the more rabid "Junior Nation" fans are just as bad. But if I'm not mistaken, didn't Jeff Gordon finish 25th at Vegas a few weeks ago? Not because he forgot how to drive, but just because his car was junk that weekend. It happens. Even to the best of them. It doesn't change the fact that Dale Jr. has made a huge turn around and almost won two or three races this year.

Terry Blount
  (2:55 PM)

Jamerson, you are a genius today.

Kristin (NYC)

What do you think of the qualifying procedure for Eldora?

Terry Blount
  (2:56 PM)

Absolutely love it. I wish we would see something like it at other races. Qualifying at Cup events is paint-dry boring.

Keith H (Seattle)

Terry, I think the problem people have with JJ is sustained excellence and no controversy. I appreciate what's happening because when it's over, we will have seen one of the all-time greats.

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

I wish more people felt that way.

Saul (San Diego)

Dale Jr a future HOF?

Terry Blount
  (2:57 PM)

As of now, no.

J.K. (Georgia)

Thanks for answering my questions today. I was wondering do you think the Brickyard would be more interesting if they had a qualifying procedure like the Daytona 500. Dual races. That would at least make that race weekend bearable.

Terry Blount
  (2:59 PM)

It couldn't hurt, although the Duels aren't that great either since only a couple of drivers are actually fighting to make the race.

Terry Blount
  (3:02 PM)

I'm out folks. Really lively chat today. That makes it fun. I've got to get done here before tonight's Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala. I'm giving a posthumous award to the great Chris Economaki, one of my heroes. His daughter, Corninne, is here to accept it. Have a great weekend. Peace.