It's Rumor Mill Monday gang. Martin to the 14. Kurt to SHR. Maybe Dinger to the 42. Silly Season just went haywire.
Do you see Joey's win silencing the critics especially since he's won before #2 this year and because he now has 3 cup wins to Dale's 2 since they have been racing head-to-head?
Not entirely. He still needs to make the Chase, and took a big step toward that yesterday.
RCR hasn't won the Cup since '94 nearly 20 years ago. With Dillon the future and Harvick the past do you rate his 13 seasons as a disappointment and do you think Dillon is capable of doing what Harvick couldn't get done?
That's a fair argument, but I certainly wouldn't call Harvick time their a disappointment. The truth is, even if Dale Sr. had lived, it's unlikely he was going to win another title at RCR.
Do you think Kurt Busch is considering the SHR offer for the same reason Harvick signed because HMS builds better equipment than RCR?
That's certainly one reason. It's all about where he thinks he has the best chance to win and who makes the best financial offer, along with which sponsor wants him and where they want him.
Terry, we thought the NNS race at Mid Ohio was awesome and wondered if you see NASCAR adding more road courses to keep growing the fan base and getting the sport back to the road racing roots?
Not really. Road races have been fun in recent years, but NASCAR always will be an oval-racing based series for the most part.
Hey Terry, another Top 5 for Clint yesterday and all I can complain about is Dale Jr, what is wrong with me?
If they knew they would fix it, but the 88 teams clearly isn't as good as it was earlier this year. And Clint is racing well, but being winless will hurt him if it doesn't change soon.
Please tell me AJ is going to have a ride next year - what a great redemption story! Do you think it will be the 47 or with Silly Season going full force now, could he go to RCR, FFR or even 3rd car at Penske?
I think Dinger has a shot at the 42 with Chip. It depends on a lot of things _ does Chip think Larson is ready for Cup? Will Kurt still consider Chip over SHR? It's funny, two weeks ago it looked like not good rides were available, and now all kinds of things are happening.
Why does Jeff Gordon continue to defend Alan Gustafson and the 24 team? Alan's not exactly giving Jeff good cars anymore. Is Alan even a good crew chief?
AG is a quality crew chief, but sometimes a change is needed just to shake things up.
Do you think Kurt will end up at SHR? I am a big fan of both Tony and SHR and would love to see Kurt as part of their team.
It's still not definite, but yes, I think its likely Kurt goes to SHR.
Bristol is the first short track race since Hamlin has been back in the 11. Do you think Logano needs to extra mindful when the 11 is nearby?
No. That ship has sailed. Hamlin isn't going to do anything stupid that would affect a guy trying to make the Chase.
Mr. Blount, do most drivers respect each other with the exception of the ones who have had falls out or do their enormous egos pretend to like each other? Some photos I have seen e.g. riding together before the race neither one looks or speaks to one another. You've been to races, your thoughts?
Most drivers are enormous respect for each other because they all realize how tough it is to race competitive at the Cup level and how good you have to be to get there. But it is awkward sometimes in the intro trucks when you're paired with a guy who you had an on-track altercation with a week or two earlier.
Sooo, if SHR is able to somehow land Martin for the remainder of this year, and more importantly Kurt for next. Does this put them in the same conversation as Gibbs and Hendrick as far as power teams in the industry.
No, not on that alone. It means they have the potential to get their with three quality drivers.
Hey Terry, with Dale Jr on the Chase bubble and no wild card wins do you see #88 missing the Chase and even if he squeaks in would he be a factor?
I think he still will get in on points, but the 88 team really needs to step it up so they don't limp into the playoff.
I guess Ryan Newman is a bit pissed at this point?? Dumped for Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick... Where do you think the rocketman lands for 2014?
Hard to say. Maybe he has a shot with Chip or maybe a fourth car at RCR. Or maybe the 78. But his prospects don't look great.
Who are your top 3 for this weekend?
Brad K, Kyle and Kurt.
Top 5 and a darkhorse?I got 2, 18, 78, 5, 29, darkhors 39
Not bad picks. I would throw Clint into the mix.
Do you view SHR letting Newman go, then a few weeks later offering Kurt Busch a multi-year contract a slap in the face to Newman?
As they say in The Godfather, it's strictly business. What it boils down to is a sponsor is willing to pony up for Kurt and not Newman.
Going into the chase, what driver is the biggest threat to the 48?
Good question. I'll still say Kenseth. He was my pick when the season started and I'm sticking with it.
Its getting pretty late into the season and absolutely ZERO news on a new sponsor for the 88. If you remember one was all set to be announced way back at Daytona in July. What happened and why is it taking so long???
I'm surprised by this, as well. The problem all along I they needed a sponsors to come in at the same rate (incredibly high by most Cup standards) that the other sponsors were paying for the 88. Apparently no company was willing to do that, so Rick was willing to put them on the car.
I Kurt goes to SHR, were does that leave the Denver Team?
They'll get a quality driver, especially if Kurt makes the Chase. That team continues to improve. Kurt has been a big part of it, but not the only part.
Hi Terry, With so much young talent out there looking for rides and the economy picking up (sponsors). Nascar ever going back to allowing a team more than four cars?
I think it's time to do it. I thought it was a good idea at the time to limit it to four, but honestly, it never worked. Teams just aligned with the major organizations as satellite operations, so the concept never worked as it was planned. And new owners couldn't come in because they couldn't get sponsors and the cost of starting a Cup team is prohibitive.
If you pick Kenseth to be the biggest threat to the 48 let's might as well crown the 48 as of today.
We'll see. Anything can happen in the last 10 races. Someone could get hot (like Bowyer or Kahne or even Kurt) who could surprise everyone.
I don't recall your position on having a road course in the chase, but do you know why NASCAR has elected not to include one?
NASCAR always has been slow to make major schedule changes, which this one would be. But I think it's long past time to add Sonoma in the Chase.
Is there another sponsor coming in for Busch at SHR? All I had heard was Haas/CNC, which is essentially taking co-owner Gene Haas' company and slapping their logo on the car, which would imply dumping Newman for Busch.
I think that TBD.
Hamlin was awfully quiet on Twitter last night after Logano won....just sayin
Well you didn't really expect he was going to congratulate him, did you?
Hi Mr. Blount, to help Jeff make the Chase do you see Mr. H doing a team or crew swap with #88 sending Stevie to work with Jeff?
No. I don't see that happening.
Any sense if Toyota has struck a comfortable balance between HP and stability, or are they still scrambling to get the right mix? Are the drivers still nervous about engine failures going into the chase?
They do still have some concerns about it, but hope they've found a balance.
Ever seen the amount of bad luck KK in the 5 has had this year? I can only think of one equipment failure this year and the rest he's been wrecked. Is this KK putting himself in the wrong positions or really really really bad luck?
As they say, you make your luck, so it's a little of both. But that team could get hot and make a run at the title.
So is Mr H going to let Junior go sponsorless for some races in 2014+ or is he going to lower his asking price?
My guess is they decided to ride it out this year and will add a major sponsor for 2014.
Does RM ask for opinions on his rankings?
I'm not sure, but I know my buddy McGee can take the heat. This isn't his first rodeo.
Where do you see JPM going next year?
Hard to say. Maybe back to IndyCar. He wants to best ride he can get, no matter what series it is.
If you had to pick right now, who is the odd man out of the chase mix?
I'll say Biff.
With Mark Martin pretty much committed to drive the 14 most of the rest of the season, do you read that as Tony's not coming back to the ride in 2013???
Yes. I'd be more than shocked if Tony returned this year. His leg injury is much more serious than most people know.
Are Dale Junebug's sponsor issues a sign that he's not the hot property he once was in NASCAR or due to the economy?
Still plenty of companies want to sponsor Jr, but not at the price of five years ago.
Any chance the seat in the #9 opens up?
There's a chance, but that's not exactly center ring, if you know what I mean.
Hi Terry, Since Mark Martin refuses to run Dega would you expect to see Max Papis back in the #14 for that race?
Or Dillon might do that one.
AJ to the 42???? Would he really be an improvement over JPM????
Who knows? But I think Dinger has earned a shot in a decent ride. Look, Larson is moving up soon. It's a matter of whether Chip thinks Larson is ready to move up in 2014.
How pissed off is Ryan Newman right now?
Being mad is a waste of time. He's busy considering his options.
Is Stenhouse in danger of becoming the next David Ragan at RFR or do you see him there long-term with Edwards?
He's safe for now, but Ricky has been a major disappointment to me this season. It just shows what an enormous step it is from Nationwide to Cup, maybe the biggest big-league jump in sports.
If JPM does indeed move on to another series, will he still drive for Chip???
I tend to doubt it.
Logano has been one of the hottest drivers recently, and also had that great stretch run in late spring. Think the kid has a shot to make another of those runs if he makes the Chase? He was running really well at Bristol earlier this year before he and Hamlin got into eachother...
I'd be very surprised if any announcement comes at Bristol. Kurt is going to carefully weigh his options. This is the biggest decision of his career.
Im a huge 24 fan but they are done ! Thank god football starts soon!
As far as the Chase goes this year, I think they're done. Maybe Jeff will surprise me.
BREAKING: Smoke out for the rest of the season. Its official.
Not a surprise, but they real question is whether he'll be ready to go for Daytona next year.
How long will GoDaddy with the new management continue to support a back marker?
As long as they think she adds value to their company. It isn't just about how well you race. It's about how well known you are and how popular you are, and Danica still has enormous national appeal outside of racing.
You just mentioned that you think Stewart's injury is more serious than people realize. I tend to agree with you, everything you hear is carefully worded. Do you think he'll be back at the track anytime soon?
Absolutely not. Tony is in for a long recovery. It's a very serious injury.
Do you expect Rowdy Busch to bounce back from the Mich. disappointment and challenge Kurt for the win Sat. night at Bristol?
Yes I do. Both Busch boys can get it done at Bristol.
I will say it again. Brad K finished 25th in points his full year in Cup.
And that's a good point, although Brad some flashes of what he could be, I haven't seen that this year from Ricky.
Montoya with Andretti next season, a winning combination?
You just might be on to something there Sandy.
With Stewarts race driving future in doubt, is SHR signing Kurt Busch to drive the #14?
No, but it does give them ore options for the future.
I understand her appeal but I'm not sure she adds to the company Not at all.
Trust me on this one David. She has made GoDaddy a household name, and all their research proves it.
Open fractures are hideous injuries. This isn't an easily rodded or nailed fracture. There is the potential for massive soft tissue injury sometimes requiring flap coverage. Potential for infection of the hardware, and with inactivity and the trauma a big potential for DVT and PE. He has a very long road to recovery. He might miss part of next year
David, either you're a doctor or you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But either way, you are correct.
Which pre-chase race are you looking forward to, Bristol or Richmond?
Richmond for me. I always love any event where it's one-or-done to get it done. A little like a Game 7.
(I'm a cardiac surgeon)
Well, I may need your services in the future.
I think if you want to stop JJ from winning the championship, put Michigan in the Chase.
I said that yesterday on our race chat. I was impressed with the crowd they had Sunday. Looked like the best Michigan crowd in years.
Does TS sponsor get refund or something if TS missing part of the season etc....
No, you take your chance. The only way that would be true is if they had a clause in the contract for him not to race in other series, which they didn't. But I bet some sponsors will ask for that type of thing in the future.
In Richmond, do drivers in the bubble get extra room from drivers who are not going to make the chase?
Yes. No one want to do something stupid that would cost a guy a chance at the Chase, because they want the same respect if they are in that situation. But if it comes to you or a Chase contender to win the race, all bets are off.
If the 88 makes the Chase have they really shown anything that would indicate they would be a factor to win it?
No, but you could say that about several drivers that will make the Chase.
im no doctor but i have question what is your favorite race to go to in person i like them all
That's a two-parter for me. Some places where I like to go, like Texas, don't always have great racing. And a few places where I don't particularly like to go, like Darlington, have good racing. But if I had to pick one track that's a happy medium, I'd say Richmond. I like the city and the track. I also love going to Sonoma, but who doesn't?
Is a Martin/Larson pairing a possibility for the 42 next season?
No chance. Chip will put someone in the car full time to have a shot at making the Chase. But I could see Mark taking a job as a driving coach for a quality organization.
You mentioned earlier that sometimes changes are needed to shake things up, and it was in response to a question about the 24 team. Do you think Alan Gustafson will be the 24's crew chief in 2014?
If I'm guessing today, I'd say no.
Do you think Junior could climb up in the standings at Bristol, Atlanta and/or Richmond?
Sure he could. These are good tracks for him.
I gotta run folks. Bristol should be fun Saturday night. And the Silly Season talk is going to continue to heat up. Stay tuned. Have a great week. Peace.