Chat with Terry Blount
Send in your questions now and join Terry at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Terry Blount (1:58 PM)
Hello folks. I hope everyone had a great New Year's. What's on your mind?
What are your thoughts on Hall of Fame Racing call it quits?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
I received some new info today that could change things for the team. One official said they believe they have lined up additional sporsonship to cover all of 2009. If so, HoF will run Fords in a partnership with Roush Fenway. By the way, that would give Roush nine cars, including the three Yates cars.
Andy (Toledo, OH)
Terry - Who are your top 5 picks to win the Daytona 500?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Mark Martin
Hello Terry and thanks for being here today. What is the latest on Stewart/Haas? In your opinion, did they get the personnel together to field a competitive car right out of the chute in 2009? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Tony has some quality guys in place, but not sure they can't compete at the start. The advantage that have is all the COTs are the same and no one is testing. That help them catch up.
David (Jackson, KY)
Does it appear Bobby Labonte will for sure get the #41 ride? And when might an announcement be made?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
I find it off that no announcement has come yet on Labonte's situation. That would lead me to think there's a problem. So I don't think everything is worked out.
Alex (Richmond, VA)
Terry, Do you think that Richmond International could become one of NASCAR's most popular fan venues in the next 5 to 6 years? I know it is a driver's favorite, but I feel it still lacks the fan presence and media attention that a legendary track like Daytona or Talledega has.
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
I think RIR already is one of the most popular tracks. Having the race before that decides the Chase has really helped bring extra media attention at Richmond. When new tracks are built, they should follow this model.
Hi Terry, Who is Mark Martins crew chief at HMS and what is his history? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
Alan Gustafson is the crew chief, a real rising star in the Cup garage. Mark is thrilled to work with Alan, who was Mears CC.
Ken (Cleveland, OH)
Since he is retiring from his days as a race day tire changer and moving to a new role next to Chad Knaus on the pit box, do you see Ron Malec as the crew chief in training in the future for Jimmie Johnson?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
If not on the 48, Ron wil be a crew chief soon somewhere.
David (Jackson, KY)
I saw something recently that alluded to the possibility of Sam Hornish taking Helio's spot in IRL. Any truth to Hornish leaving the 77?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Penske has been strangly silent about what will happen with the IRL car. Sam continues to insists he's committed to Cup for now, so I don't think this will happen. I see the likely driver being Justin Wilson.
I am confused on the Sadler/Allmendinger story. Sadler is reported to be bring legal action, but AJ said he does not have a ride. Any insight?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
No officials announcemnt has come, so AJ doesn't want to join this fight yet. The crazy thing about it is why Gillett would be willing to pay off Sadler's contract, unless it has some easy buyout clause we don't know about.
Brent (Charlotte, NC)
Who do most in the garage are the top 5 drivers in the Cup series based on pure talent?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
Stewart, Kyle Busch, Edwards, Johnson and Logano (but that's very raw talent at this point).
Ok I will be the first one with a Junior question, I keep reading that Dale's work and training ethic is questionable, is that common knowledge around the garage? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
No. Jr is as dedicated as anyone. But he's single and likes to have a cold beverage now and then. So what? Look at Tony Stewart. He's not exactly a marathon runner. And he's on record and liking the ladies. I don't think it hurts his driving.
Anybody get their first win this year and who and what track?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Yes. David Ragan, maybe more than once. And Scott Speed, possibly at Dover.
Cory (Huntersville, NC)
Terry, what teams do you expect to come out of the gate strong this year with the testing ban being in place?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
The same old same old. Hendrick, Roush, RCR and Gibbs. The strong remain strong and the weak teams suffer in a down economy. But Red Bull Racing could surprise some folks.
Brandon ((Portsmouth, NH))
HEy, Terry. What do you think the odds are of Jimmie actually making it 4 in a row?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I'd say his chance are 1 in 4. Several guys are very close to catching them _ Edwards, Biffle, Kyle Busch, to name a few.
Hey terry, hook me up with a driver next season, yeah? You know, who's gonna win it or be a surprised pick. My boy carl did his thang but I am sure lucky I didn't pick him to win it all only. It was a nice pay day too...
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
I did pick Carl to win it all, and he came darn close. Surprise picks this year could be Ragan andf Vickers. Jamie McMurray finished strong and should be a Chase contender this year.
barry == sewickley pa
where will robby loomis end up in the petty gillet saga?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Robbie will have an executive position at GEM.
How many races into the season will we see a field of less than 43 cars?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Maybe the second race at Cali. but does it really matter? And some teams will show up just to make a couple of laps and take home $80 grand.
I would think the testing ban could hurt Stewart Haas because it will take them longer to build chemistry between the drivers and their new crew chiefs. They will really only have Fridays to work on setting up the Hendrick's cars to match Stewart and Newman's preferences. On the other hand, it will save them money.
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
You're right. It's a two-edged sword. But Tony and Ryan have been around long enough to relay constructive info to a CC in a few laps and make positive changes at the track.
Any insight into why Ray Evernham packed up and seems to be completely out at the team he founded?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
It was Ray's decision. He wants to go another direction in his life, concentrating on his broadcasting career and becoming a track owner.
Can Kahne ever leave GEM and get on a good team..id love to see him fulfill his potential
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
Kasey has a contact, but he's free to go wherever he wants when it expires, which I think it the end of the 2010 season.
saw that on jayski that Mike Skinner might not have a truck ride. why doesn't one of the weaker Cup teams give a guy like Skinner another shot?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
Weaker teams can't afford Mike, who probably isn't willing to drive for peanuts at this point in his career. But's he'll end up with a ride somewhere.
Who do you think Kasey Kahne should drive the No. 43 car in 2009?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
No. Kasey is obligated to drive the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge.
TIM CHESTER, PA
Will Bobby Labonte have ride for this season?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Yes, but I'm not sure where that will be.
Do expect there to be any issues with the new drug policy that Nascar started to inforce.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
Not really, but in 28 years of covering sports, I've learned that someone always gets caught when you test people for substance abuse.
We all read about the massive layoffs after the end of the season. Were they permanent or is this common at the end of each race season? Thanks
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
This is not common. It's the worst economic times in NASCAR history. More than 600 people have lost their jobs. It's very sad.
With companies cutting back on racetrack sponsorship deals, do you know of any tracks that could be in financial danger?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
No. If a track has a Cup date, it's making money. But all tracks will make less money this year.
Terry, you commented earlier that NASCAR should pattern future tracks after RIR, but will there be any new tracks built in the future, I thought the common consensus was that there are too many tracks to support a 36 race schedule already. Thanks
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
What NASCAR wants is to see new tracks built in Denver, Seattle and New York, then move races to those markets. But no tracks are gettiong built in these difficult economic times.
can tony make it out there year. will he be ok ty
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Tony Stewart and full sponsorship on his No. 4 Chevy an is ready to go. Ryan Newman's car has sponsorship with the Army for most of the season and will run a full schedule.
tim (everett, wa)
nascar was trying to get a track built out here and i was po'd when our county said no. now looks like the right decision. what is the future like for a track in washington??
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
As a Washington resident myself, I can tell you it isn't happening any time soon. The problem is ISC (NASCAR's independent facility's management company) wants tons of public money to build these tracks ($100 to 200 million). That's not going to happen anywhere now. If ISC wants to spend it's own money, it can build a track wherever it wants, including the Pac NW.
Any ballpark estimates on how much it costs to build a new track? I would guess it would cost a TON of money in those particular markets.
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
It depends on the location, but start at $300 million and go from there.
How many backflips for Carl?
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
I'll say five.
If Sadler is unable to secure the 19, where do you see him ending up?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
Not many good options. He could lobby for the 41 in Labonte doesn't get it. He could drive for HoF if they get the sponorship they need.
I hear you have a book coming out soon - when can I get it?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
The book will be out at the start of Februaryin time for the Daytona 500. It called, The Blount Report, NASCAR's Most Overrated and Underrated, Drivers, Cars, Teams and Tracks. If will be controversial, to say the least. You can order it now on Borders or Amazon.
Any word on car count in the IRL? It seems they should be a little more up in the air than usual, shouldn't they?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
The IRL will have 20 or 22 cars. It's easier to run in that series with partial sponsorship than it is in Cup.
If Helio can't drive this year will Hornish go back to IRL to fill that seat?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
It's possible, but highly unlikely. I think Justin Wilson will get that ride.
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Gotta run folks. Have a great week. I'm out. Peace.