Chat with Terry Blount
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NASCAR writer Terry Blount will stop by to talk about all the latest news and notes from around the NASCAR track.
Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com after 25 years as a sports reporter and columnist at three major metro newspapers.
Send your questions now and join Blount Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
dz (phx, az)
out of curiousity what other sports did you cover?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
I cover racing exclusively now for ESPN and have covered the sport for many years, but during my 30-year career I've covered the NFL (including six Super Bowls), the NBA (four NBA Finals) MLB (two World Series), college football and basketball, to name a few.
TERRY WHEELER (PEORIA,IL)
Why is everyone saying that its a new rule to not bumpdraft in the corners?I remember them making that rule 2 years ago when Dale Jr said it was a necessary evil. Anyway i disagree with it,turn the boys loose and let them race
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
It's not a new rule, but NASCAR officials made sure everyone knew they were serious about enforcing it before the race on Sunday.
Ed (Fort Worth)
Can you imagine the scene at Penske today? "Hi Kurt, I'm Brad Keslowski, I'll be your new teammate for the remainder of the year. Oh yeah, my bad about the Big One at 'Dega."
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
Oh well. Stuff happens, especially at Dega.
now that degga was a complete waiste of a sunday, and since the owners of bristol ruind that race, the only thing we have left is richmond. i know this is a dumb one but whats the chance we get another short track? us as fans need it!
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
No chance, not in the foreseeable future.
Have you seen any early stats about the new Ford engine results from this weekend?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
Jack Roush was very pleased with the performance of the engine. But plate racing is unigue and this week at TMS will be a much different test.
Do you expect Kyle Busch with Dave Rogers as new crew chief to win 1 or more of the last 3 races?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Not really, but Kyle is capable of winning anywhere.
Has the Nascar response to the dust up over the McReynolds, Spencer and Petty comments with Dustin Long made jouralists and media covering Nascar be more careful in their critizisms of Nascar?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
No. We're here to tell it like it is, and for me, write columns that offer opinions and provoke thought.
James (North Little Rock)
I know this is awhile down the road but with the Chase set up with tracks that favor Jimmie Johnson's dominance and the unpopular decisions Nascar has made this decade, do you think Nascar will lose a majority of the traditionalist fans when guys like Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordan retire?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
No, new heroes always come along, but Junior is a separate situation. Few drivers ever will have his popularity because of his father's greatness and Senior's untimely death that placed Junior in the spotlight.
Dave (Cedar Rapids)
Hendrick fan here. What are you thoughts on changing points system? Even I think it is boring watching Hendrick dominate this system.
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
As I wrote today, no matter what math you use, Jimmie is going to come out of top the way he's running right now. But one idea is a true elimination system during the Chase that knocks out drivers as you go.
Do you think we might see Juan Pablo running a Toyota Camry in 2010?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
We might. What it boils down to is which manufacturer is willing to offer Chip the best deal.
Steve (St. Anthony, MN)
Do you feel that the drivers were making a statement when they were driving single file? If so was that something they talked about after the meeting with Helton?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
They didn't talk about it but it sure looked like a bit of a silent protest.
Ed (Fort Worth)
RCR seems to finally be coming on. Any chance Happy calms down and sticks around, or is the jury still out until next year?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
Anything can happen in a year, but things would have to improve dramatically by midseason of 2010 for Harvick to consider staying. I think it's 90 percent that he's gone.
so what would YOU do to the dega race?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
I would consider lowering the banking enough to make the drivers use the brakes in the turns, but not so much that you make the track like Cali or Michigan.
Is the Daytona tire test only for Goodyear or does a sneaky crew chief like Knaus use it to test aero and other stuff?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Teams always learn other things when they do a tire test.
How do you think will be second in the points by the time we are at Homestead?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Gordon might pass Martin, but it's still going to be a Hendrick trio at the top.
Michelle (San Diego)
Kyle Busch has won the Nationwide Series championship and 17 Nascar races this year. Do you think the fans will ever come aroung and start supporting him like they do Dale jr?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Kyle will never get the support Junior gets. No one will. But as he matures and wins a Cup tile of two, he will gain a larger following and more respect. However, Kyle has a lot more fans right now than most people realize. As Dale Sr. used to tell me, "I want them to love me or hate me, just don't be in between."
Steve (St. Anthony)
Is Stremme's cup career done?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
Stremme might get a few start-and-park rides next year, but he probably should look in NW and Trucks.
What is a "hard card" and who gets them?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
A hardcard is a credential that gives a reporter or photographer access to each event. People that cover NASCAR full time are issued hardcards.
how many pay backs are going to come to brad k next year?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I'm sure he'll get a few, but Brad is no different from a lot of talented young drivers who are overly aggressive at first while trying to prove themselves.
Terry, I want Mark Martin to take the Cup so bad I can't stand it and I really think Jimmie is just dry when it comes to image. I do however acknowledge the 48 TEAM (driver, crew chief, crew and owner) are the best the season. Why can others get off the NASCAR fix/48 cheating/other conspiracy theories and just say good job we'll get 'em next year?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
I don't think anyone in the Cup garage really thinks they're cheating, especially after the way NASCAR has examined that car during the Chase. The people that race with them realize how good they are. And Jimmie may be the most underrated and underappreciated athlete I've ever covered in my career.
Any thoughts on what Petty might do to Allmendinger?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
He fined AJ 10 grand and will have him to public appearances to speak against drunk driving. AL is a good guy who made a mistake and owned up to it immediately.
since you've covered college football in the past, doesn't it seem like this year, the SEC and NASCAR have more in common than one might realize (biased and almost orchestrating outcomes)?!?!?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
I don't see any orchestarting outcomes, but I do see dominace in both places with JJ and Florida. But Bama may have a say in that before it's over.
Any thoughts on mcmurray's win on sunday?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
I was really happy for him because Jamie is one of the best guys in NASCAR. I hope the deal gets down this week to drive the 1 car next year.
Evan Johnson (Salt Lake City )
I was looking at the new Nationwide COT and it looks like the front ends are actually different from each other, instead of just the decals being different. Is that really the case are the noses shaped differently based on manufacturer
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
I haven't seen one up close yet, but I'm very impressed with the design of the Mustang and the Challenger. This is the brand identity the cars makers need. I'm also disappointed that Chevy didn't go to the Camaro.
Terry, teams already spend upwards to a million producing plate engines, why not pour that money into developing a new, smaller engine that doesn't require a plate for Talladega & Daytona to bring the racing back?!?!
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
This has been discussed, but it wouldn't change much. The drivers would have a little more throttle response, but they still would hold the pedal to the floor all the way around, so everyone still would run the same speed together.
Do you see nascar playing with aero package on the cup car anytime soon ? The races are getting so boring and predictable.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Not any major changes, but we will see a few tweaks to the body next year.
speeking of the new nationwide car is the real reason chevy wont do the camero is because they dont want to catch the raft of the general public thinking there waisting money when the government gave them money?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
I think Chevy officials made that decision before all that happened. Right now, the Camaro is outselling the Mustang, so GM doesn't see the need to spend all the money it would take for a new model. If Mustang is highly successful in NW, that might change.
you say there will be a few tweeks to the car next year. will it be noticable?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
No. Little things, like maybe cutting a tiny bit off the side of the splitter an adding weight to the left side of the car.
dz (phx, az)
i'm trying to plan a trip to a race out east. any suggestions?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I'd say Richmond. Great racing, fun city, easy access and lots of hotel space in town near the track.
Sue (Bonney Lake)
How does one get a "hot pass" for a race?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Have connections and know a VIP, or work for a company that's a major sponsor of a team.
if you had a choice what race would you stay in the infield? i was really wanting to do degga next year but know im a little nervouse about driving 2000 miles
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
Daytona is the best place to stay in the infield. Lot of good food and window access to the garages so you can watch the crews work. The Vegas infield also is very cool.
Bill (Concord, NC)
Terry, Obviously Martin is gone after 2010, Maybe gordon 2011 0r 2012, Who does Rick have coming up besides a grab at Brad K when Mark leaves?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Actually, Mark is planning to stay through 2011. Hendrick always can go after veteran guys, but Rick probably will take a hard look at Kelly Bires. And, dare I say the name _ Danica.
Evan Johnson (Salt Lake City )
Planning a trip to Phoenix next year, whould you go to the Spring race or Fall race? Why?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
If you go the the fall race, you get to see all three series _ Trucks, NW and Cup. The weather usually is a little cooler in November, but you get to see night racing in the spring.
Scott Bensink (Findley Lake, NY)
Why doesn't Nascar consider going back to their roots and race like your local Sat. night shows? Think about the races that are the most fun to watch, All-star race & Twin 150's. Have Qualifying, heat races and A-Main. Cut down on the length of the races, because they are getting boring!
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
I agree somewhat Scott. Many races should be shortened. Most events don't need to be 500 miles or 500 laps at short tracks. And I would love to see a few more two-day weekends.
Penske has 2 great young drivers in Justin Algaier and Parker Klingerman. How come he didn't bring 1 of them up to cup instead of signing Brad k?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Good question Pete, but the Penske brain trust didn't feel either guy was ready to make the jump to Cup. Justin is close and Parker is tremendously talanted, but they don't want to rush them.
Terry, I know Earnhardt, Sr. suggested this one time but why not take the plates off and block off the lower level of seats and let them race? Sunday, it looked like they had plenty of empty seats in the upper deck.
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
They just can't have these 3,400-pound cars going 230 mph. Even if you didn't seat people down low, debris off an airborne crash easily could seriously injure someone.
Jack (Brooklyn, NY)
Hornish seems to have really regressed the second half of this year. He has three consecutive finishes of 36th or worse. Might he be out at Penske after next year in favor of Allgaier?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
I think Sam needs to show a huge step forward next year or he'll be heading back to Indy car.
Do you think it was good idea to keep Lance and Junior together? LaJoie says Lance is smart and it will be good if Junior trusts him.
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
Lance is smart, but I'm not convinced the pairing is working. However, you can't keep changing things. They need a full year together to see how thngs shake out.
Not 2 under appreciate JJ, But there are only 2 easy steps to beating him in the chase. Change 2 tracks, Michigan for Lowe's and Bristol for Martinsville. This would turn JJ into a mere 1 time champ. Will NASCAR every change the tracks in the Chase, which would spark new competition? (Not like California for Altlanta that only helped JJ and hurt everyone else)
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I would love to see Bristol in the Chase. I think new Chase events is a good idea, but I don't see NASCAR making a lot of chances in 2011.
Would Earnhardt Sr. appreciate a team like the 48 team?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
He'd be mad as hell if he couldn't beat them and he'd do everything in his power to shake Jimmie tree and try to intimidate him.
Terry, any thoughts about what Kasey Kahne does in 2011?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I think Kasey is weighing his options. If he new Ford engine makes the team more competitive it might stay at RPM. If not, I look for Kasey to sign with another to team like JGR or Stewart Haas.
Did Dale sr have to win by intimidating drivers mentally rather than beating them on racing skill?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
He did both, but he thrived of getting inside other drivers' heads and making them fear him. No one wanted to see Dale Sr.'s No. 3 in their mirror.
devin (whitmore lake mi )
whit brad in 12 for restof the season what the odd he wins the 500
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Brad an excellent plate racer, but he won't go in as the favorite. I'd put his odds at 25 to 1.
Kyle's contract expires after next year. Do you expect him to be back at Henrick with Alan G as his crew chief?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Not in a million years.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta run folks. Great chat today with some interesting questions. You guys were on your game. I'm off to Texas tomorrow. Have a great week. Peace.