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!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
If you haven't heard, Bires is out and McMurray is in for the No. 88 at JR Motorsports. So Jamie now works for Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Jr.
Jack (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey Terry, I'm assuming that the brass at EGR had to give the okay for Jamie McMurray to drive the 88 for JR Motorsports. My question is, does this mean that things have cooled down between Dale Jr and Teresa?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
I doubt it. But the two don't really conflict with each other, so Jamie gets to be a double agent, so to speak.
Jenifer (Woodbury, GA)
Since Kyle tweeted thanking Dave and all the #18 guys for a great car at PIR does that mean the Kyle has moved on from the tragic devasation Sat. night?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Don't know I would call it tragic devastation, but I think Kyle is learning to move on when things dont' go his way.
Ron (Tampa, FL)
Is NASCAR back on? I can't seem to be able to catch it because of all the front loaded off weeks. When is NASCAR going to make a schedule that makes sense. 38 weeks total with all-star and shootout so how about a break every 9 to ten weeks. Makes sense to me.
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
What would make more sense is to cut the schedule by four races and have more of an off season, but it's not going to happen.
Steve (St. Anthony, MN )
Hi Terry. How frustrated is Jeff Gordon? Do you think he can win at least one race this year?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
I do and he will. He's not frustrated because he knows they have good cars and they've been running up front. Jeff has been around long enough to know it will balance out and he'll get a victory or two if they keep running this well.
John (Orlando, FL)
How are the teams reacting to the new dynamics at the end of the races with the 3 restarts? One week 4 tires worked, the next week it didnt.
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
It's tough on them because it increases the guessing game for crew chiefs, but it sure makes things more interesting for the people watching.
Dena (Mt Dora, Florida)
Do you expect The Busch Brothers to dominant and lead the most laps at Texas just like last fall?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
I expect them to contend, but the Hendrick boys will be there also, and don't count out Kenseth, Biffle and Edwards.
Will John W Townsley survive to drive another race? Doesn't he come with sponsorship, will that help his case?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
It's a touchy situation. John is on the entry list for the car this weekend. His family is involved in Zaxby's, the car's sponsor.
caster and camber (bahama, nc)
i read your article last week on the nhra drivers petitioning against the 4-wide racing. i don't watch nhra on a regular basis but i have been to "the rock" a few times. i did watch the 4-wide event because it was 4-wide. they even showed highlights on the local news here in the triangle. i cant seem to understand why the drivers dont like this. it will help the sport grow which means more loot for them. also, getting on bruton smith's bad side will not end well for them, he has a lot of power in the motor sports world. why are the drivers against this? what do you think the outcome will be? how do you bruton smith will "get back" at the drivers for the petition?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
Race car drivers rarely like major changes, but I was surprised at their vote to boycott if the NHRA does it again. There was confusion on the starting lights, but I thought it was a blast to watch. Some fans loved it, some hated it. But I don't think we'll see it again bcause of the uproar from the teams.
Brett (El Monte, CA)
How do Knaus and Letart feel about getting beat by a Henrick customer car?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
They don't liike getting beat by anybody. But that brings up an interesting question. Can Tony or Ryan win the title if it comes down to the end and they are battling Hendrick drivers for the champiopnship?
Willl you ride the "Intimidator" at Carowinds?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Don't think I'll be there any time soon, but I'm too old for scary rides.
Who would be your darkhouse pick for Sunday?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Miguel Angel (Ft. Worth)
With all the drivers getting canned-Bires, Townsley and Bliss so early in the year how long before we see some big names get fired in cup like Harvick, Ragan, Sadler, Vickers or even Dale?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Harvick, Vickers and Dale Jr.. has zero chance of getting fired. Ragan and Sadler? Not likely, although both will be other places next year. And Harvick could be as well in 2011.
Terry, when was the last time you saw Jeff Gordon choke away a win when he was as close to a win as he was at Phoenix and Martinsville? I can't remember ever when he had equal tires as the guys around him on a one/two-lap shootout where he did not win. Are his skills diminishing that much?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
No, he just spun the tires a a little on the restart, just enough for Newman to get the jump on him. It can happpen to anybody.
Terry,Will Kurt and the 2 team rebound this weekend,Will they make the chase.
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Yes and yes.
Bobby Shoemaker (Fairfax, Va)
Terry, I heard a lot of talk from your counterparts at espn about Ton y Stewart talking about a "sophmore" slump and that has surely been the case. With Ryan Newman winning last week it has to add more "fuel to the fire" for the 14 team to be motivated to get back on track. In your opinion, whats been going on in the Ton y Stewart garage that has lead to a dismal season thus far?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Tony's ninth in the standings with three top 10s, so I wouldn't call it dismal. Actually, this dates back to the second half of last season when he faded a little. Hard to say what the problem is. If they knew, they'd fix it. The spoiler change might be a good thing for Tony.
Is JRM saying Bires lacked chemestry another way of saying something less politicaly correct?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
They felt he was driving up to the level of the equipment. His average starting spot was 17 and his average finishing spot was 18. That car should run in the top 10. But it is surprising they gave up on him so quickly.
Dan (VALDOSTA, Ga.)
Terry your article this week talks about how the spoiler will face it's first true test this weekend at Texas. What about Talladega next weekend? What effects will it have on the restrictor plate racing?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
Plate racing is a totally different animal. But spoiler or wing, it's the plate that makes Dega so wild because the cars run in close packs at the same speed. The spoiler should help keep the cars from getting airborne in a crash.
Since Tony Stewart typically gets hot in the summer, don't you think that trend would continue?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
It might. Drivers are little like baseball players in that regard. Some are hot early, some need a while to get going. An it tends to stay that way throughout their careers. In NASCAR it also depends on which tracks they like the most.
Andy (Dayton,Ohio )
I know Harvick is a racer, and racers want to win, but do you think he would jump ship to another manufacter? KHI is chevy best team in CWTS and NW.
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
Drivers will go wherever they can make the most money and have the best opportunity to win. Obviously, it would have to be a heck of a Cup deal for Kevin to leave Chevy unless another manufacturer agreed to sponsor his teams.
Jr usually runs well at Texas, Richmond, and Dega - how do you think those three play out for him. I'm hoping for 1 win, 2 top 10's and a move up in the standings to solidify a chase spot.
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
That's what he needs but it won't be easy. Jr is running better, but he hasn't really contended to win. Maybe Dega is the place for that.
Turning Left in a Tin Can (Long Island)
Can Penske compete as the only Dodge team or do you think they will have another engine in 2011?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
It seems to be working well right now because Dodge devotes all it's resources and attention to the three Penske cars. I think they're both happy with the situaiton right now.
Are we going to see Jr or any others in the 88 JRM car? If I remember correctly Jr had one or 2 more races he was planning in it anyway.
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
Jamie is only signed for nine races, so we'll have to see other people at some point.
Is Bobby Labonte's Career starting to come to a close. I believe if he has good equipment that he could be one of the best, but he can't seem to get that
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I think that ship has sailed.
Terry, do you really see Kenseth, Gordon, or a Gibbs car winning the Cup this season, or are they really playing for runner up?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
I hope not. I think JJ is a great guy, but I hope someone can give him a serious challenge this year. It's not that people hate to see Jimmie win. They just want to see other drivers able to compete equally with him.
Manny (Naples, Fl)
Do you think it is fair for Nascar fans to expect a driver like Tony Stewart, who is almost 40, to compete against young really fit guys like Carl, Denny, Kyle and Jimmie?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Yes. I don't think 40 is over the hill for a Cup driver. Mark is 51 and he running pretty well.
Why won't people sponsor Kyles truck team?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Because the economy is bad and very few trucks teams are getting sponsors.
TJ (Littleton, CO)
As Stewart, Burton, Kenseth, Biffle are pushing 40 or way past it like Martin, don't they start to lose their reflexes, driving skills, vision etc. like Bobby Labonte?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
It's a fair question. What you lose in physical skills you often gain in experience. You don't make as many mistakes, but older drivers also tend to be less aggressive and take fewer chances. You have to drive these cars on the ragged edge sometimes to get to the front. The only driver I ever saw race as aggreesively at the end as he did at the beginning was Dale Sr.
Dan (VALDOSTA, Ga.)
Terry, golf and tennis have four majors. If NASCAR were to have four majors on the Sprint Cup circuit, which four races would make the cut?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
Good question. We discussed this on NASCAR Now a couple of years ago. My four would be the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, The Coca Cola 600 and the Bristol night race.
Dan (VALDOSTA, Ga.)
Terry, had there been a spoiler instead of a wing on Carl Edward's car in the Aaron's 499 last year, does his car get into the air and ultimately into the catch fence? What about Keselowski at Atlanta?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
It's hard to say. NASCAR officials say probably not, but I'm not so sure. I've seen cars get airborne with the spoiler too. One think that also will help is the new shark fin down the rear deck lid.
RedLegs (Mom's house)
Hi Mr. Blount! I'm a huge Kyle fan, and we think he can win at least 30 races this season!
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Well, I hate to break the news to you, but it too late. There are only 29 Cup races left and he hasn't won one yet.
Just wondering, is the Pace car driven by the same driver every week or do they switch out at different races?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Brett Bodine drives the pace car.
Paul (Ft. Worth)
Any cup drivers running in the ARCA race Friday night at Texas?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
No Cup drivers on the entry list, but Truck racer Ricky Carmicheal is racing the event. So is Jerick Johnson, Jimmie's brother. A driver to watch in that event is Alli Owens, a very talented young woman from Daytona Beach.
RedLegs (Mom's house)
Oh well......then we think he can win at least 29 races this season!
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
Well, good luck with that. It certainly would be historic.
Ed (Fort Worth)
Can't say Bires being released is that surprising...after all, Jr likes to say, "Heads will roll!" Plus Danica by all accounts doesn't seem to have her focus entirely on IRL right now...hmmm...
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
Now there's a conspiracy theory for ya. I don't think DP is leaving the IRL to jump in the 88 right now.
Do you think we're getting for another battle for the title between Kenseth and JJ, just like in 2006?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
Matt has been very consistent this year, which is how he drives when he's at his best. He thrilled to have Todd Parrott on the pit box. They just seem to click. The change has worked out better than anyone could have hoped.
Helen (St. Louis)
What was with all the sweet, "I love you Ryan and I love you Tony" stuff at Phoenix?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Just two close friends who were really happy about what happened. True brotherly love.
Jake (Ft. Worth)
Were you supprised that Newman was talking about being even with Kyle for stealing Kyle's win? Why would Newman say that when he wasn't even in the Nationwide race?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Because I asked him if he felt like he stole that one from Kyle. So he gave me a snappy answer, which I appreciated.
Gene (Ross, Ohio)
Do you ever read the comment boards?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Between writing, interviewing, TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter and following about a hundred websites and newspapers, I don't have much time for message boards.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Gotta run folks. Some outstanding questions today. Really informative. I've got to pack for my flight to DFW at the crack of dawn. Have a great week. Peace.