Chat with Terry Blount
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hello chatters. What's on your mind as we approach the 2011 season. I just wrote the 10 things I'd like to see. What about you?
Why do you think Junior Johnson made the HOF on the 1st ballot when he never won a Sprint Cup and DW, Cale and Rusty all won the championship and more races than him?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Johnson won 50 Cup races and was a very successful team owner. But that's not why he made it in the first time. He brought the sport into the big time by bringing Winston in as the league sponsor.
Tyler (Vienna, Virginia)
If NASCAR wants to make sure that Jr. makes the chase why don't they just give the most popular driver an automatic entry sort of like the past champions provisional?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
Don't put it past them. We already have the fan vote for a spot in the All-Star race. But seriously, it doesn't matter if he makes it of not if he's not competitive. Hopefully that will change this year.
Heather (Chamblee, GA)
Do you see Samantha Busch becoming the GM of Kyle Busch Motorsports like Delana Harvick and Kelly Earnhardt?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
No, I don't think so. Delana and Kelley grew up around racing and really know they sport.
Hi Terry, why do you think Everham won't go to work on the #88 to help out Dale?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Not officially. But who's to say he won't offer a suggestion here and there that might help out.
Marc (San Dimas, CA)
Hey Terry, to me it seems like the Jimmie/Chad mindset is 180 degrees different from Jr's, like black and white. is it Chad's job to change Jr. or does Jr. have to change?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Chad has enough to worry about without babysitting Jr. But it should help Jr just being around the 48 team every day and seeing how they do things.
Happy New Year, Terry! Since it is now January, when are we going to hear about NASCAR making rule changes in regards to the NW Series and/or the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
Thanks Emily. Happy New Year to you, also. Brian France plans to makes some announcements at Daytona on Jan 21. I expect he will lay it all out then, but don't look for any major shake-up.
people say that Daytona used to be 1 of Dale's best tracks but doesn't the resurfacing only level the playing field and take away any advantage he used to have?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
Whatever advantage he had was gone before they resurfaced the track. But the new pavement is going to make things interesting. If it does what it did for Dega, it's going to be a wild 500.
when making excuses for Junior, why do reporters always say, "Dale hasn't forgotten how to drive a race car" when that is obviously, exactly, what has happened?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
Really? I don't ride a bike much anymore, but I haven't forgotten how. What's happened to Jr is he has lost his confidence.
Happy New Year Terry! after Rowdy's disappointing season-only 24 NASCAR wins and 3 cup wins-do you think Coach should pull a Henricks and put Zippy with Rowdy for his championship experience?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
No. I think Joey is on the verge on big things, so taking Zippy away from him would be a mistake.
paul chandler az [via mobile]
Do you think jr will have a good year
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
I think he will have a better year, but that's not saying much. I also think he'll work well with Letarte. They like each other and have the same interests off the track.
Damon (Hilliard, Ohio)
Even if Danica wins the Indy 500 Terry, that's not going to stop knuckleheads from saying she can't drive, is just hype, had a special engine, etc. I'd love to see her win it though.......IndyCar could use that positive pub going into a fresh new-era for 2012.
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
It would be historic and create quite a buzz through the racing community. But I also agree with some people who emailed me today saying it also would be fun to see Marco Andretti or Graham Rahal win it.
Joe (Columbus, Ohio)
U think with the class that Teryell Pryor showed last night at the Sugar Bowl that NCAA will reduce the 5 game suspensions?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Not a racing question, but no, that ain't happening.
Jake (Las Vegas)
Cut Danica a little bit of a break Terry. She's run a TOTAL of 15 stock car races, yet you and others in the media think she should be racing Harvick, Edwards and Kyle Busch for wins? How about some consistent top 15's with a top 10 or two sprinkled in? Would that be okay for you or would banish her from Nascar for that?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Don't get the wrong idea Jake. I like DP being around because it adds interest. A few top 15s would be a step in the right direction, but just one race where she ran in the top 5 would get people fired up.
If Brad, Newman, Truex, AJ, Dale, Martin, Joey, Ragan all improve, what drivers do they overtake?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
Well, that's isn't going to happen, not for all of them. But other than the top four or five guys, the Chase list can easily change from sixth on back every year.
Isn't Danica in NASCAR just a sponsor stunt as it would be if Dale ran a few Indy car races?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
It's not a stunt. It's sponsors being willing to back her because people care and it helps them sell their product. But people will quit caring quickly if she doesn't run competitively soon.
Marcus (virginia beach,va)
My Lions finished 4-0, Rich Rod is finally fired, and Dale Jr has a new team and a new shop. Is 2011 finally going to be my year for redemption in all 3 phases!?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Yes Marcus. The Lions will be playoff contenders next year, Michigan will be better no matter who takes over as coach, and Jr. will have some strong runs this year.
Dan (Grapevine, TX)
What are your expections for Travis Pastrana? Another Danica "steep learning curve"?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
I have no expectations for him. If he does anything worthy of me writing about it I will be pleasantly surprised.
Ryan (Rynoldsburg )
will we ever see another run by a diffrent driver like jimmy johnson has put together
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
You never say never, but I don't expect to see it again in my lifetime.
Dan (Grapevine, TX)
Is Robby Gordon gonna run the Indy 500-Charlotte 600 double this year?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
Maybe, but I don't really care since he has no chance of winning either one.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
That bike analogy is a good for Jr. I used to be a bike road racer, I'd go downhills at 50 MPH+. Haven't been on the bike in years, not a chance I'd do that now.
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
But Cory, he hasn't stopped racing. That's the difference.
Will Scott Speed be at Daytona next month?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Maybe, with his lawyer.
Eric (Tampa, FL)
A lot is made of the Indy 500, but what if Danica won 1 of the 2 Texas races, would that make you happy?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
She almost did that last year and I was there to see it. She did a hell of a job that night. Winning any race would be great for her, but nothing compares to the Indy 500.
Rowdy Fan (Henderson, NV)
Hey Terry, how come Rowdy didn't make your wish list, like seeing Rowdy haters turn into Rowdy fans or Rowdy winning 13 Sprint Cup races instead of 13 NW races?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
He made my Christmas gift list of transferring some of those NW and Truck wins to Cup. I guess that's sort of regifting.
Blaine (Winnipeg, Canada)
Do you think with the changes to the rules for Cup regulars in Nationwide we may actually see a winless Nationwide series champ in 2011?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
No. Elliott Sadler could win the title and he'll win some races. But we've come close in the past to seeing that in Cup. Anything is better than seeing another Cup regular win the NW crown.
RAYGORDON REID ( middleburg fla 32o50)
CO9MMENT TO TERRY BLOUNT AT 2,40 HI TERRY I BEEN A LONG TIME NASCAR SINCE THE EARLY BEEN BORN IN WAYCROSS GA 1/11/1995 FAVORITE RACE TRACK DARLINGTON
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
The Lady In Black is one of NASCAR's best ALL-CAPS RAY. No question about it.
Terry, do you see Roush Fenway picking up where they left off from the end of 2010, or will they start off slow again?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I think the Roush boys are ready to get gorilla this year and run for the title. Carl, Matt and Greg all should have great years.
Lenny (Denton, Texas)
With Harvick signing ex-F1 driver Piquet and Jr Motorsports bringing Danica to NASCAR do you see them and Chevy as leaders in bringing more open wheelers to NASCAR?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I think that's just a coincidence that doesn't have anything to do with Chevy, but I'm glad it's happening.
What are your thoughts on the Firestone decision in Indycar? If a new manufacturer gets started only next year, what kind of handling can the drivers expect?Talk about all kinds of new things at once! New car, different aero kits, tires - Yikes, it's the wall!
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I really think this is overblown. It is surprisingly that Firestone may leave, but another tire manifacturer will step up and be ready. Even with Firestone, it was going to be a new situation to learn with the new car.
The first question brought up the HOF. Do you like the number of inductees that are getting in? Or should they open it to larger numbers now to get the HOF roster up in the first few years.
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
I don't think it should be a set number. I think it should be a percentage of the voters, say 60 percent. If that's 10 people, so be it. If it's two, that's OK, also.
who will possibly replace jeff gordon when hes done?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Jeff plans to stick around quite a while, so it's impossible to say. But it likely will be whoever is the best young driver in Cup at that time.
sorry to disagree Terry on the Dale jr. wish but isn't it really time for NASCAR fans and writers to move on and accept the fact that Dale's best days are at least 6 years in the past and that he's never gonna reinvent himself as the 2nd coming of Kyle Busch?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Who said anything anbout him being Kyle Busch? I just want him to be competitive again, and I think he can.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Hey Terry, is anybody talking about the 16 team being a legit title threat this year?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
There's no buzz about it, but Greg is capable of winning a title if things fall his way. There's more talk about Carl because of the way he finished the 2010 season.
any chance DW will stop starting races with his Boogity Boogity Boogity? haha
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Oh Kay, you know you would miss it.
Are you the guy that said Mark Martin was the most overrated driver of all time?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
I am, but you need to read the book to understand why I said it and what the reasons were. I have the utmost repect for Mark and also wrote that NASCAR needs to have a sportsmanship award in his name when he retires.
any chance of NASCAR solving their internet problems anytime soon so that races can be streamed live like ALMS announced with ESPN3?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
All those decisions are above my pay grade.
Den (NJ )
Who do you think ESPN should hire to replace Ray Evernham? I think ESPN has lost a good person that gave some insight to fans about how race cars worked.
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
We all will miss Ray as a commentator. He always was prepared and offered great insight. He helped me on many issues more times than I can count. Ray's the best. I couldn't begin to speculate on who might be hired. As always, ESPN will attempt to get the best of the best.
I went to Hall of Fame over the weekend. It cheered me up after the Clemson debacle of a bowl game.
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
Sorry about that, but the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a spectacular place to see.
Do you think Tony being a team owner now has taken some of the fire out of him?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
No, I think he's just mellowed a little with age. But I wouldn't count him out as a title contender. Smoke still is one of the best drivers in racing.
Why do old fans call all the 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 tracks "cookie cutter" when every race track is clearly different?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I agree Eric. Cookie cutter is a misnomer. Even all the 1.5-mile ovals are different and race differently. But some fans equate them to boring racing where the cars get spread out and you don't have as much passing up front.
How many races do you think Jr will win this year?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
One or two maybe. But he could show major improvment without winning a race.
Candy (Glen St Mary, FL)
Hey Terry, who do you think will win the Daytona 500 this February? I love the ESPN chats. You guys rock! Thanks!
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Thanks Candy. Way out on a limb here before all the daytona testing, but I'll say Harvick.
Do you think Rowdy will win another 20 plus races in 2011?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
He might, but it doesn't mean much to me unless he wins more in Cup.
Does mark martin have 1 more championship run left in him.
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
I doubt it. It's tough being a lame duck. But it would be some sweet redemption for McGrew if he does.
Other than Rowdy or Edwards, do you think any other driver seriously can challenge Jimmie and Denny and Harvick proved that they cannot?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Yes. I expect big things from Gordon with Gustafson. I think Kenseth and Biffle could have big years. And don't count out Kurt Busch.
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Gotta run folks. Great to be back chatting again. I can see you guys are ready for the season to start. Have a great week. Peace.