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.
Blount will be inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday night (April 7) in advance of the Samsung Mobile 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
Send your questions now and join Blount Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
Hello chatters. Hope everyone enjoyed Jamie's chat. What's buggin ya today?
Seth (Del Valle, TX)
Do you think Jimmie's complaints about the NASCAR speeding penalty is the result of frustration over not running up-front with #18, #99 and even getting beaten by #88?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
I think NASCAR has a transparency problem with pit road speeding. It's time to list what each violations was. And I've long been in favor of adding speedometers on the cars.
Kimi driving trucks? What in the world has happened to F1? Twenty years ago if you mentioned an F1 driver racing trucks, all of Europe and South America would have laughed.
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
Well, 20 years aho no one was driving trucks. The series started in 1995. But I get your point. Here's my point: Drivers will do whatever they need to make money and get a ride, wherever that might be.
Terry it was nice to see Johnny Sauter win the Camping World Truck Series race Saturday. Do you think Nascar should put a limit on the number of races a cup driver can run in the Nationwide Series or the Truck Series. The way the Nationwide Series is headed the champion wont even win a race.
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
I wish NASCAR would limit Cup participation to 20 races in each series. but that's not going to happen, so we'll continue to see the Cup bullies win these races, even though they can't win the championship.
Jake (Irving, TX)
Hi Terry, how does Dave help Kyle and the #18 guys get over the devastation of 2 straight 3rd place finishes and having deserved victory snatched away in the final laps?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
The devastation? I hope you're kidding. Kyle is leading the standings. All is well in 18 Land.
Brian (Oklahoma City)
In an effort to create more transparency I think that NASCAR should show debris that causes cautions every time or at least explain what they think saw that caused a debris caution. Agree/disagree?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
I noticed more of that recently with cameras showing the debris. Sometimes it gets picked up before the cameras get to it.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
Jr. mentioned that he didn't want to be the "bad guy" after the race by turning Harvick. Do you think that has anything to do with his dad getting booed after turning Labonte at Brisol? I mean 99 races, bad guy or not, you bump Harvick and take your chances right?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Nothing to do with that. It's just that Dale Jr. is a much different person than Dale Sr. And I think it was the fact that he respects Harvick.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
So how do you feel about the haters saying Junior choked at the end of the race at Martinsville? Wasn't it obvious that Harvick had the faster car and there wasnt much Junior could have done at the end other than wreck him?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
I agree Chris. I thought Junior ran a hell of a race.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Terry, is Matt Kenseth the most underrated driver in the garage?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
He's not underrated among the other drivers. I think Kenseth is the best at getting the most out of a car, like making a 20th-place car 10th or a 10th-place car 5th.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will we See Jennifer Jo Cobb Race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the Future?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Maybe, but a competitive full-time ride in Cup is a long way off.
Terry, does lil Joey Logano have a better chance winning at a big track, rather than a short track?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
Yes, assuming his engine holds up.
What did you think of the truck race? I thought it was great a non Cup guy won and the 2 and 18 really weren't up front a lot.
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
I always enjoy it when Cup guys get beat in NW or Truck races.
I think I am over the sick feeling in my stomach and can apprecciate the awesome day Jr. had....the way he moved kyle was awesome and i agree he couldn't move the 29 without crashing him...his attitude after wards showed me a lot also...is THIS the junbug i have been waiting for for 3 years?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
I'm starting to think so. The chemistry between Jr. and Letarte seems to be paying off. I'm really looking forward to seeing how Jr does this weekend at Texas. It would be cool if he ended his 99-race losing streak at the place where he won his first Cup race 11 years ago.
Jack (Brooklyn, NY)
Terry, can we all pretty much all agree that taking a race away from Martinsville should be completely out of the question? That was by far the best race of the year. And how about the crowd on Sunday? The grandstands looked full. That should speak volumes considering what we saw with the crowd in Bristol 2 weeks ago.
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
I agree Jack that the racing was good, although that event is way too long. It needs to be 400 laps. However, let's keep things in perspective on attendance. Martinsville seats about 60,000, and there were a few empty seats. Bristol seats 160,000 and it was more than half full.
Terry, how's everything going? Saturday night in Texas is probably one of the best moves NASCAR this year. Who do you got this weekend? And has Kurt Busch just dropped the last two weeks?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
I think the Saturday night show at TMS will be fun. It's also is likely to be the biggest crowd ever to see a sports event in Texas on a Saturday night, and that's saying something with UT and A&M football. I'm picking Edwards in this one.
Walt (Snellville, GA)
People talk about Dale's 99 race losing streak but in fact he only has 1 win in his last 177 races. How come people don't post about Labonte or Burton or Kenseth's or Truex or Joey's long losing streaks?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Easy Walt. Because they aren't Dale Earnardt Jr. He's the most popular driver in the sport so everything he does is magnified.
My 7 year old. "Daddy why doesn't Jimmy Johnson know how fast he is going. I know excatly how fast I'm going on my XBox"
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
Does ther XBox have a speedometer?
Jaski claims kimi is paying KBM 100,000 a race?! I thought drivers were suposed to get paid. Not pay for their ride.
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
Yu know better Tracy. Drivers have been paying to get rides since racing began. If you can bring sponsorship, you can find a ride somewhere.
TB, I dont recall if you were included in this, but some of your colleagues had the gall to call the racing at martinsville boring during the live race chat on sunday. This is the same group of people writing about how much better the racing at the old bristol was than the new bristol. what we saw on sunday was the closest weve seen to that style of racing in a while. why must you guys complain about everything?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I don't think we were saying it was boring Mike. We were saying it was too long. I joked that Julius Caesar called me and said he enjoyed the first half of the race. In the instant age of social networking, attention spans are shorter than ever. Races needs to stay at 3 hours or less.
Brian (Huntington Beach CA)
Terry, why is it ok for Kevin Harvick to call out his team, but not Denny Hamlin? I think he has a legitimate gripe.
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
Saying if it's OK or not depends on who you ask and what the result was.
Terry, my car is faster than your car.I feel better now.
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
The nice officer who gave me my last ticket will be pleased to hear that Sam.
Who you got picked for saturday night win?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
Is there any truth to the rumor that Danica will be making her Sprint Cup debut later this year?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
It's possible. I think she would like to get a Cup race or two under her belt as soon as she can.
Terry, I'm still recovering from the happiest heartbreak I've experienced while in Martinsville this weekend.. Second place is a great finish for a car I figured to finish 6th or 7th, but we were so close! He almost stole one Sunday but he's still driving 6-10th place cars rather than 1-5th cars. What's it going to take to get over that hump?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
If I knew that I would be the crew chjief instead of Steve. But the real answer is just steady progression forward. That's what they're doing. They've come a long way in a short time. Stay patient.
DO you think Denny has succomb into slump status with this latest turn of events?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
Not yet. Let's see what he does at Texas, where he won twice last year.
Did you see the first Indy Car race? What are these guys thinking with the double file restarts? Indy Car does know the cars don't have bumpers, right? I love open wheel racing as much as Nascar and wish it was relevant again.
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
The new rule isn't the problem really. It was that track, going from a runway where guys can get four wide to a 90-degree turn where everyone wants the inside lane. What happened at the start would have happened last year.
Hey Terry, I know there were no JGR problems this weekend, so maybe they have it figured out. But I was wondering if you've noticed that those JGR cars no longer have that thick black smoke coming out (exhaust brake) like they've had in the past. I wonder if they changed something with that, and it has affected their engines?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
I know they found an issue in the valve train, but I don't think you can judge it by Martinsville. Let's see how they hold up at Texas where the RPM's are sky high the entire race.
Do you think that Kyle has taken the postion of the leader among the JGR drivers? Denny just doesn't seem to be in that role at all since he lost last year's championship.
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Honestly, I don't think it matters. They all share info, but once the race starts, all bets are off.
Is Denny suffering from the letdown of losing the championship last year? Harvick has moved on.
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
I don't think so. But in recent years, the man who finished second the previous season usually finished worse the next season.
how do you think jimmie johnson is going to finish the season?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
In contention for the title, but I think Carl will win it.
I thought Jr was starting to get his confidence back with running well but watching him after Martinsville race he still seems so beat down.
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
I completely disagree. Sure, he was a little down about not winning it, but he is a much happier man this year than he was a year ago.
Do you agree they should make the speeds public??
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Yes I do. Always better to have things out in the open so people don't assume the worst.
Joanne (Ft. Myers)
At Martinsville, Jeff Gordon was again talking about Kyle's speed, and so was Dale and Sauter said how big it is to finish ahead of #18. Do all the guys measure their performance against the #18?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
Other drivers realize that Kyle is tremendously talented. So if you beat him when he's running well, you know you've had a good day.
Who will pole sit the Texas 500?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
It doesn't matter, but if we're picking, I'll pick Gordon.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
If Junior wins Saturday night do you think people will say it was rigged for him to prevent a triple digit winless streak?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
A few conspiracy theorists will say that, and they'll be wrong.
Be honest, What happens to Truex if Edwards doesn't slow him down Sunday? That freaked me out, that was scary!
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
No question that was a nasty crash. I still think Martin would have been OK because of the HANS and the SAFER Barrier. Those two things have revolutionized racing safety.
Why does NASCAR have practice during the day at Texas when the race will be at night? Isn't that unproductive for the race teams?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Yes, but Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony is Thursday night and many drivers have sponsor committments elsewhere. There will be a lot of complaining about it for sure. I think it will make things more interesting when the race starts.
If Kurt doesn't challenge for the win Sat. do you think Penske will start looking for a new crew chief?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
No. Kurt is still fourth in points, and Roger isn't one to make rash moves.
In your opinion, do you think any of the guys at JGR show any real leadership qualities? I get the impression that both hamlin and busch are pretty self absorbed. Logano appears to have the most team-centered mentality, but neither of the other 2 are really going to look up to a 20 year old.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
I think Kyle has matured a lot the last couple of years. I think Denny is frustrated right now, and I don't blame him. And Joey still is very young. That organization gets its leadershuip from one of the best _ Joe Gibbs.
Greg (South Bend, IN.)
Hey Terry, Is Kasey really liking the Red Bull ride and going to miss it next year? I think one of you guys mentioned he will regret it next year at HMS.
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
I seriously doubt that. Kasey is happy with how things are going this year, but he won't be sad when he has to go to Hendrick.
Tom (Aurora, IL)
Terry, great article on TMS? After 6 races in the books do you think Mr. H did a good job shifting crew chiefs around with Jeff winning 1 and junior about to?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
Yes I do. The verdict still is out on Gordon, but I believe he's going to win some more races this year.
Whatever happened to the bump above the tunnel at Texas? Is it still an issue?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
They fixed it, but it's still a small bump. Not really an issue.
Texas has always been Ford-Roush country. Do you expect to see a squadron of Roush-Fords sweeping Sat. night?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
I don't expect a sweep, but I think a Roush car can win it.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Any chance Rick Hendrick does something crazy with Kahne like switching Red Bull to Chevy so he can keep him there and going after Edwards for the 5 at HMS next season? I wouldn't put it past him
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Not gonna happen.
What's your top 5 drivers for Saturday night?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
Edwards, Johnson, Stewart, Hamlin, Earnhardt.
kurtis (tx) [via mobile]
how are ticket sales looking for texas this weekend. i figured since its the tracks first saturday night race that it would be increasingly higher and maybe sellout.
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
No sellout, but they expect a crowd in excess of 100,000
How many more races til Dale Jr. gets a win?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Impossible to say, but he loves Texas, he's pretty good at Richmond and his last win came at Michigan.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Petty had 200 wins in The Cup series, if Kyle ever reaches 200 wins but 90% of them are in the minor leagues is it really a fair comparison to say Kyle is as good as Petty?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Absolutely not. However, as I point out in my book, Petty's 200 wins are apples and oranges compared to today's racing. Sometimes in Petty's day they raced two or three times in the same week, and some of his wins came on dirt tracks. It's not possible to win 200 Cup races in this era.
Kevin Harvick said after the race that he had pretty much locked up a chase spot. Think that irked Nascar sicne we ar only in 6th race?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
No. He's right. If you have two victories, it's probably good enough for a Chase spot in you rank in the top 20. That should get you one of the two wild card spots.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
I'm out folks. Got to get ready for NASCAR Now. Tune in if you can at 5 pm ET on ESPN2. I'll tell you about a surprising jinx for Cup winners and Texas. Peace