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 was recently inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame for his contribution as a reporter and columnist.
Send your questions now and join Blount Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (1:59 PM)
Hello chatters. What's on your mind with Cup at the quarter pole?
How jr sounded on his radio was ecstatic think junebug is pepped up and ready to win??
Terry Blount (2:00 PM)
I do. I expect him to win soon. The 88 is the surprise of the season so far. And as everyone knows, Junior running up front is good for the sport.
Terry, what do you and what do you think Nascar thinks about shortening the Talladega races? Because to me it seems a little boring, they (Martin and Gordon) just ride in the back of the pack all day and end up 3rd at the end. I would think just a 50 lap race would be great.
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Maybe 50 laps heats leading to a 100-lap final. But it ain't happening. Everyone acts lile this is new. This is not a factor of pairs racing. It's been going on in plate racing for a long time.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
How about nascar takes the points for plate races and divides them in half you get half the value of the postion you are in at the half way point ,vice-versa for the end. What I saw on Sunday was BS you had guys starting 3 sec off on a restart and riding zzzzzzzz. JMOThanks,
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
The feeling about this are mixed, but for me, any race where almost anyone in the field has a chance to win is a good thing. It looked like Dave Blaney might win it at one point. That's fun to watch for me.
I havena??t heard anything about 33a??s contract. Is returning to RCR a given?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
It's still un in the air. Burton re-upped today. Bowyer is expected to stay, but we'll see. Edwards is the big prize in the free-agent scranble. What he does will cause a domino effect elsewhere.
Who's your top 5 for richmond? I'm going w/ 29 18 88 48 99 in no particular order
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
All good picks. I'll go with Junior, JJ, Hamlin, Kyle and Bowyer, in no particular order.
Brian (Oklahoma City)
Fans, drivers and media have given their opinion on tandem racing at Daytona and Talladega. Half love it, Half hate it. But we really haven't heard from NASCAR officials. Do they love it, hate it?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
NASCAR will love it if the fans love it. But it isn't going to be easy to put the cat back in the bag now.
Afternoon Terry, might not be around for the chat later, so wanted to post this early. Seems the main complaint from the drivers after/during 'dega is the lack of vision from 2nd car b/c of the spoiler on the front car, do you know of a reason why the spoiler couldn't be made of a relatively thick, clear plexiglass just for the restricter plate races? would allow a little more visibility to the car in back.
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
That's an excellent question Matt. It might cause a completely different aero reaction, so the teams might be against it. And I don't it would make that big a difference in vision. It's still difficult to see ahead when you are riding a guys bumper.
Kurt Busch is on his way to being more hated than Kyle. Kurt is the last guy that I would want pushing me in a restrictor plate race.
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
It's wasn't good Sunday, but that kind of thing changes at every plate race. Don't forget it was Kurt who pushed Newman to victory in the Daytona 500.
Nick Rolando (Orlando)
Terry, with the news of Burton/Caterpillar re-signing, do you think Austin Dillon will take over for Burton after his deal is over?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
Maybe, but that's too far down the road to speculate. Richard would love to have both his grandsons driving for him in Cup at some point, but he said they both have to earn it.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
What would happen in the event of a tie at a race. Pretty close this weekend!
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
Just about impossible for that to happen with electronic scoring. One car is going to get to the line first, even if it's one 10-thousandth of a second. Tat kind of thing is fairly common in the NHRA. Two of the winners Sunday at Charlotte won by less than 5 thousandth of a second.
wasup terry bradshaw
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Sorry, that Terry isn't here. I have way more hair than he does.
What is up with McMurray? I know that he is usually inconsistant, but I don't think that he has even had a top ten this year. Have you heard anything about his team?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
They don't now Renee. It's funny, because McMurray may need the new wildcard rule, known as the "Jamie Rule" to make the Chase. The last 2 spots get in on wins. He would have made it last year under that format.
1) I have never been so happy to see Jr lose! It felt like a win seeing him run up to Jimmie's car to celebrate like that. 2) Every week that goes by, I have more confidence in the 88 team. With that said, How many more weeks do they have to go without the bottom falling out before we can consider them SOLIDLY in the chase? It's hard to gauge with this new points system.
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
I wouldn't say anyone is solidly in the Chase yet. Maybe Harvick is because he has two wins. But I would be very surprised if Junior didn't make the Chase now.
Hey Terry, do you remember the wicker bills that were used in the early 2000s at plate races? They were extremely effective in keeping cars together. Could that be the solution to the 2x2 drafting issue?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
I doubt it. No matter what you do now, the fastest way to go in pair up. They just didn't know that in the past. You can change it by closing the grills and forcing the engine to overheat, but I think that's a bad idea and a safety issue.
With all the Cup guys are staying away this weekend minus JGR, Carl , and Brad. Couldn't those 4 stay home too? I don't even think I will watch. At least Kevins staying away.
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
I know Tracy. Wouldn't it be nice to see the NW guys only in the stand-only event? It would be for me.
Russell (Port Orchard, WA)
Terry, I'm impressed with Little E's consistency this year, and I credit Hendrick and his teammates for showing him that good solid finishes are the road to a championship. Third in the standings ain't too bad. I think this will be his year, and he's just a red hair away from winning a race. You agree?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
I agree that he will win a race. I'll hold off on saying he's a serious title contender, but all signs are looking good to have his best season in a long time.
Brian (New York)
Will Menard get his first career Cup win this year?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
He could, but I wouldn't predict it. Right now he needs to pick it up a little to stay in Chase contention. But overall, Paul has proven the naysayers wrong and shown he is a quality racer.
Does David Ragan bounce back in Richmond? He was on his way to a 3rd straight top 10 at Dega before he got all caught up in Kurt Busch's stupidity.
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Anybody with a Roush/Yates engine these days has a shot at running well.
Could the engines handle running at Dega and Daytona without restrictor plates? They would be turning 9000+ RPMs all day
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
That could set up the engines to handle it, but the speeds would be way to high. Probably close to 240 mph.
Matt (Rochester, NY)
Terry, Junior is third in points dog. Minus a wreck, not of his doing, at Daytona, he could very easily be our points leader. He was very good at Daytona and certainly would have gotten a top 10. What does he have to do to prove that he can run for a championship?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
Just keep doing what he's doing, win a race or two, make the Chase and be competitive in the playoff. And don't make mistakes on pit road, something that has hurt him in the past.
AD (Atlanta, GA)
How is the friendship between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson? Last year they seemed to have hit a rought patch, is it better now?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
They're fine, but they aren't BFFs. They respect each other and get along well.
Richard (Jacksonville, Fl)
Do you think there would be some backlash if Junior had been in front of Johnson? People would say it was set up by Hendrick to let him win.
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
There might have been a few who would have said that, but they would have bene drowned out by the overwhelming screams of the Junior Nation.
How soon before we see a NW regular win a NW race? So far it appears to me that NASCAR's plan to make drivers choose a championship they're racing has blown up in their collective faces.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
It hasn't worked out the way I hoped it would. I thought it would discourage the Cup stars from racing in all the events. But Kyle is on a mission to prove he is the Master of the Minors.
Is Richmond still one of the drivers' favorite tracks?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Yes, and one of my faves as well. A great city and a track that is the right size and shape for good racing.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Junior has already contended for championships a couple times in his career, finished top 5 in pionts 3 times Is it really that suprising that he is capable of doing it? Why does everyone that talks about him only remember his 2009 and 2010 seasons?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
Only once in the last six years as Junior been truly competive (2006). He made the Chase his first year at Hendrick, but wasn't a factor once it started. I've always said Jr has the ability. You don't win 18 Cup races on luck. But it's been a while seen he looked this competitive.
Jeremy (Talent Oregon)
Hey Terry Do you think Dover will ever go back to 500 laps and miles and what changes to the schedule could we see in 2012?
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
My goodness I hope not. Dover at 400 miles/laps is more than enough. 500 miles there is an eternity. And I don't see any major changes in the 2012 sked.
Terry, Do you think Briston will ever go back to the normal banking and get rid of the progressive banking that has made Bristol a track that cant sell out its tickets. It wasnt long ago, there was a waiting list for tickets.
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
They don't have any plans to change it back, something that would cost millions of dollars. And the attendance decrease isn't just from the new style of racing.
rick ma [via mobile]
jpm had some harsh words about hamlin. should we keep our eye on that?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Who knows? But Richmond is a good track for paybacks.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
Did any drivers talk about the "greasing of the back bumper" we saw and whether that had any affect on teaming up?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
That was so funny to me. These teams will do anything to get an advantage. Maybe if will lead to some new sponors _ the PAM Chevy or the Wesson Oil Ford. The crew chiefs say it made it isn't for the trailing car to slide over and less chance of cuasing the front car to wreck.
Terry, what are your thoughts on Clint Bowyers turnaround the past couple of races, and his chances at contending for the title?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Clint's a quality driver on a strong team. But I don't know if he ready to contend with Carl, JJ, Kevin and Kyle for the title. We'll see.
Lewis Hamilton! Take that, Vettel and Red Bull!
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
It's just one race Vinnie. Don't get too excited yet.
Bart (East Bay)
Blount, your pandering to the 88 trolls and Rowdy haters with unprofessional, anti-Rowdy comments is unacceptable for a professional journalist.
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
I'm not anti-Rowdy. I like Kyle and think he's the most talented driver in the sport. But I don't like what he's doing in NW.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
How cool was it to see Mike Conway win the IRL race after what he went through last season with the wreck/injury?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
I glance up in the media center at Charlotte and did a double take. Now that's an upset. But you're right. Good for him after everything that happened to him.
Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)
Hi Terry, what do you think of people calling JJ's win a foul 'cause he was on the yellow line? I wasn't sure that was legal when I saw it, but guess NASCAR doesn't have an issue.
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
I've watched it several tiems and I can't really tell if he advanced his position below the line, which I'm sure is why NASCAR didn't do anything. But the real problem here is the yellow line. I wish they would get rid of it, at least for the last lap.
NASCAR could raise the rear bumper so it didn't line up with the front bumper to stop the tandem racing. That was the main reason it didn't happen before the COT.
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
They could, but that would greatly change the aerodynamics of the car. Teams spent countless hours and research on how the cars will react. If you change the body, all that changes. And NASCAR hates to make body changes to this car, especially in the middle of the season. The question right now is, do they want to change it? Opinions are split on it's popularity.
Cat Man ((TN))
Burton is up 6 spots in the last 2 races, will be keep climbing and make the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
It's possible, but the odds are against him at this point. The closer you get to the top 10, the harder it will be to make up ground because most of those guys are running well.
Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)
That's pretty interesting-- I wouldn't mind eliminating the yellow line rule on the last lap. But it could be dangerous.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
My feeling is it may be more dangerous at times, especially at the end, with all the blocking that takes place down low.
Is KK ever going to get a chance to show his talent and the fact that he has decent equipment? Unbelievable bad luck.
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
We're going to find out for sure next year.
Daniel (Ukiah, Ca.)
What do you think about Nascar awarding points for qualifing?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
I'd be all for it. Anything that might spice up qualifying is a good thing. Qualifying at Dega is an absolute snoozefest.
Cat Man ((TN))
Speaking of next year, has Mark Martin found a ride yet?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
No, but I expect he'll be fine.
The yellow line rule seems to have created more bad wrecks than its prevented. Dale Jr took out Vickers a few years ago trying to get back up and the whole Carl and Keslowski incident last year at Dega. Does NASCAR look at these things?
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Ys and I've asked NASCAER officials about it. They still feel not having the line would cause more wrecks than having it. I'm not so sure.
Terry Blount (3:04 PM)
I've gotta run folks to do NASCAR NOW. Remember it airs at 6 pm ET tonight. I'll speculate on who some of the new names nmight be on the Hall of Fame nominees list. And I'll give an update on Edwards and his contract situation. Take care. Peace