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 (2:00 PM)
Hi chatters. I hope everyone have a great 4th of July. What's on your mind as Cup heads to Kentucky for the first time.
Who do you think will get the wildcards? Who gets in the top ten? Who falls out?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
I love this wildcard thing. It's going to be a blast to watch this unfold. Right now the WC spots would go to Hamlin and Ragan, but two other guys have wins outside the top 20 (Brad K and Regan Smith) and several guys could win once or twice in that 12-20 range that could get in the Chase. if I had to pick now, it's tough to say because Hamlin could move into the top 10 and so could Stewart.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
What's up Terry1Not to sound like a hater, but the race on Sat. really sucked if it wasn't for the last caution it would have been a complete waste of a night. The top 20 was 25 sec back with 14 to go. There has to be something nascar can do to bunch the packs up again. Roof blades smaller plates .Thanks,
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
There are no easy answers Ryan, and honestly, I don't know that NASCAR wants to change it when they had a record numbers of lead changes.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Is the 88 team worried about their run of bad luck? 3 weeks, three bad runs not of their doing. Do you honestly see them getting a win before the chase starts?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
I'm convinced that team is capable of winning. That doesn't mean it will. Junior had some awful luck at Sonoma and Daytona. This weekend race at Kentucky will say a lot about where they are as a team.
Hi Terry,What track in the Sprint Cup Series is KMS most similar too? Top 5 for the weekend?
Terry Blount (2:07 PM)
Probably Kansas as a relatively flat 1.5-mile oval. But Kentucky is really bumpy. The Cup drivers have a 4-hour practice session Thursday and then another two hours later in the day, and more practice Saturday. That's more than enough time to learn all they need to know about the track.
Art (Lodi, CA)
Hey Terry, DJ said on NASCAR Now that Stewart is too focused on other drivers racing and not enough on his own performance. Why do you suppose Stewart is wasting efforts on things that a are none of his business?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Tony often gets passionate about one subject and it becomes a soap box issue for him. Right now, it's blocking. But part of what he's doing by talking about it so much is get guys thinking about it so they will block less.
Ron (Ft. Walton Beach, FL)
Hi Terry, Rowdy said he's focused on winning all 3 races at Kentucky. What do you think Kyle's chances are of pulling off the 3 peat again?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
No very good, and I think it should focus on Cup and not worry about the other two.
Matty G. (San Antonio, TX) [via mobile]
If both the NBA and the NFL were locked out in the fall, what could NASCAR do to attract some of those fans and get them watching the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
they wouldn't need to do much because sports fans wouldn't have a lot of choices. But the NFL will be playing this fall. Bank on it. As for the NBA, they may take a while longer to work things out.
Robert (Albany, Ga.)
Purely on driver talent -- sponsor backing, financial considerations and potential impact on the sport all aside -- Danica Patrick or Marco Andretti?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
First, you can't things aside because you can't race witout them. But talent wise, I think they're about equal. Marco may have more potential in the long run because he's a lot younger. But I have no idea what his stock car skills might be, which is all that matters for DP in the future.
Jason (Clearwater, FL)
I saw Marco Andretti interviewed on ESPN and he said NASCAR is "unappealing" to him. Is Danica coming to NASCAR mostly cause Go Daddy wants it or does she feel safer?
Terry Blount (2:15 PM)
Neither. Danica is coming because she really enjoys it for one. Also, she doesn't like road racing, which is half of the IndyCar sked. And she also can make a lot more money in the long run in NASCAR.
Do you see the 24 picking up another win before the Chase starts?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
It's possible, but I don't know that I expect it and he won't need it to make the Chase.
What's the latest rumor on where Carl Edwards will take his talents next year? How good would the JGR stable be compared to HMS if they got Carl?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Carl is the big prize out there, no question. I still think he's staying at Roush, but every day that goes by makes me wonder why this isn't done. It really depends on whether Home Depot wants to throw a giant pile of cash at Carl.
Which driver has been the most pleasant surprise so far this year and who has been the most dissapointing? The answer to the 2nd one is probably Jeff Burton...
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
Certainly Junior's move up the standings has been a nice surprise to all his legion of fans. And you're right, Burton is the big shocker going the other direction.
Scott (Iowa) [via mobile]
Terry, Nice article on Kentucky Speedway today. What do you think the chances that Iowa Speedway gets a sprint cup race?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
Very slim becasue of something I pointed out in the column _ oversaturation of Cup races in the Midwest. But if it were up to me, I would move one Michigan race to Iowa.
If you're Joey/Zippy and sitting 20th in points, why wouldn't you just make an all out gamble to win races to get into the chase?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
They will as it gets closer to the Chaase. A lot of teams will. But drivers and CCs will tell they always make an all-out effort to win. That's not entirely true. You can gamble on fuel, pit strategy, things like that if you need to try to steal a win. The probem for Joey is one win may not be enough.
Danny McCoy (Las Vegas)
How would you assess the performance of the "new" Richard Petty Motorsports over the first half of the season? Do you see Marcos or the Dinger breaking through for a win this year?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
Marcos could win at the Glen. I'd be surprised if A.J. won, but then again, I didn't expect Smith and Ragan to win this year, either. This seems to be the year for first-time winners.
Its looking more and more every week like Penske is back in a big way (specifically the 22), would he be in your top 5 most likely to win the cup?
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
Probably. My top five would be Carl, JJ, Kyle, Matt and Kurt and Harvick. Oh oh, that's six. OK, my top 6.
Nino (Bay City, MI)
Danica looks like she has a lot of promise in NASCAR. It helps having a great crew chief. Do you think Danica will stay at JR Motorsports because of Eury Jr? The more track time she gets, the better she is.
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
I think Tony has been a huge help to her, the calming influence she needed to learn the ropes. So I hope she stays there next year, but I'm not sure she will.
ron (chicago) [via mobile]
If redbull folds where do u see brian vickers next year assuming Carl either stays with roush or goes to jgr?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Yes on Carl. I don't think Red Bull will fold. If it does, they're really aren't any good options for Vickers.
Saul (San Diego)
How much information do the crew chiefs and drivers have for Kentucky? Any issues w/set up etc...
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
They will have tons of practice time Thursday and Friday, so I really dont think it's a big issue.
If you were in Carl Edwards shoes, would you stick with RFR or move on to JGR? Which one is the stronger organization and will give you the best chance to win week in and week out with sponsorhip stability?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
That depends on whether Home Depot wants Carl to replace Joey on the sponsorship stability. But I think Carl's best chance to win the title is to stay at RFR. Any tyransition to a another organization, no matter how good it is, takes time to develop.
Is Logano one of the favorites at Kentucky with all testing he has done, his NNS success, and recent string of good runs?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
I think it will help, but I'd have a hard time calling him the favorite.
Flyin Ryan (Rockingham, NC)
Do you think Rockingham will ever be put back on the schedule? That was real racing!
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Never, No, Nunca. It just ain't happening, not for Cup. Just like North Wilkesboro isn't coming back and dirt track racing isn't coming back. It's over.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
Do you think Danica learned alot from being pushed by Tony Stewart in the 2 car draft?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Without a doubt. The man who may become her future team owner decided to give his driver-to-be and little tandem racing instruction. And she proved to be a fast learner.
Steve (Mobile, AL)
How come Dale Jr was the only driver whining about the tandem racing at Daytona?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
He isn't, but he's Dale Jr., so everything he says get blown out of proportion.
What are your thoughts on IRP losing their date to IMS?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
It's a little sad, but I'm not up-in-arms over it. I understand how the Brickyard needs something more on Saturday besides Cup qualifying, which is a tranquilizer. It would be nice though to see NASCAR give the Clermont short track a stand-alone NW date at a different time of the year.
Do you think Dale Jr. will get any kind of a fine because of his post race interview. I think he is so much vocal this year because he started off so great, and now is falling a little. I sure hope he doesn't.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I doubt it, although you never know for sure with NASCAR ridiculous "secret-fine" policy. And seriously, does it matter if they fined him? That's like fining me a nickel.
mo (littlerock) [via mobile]
Where does mark Martin go next year?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
He said last week he would like to help Jay Frye at Red Bull. That tells me two things: Mark is very loyal to Jay and Mark really doesn't have any other good options right now.
Kevin Harvick has been the most cosistent driver over the past year and a half. Is it his time to snap Jimmie's Streak?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
I still think it's Carl's time to do that. We'll see.
Phil (Richmond, Va.)
Terry, switching gears a little, but why do some tracks not allow coolers/beer in the tracks? I probably wouldn't go anywhere but Martinsville if I had to pay $75-100 for a ticket, plus food & drink... it would be on the same level as NFL, MLB, etc.
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
The state of Kentucky, for one, does not allow alcohol at sports events. Kentucky Speedway still could have allowed coolers, but that would require searching each person's cooler very closely for alcohol and really would have slowed down things about people getting into the facilty.
Tom (Aurora, IL)
Terry, after Danica's impressive run at Daytona would be very advisable when she comes to NASCAR next year to just run the NW series only and leave cup to 2013?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
I think that's the plan, but she probably will run a few Cup races in 2012, five of six maybe.
any 88 sponsor or contract rumors you can let us play with?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Jr will re-sign with Hendrick very soon. That's a done deal. I think both Amp and the National Guard will return in some capacity, but maybe not the same price as before. Both are signed through 2012, as is Jr. So the new deal would start in 2013.
Do you think moving the Indy NW race to IMS will draw more Cup drivers to participate in it? I understand your mention of there needing to be more action at the track, but it really bothers me that a short track has been removed from the NW schedule.
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
I know Chad. That's disappouinting, but it always comes down to money. The Clermont track only has 30,000 seats and they were having problems with the sanctioning fee NASCAR was asking. And yes, it will mean more Cup guys will compete in the NW event, which also isn't a good thing in my book.
Vance (Asheboro NC) [via mobile]
Terry, on the question of Carl leaving RFR for JGR...which organization has the best performance long term in your opinion? RFR certainly has picked things up lately but look where they were last year...
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
Both are very strong organizations, part of NASCAR Big Four _ Hendrick, RCR, JGR, RFR. You can't go wrong racing for any of those teams. it really comes down to wehere a driver feel;s the most comfortable.
If Dale or Stewart or Newman don't win any races do you think they deserve to be in the Chase?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
Sure. I'm all for winning, as I've written many times, but I wouldn't want Regan Smith (who has a win) in the Chase over Junior if Junior is 21 spots ahead of him in thge standings.
Do you see Greg Biffle making the chase?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
He certainbly could, but if you asking me to guess, I'd say no.
What's wrong with Jimmie Johnson after only winning 2 races in the last calender year? The odds of Five-Time becomes Six-Time are shrinking each week.
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
Don't count him out David. That would be foolish. He'll make the Chase and everyone knows the 48 is the master of the last 10. But I do think this is the year someone else wins the title.
Robin (Evanstone, Il)
What did you think about Jeff Gordon's praise for Kyle Busch after the race?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
I'd praise him to if he pushed me up into the top 10 from the back of the field.
Robert (Riverside, CA)
Hi Terry, could you believe that Sadler and Boyer where still crying about Derrick Cope 2 days after that practice incident?
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
When guys get wrecked, they don't forget.
Rob (Colorado Springs)
If JGR is serious about signing Carl, does that mean they're tired of Kyle's antics and ready to pass on him, similar to the Hendrick situation? Logano makes alot of sense in the M&M's car and Kyle's talent just isn't enough when it comes to sponsorship.
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
No. Kyle isn't going anywhere.
Chris (Crestview, FL)
Didnt the media kind of over sensationalize what Junior was saying about the racing at Daytona? They really made him out to be a cry baby. Gotta give ammo to the haters i guess.
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
I agree Chris. I thought it was overblown. But it's Dale Jr. It goes with the territory.
Saul (San Diego)
Do you see the two car dances changing any time soon (DEGA, Daytona)? When will the novalty end?
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
It won't end until the pavement at both tracks gets a little worn where the push car can't hang on the rear bumper of the car in front. Or unless NASCAR make a major rule change where bumpers on the cars don't line up, highly unlikely.
Tyler (Minnesota )
Terrible move by Nascar taking the race away from ORP and moving it to the big track. ORP provided good racing how did Nascar not see that!
Terry Blount (3:03 PM)
It's not about that Tyler. It's about trying to add to the Brickyard 400 weekend by having another race at IMS. The racing will suffer, no doubt about it.
Saul (San Diego)
Who keep the race winner trophy, the driver or the team (shop/office)?
Terry Blount (3:04 PM)
The driver, but sometimes he keeps it in an office at the race shop.
Terry Blount (3:05 PM)
I'm out folks. Great chat today. I've gotta pack for my flight to Kentucky in the morning. It should be fun, the first new venue for Cup in 10 years. Have a great week. Peace.