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)
What's up gang. Chase time here we come. And here's my column today on the eight contenders and four pretenders in this playoff field: http://tinyurl.com/6hum2hd
Vegas has Rowdy a 3:1 favorite to win it all and Jr. only 25:1. How does Vegas determine these odds?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
They sit around a hotel balcony on The Strip, drink five shots of tequila each, then pick numbers. But seriously, those odds don't see out of whack to me.
I think it will be between 48, 24, 18 maybe 99 to decide championship. What is your opinion?
Terry Blount (2:01 PM)
I think all those guys have a shot. But I also think the 17, the 2, the 22 and the 29 can win.
Diane ( St. Louis)
It seems to me that Kurt has moved into the role of respected NASCAR enforcer like Dale Sr used to have. Your thoughts?
Terry Blount (2:02 PM)
Kurt is no "respected" enforcer. He's a respected driver.
Terry, do you think Mark Martin has lost some respect in the garage for wrecking out Junior at Mich and then admitting he intentionally dumped Ragan Smith at Atlanta?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
No. Mark will retire as one of the most respected driver ever to race. But he has to play the same have at it game all these others guys play these days.
Great story today Terry! Kyle has indicated he's scheduled to run 4 more Nationwide races this year. How can Rowdy follow your advice and withdraw from those races without making sponsors, tracks and NASCAR mad at him?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
I doubt he can Andrew, and I don't think he wants to. But four is better than eight, so it shouldn't be too bad.
Do you think Kyle's leading 13 Top 5's and 1,300 laps led are the real indicators of the strength of the #18 team?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
Yes, that says a lot. A top 5s are what wins the Chase.
Hi Terry. who do you have winning at Chicago to start the chase? and top 5?
Terry Blount (2:06 PM)
I'll with with Jeff Gordon to win. MY top 5 include Edwards, Keselowski, JJ and Kyle.
Jr. says about #88 team "they have work to do". Exactly what can Junior do to improve his personal performance in the chase?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
He's not entitrely happy with the way they've been setting up the car, feeling the left front is too loose and doesn't grip the track. He thinks he can race faster if they tighten it up a bit, because he likes to drive high on the track. But that can be dangerous if you scrape the wall.
Hi Terry, do you think Clint Bowyer might go to Gibbs next year?
Terry Blount (2:09 PM)
Only if they have th4e sponsorship in place, which I don't think they do.
Terry, I know Jr. doesn?t really have a shot at the Championship, but is a win and top 5 in the chase too much to ask for? That would be great momentum for next year!
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
Not too much to ask at all and I think it's possible, especially at Dega.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
How did you think Danica did at Richmond for her 1st time visit at the track in a stockcar?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
I thought she did really well just to finish on the lead lap and end up 18th. She messed up once by passing the pace car, but that's a rookie deal. RIR is a tough track to learn and I thought she did OK.
We were very upset Saturday night with Kurt Busch. Do you think that Kurt should be suspended for a race for his blatant lack of respect for the reporters Saturday night?
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
No Diane. As I wrote in my column today, athletes get mad at reporters sometimes, and vive versa. It's part of the drill in the heat of the moment. As I said, if I had a dollar for every time in my career Barry Bonds or Ralph Sampson (and a few drivers) screamed at me, I'd be sipping champagne on a yacht in Monaco. Kurt called both reporters and apologized. It's over.
Just wondering what your thoughts are on the chances that Harvick can win the title this year?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
I think KH is a contender, but I wouldn't call him the favorite. I'm not convinced RCR is as good this year as it was last year. But with all his teammtes failing to make the Chase, RCR can pool it's talent and focus it on the 29 team to help Harvick.
skylar (West Virginia)
Who will come out of Chicago the point leader?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
I'll say Gordon.
Do you think Danica is smart to lower expectations by signing with Tier 2 teams JRM and SHR that really aren't expected to compete for wins anyway?
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
I don't think that was part of her thought process. She stayed at JRM because she really enjoys working with Tony Eury Jr. She also feels Stewart will be a valuable coach when she races in Cup.
Will (San Dimas, CA)
Do you think Trevor Bayne is too nice a guy to payback Harvick for intentionally hooking him and dumping him into the wall during the Richmond NW race?
Terry Blount (2:20 PM)
No, but Trevor is trying to do all the rights things to eventually earn a full-time Cup ride. Wrecking Harvick and potentially wrecking himself in the process might not be the best thing to do. Take your lumps and move on.
Ever been to Kansas Speedway?....GREAT in person....why don't you seem to like it?
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
Who said I didn't? I love Kansas Speedway. Great location, great city, great media center, nice garage area, easy parking. It makes my top 10 for Cup venues I enjoy going to for work.
can the 20 team win a race this year
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
It can, but it won't.
Greg (South Bend, IN.)
Hi Terry, I don't know about you or anybody else but I haven't watched a NW race all summer because it's going to be one of three drivers. (Kyle, Kevin or Carl) Is Nationwide going to be putting pressure on Nascar to further change the rules on Cup drivers in NW races? Their putting up a lot of money for a series that nobodys watching?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
I know Greg. I've been preaching this sermon for years, but nobody is listening. It is what it is.
Terry, good article and agree with you eight. I do have one question regarding SHR....if Tony or Ryan were to win in one of the first two races would you change your mind about them being contenders? Keep up the good work!
Terry Blount (2:25 PM)
I hope they do. I hope one of the four drivers I listed as a pretender makes a run because it will make the Chase more interesting. And we all know how crazy is would get if Junior actually was contending for the title.
John Hennig (Boston)
Do you think Clint Bowyer will win a race this year?
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
I consider the 33 a lame duck team now, and typically, lame duck teams don't do well.
Do you think Rick will finally get rid of Lance McGrew now that Mark didn't make the chase just like Dale Jr the last 2 years?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Kenny Francis will be the crew chief for that car next year with Kahne. But I expect Lance to stay at Hendrick in a different capacity.
Can you give the odds per likely landing spot for Clint Bowyer
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
My guess is he will end up at Petty in a satellite operation under Roush's guidance.
So was Bowyer too greedy?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
No. He wanted to stay, but the sponsorship wasn't there and he wasn't going to take a huge pay cut when he has other offers on the table.
I think if bowyer goes any where but RCR it will be a mistake? Whats your take on it?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
This is pretty typical. As bad-boy drivers get a little older, a little wiser and a little more successful, more fans turn there way. The same thing happened for DW and Earnhardt Sr.
Terry even though you say there are four pretenders, isn't it an honour for 12 drivers to be in the Chase, they got in with hard work while others did not, I am sure owners and sponsors think so, do you?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
Vickers is a pretty good driver who hasn't had a lot of good equipment to show it at times.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
What number do you think Danica will have next year in the sprint cup series?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
7. I think something will get worked out financially for Robby to give it up.
Richmond shows that you get better racing when wins have more importance.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
I agree Ron. The problem now is once the Chase starts, it's all about points agin instead of winning. But it was a brilliant move by NASCAR to add the wild car format.
From a competition point of view, wouldn't the chase be better if race winners, Ambrose, David Ragan or Regan Smith were in the chase instead of #14 and #88?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
I've always been in favor of a win-you're-in deal if a driver finishes in the top 20. But I don't think those guys are more competitive that Smoke and Junior. And obviously, Tony and Dale are more popular and better known that those 3 guys.
So will all 12 Chase drivers at Dega be a half a lap behind for 90% of the race?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
Not all 12 Ron, but some might lay back. It depends on who pairs up with whom. The pairing stuff could get even more interesting in the Chase. Do you pair up with a fellow Chaser or a non-Chaser?
It's been written elsewhere that the Chase Wild Card was a big flop. I found Richmond to be very exciting...especially with David Ragan up front! He didn't get the win, but even A.J. came very close in points. Certainly enough to cause a stir.
Terry Blount (2:39 PM)
I thought the wild card was everything and more it was billed to be. It's true that the same 12 got in who would have gotten in under the old system, the the wild card changed the way teams raced during the regular season, going all out for wins.
Do you think Jr. is embarrassed to be in the chase knowing that he doesn't really deserve to be with those other drivers?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
No, and he does deserve to be. He finished 10th on the points standings. And he raced his tail off at RIR Saturday with a battered car, finishing well to earn his spot. He deserves it.
Saul (San Diego)
Before Chats, tweeter etc... how did you communicate / interact with the fans...
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
I yelled a lot. And we had this thing called letters in envelopes.
Do you think the driver/crew chief pairing of Kyle and Dave will turn out to be the next Jimmie-Chad deal?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
I don't think anyone can be JJ and Chad, but Kyle and Dave work well together and will win a championship together at some point. I think the best new pairing right now is Wolfe and Keselowski.
Do you think Kyle should be embarassed that he treats NW and Truck wins the same as a Cup win?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
I don't thik he feels that way, but I wish he would give it a rest.
Will you be at Homestead for the finale? Looking forward to who wins the championship, or are you SO sure of who will take it all?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
Not sure at all Rita. Yes, I'll be there, and I hope three or four guys still are within a few points of each other with the title on the line.
You'd take Wolfe and Brad K over JG and Alan ?????
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
If you are asking me to pick crew chief of the year, yes, I'll take Wolfe. But as I said before the season started, pairing Jeff with AG would get Jeff back in title contention.
He's a great racer, but has not been so hot EVER in Nascar, so tell me, how do feel about Robby Gordon not givng up his number? Seems a little childish to me.
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
I think it's a negotiating ploy.
John Hennig (Boston)
Do you think Justin Allgaier will stay at Turner Motorsports next year? I think he should be with a bigger team like Roush or Gibbs.
Terry Blount (2:49 PM)
I don't think he will be with Turner, but not sure where he will end up. I know he messed up on the deal with Reed a couple of weeks ago, but he's too good a driver to get overlooked.
Was firing Rowdy Busch the biggest mistake Hendrick ever made or the best thing that ever happened to Joe Gibbs Racing?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
I dont know that either of those is true. Hendrick added a driver who has bought tons of money and attention to the organization. Kyle has been good for JGR (mostly when he isn't causing trouble) but I would say Stewart was the best thing that ever happened to JGR. He won two titles.
is Jr's tank empty where he used up all his stuff just making it into the chase?
Terry Blount (2:52 PM)
No. Actually, they raced very conservatively the last month to try to protect their Chase spot.
So Terry, give us a pre-chase pick, then I'll ask again after race 5, what ya say?
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
Ok, as I wrote today, my pick is JJ, based on how the 48 has run at the Chase tracks earlier this season.
What 's the best story for NASCAR as far as wining the CHASE? REALISTICALLY! Junior ain't happenin!
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
Other than Jr, probably Gordon winning a fifth championship. Next on that list for me would be Brad K winning it.
Hi Terry, how can so many fans boo Jimmie Johnson when he's won 5 straight chumpionships, as Kurt would say?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I don't think anyone really dislikes Jimmie, they just don't like seeing the same guy win all the time. I think people will look back and realize what an incredible achievement it has been.
Ed (Fort Worth)
Do you think the truck series will be able to continue, Terry? Not a good sign with KHI closing up shop. I didn't like the idea at first, but as I went to some of the races here, I came to enjoy the races the trucks put on.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
The truck series puts on some of the best races you could hope to see. I'm not sure about it's long-term future, but I know the manufacturers believe it helps them sell a lot of trucks.
If Harvick can't make it as an NASCAR owner do you think SHR and JRM are next to go down?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
No, I just think Kevin and Delana wanted more free time and KH wants to concentrate on winning a Cup title. But it is sad to lose such a competitive operation.
Terry Blount (3:02 PM)
Gotta run folks. Another great BRSiR chat today. Hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the race this weekend at Chicagoland. I'm out. Peace.