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 (2:07 PM)
Hi guys. Sorry I'm late for the BRSiR. I'll go long. And now, I wasn't on the beach. Not yet, anyway.
Great article. Do you honestly think that Kahne could contend for the championship next season or do you think 2013 may be more realistic? BTW, Kahne's run the last 2 months has rejuvenated my love for NASCAR after 2 years of crap.
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Thanks Taylor. I do think Kasey can contend next year because he'll hit the ground runnng with Kenny Francis calling the shots.
Boss Hogg (Hazzard County)
If Kahn steps in and excels with Hendrick, what sort of excuses can we expect to hear from the Junior Nation?
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
It won't be good for Junior if Kahne does well and Jr. doesn't. But Junior ranks seventh in the standings right now with one race to go. That's not too shabby. He hasn't won, but Carl may win the title with only one victory, and that came in March.
Rob F (Hoboken, NJ)
Terry, I'm glad someone finally wrote about this. The pairing of Kahne with Gordon in the 24/5 shop next year is really exciting, and a little ironic. I remember when KK had all those near-misses in his rookie season, I think, and they started comparing him to Gordon. Especially with Ray Evernham calling the shots at the time, sort of. The best team doesn't always seem to win in NASCAR nowadays, but I firmly believe the 5 will be a player for the Cup.
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
I do also Rob. Time will tell, but Kahne has what it takes.
mike p (danbury ct)
Terry,iwant so bad to pick harvick for homestead,but i need a lot of bounus points..my other choice would be the dinger aj. do u think he can qualify up front and be in contention to have a top five and be maybe a chance to win...?????your opinion...
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
AJ has been running well lately, so I could see him doing so Sunday. Harvick I'm not so sure about.
Stephen Stinn (Dunlap)
Dale Jr. said he is commited to help NASCAR find a solution to fix the 2 car draft today at the test in Daytona. Do you think NASCAR will have its normal pack racing in the Daytona 500 next February?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
It won't be easy to accomplish that goal. The car is out of the bag, so to speak on drivers knowing two cars run faster and a long line of cars. I don't know that changing the rear spoiler is enough. We'll see.
Quentin (Ames, Iowa)
Hey Terry. Do you think with Kasey Kahne going over to Hendrick Motorsports next season that all 4 Hendrick teams will run well? It has always seemed like only 3 of the 4 teams have performed well. It happened to Dale Jr. when Mark Martin came on board in 2009 hopefully it won't happen again. Thanks!
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
It's difficult to make all four cars run well in a four-car team. My guess is that one of them won't.
With all the sponsors like Red Bull, UPS and Crown Royal leaving NASCAR and the negative effect that has on the teams, wasn't it disappointing that the Kyle Busch haters would encourage M&M's to do the same?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
I think most of them wanted M&Ms just to sponsor somebody else. KyBu doesn't really fit their image, but they will be back together in 2012 for what could be the kinder/gentler Kyle.
Do the NASCAR team owners like Kyle, Penske, Roush, Gibbs, Hendrick etc. meet in the off season to make unified recommendations to NASCAR on the schedule, rules and other subjects that impact the teams?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
Nor formally, but they talk to NASCAR officials informally on many issues that concern them.
Will (Turlock, CA)
Do you see the addition of Mark and Clint bringing Toyota MWR up to the level of RCR next year?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
I expect MWR to step up in 2012. They are making major improvements with Martin coming on as well. And adding Miller to run the show is beneficial.
Hi Terry, Rowdy was able to drive all the way to third from the back. Doesn't this show he is still the best out there? After al that happened?
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
He's talented, but he's not the best out there or he would have been competing for the title before the Texas thing happened. He already was out of it. You can argue he doesn't have the best equipment, but Kyle still has to prove on the track he can get it done when it's on the line at the end.
Who performs better next year... Kahne or Earnhardt, Jr.
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
I'll go with Kasey on that one.
Did Kyle's crew send a message to him since they seemed to have sabotaged his engines?
Terry Blount (2:23 PM)
That's ridiculous. JGR has had engine problems all season.
Bill Ontario (Mom's basement)
Kahne will win the title before Kyle Busch. FACT
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
I'd love to see them both in the title hunt when we get to Miami one year from now.
terry steve letarte said changes could be coming to the 88 team this off season.Do you think it will be to the pit crew or changes made with his enginering team?what rumors are you hearing?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
All that stuff is TBA. They've had a rotating pit crew with the 48 all year, so I don't see how that makes much difference.
KB Nation (Global)
Rowdy is 26 and has 23 cup winsKasey is 32 and has 14 winsFACT
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
And Kyle has had way better equipment than Kasey. Look, Kyle is a huge talent. He can wheel a race car with the best of them. But can he keep his composure and do all the things necessary to win a title? I think he can and will, but he hasn't yet.
Do you think the changes coming to the #88 team involve a new crew chief?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Absolutely not. Steve has been great for Junior.
Danny McCoy (Las Vegas)
How nice was it to see Sam Hornish in victory lane? Persistence pays off. Do you see him ever getting back to Cup for Penske?
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Roger said that's the goal, but first comes a full NW season next year to try to compete for the title.
Do you think Kyle will react again just like he did to Hornaday in the future?
Terry Blount (2:29 PM)
No. I think he has learned from the mistake. I'm sure he will have other on-track confrontations, but not like that one.
KB Nation (Global)
Did Addington run Kurt out of gas while he was leading the race to send a "farewell message to Kurt?
Terry Blount (2:30 PM)
What's wrong with you people today? Smelling too many exhaust fumes?
How do you think Childress likes the taste of crow after promising that RCR would win the 2011 Sprint Cup?
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
Man you guys are haters today. Richard was confident before the season started, as a team owner should be.
Ashley M. (Chicago)
Is Roush shutting down the #6 team, or are they still searching for sponsorship. I'd hate to see that storied number go away.
Terry Blount (2:31 PM)
Don't think it's happening for 2012. Hopefully it will run a few races.
How impressive has RPM's resurgence been this season? Both Dinger and Ambrose double-digit top-10s. Do you see them competing for multiple wins and a spot in the Chase next year?
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Maybe a spot in the Chase. I don't know about multiple wins. It's hard these days for anyone to have multiple wins. Cup has 18 different winners this year. But RPM clearly is on the upswing.
Bart (East Bay)
Do you think Mr. H will take on Vickers as a reclamation project like he has done with Dale Jr?
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
There is a gigantic difference between Vickers and Jr. as far as popularity and sponsor interest. And Rick didn't see Jr. and a reclamation project.
Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington DE)
TB--looks like FASLane and both Front Row cars are going to be in the top 35 to start next year. Do you either of those teams raising their game, or will they stay as back-markers?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
I don't know that they are just backmarkers, but they won't be contenders.
What do sponcers see in mwr that they don't see in roush and rcr?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Look at Mikey's commercials. He's a hell of a salesman and a great TV presence. It's all about being able to sell yourself and your organization.
corey k (cleveland)
Reuti, Regan, Vickers, or someone else. Who has the best shot filling it for Danica in the #10?
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
No one unless Tony finds more sponsorship.
When Kurt and Rowdy were racing 2-3 at Phoenix do they give each other more respect than they would somebody like Harvick?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Not much. Those guys want to beat each other as much or more as anyone else on the track.
Jesse (San Francisco)
Of the current lower tier teams like Front Row Motorsports, Robby Gordon Motorsports, etc., do you think any of them evolve into competitive organizations or are they field fillers? Is it possible for any of the non-superpower organizations to truly compete?
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
It's possible, but it doesn't happen often. I my opinion, the Cup series starts too many cars in each race. Going with 36 would be a better scenario because five or six don't really race.
Do you think Smoke will choke just like the Ravens did on Sunday?
Terry Blount (2:41 PM)
That wasn't a choke. That was my home city Seahawks showing some life. But no, Smoke isn't going to choke and neither will Carl.
Ryan ((Ventura, Ca))
Since you think Rowdy has learned from his mistake, is he your pick to win the Cup next year?
Terry Blount (2:42 PM)
Yes, I think he learned from this mistake. No, I don't thik he will win the title next year.
Carl is better is HMS. As a Smoke fan should I just not watch?
Terry Blount (2:43 PM)
Don't count Tony out now. He's red hot and anything could happen Sunday. It should be a heck of a show. It really wouldn't surprise me if they are battling each other for position on the last lap.
Vickers, Reutimann, Ragan, Sorenson ... these guys are race winners without a ride right now. Do you think they take inferior rides in Cup or go down to Nationwide and try to race for wins next season?
Terry Blount (2:44 PM)
There aren't many rides out there, inferior or otherwise. I think most of them will race in NW in 2012.
Tracy (Greenfield, NY)
Do you think Jr will win a race next year?
Terry Blount (2:45 PM)
Yes, but I also thought he would win one this year.
If Smoke wins the cup(little premature i know), can you see sponsors popping up for a full '12 season on the #10?
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
It would help, no doubt, but it's a little late in the game to get full sponsorship now. Most companies set their budgets before October.
So with RFR and RCR dropping one car and MWR adding one car then do we get one more start and parker next year?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
There's a lot of shifting around to come before we know all those answers for 2012.
Now that Sam has proved he can win is Scott Speed next?
Terry Blount (2:47 PM)
Not unless het gets in a ride capable of winning.
The worry of people last winter of a bad race hurting a driver in the chase more than a win helps a driver has come true. Right now I would prefer Tony's winning to Carl's consistency and defense driving (Dega). It makes for a better show.
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
You are preaching to the choir Ron. Carl actually could finish behind Tony Sunday and still win the title, even though Tony has a 4-0 advantage in Chase wins. That just ain't right.
Keith H (Seattle)
Terry, non-Nascar question here: When it comes to the Apple Cup, do you root for the Huskies or the Cougars? (UW here)
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
The only Cougars I root for are my Houston Cougars, who may face Bama in the Sugar Bowl this year. In the Pac NW, I'm a Husky all the way.
Stewert has had his glory, don't you think the majority of fans would prefer to see a new, young, fresh faced Champ?
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
No. Nothing against Carl, but Tony is more popular with many NASCAR fans. They both rank among the most popular drivers in the sport. Here'e s little preview for ya. Ed Hinton and I are doing point-conterpoint columns Thursday as to which guy would make the better Cup champ. I am arguing for Smoke, although I could have made the case either way. The columns will be funny. We're going to take a few lighthearted shots at each other, and the drivers.
Mr. Blount, no racing question instead how was your son's wedding last weekend?
Terry Blount (2:55 PM)
It was wonderful. Thanks for asking. I'm very proud. And I danced like a crazy man at the reception.
Both the Sadler wreck on Sat and the Kenseth wreck on Sunday happened when they slowed in front of a faster car. Is it really the car behind's fault for not hitting the brakes hard enough?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I'm not buying it in Vickers case. I've watched the video several times. He had ample time to either slow down and move to the lower lane to avoid Matt.
Will Kurt and Rowdy go down as one of the best brother combos ever?
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Yes, and one of the most temperamental.
Terry, I've always like Tony partly because he's from Indiana. But I'm curious what he meant a few weeks ago when he said he's given a lot of guys breaks this year, and it's time to cash in tickets. Do you know what he was referring to? What did he mean by giving them breaks?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
He means he let a lot of guys drive past him at times instead of fighting them for position when he knew they had a faster car. Now he wants them to return the favor.
Andrew (Kettering, Ohio)
Do you think the way Sadler drove at Phoenix proves that he should join his brother as a full time pit reporter?
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
Elliott's had a great season. I think he has a few more left in him.
Did you think Jeff Burton wrecking Gordon under caution last year at Texas was worse than what Rowdy did to Hornaday?
Terry Blount (3:00 PM)
Absolutely not. I never seen a more blatant act of danger than what Kyle did at Texas.
Do you agree with not parking Vickers? I do.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
Nope. I would have parked him, and I wrote that today. But I don't think it was anywhere near the same to what Kyle did.
Any news outta the RedBull camp? Should definately show some investors they do have the stuff to compete
Terry Blount (3:03 PM)
Still nothing, but you would hope the win at Phoenix helped. Jay Frye remains optimistic, but said nothing will happen now until after the season ends. I have to say it looks pretty discouraging at this point.
Brad K finishing maybe top 5 in the chase and ahead of JJ is mighty impressive.
Terry Blount (3:05 PM)
One of the biggest surprises of the season regardless of where Brads up after Sunday. But let's give JJ is due. He's had a remarkable run that will go down as one of the great achievements in sports history. I don't think it ever will be equaled.
Since Red Bull is losing Kahne and Francis and the sponsor what is left to sell to make it attractive to a buyer?
Terry Blount (3:06 PM)
A race shop with quality employees and no debt load.
Mack (from the chats) (Wilmington, DE)
OK, here's a possible argument starter: Better driver from Washington state NOT named Derrike Cope: Kasey Kahne or Greg Biffle?
Terry Blount (3:07 PM)
That's a great question. Both are top drivers, but I'll go with Kahne.
With K. Francis going to Hendrick, what are they going to do with S. Letarte
Terry Blount (3:07 PM)
Steve is staying with Jr. McGrew is the odd man out.
Appreciate your chats. They are the best here at ESPN.
Terry Blount (3:08 PM)
Thanks Ron. I want to tell it like it is and make it fun.
Since #14 and #39 had great races at Phoenix and HMS sucked, is SHR holding back information from HMS?
Terry Blount (3:09 PM)
Now that's funny. I think the Hendrick group is putting all their eggs in Tony's basket right now.
Terry Blount (3:10 PM)
I gotta run folks. South Beach and a mojito are calling. Have a great week. Peace.