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 (2:01 PM)
Hey Gang,Happy Voting Day. What's your vote on the Texas race? And here's Tunr 4. Big quesitons: Who is the best young phenom in NASCAR? Was NASCAR's no call the right call at TMS? Is start-and-park madness out of control? Check out our answers: http://tinyurl.com/cw74b65
Christine (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Hey Terry - it is cool to see the young talented drivers in Nationwide work their way up but am I the only one excited to see the influx of talent come DOWN from the Spring Cup?? I am really intrigued for next season and will definitely watch more races. It definitely seems like more of a Triple A series now with the likes of Vickers, Smith, Sadler, etc!! Who's your early pick for next year?
Terry Blount (2:03 PM)
I'll go with Vickers on that one. But the series will have a lot of talented youngsters, like Ryan Blaney, my pick as the best up-and-comer in the sport.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What NASCAR Race do you think that Danica Patrick will get her very first ever win at?
Terry Blount (2:04 PM)
I would pick either a plate race at Daytona or Dega or possible a road course.
Should Clint Bowyer be encouraged that he's third in points or discouraged that he's out of the title fight?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
Both. I know he's down that he's pretty much out of the hunt now for ther title, but he has to feel good about what his team has done this syear and what the future holds.
Saul (San Diego)
Did Brad Keselowski lose the championship on pit road when he messed up his entry and lost a ton of ground to JJ?
Terry Blount (2:05 PM)
No, and he didn't lose a ton of ground. His 5 points further back than he was before the Texas race started. It's a long way from over.
Eric B. (Paducah)
Who's side are you on in the Austin vs. Denny fight?
Terry Blount (2:08 PM)
Dillon. And I'm not really considering who was at fault on the track. It was a racing incident. My concern is yet another Cup star having an impact on a NW title contender. Stay out of it. If the situation was reversed and Dillon had done something in Cup to Hamlin down the stretch, people would have howled to high heaven.
Blount, these Texas races were snoozers! 100 laps of green flag racing were enough to shut the race off for me. The cars get single file so quickly and passing is rare. I might have seen 3 passes the entire 100 plus laps I watched. NASCAR needs to shorten these races, make the teams run a softer tire, anything to add some excitement to these races.
Terry Blount (2:10 PM)
I agree Mike, but it isn't just Texas. The race didn't have a single pass for the lead on the track in the first 100 laps. But in this case, the end was worth it. However, NASCAR has to consider changes so the cars will race closer togther on fast intermediate tracks.
Any updates on the parachute guy who damaged Harvick's car?
Terry Blount (2:11 PM)
I was shocked that the guy went and posed in front of the dent with a big smile on his face, like he was proud of it. Can you imagine if he had hit JJ or Brad's car? NASCAR needs to be more careful with skydivers once the cars are on pit road.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will we see Danica Patrick in the Indianapolis 500 & the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday May 26,2013?
Terry Blount (2:12 PM)
Maybe. She wants to do it, but it depends on sponsorship. If I had to guess today, I'd say it's less than 50/50, but it could happen.
Zach (Fennimore, WI)
I'm having a hard time understanding the "tear-offs" on the windshield. If they're layered on there to begin with how does peeling them off one by one help visibility?
Terry Blount (2:13 PM)
Why is that hard to understand? The one in front gets dirty. They peel it off and the one under is clean.
michael (Green Bay Wisconsin)
Is Nascar favoring Jimmie Johnson? Fifty plus years of varied competition, then Kenseth was too consistent (ONE YEAR) Change the points system! Johnson wins (FIVE STRAIGHT) then loses for a year, AND NEW SYSTEM. Just wish they would have done it for Mark Martin #1990
Terry Blount (2:14 PM)
Not true. Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart won the first two years of the Chase. And the new system came last year when Tony won again.
Jeremy (Port Angeles, WA)
On godaddy youtube page that there is a press conference on Thursday with Danica, Tony & Bob Parsons in the afternoon. What do you think it is about?
Terry Blount (2:16 PM)
Additiional sponsorship with an extension and maybe something about a new Super Bowl commercial
Terry, as a journalist with an unbiased opinion, who's only real hope in the championship chase is the chance for some great articles and conversations to come from all of it which is better: Johnson winning another title and adding to his legacy or Keselowski getting his first (of possibly many)?
Terry Blount (2:17 PM)
Kes getting his first, but from an overall historical perspective, JJ winning a sixth and being one away from Petty and Earnhardt also is a pretty big deal.
Terry Blount (2:18 PM)
Hey gang, on the auto update thing. It's on. But when I first start the Chase, I give the early questioners and chance to get their questions answered. Patience folks.
How do you think Matt Kenseth will do in his first year at JGR?
Terry Blount (2:19 PM)
It just might be my pick to win the title.
Jackie (Spring Lake NC)
Couldnt NASCAR make the start and parks run the whole race and if they dropped out of the race for no reason that time would face a stiff fine or a 3 race ban
Terry Blount (2:21 PM)
That could be a tough judgment call, but there is an easy answer. Anyone who finishes 37th or worse only makes $5,000. The other money is redistributed among the top 36, with a lot of it going to the winner. It would mean the S&Pers wouldn't show up and only 36 cars would race, but so what? Everyone knows only 36 are realy racing now.
Steve (Da Big Island)
Why dont more tracks put on the extravaganzas like Texas, Other than than the fan based acts in the infield at Dega? Thank
Terry Blount (2:22 PM)
It's all about how much a promoter is willing to spend to bring attention to the event. Some feel it costs more than it brings in. Some don't.
I often attend your chats. I asked Rusty yesterday if he agreed with the changes I would like to see in NASCAR. Shorter schedule, smaller fields (I don't care for the start and parkers), and a points system that only rewards the top 20 (I don't care for cars on the track 20+ laps down). Rusty only agreed with the shorter schedule. Is this an old school way of thinking? Why not be pro-active?
Terry Blount (2:24 PM)
First off, Rusty is a pretty pro-active kind of guy, but no one agrees on everything. I would love to see all those things happen, but Rusty is being realistic. No one wants to give up a Cup date because they all make money, even with attendance down.
People forget we have always had races like Texas. The famous 1976 race with Petty and Pearson, those two were the only 2 cars on the lead lap. By the way, Richard Childress was 9th nine laps down
Terry Blount (2:26 PM)
People tend to look back through rose-colored glasses at most things. The depth of competition is way better now, but the problem now is a lack of side-by-side racing and the fields getting spread out.
But Blount, what if a top car crashes out or blows up in the first few laps? Then you would have those big time owners going nuts complainig about the low payout.
Terry Blount (2:27 PM)
Too bad. Life in the big city. Get over it and move on.
Kurt Busch looks like a threat in the Furniture Row car, can he compete for the chase next year?
Terry Blount (2:28 PM)
He'll have some good runs, but he won't make the Chase. The team just doesn't have the depth for that to happen.
Of all the start and parkers, Joe Nemechek has decent credentials at the top level. Have you ever talked with him about his talk on S&P?
Terry Blount (2:32 PM)
I have nothing against Joe or any of the other S&P guys. They have found a way to manipulate the system. Good for them. But NASCAR should change it where that isn't possible. And I know the S
I know its early but who are some of your championship favorites for 2013? I say Bowyer for sure, along with JJ, Brad K, Ky. Busch, Biffle, and Kenseth. RCR will be greatly improved too.
Terry Blount (2:33 PM)
Kenseth, KyBu, JJ, Kes, Gordon, Hamlin, Dale Jr., Kahne, Edwards, Biff, Smoke. That's 11, I'll leave one out for now.
I guess it is how you watch a race. I eat chicken wings with beer for the first 200 miles, nap for the next 200 miles and watch the last 100 with Bleu Bell ice cream. Full day!
Terry Blount (2:34 PM)
Perfect. When can I come over?
Do you think EGR will improve with the new engines in 2013?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
It's a step in the right direction, but far from a cure all.
luke (north carolina)
Is Jurt Busch well accepted in the garage? Are drivers pulling for him?
Terry Blount (2:35 PM)
Drivers don't really pull for each other. They pull for themselves.
Will Mike Ford be a crew chief in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013?
Terry Blount (2:36 PM)
Yes, probably at BK Racing. And he might have Dinger as his driver.
Are you surprised by the way Kyle has handled himself during the chase? I was expecting him to give up and just ride around. Instead he's been a top 5 car most weeks and has raced Jimmie and Brad hard but clean
Terry Blount (2:37 PM)
Not surprised at all and I think this is building some nice momentum and confidence for Kyle and Dave entering 2013.
Chris (Brunswick, GA)
With Diet Mt Dew/Amp drastically scaling back their sponsorship on Jr's car, who do you see filling that 15 race or so void?
Terry Blount (2:38 PM)
Not sure, but I can't tell with without any doubts Jr. will ahve full sponsorship. Companies line up to be on that car.
It may sound like sour grapes, and I like to consider myself a reasonable person, but me and thousands of fans are on the brink of giving up on Nascar. JJ's dominance, to alot of us, has ruined this sport we used to love. It's not really JJ's fault, we just are bored, and there are plenty of other things to do than watch the same guy win year after year. Last year's Chase was epic, mainly cause JJ wasnt involved.
Terry Blount (2:40 PM)
First, JJ hasn't won this Chase. Brad easily could win it. Second, what do you want NASCAR to do? Sometimes teams build a dynasty in sports and the people who aren't fans of that team don't like it, but they don't stop watching the sport. Why not appreciate what a remarkable achievement it is and hope someone can stop them?
Chris (also doubles as Molly Maid), NJ [via mobile]
Hi Terry! Who wins the cup when it's all said and done? Does Jimmie hang on? Or does Brad surprise? Also, why is Kenseth everyone's favorite for next year? Thanks! Now I'll get Molly to keep working!
Terry Blount (2:46 PM)
Thanks Chris, but I have a new cleaning service. Sofia Vergara has agreed to come over and help me. I'll do all the cleaning. She just has to come over. I would have to pick JJ based on their experience advantage in these situations, but Brad and the 2 team showed last week they can hang in there. And some people are picking Kenseth because of his incredible consistency and the fact that the 20 team is pretty darn good.
Shorten the races not the schedule. 1.5 milers should be like 250 laps, then maybe there will be more of a sense of urgency
Terry Blount (2:48 PM)
Shortening the races was brought up to TMS prez Eddie Gossage on Sunday and he said none of their fans want it. Really? None? Track promoters don't want it because it means less food and drinks they can sell.
What more does Kasey Kahne need to do to put himself in better position next year for a serious run at knocking off the 48, to me he seems like he's been the second best team in HMS this year, do you think that will continue and what does he need to do to catch up to JJ?
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
If they knew that, they'd do it, but I do believe they can challenge for the title next year. Mainly just be consistent week in a week out. Here's what they can't change and what no one can change _ Jimmie Johnson is a great race car driver. That's a fact, even though many people don't believe it.
Jackie (Spring Lake NC )
I dont want shorter races just better races
Terry Blount (2:50 PM)
The first idea could make the second idea more likely.
Claudia (Western NY)
Everything's on the line. Should't Brad have wrecked JJ? Sr. would have, don't you think?
Terry Blount (2:51 PM)
It probably would have wrecked both of them and that wouldn't have helped. Brad gave it all he had and traded paint at 190 mph. It was a fantastic finish.
NASCAR should change the rules on restarts. The leader has to be first when the green flag waves in the start zone. But it shouldn't matter who gets to the start/finish line first.
Terry Blount (2:53 PM)
The bottom line for me on Sunday was NASCAR did the right thing by swallowing the whistle. It wasn't blatant either way. Let the drivers decide it at the end, not a referee call.
Your opinion of JJ complaining about how hard Brad raced him.
Terry Blount (2:54 PM)
I think JJ is a true class act, but frankly, I thought it was a little whiny. But it's all part of the head games at this point.
Terry, Do you want to hang out on 6th Street in a few weeks?
Terry Blount (2:56 PM)
I'll be in Austin for the F1 race, but doubt I'll have much time for the 6th street action. For any fans going to Austin for the first time, I highly recommend a walk down 6th street Friday or Saturday night. The Bourbon St. of Texas. But do not drive. Be safe.
Tim (El Cajon, CA)
If you want to shake things up a bit, put in smaller fuel tanks that will require more pit stops.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
Bruton Smith brought that up last weekend, but I'm not sure fans want to see more pit stops and more races decided in the pits.
Its funny you mentioned no one wants to give up Cup Dates as the reason to not shorten the schedule. That was the only change Rusty agreed with. He said go back to 32 races.
Terry Blount (2:57 PM)
I'm with him, but it ain't gonna happen.
Chris (Brunswick, GA)
Maybe start n parkers winnings should be the % of laps they complete. Example, if 40th place pays $80,000 and you only complete 10% of the race thne you get $8,000. That gives them incentive to run longer.
Terry Blount (2:58 PM)
Way too complicated. Keep it simple. A low, flat amount for finishing worse than 36th.
Here's how you fix S&P. Cut the field to 36. We don't have more than 36 racing now so why do we need them starting the race? Give that prize money (37-43) to the top 36.
Terry Blount (2:59 PM)
I agree. They other cars add absolutelty nothing to the event.
On the flip side of what Tim said, tires that fall off more. I would think smaller Fuel cells would still produce mileage races.
Terry Blount (3:01 PM)
As long as cars run on fuel, you will have some races that are decided by fuel mileage. The tires are too hard, but Goodyear also doesn't want to make tires that are too dangerous. It's a difficult balance.
Terry Blount (3:05 PM)
Gotta run folks. I hope everyone got a chance to vote. I'm off to LA this week for the NHRA finale at Pomona. Should be a great battle between teamamtes Ron Capps and Jack Beckman for the Funny Car crown. And Top Fuel racer Antron Brown is close to becoming the first African-American champ in a major American motorsports series. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Take care everyone and be safe. Peace.