Veteran sports journalist Terry Blount named to NHRA VP role

1 Comment

Veteran sports journalist Terry Blount has been named Vice President of Public Relations and Communications of the National Hot Rod Association, the sanctioning body announced Thursday.

Blount spent the last 10 years with ESPN.com. In his new role, according to a media release, Blount will “lead and create the strategic direction for corporate communications, media relations and public relations for the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body.”

Blount will relocate to Southern California — the NHRA is headquartered in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendora — from his home in the Seattle area.

“Terry has a great passion for NHRA Drag Racing and his background as a world class sports journalist is second to none,” said NHRA president Peter Clifford. “Terry is the consummate professional and has tremendous relationships with the national media as well as many high-level executives throughout the motorsports community.

“He is positioned well to lead our efforts to enhance and expand our current communications and public relations initiatives and drive increased awareness and attention to the sport.”

Blount begins his new role on July 30.

“I have a true love of the NHRA and I can’t wait to get started on this new chapter of my career,” Blount said.  “This sport provides an intensity that can’t be matched and I am eager to begin the process of communicating my enthusiasm and excitement for NHRA’s unique brand of 300 mile per hour entertainment to media outlets around the globe.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
Leave a comment

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter