Hey kids, how is everyone doing out there today? Been a hectic week here, and interesting one in the news. There is a new penalty system in NASCAR. We also have 50 Cent as a major sponsor in NASCAR. Duck Commander is running Texas and I go on a slightly “refreshed” Twitter prediction for Daytona and the Season 2014. So let’s get after it and see what’s in the news from the NASCAR world.

NASCAR gets new penalty system and appeal system

NASCAR has changed many things here lately. The latest change is to the penalty system in place. Now in its place is a six (seven if you include the warning phase) step penalty phase that includes various different aspects from pit stall selection to major fines, suspensions and point losses.

First thing that happens is you receive a warning, which I suppose will go like this. Mike Helton will call you into the dreaded NASCAR hauler and say “You are a naughty race team! You are bad! Look at that oil leak you left on the rug! Bad! Bad!” And then he’ll smack you with a news paper on the nose…Okay, to be fair I cannot confirm that to be true, but call it a hunch.

Now Penalty Phases 1 through 3 are and/or type of deals. Penalty Phase 4 through 6 is an all of the above type.

Depending on the seriousness or if you have multiple warnings you enter the Penalty One Phase. Penalty One can result in last choice of pit road selection, deduction of track time, delay in order of inspection or being picked for post race inspection, car must stay in hauler for a specific amount of time, have temporary suspension of annual hard credentials for team members, reduction of suspension of track privileges, and community service.

Penalty 2 sees you losing 10 owner/driver points, receiving a $10,000 to $25,000 fine, crew chief/other team members being suspended for one or more races, six month to year end probation,.

Penalty 3 sees you losing 15 owner/driver points, a $20,000 to $50,000 fine, crew chief/other team members being suspended for one more races, and six month to end of the calendar year suspensions.

Penalty 4 begins the, you get everything phase. For Penalty 4 you will be lose 25 owner/driver points, fined $40,000 to $70,000, crew chief automatically for next three championship races, (plus any non-championship events in between), six month (crew members) to end of calendar year probation (crew chief), any post race infraction results in additional 10 points loss, and additional $25,000 fine.

Penalty 5 sees you losing 50 driver/owner points, $75,000 to $125,000, crew chief automatically for next six championship races, (plus any non-championship events in between), end of calendar year probation for all team members or six months, any post race infraction results may include but not limited to loss of benefits of the starting of finishing position, loss of 25 points, and an additional $50,000 fine.

Penalty 6 is the final stage of this process. Here you will lose 150 driver/owner points, be fined $150,000 to $200,000, crew chief automatically for next six championship races, (plus any non-championship events in between), end of calendar year probation for all team members or six months, any post race infraction results may include but not limited to loss of benefits of the starting of finishing position, loss of all OEM points earned by the car in that event.

For the Appeals Process Bryan Moss replaces John Middlebrook as the Sports Chief Appellate Officer. It will start as following for the process of appeal. A penalized team will file their appeal, a hearing date will be set with the NASCAR Appeals Administrators, all penalties will be temporarily deferred, the appeal will be heard where you the penalized team will either lose or win with the rule NASCAR cannot object to the ruling.

If the team loses they have ten days to appeal it so it goes in front of Bryan Moss. It will follow the same schedule of filing the appeal, a hearing date set, temporarily deferring penalties, having the appeals hearing, and then the ruling of either the appeal being won or loss for the penalized team.

Now with all that said, that is a lot of information to digest so I’m going to end with this simple statement. I’m going to bet Chad Knaus is the first one to have to deal with this process.

Kwasniewski gets full time ride at TSM

Dylan Kwasniewski and Turner Scott Motorsports have found a full time sponsor for the 31 for Kwasniewski in the Nationwide series with Rockstar Energy. What’s bad timing about this? Jeb Burton can’t find a sponsor to run his truck team with….Can we get a Kick starter program going to get Jeb back on the track? Oh wait..we don't have to!

Burton lands at ThorSports

Jeb Burton will be driving in the Camping World Truck series for ThorSports and is looking for full sponsorships to flush out the season. His crew chief will be Denniss Connor who was with Johnny Sauter last year. He will also be driving in ARCA for ThorSports.

Nemechek and Son…sounds like a sitcom…

Joe Nemechek and his 16 year old son John Hunter will share a truck ride this season. The 8 truck owned by SWM-NEMCO Racing. John will drive 10 races while Joe drives the other 12. Oh, and John is only 16…I suddenly feel a little less satisfied with what I was doing at 16…

Parrott and Sorenson together Tommy Baldwin Racing

Todd Parrott, having successfully completed the “Road to Recovery” program has landed a crew chief gig at Tommy Baldwin Racing in the 36. His driver? Reed Sorenson replacing JJ Yeley who drove the 36 last season has not announced his plans but says he will be in Cup.

50 Cent partners with Swan Racing

No, I didn’t muck that up. 50 Cent is partnering with Swan Racing for his audio brand SMS Audioline. The logo will appear on the car and will be on drivers Parker Kligermen and Cole Whitt’s uniforms. Additionally 50 will make appearances at different races throughout the season. I actually like 50 I have his first two albums with Shady Aftermath. However, I’m praying one of those races is Talladega because that would be hysterical!

Evernham leaves ESPN for HMS

Ray Evernham is leaving ESPN to give full time support in his consulting role and competition matters at Hendrick Motorsports. He will be in competition meetings and all sort of things to help the team. Let the 88 crew chief rumors begin!

Morgan Sheperd is at it again

Morgan Shepher is going to try and qualify for the Daytona 500 at the young age of 72. If Morgan is able to be in the starting field of the 500, he will become the oldest driver ever to do so. Some people are upset someone at this stage of life is trying to qualify at a track where he’ll go 190 in to a turn.

Toyota can name a fan entrance at Daytona in 2015

Toyota has become the first company to earn the right to name a fan entrance at Daytona’s new restructured track in 2015. Chevy, Ford, and any other manufacturer can do the same as it’s not exclusive. Toyota also re-upped with Kansas to use their brand’s pace cars at the track.

The Ducks come to Texas

Duck Commander, the famed company owned by the stars of A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty” will sponsor the April 6 race at Texas Motor Speedway being named the Duck Commander 500. I’m a huge fan of the show and of the Duck and Buck Commander line…huh…I suddenly care about Texas again.

Byrnes is back

Steve Byrnes returned to NASCAR Race Hub on Fox Sports 1. Byrnes had been receiving a aggressive treatment for his battle with throat cancer. Byrnes seems to be doing well. I’m so happy for him and his family. This is awesome news! I like Byrnes; he’s a favorite of mine as far as the media people go.

Now on Twitter the other night I began making predictions about Daytona and the 2014 Season as a whole. I reserve the right to change these, but here’s what I came up with so far and why I think so.

My insanely early Daytona 500 predictions as of right now: 

The 14 of Tony Stewart will be leading on the last lap but lose the win to the 11 of Denny Hamlin pushed by the 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to get his third straight year of runner up finishes. I have a weird feeling about Tony this year. It could be his year, but I think Toyota gets its first win. Call me crazy.

There will only be one wreck involving 6 cars started by the 31 of Ryan Newman. Ryan Newman is pretty decent restrictor plate driver but he spends more time on his roof then his wheels.

The highest finishing Ford will be the 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 11th. Ricky is actually turning out to be getting better, but the Fords were behind in Horse power and I see that trend continuing. I was going to go with the 16 of Biffle in 4th but I think he’s in the six car pile up.

First big team to blow an engine? Hendrick Motorsports with Jimmie Johnson’s 48 being the team. Jimmie’s wins are not the norm, they are exception. Expect his restrictor plate woes to return.

And now for the season itself, my insanely early 2014 Season prediction that I will change as weeks go on:

Carl Edwards leaves RFR for Penske. I covered this last week, and I believe it now that Carl is leaving. I want to say a fourth team starts and he goes to Gibbs. However, I think he’d get a warmer welcome to a third car at Penske.

The 3 wins at Kentucky. Austin Dillon is very, very good at Kentucky in Nationwide and Trucks and I expect to be no different in Sprint cup cars. I’m not saying it’ll be his first or only, but he will win there.

The 88 will win before the other HMS drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. only had one car that was actually better than him last season and that was shop-mate Jimmie Johnson. I easily could see Dale Jr. winning Las Vegas and getting a checkered flag before his teammates.

I will fall asleep during both Texas races. Texas bores me! I’m sorry Duck Commander, I can’t help it!

My ex will call and ruin the middle of at least two races. Kids, do not date your neighbors. They have too much ease and access to where you live! It will not end well! I firmly believe she was tipping deer off to where I was! She’s out of her mother freaking mind!

On a article note, I want to announce a change to articles this season. Last year I covered the NHRA and Formula One along with Indy-Car and NASCAR. This year I’m sticking to just NASCAR and Indy-Car. By the time I’m getting around to NHRA I’m not able to enjoy it like I normally do and Vettell’s dominance is sucking the life out of the fun at F1. I could change my mind though…I’m inconsistent like that.

Random Sport/Non Sport Thought:

…I really hope she doesn’t cyber stalk me and read this…Oh hell….

Have a question, suggestion or witty comment? Feel free to leave one below! Don’t want to do that? Then the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to interact with me is on Twitter, @tpierc07. I also am on Facebook, but that one you have to work for. Don’t do social media? Then feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]!

So until we meet again next Friday Night or Saturday Morning depending how you see it, I’ll be waiting for you in the next turn of a snow embankment on I-196 here in ol’ South-West Michigan!

Tyler Pierce