From The Marbles
  • Would this man's Kansas penalty after his win been reduced under the new system? (Getty)

    If you were still trying to understand how NASCAR's penalty system worked, stop. You've got a new system to learn. And this one comes with a flowchart.

    The sanctioning body announced a new system for penalties and appeals on Tuesday. It features tiers of penalties and a new Final Appeals Officer. Teams will now be given warnings for minor infractions and then penalties will increase on a six-tier basis in the new "Deterrence System."

    From NASCAR:

    • Warnings are issued instead of penalties for certain types of minor, first-time infractions.
    • P1 penalties may result from multiple warnings to the same team.
    • P2 penalties may include but are not limited to violations such as hollow components, expiration of certain safety certification or improper installation of a safety feature, or minor bracket and fasteners violations.
    • P3 penalty options may include but are not limited to violations such as unauthorized parts, measurement failures, parts that fail their intended use, or coil spring
    Read More »from NASCAR unveils new penalty structure for appeals and enforcement
  • Todd Parrott (R) was Elliott Sadler's crew chief in 2010. (Getty Images)

    It didn't take Todd Parrott long to get a crew chief role after being reinstated by NASCAR.

    Tommy Baldwin Racing announced Monday that Parrott had been hired as the crew chief for its No. 36 car. Parrott was reinstated by NASCAR in early January after completing the Road to Recovery program.

    Parrott was the crew chief for Aric Almirola at Richard Pettty Motorsports when he was suspended by NASCAR for violating its substance abuse policy in October. In December, Trent Owens was hired as Almirola's crew chief for 2014.

    TBR hasn't announced a driver for the No. 36. Michael Annett will drive the team's No. 7 car in 2014 and run for Rookie of the Year honors. Bono Manion will serve as Annett's crew chief. He was Jamie McMurray's crew chief in 2013.

    Parrott was the crew chief for Dale Jarrett when Jarrett won the 1999 Sprint Cup Series title and has 31 career wins as a crew chief. Who could be his driver in 2014? The Sporting News' Bob Pockrass mentioned Reed Sorenson.

    Read More »from Todd Parrott back in the Sprint Cup Series, will crew chief for Tommy Baldwin Racing
  • (Getty Images)

    Kyle Busch will be looking like a Seahawks fan in Daytona.

    He and Kasey Kahne had a bet on Sunday night's Super Bowl, and after Kahne's Seahawks won, Busch will be wearing Seattle gear in a couple of weeks. And he may even have a personalized jersey. After the Seahawks caught wind of the bet between the two drivers, the team's official Twitter account tweeted this picture:

    We'll give the Seahawks a pass on "Speedweek." After winning the Super Bowl, getting a NASCAR event's name right is probably not too high on the list of priorities.

    Busch was at the game Sunday night wearing a Peyton Manning jersey. We'll avoid the joke asking if he could have played better than Manning. First, because it's preposterous, and secondly, have you seen Busch's performance when he's been in the Chase? (Yes, that's as low-hanging as asking if Tim Tebow would have done

    Read More »from After Seattle’s Super Bowl win, Kyle Busch gets to wear Seahawks gear at Daytona
  • (Getty Images)

    Travis Kvapil will serve two years probation after his October arrest for domestic assault.

    Kvapil pled guilty on Thursday in a North Carolina court.

    From the Sporting News:

    According to court records, he pleaded guilty to the charges as part of an agreement that will dismiss the case after he completes two years probation (at least one year of supervised probation) and 72 hours of community service. He had to pay $460 in fees and court costs and must attend an anger management class. The probation stipulates that he can travel out of the state for work purposes as long as he gives notice to his probation officer.

    Kvapil does not have a ride for 2014 announced. He drove for BK Racing in 2013 and was 31st in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

    When he was arrested in October, Kvapil was accused of pulling his wife by her hair into the bedroom and striking her in the head. Alcohol was not a factor, per police reports.

    Following his arrest, Kvapil said that he was ashamed and embarrassed,

    Read More »from Travis Kvapil gets two years probation after guilty plea in domestic violence case
  • Will an addition to this collection now be devalued? (Getty Images)

    Once the season starts, throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy.

    If you haven't looked at a calendar, you've got two more NASCAR-free weekends. How scary is that? Pretty soon we're going to have cars on the track every weekend until Thanksgiving. Hope you're ready.

    We solicited your reaction after reports of NASCAR's Chase changes emerged and now that those changes are official, it's time for more reaction. We got so much that many of the emails are edited to hit the key points. Let's get this party started.

    In a winner-take-all playoff format, except for the Super Bowl and the Final Four, there's some sort of inherent advantage for

    Read More »from Happy Hour: Your reaction to NASCAR’s Chase announcement
  • (Getty Images)
    As it sold the latest changes to the Sprint Cup Series format on Thursday, NASCAR leaned heavily on a winning crutch.

    The key points of the new Chase format:

    • The field is expanded from 12 to 16 drivers. All drivers with a win in the first 26 races and the highest-ranking winless drivers will fill out the 16-driver field. At the beginning of the Chase, each driver will have his or her points reset to 2,000. Three bonus points will be added for each win in the first 26 races.
    • The 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup now contains eliminations. After the first three races, the bottom four drivers will be eliminated. Then after the next three, the next lowest four are eliminated from title contention. Following the ninth race of the season, the top four drivers will go into Homestead on level points standing. The highest finishing driver wins the title.
    • If a driver wins a race in a three-race segment, he or she automatically advances to the next three-race segment in the Chase.
    • To be eligible
    Read More »from Winning is still far from everything under NASCAR’s new Chase system
  • If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in the top four entering Homestead, this trophy could be his. (Getty Images)

    NASCAR is guaranteeing that the Sprint Cup Series season championship will come down to the final race of the year.

    The sanctioning body announced Thursday that the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be winner-take-all. The top four drivers in the points standings before Homestead will have their points total reset and will start the race all-square. The highest finishing driver at the race will win the championship.

    The Chase playoff format will remain for the final 10 races. However, the Chase field will be expanded from 12 to 16 eligible drivers for 2014. With the expansion of the Chase field, NASCAR will eliminate drivers every three races. After the first three races, the Chase will be whittled down to 12 drivers, eliminating the four lowest-scoring drivers. After the next three, the Chase will be down to eight drivers, and after the ninth race of the Chase, four drivers will be left. Those are the four drivers eligible to win the championship.

    It's

    Read More »from NASCAR announces sweeping changes to Chase including winner-take-all final race
  • Jack Ingram was happy to go in to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Wednesday night, and ready to defend his numbers.

    Through 1982-91 in what's now the Nationwide Series, Ingram won 31 races and two championships. But he won hundreds more elsewhere.

    From the Sporting News:

    Ask the 77-year-old about Mark Martin and Kyle Busch breaking the record he once held for the most wins in what is now the Nationwide Series.

    “Wouldn't be any of them that ever won 317 NASCAR races,” Ingram bluntly stated when asked about the record.

    Martin broke Ingram's record for Nationwide Series wins. Busch broke Martin's.

    “I didn't get credit for nothing hardly that I done in most of this news media and the TV people and everybody,” Ingram said after he was inducted Wednesday night. “They want to talk about Mark Martin beating my record.

    “Now, I was 45 years old (when the series started and) they're talking about that record. They think I dropped out of the sky at 45 and started racing? I won 317 NASCAR point races.

    Read More »from Jack Ingram defended his credentials at his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction Wednesday night
  • (Getty Images)

    NASCAR will likely announce changes to the Chase for the Sprint Cup on Thursday afternoon. Changes that have previously been reported as an expansion of the Chase field to 16 drivers, redoing how the field is set and a eliminations throughout the Chase to set up a winner-take-all finale at Homestead.

    Don't count Carl Edwards as someone who's a fan of the proposal at the moment.

    From USA Today:

    "You don't want someone to win 35 races, have a blown tire in one race and not be the champion," he said. "That would seem kind of odd, juxtaposed to how we've crowned a champion – not just in NASCAR, but auto racing."

    The fact that Edwards has reservations isn't surprising. It's likely that other drivers do too. But the Sprint Media Tour has a tendency for unbridled optimism. And the specter of the fine levied on Denny Hamlin for his comments at Phoenix 13 months ago looms large. Why would a driver risk criticizing something that hasn't been formally announced, especially if NASCAR could

    Read More »from Carl Edwards isn’t sold on potential Chase changes
  • If you're looking to jump into the NASCAR sponsorship game, why not start with the sport's most popular driver?

    Rick Hendrick said Tuesday on the Hendrick Motorsports stop during the Sprint Media Tour that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has sponsorship inventory available for the 2014 season. Get it while the getting's good.

    “We’ve talked to a lot of people,’’ Hendrick said (via MRN.com) “I want a long-term deal that fits and isn’t a conflict with the other guys.’’

    “We will listen to anybody, and we’re always looking, but there’s no like, golly we’ve got to find somebody."

    There are 13 races available for the No. 88 this season. The National Guard and Diet Mountain Dew are still on board as sponsors.

    It's the second year of sponsor availability for Junior, and as you can tell by Hendrick's comments, it doesn't seem that the team is too concerned about it. Just like Hendrick wasn't concerned about sponsorship last season.

    It's the nice thing about having a desirable asset. The money that Hendrick

    Read More »from Got money? Dale Earnhardt Jr. has sponsorship available for the second straight season

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