Jimmie Johnson Penalized by NASCAR
The wait is over, and it seems like such a long time ago that the violation was found on the 48 car prior to the Daytona 500.
NASCAR announced today that Crew Chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec have been suspended from the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 9. Additionally, Knaus has been fined $100,000.
The No. 48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J, any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-2.1E if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted – unapproved car body modifications. The “C” posts on the 48 car did not conform to NASCAR specifications, “C” posts are located near the back of the race car, between the roof and quarter-panel.
Driver Jimmie Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon have been penalized with the loss of 25 driver points and 25 owners points, respectively.
The loss of points leave Jimmie Johnson in negative territory with -23 championship points as the series heads to Phoenix for the second race of the 2012 season. Johnson is not the first driver to leave Daytona with negative points. Michael Waltrip had a negative point total in 2007 after NASCAR discovered a problem with the fuel in Waltrip’s car.
Hendrick Motorsports will appeal the ruling, which will allow Chad Knaus to be with the team in Phoenix. Appeals are normally heard within 10 days of the ruling.
Jimmie Johnson heads to Phoenix in 43rd position in the standings 70 points behind point leader Matt Kenseth.
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