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MONOPOLY MANAGEMENT: GO DIRECTLY, DO NOT PASS GO, AND DO NOT COLLECT $200


One shoe was dropped Monday by NASCAR in Daytona Beach with the announcement that CHAD KNAUS, NASCAR Nextel Cup crew chief for RICK HENDRICK driver, JIMMIE JOHNSON/#48 Lowes Chevrolet, has been "ejected from any further participation in 2006 Daytona 500 activities as a result of a rules infraction discovered following pole qualifying runs Sunday."

Basically, Knaus has been sent straight home. He can't pass Go and can't collect $200. He could receive a large fine, and he can't go any place requiring the use of his NASCAR license or 'Hard Card', because they have been pulled by NASCAR - which is its prerogative and totally under its control.

DARIAN GRUBB, Hendrick lead engineer for both Johnson's team and JEFF GORDON/#24 DuPont Chevrolet, has taken over for Knaus at the track.

Knaus can work at the Rick Hendrick race shop. He said: "It's obviously disappointing to miss the biggest race of the year, but I'm confident in Darian and the rest of my team-mates. There's been a lot of effort put into the Daytona 500 and I know the team will be successful with the support they'll receive from the entire organisation."

Hendrick said: "We understand NASCAR's position. Our expectations for the team remain high. It's a deep, championship-calibre group and they'll step up this weekend."

NASCAR is mad and not going to take it any more. There WILL be further NASCAR penalties, after the Daytona 500. Those further penalties will apply to Johnson's car, and could apply to the #96 DLP Chevrolet driven by TERRY LABONTE for the new team of TROY AIKMAN and ROGER STAUBACH. That car was penalised for an unapproved carburettor, found in post-qualifying inspection.

Among the penalty possibilities is NASCAR taking the cars. And there's always the NASCAR fine system, which has been escalating with each incident. Knaus was fined in 2002, 2003 and 2005, with his last fine being $35,000. Fines and suspensions are appeal-able. Ejection is not.

Both Johnson and Terry Labonte will start at the rear of the first Gatorade Duels Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. The Duals are Twin 150-mile qualifying races which set the rest of the field for Sunday's Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 front row was set Sunday with two Jeffs - JEFF BURTON/#31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet on pole, and last year's Daytona 500 winner, Jeff Gordon, next to him.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jimmie Johnson, seen here in interime Lowes Chevrolet livery, was on the pace during pre-season testing at Daytona
Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, celebrates after taking the chequered flag during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 11, 2016 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Hendrick Motorsports driver Johnson experienced an issue during qualifying.  He will go to a back-up car. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Energy & Water/Intellifresh Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Sunday, March 6, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered and yellow flags to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 under caution at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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