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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

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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 Pro Services Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS is congratulated for his victory by Chevy teammate Jimmie Johnson (r), driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet SS Sunday, June 7, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Johnson finished third. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
The crew of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, celebrate Johnson`s victory, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. (Photo by Tim Parks/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, races to victory with third place finisher Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. Following in second and third place are Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 DiTech Chevrolet SS and Kyle Larson, driver of the # 42 Target Chevrolet SS. (Photo by David Tullis/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory, Sunday, May 31, 2015, after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, is cheered by his team while celebrating with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Cole Whitt, driver of the #35 Ford, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, sits in his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson’s car features Army 1st Lt. Robert L. Henderson II as part of the 600 Miles of Rememberance.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, races to victory Saturday night, May 9, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Racing with him is Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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