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Hendrick wins final penalty appeal

Hendrick Motorsports has won its final appeal against virtually all the penalties levied on the #48 car team for a rules infringement at Daytona in February.
Hendrick Motorsports has won the final stage in the NASCAR appeals process over a series of points deductions and crew suspensions levied on Jimmie Johnson's #48 team for rules infringements discovered in pre-practice technical inspection at Daytona in mid-February.

The final appeal, presided over by the series' chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, determined that the 25pt driver and team owner points penalties should be rescinded, and that there would be no suspensions for crew chief Chad Knaus or car chief Ron Malec.

"I'm glad this is over," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "I appreciate the fact that we had the opportunity to present all the facts. I'm happy with the outcome to see the points reinstated and Chad reinstated."

However, a $100,000 fine handed down to Knaus remains in place, as does the probation on Knaus and Medac through to May 9.

"I would have liked to have the fine gone, too, because I think there was no reason for any kind of penalty," continued Hendrick. "All I can tell you is by the rule book, the car was legal. I believe if that wasn't the case, we wouldn't have gotten this overturned."

"Obviously we're not happy with the fine, that's an awful lot of money for something that was obviously proved to be OK," agreed Knaus, who said that "it's not about vindication" and declared: "I felt like they made a mistake [with the original finding] ... It's over with. It's time to move on."

The stunning reversal came exactly a week after the three-man National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel unanimously upheld the original penalties. The official notification from Middlebrook did not give any immediate reasons behind the decision that had been handed down, and he did not make any media appearances.

The modifications at issue were to the so-called C-posts or pillars that join the roof of the car to the main deck. Since they can be used to help direct the airflow onto the rear spoiler of the car, an aerodynamic advantage can be achieved by changes to this part of the bodywork.

However, Knaus and Hendrick insisted that no such modifications have been made to the car since it last passed scrutineering multiple times at the end of 2011, and they had documented affidavits to support the claim.

The team additionally took issue with the way that race officials at Daytona deemed the C-posts illegal without taking detailed measurements or making reference to equivalent standard template parts. They also pointed out that 20 other teams with issues during scrutineering were allowed to take the car back, in three cases even grinding down C-posts to meet compliance before resubmitting the cars for approval; whereas in the case of the #48 the C-posts were immediately cut off the car and confiscated, with penalties.




Related Pictures

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NASCAR Sprint cup Series #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet crew chief Chad Knaus (left) talks with driver Jimmie Johnson (right) in the garage during the testing session at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway on July 7 in Sparta, Ky. The #48 Hendrick Motorsports team was the fastest in this session. [Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
#48 crew chief Chad Knaus helps unload his team`s backup car after Jimmie Johnson hit the wall on his first lap of final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev. [Picture Credit: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Crew chief Chad Knaus reacts as crew members work on the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson after NASCAR confiscated C-posts due to a modification violation in an initial inspection at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ron Malec, car chief for the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, wipes the hood of the vehicle during a break between Friday`s two practices at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. [Picture Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Rick Hendrick [Photo Credit: NASCAR]
Crew chief Chad Knaus of the #48 Lowe`s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, speaks to the media prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2 in Avondale, Ariz. NASCAR suspended Knaus for six races and fined him $100,000 for failing an inspection last week in Daytona. Knaus will continue his crew chief duties while Hendrick Motorsports appeal. [Picture Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, races Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, Kenny Wallace, driver of the #26 JGL Racing Toyota, Ryan Sieg, driver of the #39 Uncle Bob`s Self Storage Chevrolet, and John Wes Townley, driver of the #25 Zaxby`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, qualifies for second position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Kahne is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Pole winner Jeff Gordon, driver of the #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
People walk on pit road as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Harvick is the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, races Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, leads the field to a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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Just Observing - Unregistered

March 21, 2012 1:22 AM

.. and thus continues the joke that is NASCAR... The scary part of this story is that, apparently, TWENTY CARS failed scrutineering!!!! I don't think I've ever heard numbers like that failing in other major categories, though I am not that rose-tinted to think that no one ever fails scrutineering in other categories



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