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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chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, determined that the 25pt driver and team owner points penalties should be rescinded, and that there would be no suspensions for crew chief Chad Knaus or car chief Ron Malec.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, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Terry Labonte. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Johnson, who is in the Chase, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks to his crew chief, Chad Knaus, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy in the #31 Turner Scott Motorsport NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, looks on from the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Crew members for Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, work on the car after a crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 5, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 3, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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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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