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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chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, determined that the 25pt driver and team owner points penalties should be rescinded, and that there would be no suspensions for crew chief Chad Knaus or car chief Ron Malec.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]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, suffers a mechanical issue during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies in second position Friday, February 27, 2015 for a front row position start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Team XTREME Racing #44 entry - driven in the Daytona 500 by Reed Sorenson (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, interim driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in sixteenth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the yellow and chequered flags to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/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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