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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

With his cheating past, Chad Knaus deserves extreme scrutiny from NASCAR; Latest punishment worsens his reputation

One one hand, Chad Knaus is a brilliant crew chief who is in large part responsible for Jimmie Johnson's five championships.

On the other hand, he may very well be the biggest cheater in NASCAR.

No stranger to being suspended (it's happened twice before), he faces yet another one after Jimmie Johnson's Daytona car failed inspection on day one.

The team and Johnson, who only had 2 points after finishing 42nd at Daytona, will lose 25 points, putting him at negative 23 points. The team will appeal, of course, but I doubt they will win.

The ruling and punishment was as follows:
"The No. 48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted – unapproved car body modifications).

Knaus and car chief Ron Malec have been suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 9. Additionally, Knaus has been fined $100,000."

Some people are defending Knaus, saying the car fit the templates and the penalty is unfair. But I'm going to have to side with NASCAR on this one, as I doubt they're out there just grabbing parts and handing out fines all willy-nilly. They obvious saw something that wasn't kosher that would've given Jimmie an advantage vs. the other drivers, and had to do something about it.

Chad Knaus has shown in the past he is willing to push boundaries and try to find gray areas in an effort to find speed. He would have fit in well back in the Smokey Yunick days -- when that kind of stuff was accepted.

No more though Chad. These days you have to stick to NASCAR's rules down to the third decimal point. If you venture out of those rules, you're screwed. Just ask poor Carl Long, who had his entire career basically ruined over one engine because it was few cubic inches oversized.

In the past, Chad, you have pushed the limits and gotten burned, but apparently you did not learn your lesson. Well, here you are again, and I'm sure you'll play the victim. Don't, as nobody will feel sorry for you.

If you were a first-time offender, nobody would make a huge deal of this. But it's all about your past, Chad, and that past has come back to haunt you. Between your past infractions, and your little comment to Jimmie last fall to crash the back of the car if he won, NASCAR is eyeing you like a hawk -- rightfully so.

While what you did at Daytona might not be the biggest thing in the world, because of what you have done in the past it's being viewed as bigger. That's your fault though Chad; you made your bed, now lie in it.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous mrclause said...

You are whacked on this one. NASCAR doesn't go around willy nilly confiscating parts or bending their own rules to suit a situation? Just how long have you been following this sport?

When has Chad played the victim role? He does what he has to do and if it goes beyond NASCARS happy place, he takes his punishment and works even harder.

I kind of think a man is best judged by his peers. Using that, name me a single crew chief that has come out against Chads efforts, come on, just one.Every crew chief in the garage area is doing the same thing or wish they had the ability to.

I've been in and around this sport since the sixties and have seen a lot worse than what chad does and more often. He'd darn sure be the crew chief I wanted.

March 1, 2012 at 9:58 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith from Dallas says... Enjoyed the article. But why was it considered sheik to cheat back in the Yunick days but today you are labeled as such, a cheater. We all work in the gray areas of our job or day to day lives. We have become a soft society where whiners win and innovation is left at the door. How do you think we became a superpower? Not by playing fair and whining to win.

March 1, 2012 at 9:58 AM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

I recognize the need for innovation but it's a fine line between innovation and cheating ... Chad seems to get busted more than other people. Makes me think he might be up to something fishy. I don't see why NASCAR would have any sort of vendetta against him.

As for the difference between eraa, it's just a different time. Back then, things were more loose. Today they are tight. You play by the rules of the current day, not what was done 50 years ago.

March 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many times HE DIDN'T GET CAUGHT?

March 1, 2012 at 10:37 AM 

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