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