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Johnson/Knaus rule infraction and big crash make for interesting first day in Daytona

By admin | February 17, 2012

By Richard Allen


Well, there are may things that might be said about the first day of practice at the Daytona International Speedway for the 2012 season but one word that can’t be used is boring. Within the space of a couple of short hours the team of five time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was found to be in violation of the NASCAR rule book and a multi-car wreck took place on the track.

As cars were being pushed through the inspection line in preparation for a Saturday practice session leading up to Daytona 500 qualifying, the Hendrick Motorsports car of Jimmie Johnson was found to have C-posts that were outside the template allowance. The C-post is the portion of bodywork that runs from the roof of the car to the rear quarter panel.

Crew chief Chad Knaus offered no immediate comment in regard to the finding. The team called to their Concord, North Carolina shop and had new C-posts flown to the track. Those new pieces were fixed onto the #48 Chevrolet under the watchful eye of NASCAR officials.

While no fines or suspensions were announced on Friday, one NASCAR official indicated that such may be forthcoming. Knaus has found himself on the receiving end of punishments from the sanctioning body before, having been suspended in 2006 and 2007 for infractions.

But as that news was being digested, cars took to the track for a practice session to prepare for Saturday night’s Bud Shootout. With cars circulating in a large pack about halfway through the schedule duration of the test, Tony Stewart got into the back of Kurt Busch’s machine and turned that car. Before all the melee was finished the cars of Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger suffered significant damage. Jeff Gordon’s car received minor damage in the incident.

“I was pushing the 51 car and just got into him,” Stewart said. “It was my fault.”

“It’s better to do it now than next Sunday,” added Keselowski.

The day’s second scheduled practice was halted by rain only minutes after it had begun.

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3 Responses to “Johnson/Knaus rule infraction and big crash make for interesting first day in Daytona”

  1. Sue Rarick Says:
    February 18th, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I’m not a fan of the #48 but from what I read the ‘C’ post modification was spotted befor it went through the template. So it’s not accurate to say it was outside the template.

    Teams are allowed to modify the ‘C’ post to some extent. What the #48 did was create a bend that could have acted like an aero shear and given them an advantage. That is what Nascar didn’t like. My bet is that it was done outside the template measuring points. But Nascar has always had the right to order changes it sees as giving one team an advantage over another team.

    It was more a creative use of the rules rather than cheating. The space between the template measuring points is the reason teams spend so much time in the wind tunnel.

  2. Team24 Says:
    February 18th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    According to the report I saw on Speed the C posts are parts that are not allowed to be modified at all. They also reported all cars went thru pre-inspection before arriving at Daytona so NASCAR wasn’t too happy a part that passed pre-inspection was changed. Seems like the definition of attempted cheating.

  3. jerseygirl24 Says:
    February 18th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    anyone actually surprised hearing the Knaus was caught cheating again? Not me. I figure he’s been doing OK at it for years - 5 chase trophies says its all good.