Blog Entry

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:41 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 11:48 am
 
By Pete Pistone


  Jimmie Johnson (L) Talks
(Knaus is with Johnson and the 48 team this week after the Daytona penalties until the appeal is heard)

Chad Knaus
maintained his innocence regarding the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet failing pre-Daytona inspection and completely surprised by the penalty handed down by NASCAR in the aftermath.

Knaus met with the media Friday morning at Phoenix International Raceway and said he's not sure why Jimmie Johnson's car didn't pass inspection and why the subsequent penalties announced by NASCAR were so severe.

"We do everything we can to build the best race cars we possibly can to bring to the racetrack, and that's what we do," said Knaus, who was fined $100,000 and placed on a six race suspension foe the infractions. "Unfortunately, they didn't like something and we've got to address that." 

The parts and pieces in question were the C-Posts of the No. 48 Chevrolet but Knaus says NASCAR inspectors didn't put the car through the inspection templates but rather was pulled out of line and deemed illegal by a visual inspection.

That alone seems to be the sticking point for teamowner Rick Hendrick, who has stated a plan to appeal the penalties, which is why Knaus was allowed to participate in Phoenix this weekend.

"It was just a visual inspection at that point," Knaus said. "We never actually got the opportunity to present that under the templates. So it's unfortunate. There's a bit of subjectiveness to it. That's why we're going through the appeal." 

Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon also face penalties of 25 driver and owner points respectively, discipline that if it sticks through the appeal process would put the 48 team deep in the hole in the race for the championship early in the season.

“Obviously, I’m deeply saddened of course," Knaus said. "We didn’t expect this.  It’s not the way that we wanted to start off the season.  It is good to have the support of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports.  We will go after this thing, hopefully get it resolved and beaten and go back to business.  Right now we are focused on getting through Phoenix and trying to win this championship this year.” 

Knaus is a many time offender and has been suspended more than a time or two during his tenure with Hendrick. But he's not sure if that past track record played any part in how the sanctioning body viewed this situation.

“I don’t know.  That is difficult for me to say.  You would have to go ask NASCAR about that,” he said.

Knaus is not worried about how this latest example of running afoul of the rules may impact his reputation with fans or inside the garage area. The crew chief is only focused on winning races and getting Johnson back into the title hunt in 2012.

Honestly, I’m here to do the best I can No. 48 team, and that is all that really matters to me," he said.  "As far as my reputation goes, I’m not too concerned about that. What we want to do is go out there and do the best thing we can for Hendrick Motorsports, the best thing for Lowe’s and try to win races and championships.” 

 
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Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 5:21 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

NASCAR has some explaining to do when they impose penalties and suspensions based simply on an eye test.  The templates are built and maintained for a reason -- to aid with construction and inspections by officials.  If the frame or parts of the car were off so much that somebody was able to spot it without the aid of a template, it's very simple to walk over with a template, put it next to the offending pieces and photograph the evidence.  I find this very fishy that pieces were cut from the car and the 48 team was simply sent back to the garage to make repairs to run it's practice laps.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm fully aware that Chad Knaus does everything he can to squeeze every advantage out of his cars and pushes every envelope to its breaking point.  I admire that.  If I owned a team I'd want my crew chief looking for every conceivable advantage in races that are worth millions of dollars in prizes and sponsorship money.  But the Hendrick organization has a hell of an argument this time around.  Not measuring against the templates sure sounds like a case of reasonable doubt brewing here. 



Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:57 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

The only surprise is that NASCAR manned up and showed some balls (sorry Danica lol) enforcing the law to a repeat offender. WTG!



Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:10 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

Maybe someone can enlighten me as to wether the actions of this crew chief are known and endorsed by the team owner or he just does this stuff himself.... Its a shame that it just adds more fuel to the many race fans that believe this team cheated its way to five championships.  What are the odds he really didnt know anything was wrong with the car?  I dont want to sound naive but to put yourself at risk in a race where you can wreck on the first lap anyway..... seems really stupid. Doesnt seem like the kind of race where any tiny advantage would really matter, your chances of making to the end in one piece are small as it is.




Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:06 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

Jeff Gordon is not the owner



Correction, he is part owner of the #48 team!



The fact is Nascar doesn't have a leg to stand on because it was a visual inspection and wasnt put through the inspection template! If they (nascar) would of put it through the template and it didn't pass then there would be no question! They don't have a leg to stand on!      



Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

Why should he be suprised about the penatiles with the history of cheating he's got he should feel luck y it wasn't penalized worse.



Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

Obligatory misprint call - Jeff Gordon is not the owner and did not lose any owners poits as the article states. I am sure they will correct this before most read my post, but

 

Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon also face penalties of 25 driver and owner points respectively 

Now Knaus should not be srprised. Nascar has siuspended him many times and he should expect the suspensions to get longer as a repeat offender.

 
As far as my reputation goes, I’m not too concerned about that. What we want to do is go out there and do the best thing we can for Hendrick Motorsports, the best thing for Lowe’s and try to win races and championships
I am thinking, Hendrick Motorsports, and Lowe's ARE concerned about their reputations and ho they are tied to cheating and what people say when Johnson does win because of it.



Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:55 pm
 

Chad Knaus surprised by penalties

If a simple visual inspection is all that was needed to deem the C-post illegal, then why didn't Knaus have a NASCAR official look at it long before hand. The answer is BECAUSE HE WAS TRYING TO CHEAT. How else did they win all those championships. "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'


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