March 09, 2012 | By Mike Hembree - SPEED.com
Knaus Appeal Hearing Tuesday
The Hendrick Motorsports team’s appeal of penalties levied against team members for Daytona 500 car infractions is scheduled to be heard at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.
Team crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec were suspended for six weeks after NASCAR officials said the No. 48 car’s C posts did not conform to specifications after pre-qualifying inspection in Daytona Beach last month.
Additionally, Knaus was fined $100,000, and driver Jimmie Johnson and team owners Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon were docked 25 points. As a result, Johnson is mired in 38th place in the Sprint Cup driver standings after two races.
After the penalties, Hendrick quickly announced that the team would appeal.
“Our organization respects NASCAR and the way the sanctioning body governs our sport,” he said. “In this case, though, the system broke down, and we will voice our concerns through the appeal process.”
Hendrick and Knaus later said the car configuration that was rejected at Daytona was approved and was raced four times last season. That apparently is the team’s major thrust in pursuing the appeal.
In most cases, the NASCAR appeals panel supports the sanctioning body’s penalties. In rare situations, however, appeals have resulted in less significant penalties or additional penalties.
Knaus and Malec have continued to work with the 48 team at track locations pending the appeals hearing. They are scheduled to be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.
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