Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus talk in the Daytona Garage
More proof that you only win in NASCAR if they want you to, and that NASCAR has it in for Chad Knaus, read these expanded Q&A responses from Friday:
"We didn’t expect this," he says. "It's not the way we wanted to start the season." The body part in question, Knaus said, was judged illegal on a visual inspection rather than a template inspection. "It was all visual," he says. "The templates were never actually put on the car. "It was a visual inspection; we never even got the opportunity to actually present that under templates. "It is unfortunate there is a bit of subjectiveness to it, and that is why we are going through the appeal." Without Knaus at the track, Johnson's team probably shouldn't suffer much, if any, because team owner Rick Hendrick has the largest operation in the sport. "We are very fortunate we have a lot of depth," Knaus says. "We have a lot of very intelligent people...some people who probably do this job a hell of a lot better than me there. "I'm not really too concerned right now." The penalties include a points deduction that leave Johnson in the negative going into Sunday's Phoenix race. "I think it is going to make it exciting," Knaus says. "We seem to get through adversity pretty well. "I'm not saying we like a challenge like this, but I'm pretty sure we will rise to the occasion." Knaus says Hendrick himself is involved in the appeal. "Mr. Hendrick has taken a special interest in this," Knaus says. " "We do a really good job of documenting what it is that we do to these race cars..how they have been changed, what's been done. "We document everything, just so we don't get ourselves in this position." Knaus says he's become almost numb to the extra attention his team gets from NASCAR inspectors. And he says having to be the one to take the penalty "is an unfortunate part of the job. "As a leader of a team like this you have to be ready for it."
03/02/12 WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THE PENALTY? "Obviously, I'm deeply saddened of course. 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 (HMS). 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." WHEN YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T EXPECT IT, DID YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T EXPECT THE SUSPENSION OR YOU JUST DIDN'T EXPECT TO BE IN THIS POSITION A FEW WEEKS AGO? "Really didn't expect any of it, to be quite honest with you. We do everything we can to build the best race cars we possibly can to bring to the race track. That is what we do. Unfortunately, they didn't like something and we have to address that. It definitely was not foreseen." [Meaning they were out to get Knaus] HOW DID NASCAR DETERMINE IT WAS ILLEGAL? "It was all visual. The templates were never actually put on the car. It was a visual inspection at that point. We never even got the opportunity to actually present that under templates. It is unfortunate, there is a bit of subjectiveness to it and that is why we are going through the appeal." [Meaning they were out to get Knaus] WITH A PENALTY THIS HEFTY, DON'T YOU THINK A TEAM AND OR AN INDIVIDUAL SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT FOR THE THING TO BE MEASURED? "That will definitely come up during the appeal. We will just have to talk about it at that point. NASCAR does a good job; they have a good set-up structure and a good set of standards that are in black and white, some areas that are not." THIS CAR HAD BEEN THROUGH INSPECTION BEFORE WITH THE SAME PIECE: "Multiple times." [Meaning they were out to get Knaus] Chevy PR
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