Knaus likely faces fine, suspension for rules violations

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118289566316673.jpg’, ”, ‘Chad Knaus‘);

Chad Knaus, the former Rockfordian turned Nextel Cup champion crew chief, may be up to his old tricks again. He was cited for rules violations entering last Sunday’s (June 24) race in California. It was just a little more than 18 months ago when Knaus was suspended for three races following rules violations discovered during the post-race inspection at the 2006 Daytona 500.

Both Knaus’ driver, Jimmie Johnson, and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon were removed from practice and qualifying leading into the Toyota/SaveMart 350 last weekend. The two drivers had to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field, Gordon in 41st and Johnson in 42nd.

That immediate penalty came when the dimensions of their front fenders were ruled to be outside of NASCAR’s tolerances. NASCAR has indicated Knaus may face additional consequences, including possibly large fines, loss of points and another suspension.

Speculation has it Knaus may be looking at a penalty similar to, or even longer than, what Tony Eury, crew chief to Dale Earnhardt Jr., received earlier this month at Darlington. Eury got a six-race suspension and was fined $100,000, and driver Earnhardt was docked 100 points.

The competition committee will meet this week to decide Knaus’ fate. Based on his previous indiscretions, I bet Chad will get something more than a slap on the wrist this time. I’m guessing the penalty will be significantly more severe as NASCAR attempts to make an example out of him.

Stay tuned…

from the June 27-July 4, issue

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