If you want a sign that the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is underway, look no further than to Daytona Friday afternoon.
NASCAR has made the announcement of a confiscated ‘C-post’ off of Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet during pre-Daytona 500 inspection. According to the NASCAR rule book, this part can NOT be modified, thus resulting in an infraction.
“We noticed they had modifications to that area that is not permitted,” NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said.
“We cut off the C-post and we confiscated the C-post. We’re allowing them to fix it. And when we get back home (to NASCAR’s R&D Center in North Carolina), we’ll look at it again and see if there needs to be anything further.”
Basically, a C-post is a panel of sheet metal that connects the roof of the car and the rear quarterpanel.
All other Hendrick Motorsports cars passed inspection without any problems.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time Knaus has been caught with an unapproved part at Daytona.
In 2006, Knaus was ejected from Daytona Speedweeks and was suspended for the Daytona 500 after Johnson’s car failed inspection in the rear window area.
However, Friday’s incident may be similar to one that occurred at Sonoma in 2007. During that incident, Hendrick crew chiefs Knaus and Steve Letarte were suspended for six weeks and fined $100,000 apiece after trying to gain an advantage in an area not directly covered by NASCAR’s templates.
Just a reminder, penalties will not be announced until AFTER the Daytona 500.