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NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the No. 24 and No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports teams that compete in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions found this past weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Both cars — the No. 24 driven by Jeff Gordon and the No. 48 driven by Jimmie Johnson — were found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); 20-2.1E (parts or components of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that have been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted); and 20-2H (fenders may not be cut or altered except for wheel or tire clearance which must be approved by the Series Director) of the 2007 NASCAR rule book. The violations were found during the initial inspection process last Friday.
As a result, Gordon and Johnson have each been penalized 100 driver championship points. Their respective crew chiefs — Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus — have each been fined $100,000, suspended for the next six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events until Aug. 15, 2007 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2007.

In addition, Rick Hendrick, owner of the No. 24, has been penalized 100 car owner championship points as has Gordon, who is the owner of the No. 48.
 

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Exactly what everyone expected would happen. Maybe this will put an end to the "favoritism" shit. Gordon and Jr both got caught cheating and both faced the exact same penalties. If one got special treament the other did.
 

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I don't think Gordon, Johnson, or Jr. were cheating! It has been explained and I really feel like all three cases are simply working on cars to try to get the most you can with what you have to work with. When Harvick and Berrier used a blocked full tank for qualifying that was cheating. When Johnson and Knaus raised the back window to get less down force on the spoiler that cheating. To work on a car and be within the templates but using a modified fender caught NASCARS eyes during pre-inspection that was pushing the limits to see what could be used and what couldn't. As for Jr. He was using a mount that had been approved for testing but not for the race. I feel like a lot of people are using the word cheating to freely. However I'm glad to see if Nascar is going to pentalize the teams at least this time they are consistant!! I hope this send the messages that 1- NASCAR isn't playing around about all the cars being in compliance with the designs of their COT cars. 2nd- That all teams will be treated egually!
I wish Nascar would though start looking at the cars before they go onto the track. If they are found not to pass treat them like they did Johnson and Gordon and park them until they pass. If they pass then the car should be allowed and Nascar accepts that the car is ready and can't penalize unless a modification has been made after it clears inspection!
 

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I can't believe Hendrick has the balls to say the fines were to excessive. Is his team better then DEI who had an infraction too and faced the same fines? I don't think so. I still think Knaus' should be banned the rest of the season he's a REPEAT offender but oh well money talks as usual and good ole Hendrick has it.
 

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Larkin I agree completely with you. The key here is the cars in question FIT THE "CLAW" (template) for the COT. The infraction in question is an area in between points on the "claw" that God/NASCAR did not like. I have felt all along that these infractions are bullsh*t but I did not voice that opinion because well I am a Johnson fan and Knaus has been caught too many times so I figure if I voice my opinion I am going to get bashed up the ass for it! I feel the same way on Jr's infraction. Let's be reasonable here, How much "performance advantage" is the wing bracket that Jr's car had, going to give him? I think Hendrick said it best when he said that the fenders are created by hand and each individual is different and thus you are bound to see a slight variance in design.

"We'll have to see what the penalty is, but I don't think the penalty fits the crime in this case when you're talking about the top of a fender or the side of a fender," he said.

"I don't see it as a situation where you had a certified part and it's been altered or anything like that."

Hendrick said there's no way to make sure all the bodies are the same short of using lasers to measure them.

"I walked through the garage and looked at other cars," he said. "I looked at fenders where they're pushed down and pulled out. It's just going to be tough to do.

"I wish we could stamp the bodies and give us a body that has been stamped and put it on the car and that's it."


If this is the case then maybe NASCAR needs to issue a standard type of laser system to each team shop in order to have everything be equal. As long as the human element remains in the building of the cars and more specifically the fenders, you are going to have slight variances.

Like you said Larkin, the only positive in this is that NASCAR is proving that they can be consistent with the fines/penalties and there is no more "special treatment", with that said, I think all 3 COT penalties handed down so far (Gordon, Johnson and Jr) have been for pretty lame things if you ask me. Hell Waltrip got docked 100pts for using an illegal substance in his carb at Daytona which was clearly a blatant attempt at cheating to gain a performance advantage where Jr's wing bracket was an accident and I'm 99.5% confident the brackets in question did not give Jr a performance advatange. And now you have the 24/48 car who FIT THE TEMPLATE and stepped over a gray area, yeah yeah I've said "gray area" a lot but from the sounds of it the 10in piece of fender in question was truly in the gray area.
 

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I must echo Fishin's comments, I think the fines and all are pretty much what everone expected. Some wanted more and wont be happy until these drivers are run out of NASCAR! :rofl:

As far as Hendrick doing and saying his part, its pretty standard procedure for an owner.

The only thing I would mention is the term "cheater" being tacked to JR, Jimmy or any of them. The drivers are not the ones out there fabricating these fenders or any of that. It is a crew chief's job to push the envelope, it is how progress is made, it is what separates the leaders from the followers, so I have no problem with any of it. A "cheater" to me would be someone out there cutting break lines on his competitors cars, or a teammate wrecking somebody for his owners benefit or something like that ... but that is just me.

Even if this is considered cheating to someone, it is kind of silly to label Dale Jr a cheater because his team tried some modifications they hoped would give the team an edge. It would be like labeling Peyton Manning a cheater because the coach gave the offensive linemen extra long cleats or something. JMO
 

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i think it was a fair deal they got. it was the same penalty as jrs. finally no favoritism. i think Nascar didnt want an uprising if the fines would have been any different.

and go ahead and mark this day..........i agree with Blacker, i dont think it is fair to label the driver a cheater when they arent the ones putting the car together or rolling the sheet metal, all they do is drive the car. as much as everyone knows i dont like Gordon, but i dont blame this on him, i blame it on Letarte. just like if the same thing happened to Stewart it would be Zippys fault not Tonys.
 

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Results Of Issues

The only problem I have is why should anyone be penalized for modification made to the car prior to the car being qualified or raced. Isn’t that what a per-inspection is for? In the past the teams were given an opportunity to correct and the car re-inspected and a gray area was eliminated.

It like getting a ticket because you are driving a vehicle that you might speed in.

Now if it is found modifications were made after the pre-qualifying/race inspection then nail the offender/s to the wall. And of course well all know NASCAR is incapable of making mistakes.

It is time for NASCAR to come out and state the facts the COT IS A GENERIC Car and there are no gray areas PERIOD. Now that it is apparent the Body/Chassis issue of gray areas has been resolved the engines will be next.

And in the end NASCAR will be just like the other so called elite racing series.

Not enough cars to fill the field or fans to pay the expenses.
 
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