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It was quite apparent how eager Chad Knaus and Steve Letarte were to get to Michigan International Speedway on Friday morning.

And with good reason: NASCAR had finally paroled them from their six-race suspensions for rules violations committed nearly two months ago at Sonoma, Calif.

Bright and early at 9 a.m. ET, the two previously banished crew chiefs talked about all the time they missed, the weird feeling of not being at the track and how glad they were to be back and ready to take the cars of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson into the Chase and all the way to the Nextel Cup championship.

They even made half-hearted apologies, albeit heavy on the half-heartedness but rather light on the apology itself.

"I'm sorry for what happened but for the reason that it happened," Knaus said of his third career Cup suspension. "I'm not sorry because what we did was not something that we thought was bad. We didn't feel like we were breaking the rules."

Obviously, NASCAR disagreed.

Letarte was equally adamant about the first suspension of his Cup career.

"If you're asking me if I laid awake thinking about it, no," he firmly said.

So much for apologies or expressions of remorse.

About the only impact NASCAR's sanctions had on this duo was they didn't have to worry about rushing to the airport to make a flight for six weeks. For all intents and purposes, their respective suspensions were nothing more than glorified days off – with pay, no less (which obviously helped pay their $100,000 fines).

But if you think their banishment will stop Knaus and understudy Letarte from continuing to push the envelope, think again.

"I don't feel any regret, remorse or anything like that," Knaus said. "Am I sorry I missed the races? Am I sorry that I wasn't there? Absolutely. But regret or remorse, no, that's not even an option."

Ditto for Letarte, who obviously has learned well from Knaus.

"It really doesn't matter what's happened the last six weeks; that's kind of how I look at it," said Letarte, who won the pole with Gordon here on Friday. "To put any more emotion or effort or brainpower into it is just wasting my time and my energy on something that doesn't make us go faster on Sunday."

Maybe I'm missing something here. Why is it so difficult when someone from Hendrick Motorsports is caught doing something wrong to admit they screwed up?

Instead, it seems the corporate philosophy from team owner Rick Hendrick on down is to never accept responsibility – even when caught red-handed.

Would expressing remorse be a sign of weakness? Is it so tough to acknowledge you did something wrong, be it intentional or not? Would it have been too emasculating to their egos to publicly apologize to the sport as a whole, even if they truly believed their actions were above-board when they did them?

I can accept that Knaus and Letarte have done the time after committing the crime and are entitled to return to the race track. But what I can't accept is their blatant, defiant attitude even after they were caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

Even if they could go back in time to correct the error of their ways, it's amazing to hear them say they'd do absolutely nothing different.

"We don't feel like that what we did was anything wrong," Knaus said. "In NASCAR's eyes, they feel that we did do something wrong so I don't feel any regret, remorse or anything like that."

Added Letarte, "I don't think our infractions are going to change the mindset. As long as our owners, sponsors, drivers (and) fans all support us in whatever we're doing then I'm fine with that."

Classy, guys. Real classy.

I guess being successful in NASCAR means never having to admit you're wrong – or that you won't do it again.
 

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It's the crew chief's job to push those limits and try to gain any kind of advantage they can. Any crew chief who disagrees with that should be fired.

Though, Knaus seems to push that line more than most. He has probably one of the worst records in recent history.
 

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I agree tater. All crew chiefs are pushing the envelopes. They may not see it as cheating but NASCAR does. It's all a matter of opinion. NASCAR thought the fenders were out of line so they penalized the crew chiefs for it. The crew chiefs thought differentley which they are entiled to do. Had this have been a Waltrip type scenario where they were 100% cheating and knew it and showed no remorse then yeah then they deserve to be kicked out for saying they would do it again but something so minute as a fender slightly off the template isn't a big enough difference to say you're going to stop pushing the limits. I'm sure they won't try the fenders again though.
 

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Blast from the past
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Keep in mind Hendrick is a cheater himself. He is the same bastard who spent years in prision for tax fraud or something like that. He's as damn good cheater and liar himself. You would have thought that losing his son would have changed the man, but it hasn't all he cares about is his money. (Only reason I knew he was in prision was because he owns Superior Auto Groups mainly Superior Chevrolet in Kansas City and it was all over the knews way back when.)
 

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Don't thank me, thank Justice Fruit Pies!
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Hendrick is a liar. TA I thought Hendrick couldn't go to prison cause when he was suppose to he suddenly had a very rare form of leukemia when he was found guilty. He got in trouble for laundering some kind of money and he got suspended from the track for a year or something, but of course when his suspension was up the leukemia was gone.
 
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