Jimmie Johnson Gets Points Back
Chad Knaus will not have to serve the 6 race suspension imposed by NASCAR after the No. 48 Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson failed pre-race inspection for the Daytona 500.
Jimmie Johnson will also get 25 points back that he was docked by NASCAR following the violation.
Knaus had been suspended and fined $100,000 for the incident, while Johnson was penalized with a loss of 25 Championship points.
NASCAR Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook heard an appeal by the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team and reversed the penalties imposed by NASCAR.
The penalties were previously unanimously upheld by a NASCAR appeals board, and this was the team’s last chance at overturning the penalty.
Middlebrook is a retired General Motors executive who serves as NASCAR’s version of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. One person with little if any experience officiating races has overturned the findings of NASCAR’s officials and their appeals board.
This decision only serves to make NASCAR look bad, and their rules to look meaningless.
It will only encourage more cheating going forward.
What do you think of the decision?
McMurray’s Indy Win Shows NASCAR’s Shift of Power.
Jamie McMurrayâ€™s win Sunday at the Brickyard was a popular one among NASCAR fans and drivers.
Many of McMurrayâ€™s on track competitors stopped by at the end of the race to congratulate him. And race fans that would normally be pulling for Dale Earnhardt Jr, or Kyle Busch, or Jeff Gordon were happy to see McMurray win if their driver could not.
That was McMurrayâ€™s 2nd big win this year. The first being the Daytona 500.
But beyond that, McMurrayâ€™s win signals a fundamental shift in power among NASCAR teams. Hendrick Motorsports is not what it used to be. And neither is Roush Racing.
McMurray gave Roush their last victory, and that was at Talladega last year.
Even the Joe Gibbs Racing hot streak seems to have cooled off.
But McMurrayâ€™s team has rallied. Not long ago both Chip Ganassi and Teresa Earnhardt were almost out of business. Instead they merged their two teams to form Earnhardt Ganassi racing. Now they are poised to be the next big thing.
Richard Childress Racing has also seen a resurgence this year. And it doesnâ€™t hurt that Childress has partnered with Ganassi and Earnhardt to form ECR Engines which produces engines for both teams. Judging by the performance of the Earnhardt Ganassi teams and the RCR teams the ECR engine shop produced the most reliable and most powerful engines for Indy.
McMurray wasnâ€™t the only fast car powered by ECR engines. His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya led the most laps. Kevin Harvick finished 2nd with an engine from the same shop. 4 of the top 6 finishers were powered by ECR engines.
And donâ€™t forget that David Reutimann scored a win for Michael Waltrip Racing not long ago at Chicago.
The competition level has evened out lately. The powerhouse teams have fell off â€“ and the guys who used to be underdogs are now contenders. And I am not sure exactly what to attribute it to. What about you?
McMurray Wins in First Try for New Boss
Jack Roush must be feeling a little embarrassed today after letting Jamie McMurray go at the end of last season.
McMurray went on to win the Daytona 500 driving Teresa Earnhardtâ€™s No. 1 Chevrolet allied with his old boss Chip Ganassi.
Roushâ€™s best car finished 3rd.
Martin Truex Jr has to be saying â€œwhat if?â€ as well. Truex left the No. 1 car to go to Michael Waltrip racing this year, where he finished 6th in the Daytona 500.
At the Daytona 500 Championâ€™s Breakfast this morning McMurray had the best line: “I woke up and 1st thing I was hoping was that Danica wasn’t going to be on the cover of the paper.”
McMurray was being chased down on the last lap by Dale Earnhardt Jr who finished 2nd. Earnhardt is living up to his promise to be ruthless this year.
Earnhardt moved up 17 positions in the closing laps â€“ going from 19th to 2nd.
The win meant a lot for the entire race team. â€I’m just happy for the whole team.Â I’m happy for all the partners.Â I’m happy for Felix and Teresa, happy for every single person that’s ever been a part of this team.Â It’s really important,â€ said Chip Ganassi.
McMurray thought his chance to win was slipping away when he saw Dale Earnhardt Jr in his rear view mirror. â€œI looked in my mirror and saw the 88.Â This guy has won a lot of races here.â€Â But McMurray was fast enough to hold off Earnhardt at the checkered flag.
McMurray tried to describe what it meant to win the Daytona 500.â€ It’s unbelievable.Â I can’t really put it into words the way it feels,â€ said McMurray.
â€œAs a kid growing up, this is what you dream of, of being able to win the Daytona 500.â€
Photo Courtesy NASCAR Media