Jeff Gordon and
Jimmie Johnson penalized by NASCAR
No. 24 (Jeff-Gordon) and No.
48 (Jimmie-Johnson) were both penalized by NASCAR for the
violations at Infineon Raceway.
Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were docked 100 points each Tuesday,
and their crew chiefs were both fined $100,000 and suspended for
six races after the two Hendrick Motorsports cars failed an
initial inspection Friday in Sonoma, Calif., when NASCAR
officials found unapproved modifications to the fenders on their
Hendrick fixed the fenders then, and
Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were allowed to race, but both
had to start at the end of the line. Johnson finished 17th and
Gordon 7th at the Sonoma race. Gordon remains the Nextel Cup
points leader after the deduction, but his margin was cut to 171
points over Denny Hamlin. Johnson dropped from third to fifth.
The crew chiefs Chad Knaus (Johnson) and
Steve Letarte (Gordon) are not eligible to return to the track
until August 15th and, were also placed on probation through the
end of the year. This is at least the 15th time Knaus has been
penalized for something during his crew chief career, and this
was his fourth suspension since 2001, according to Fox Sports.
He sat out four races last season when NASCAR found illegal
modifications following Johnson's qualifying run for the Daytona
500. In the light of his past actions, some called the
punishment a slap on the wrist for Knaus.
The owner Rick Hendrick said he the
penalties were excessive and was disappointed by the NASCAR
decision. Rick Hendrick also has been penalized 100 owner points
for the Gordon penalty, and Jeff Gordon, who is the listed owner
for Jimmie Johnson's entry, has been penalized 100 for the
Jeff Gordon remains the favorite to win
the upcoming Nextel Cup race, Lenox Industrial Tools 300, with
betting odds of 5/1, according to the online bookmaker
Bodog Sports (new window).
Jimmie Johnson also improved his odds, now 9/2 on the Lenox
race, compared to last week 16/1 on Infineon (before the
Published on 06/26/2007