NASCAR Sprint Cup: Is Chad Knaus Really a Dirty Crew Chief?

Hugo OlguinContributor IIIMarch 21, 2012

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 04:  Crew chief Chad Knaus of the #48 Lowe's/ Kobalt Tools Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, watches the race from his pit area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 4, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. Knaus was suspended for not passing an inspection last week at Daytona. Kanus is appealing the suspension and fine.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It was announced that the penalties against Chad Knaus and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team would be greatly reduced.

Jimmie Johnson and his team were facing penalties after failing inspection in the beginning of Speedweek in Daytona.  

NASCAR punished the No. 48 team by docking 25 driver and owner points, suspending crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six races and fining Knaus $100,000.

With car owner Rick Hendrick succeeding in the appeal process, all the penalties, with the exception of the fine were rescinded.  

This result raised a lot of questions about why the fine still stood and the fact that the rest of the penalties were taken away.

Chad Knaus was very fortunate to have his suspension rescinded.  But is his reputation ruined?  

Is Chad Knaus a dirty crew chief?

Chad Knaus could get suspended 100 times and I would not think he was a dirty crew chief.

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 17:  Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee.
John Harrelson/Getty Images

Throughout the history of NASCAR, crew chiefs have always looked to "bend the rules" and find that competitive advantage for their driver.

That happens in all levels of racing, all over the world.  It is a part of the racing culture.

It happens in the Sprint Cup Series, all the way down the racing ranks to the local short track teams.  

Remember in 1997 when Jeff Gordon's team showed up with the "T-Rex" car to the All-Star race and dominated it.  The car did not technically break a rule, but it was not like any other car.  NASCAR rewrote the rules book in a matter of a week to prevent that car from ever getting on the track again.

That is what these teams are always trying to do.  Find a way around the rules.  

I will admit that Chad Knaus either needs to get better at it, or take a step back so he doesn't get caught so much.

Knaus will now be constantly watched.  Ever since the comments he made to Johnson last year at Talladega to "break the rear end" if he won, and did, during his celebration, No. 48 has been closely inspected.

As it should be. 

The fans needs to remember NASCAR's history and that finding ways around the rules is part of racing.  You'll see it NASCAR, NHRA, and Forumla 1.

Chad Knaus is not a dirty crew chief, maybe just a little too aggressive.