For the moment, Chad Knaus is still permitted at NASCAR tracks pending the appeal of his six-race suspension for illegal modifications to the 48 car. And on Friday, he took the opportunity to address the media about the suspension and the way it took him by surprise.
"I'm deeply saddened, of course," Knaus said. "We didn't expect this. Definitely not the way we wanted to start the season ... I really didn't expect any of it. We do everything we can to build the best race cars we possibly can to bring to the race track. And that's what we do. Unfortunately, they didn't like something."
He noted that the template to measure the cars was never even placed on the 48 car found to be in violation, and that lack of hard data concerns him and warrants the appeal: "It was just a visual inspection," he said. "We never even got the opportunity to present that under templates. It's unfortunate. There's a bit of subjectiveness to it, and that's why we're going through an appeal."
Knaus has been penalized nine times in his career and served three suspensions. That, in itself, could warrant the closer scrutiny of the 48 team ... as well as some previous events where the team may or may not have skated.
"NASCAR does not like the wool to be pulled over its eyes," Denny Hamlin said. "That possibly could have happened at Talladega last year" with the infamous "crack the back" comment. "So NASCAR may have heavy eyes for those guys now."
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- Chad Knaus