KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Jimmie Johnson said that the Penske Racing penalties for rear end housing violations did not stem from Hendrick Motorsports telling NASCAR that Penske was doing something wrong.
"No, the Hendrick group and the 48 team did not rat out the Penske cars," Johnson said. "There are two decisions teams are faced with in the garage area. Everybody has teams they're watching and we've been very impressed with the 2 car's staff and their ability to have someone just standing and watch other teams. So this environment does take place in the garage area."
"So yeah, there are blinds open. But when a team sees them they have two options. One, they go home and try to adapt to their car and understand it and see if they can learn from it when they go on the track and say something. We don't say something. We're a company well-honed on performance. We're a company that tries to understand the rulebook as close as we can to the law, and truly, we've had our issues with it, but that's racing. It's been that way since the beginning of racing."
The Penske cars of Brad Keselowski were penalized 25 points and crew chiefs Todd Gordon and Paul Wolfe, along with team engineers and competition director Travis Geisler were suspended for six races after NASCAR confiscated parts from the cars and made the teams change the configurations before Saturday's race.
Both Penske cars were parked next to Hendrick cars. Johnson's car was next to Keselowski's and Jeff Gordon's garage stall was next to Logano's.
Earlier Friday, Richard Petty said he was certain that someone told NASCAR on the Penske cars.
From the AP:
''Undoubtedly, someone told them what the Penske crew was doing," Petty said.
The penalty given to each Penske car was essentially the same penalty that Johnson and his team received for failing pre-qualifying inspection for a C post issue before last year's Daytona 500. After two rounds of appeals, the 25 point penalty that Johnson received and the six race suspension that Knaus received were overturned, though the $100,000 fine against Knaus was upheld. Penske is appealing NASCAR's penalties.