Hampton, Ga. – Chad Knaus of Hendrick Motorsports reacts strongly on Friday NASCAR levied fines against the organization For its hood louver issues. He blamed NASCAR and single-source suppliers.
NASCAR stated that the hood louvers on all four Hendrick cars were found to be modified on March 10 at Phoenix Raceway. Series officials participated in post-cup practice that day.
NASCAR fined and fined all four crew chiefs of Hendrick Motorsports $100,000 Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson And William Byron 100 points and 10 playoff points each, with their teams and the No. 9 team.
Hendrick Motorsports released a statement on Wednesday and said it was cute, Knaus, vice president of competition, used strong language during a media briefing on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“I think it’s a terrible situation, not only for us, but the industry to be quite honest with you,” Knaus said. “I think that’s what I dislike the most. It’s unsightly. We shouldn’t be in this position and it’s really unfortunate that we are because it doesn’t help anybody.”
Asked to explain, Knaus said: “We, as a company, are accountable to each of these teams, in the garage, for putting their cars out there performing at the level they require. Teams are being held accountable for doing this.
“No one is holding the single-source providers accountable to the level that they need to give us the parts that we need. is taken, and we are not getting the right parts.
“There are many areas in which we have to continue to improve,” Knaus said referring to the game. “Again, that’s where I’m probably most disappointed that we’re going down this path, having been working collectively as a group for a while and for it to pop up like this really Disappointing.”
NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer said earlier this week that the hood louvers had been modified.
“It was clear to us that these parts were modified in an area that was not approved,” Sawyer said. “It’s a consistent penalty that we went through last year. … We felt it was important to put the garage on a level playing field and level the competition where it needed to be, given all the conversations that happened last year around this car, the owners Working with what should be a deterrent model, we were put in a position where we felt there was no other way but to write a penalty.
Asked whether the modifications could affect downforce, Sawyer said: “We don’t usually get into intent, but I think it’s fair to say … performance may be around these modifications. “
In its statement earlier this week, Hendrick Motorsports documented “inconsistent and unclear communication by the sanctioning body, particularly concerning the louvers.”
Asked to clarify those communications, Knaus said: “We submitted a part to NASCAR through (Chevrolet) and then NASCAR chose a single source provider for those components.
“As far as I know in the garage and certainly at all the Chevrolet teams, the components are not coming in the way we expect they will for some (manufacturers), so We started talking with them (NASCAR) about those problems in early February.
“It was through our aerodynamics department, through (Chevrolet), through NASCAR, back to us and back through (Chevrolet). There’s been a fair amount of communication. It’s definitely confusing. The timelines are curious but they are there.
Knaus said that Hendrick Motorsports usually goes through a mandatory engine inspection and a voluntary inspection at the track followed by a mandatory safety inspection immediately after the garages open for the race weekend. That’s what the Hendrick cars did on March 10th in Phoenix.
Knaus said that Hendrick cars often undergo voluntary inspection “so NASCAR has the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, we don’t like this’ or ‘Maybe you need to tweak it’ or whatever. It’s quite Fairly standard rhythm.
Hendrick Motorsports said this week that the louvers were not taken down until four hours after the voluntary inspection. Knaus said he didn’t know why NASCAR didn’t do something right away.
“It’s really confusing,” Knaus said. “We knew there was some attention paid to that area when we first went through technical inspection. What’s really frustrating to me, quite honestly, is that if we find something wrong, we have to remove parts of the car. We had plenty of time.
“I can assure you that if we knew there was going to be a four-hour gap and thought something was wrong, they would be in a garbage can burning fuel somewhere, so no one would ever see them.” . We had no idea we were going to be in this position. Really disappointed that we are in the position that we are in now.”
When asked whether he thought the parts were defective or that Hendricks modified parts that he felt were acceptable to NASCAR, Knaus said: “We got a new set of these parts that we can’t get off the shelf right now from NASCAR.” Can pull from considered illegal and unsuitable for us to race.
Knaus said the team was not aware of the date of its appeal.
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Chad Knaus raises questions about NASCAR penalty to Hendrick Motorsports originally appeared NBCSports.com