NASCAR Confiscates Illegal Parts from Jimmie Johnson’s Ride: A Fan’s Reaction

Before the season even starts, one of the more prominent drivers and his team may be in trouble with NASCAR Sprint Cup officials. On Friday, February 17, 2012, illegally modified parts from Jimmie Johnson's Daytona 500 car were confiscated. The alleged violation was found in the C-posts, the posts that divide the rear windshield from the windows on the driver and passenger sides. The C-posts were removed from the car for further examination. Jimmie Johnson himself will likely not be subject to fines or individual penalties, but there is a good chance that his crew chief, Chad Knaus, and potentially team, Hendrick Motorsports, will both face penalties or suspensions.

This is not the first time that the two are in the middle of a controversy. During the Chase for the Cup in 2011, Knaus was caught telling Johnson to bump the rear of his car if he were to win. The reason was that if the rear end was bumped, slight race damages would likely be over looked at the post race inspection. This happened to be a restrictor plate race that featured tandem drafting.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season begins on February 26, 2012, with the legendary Daytona 500. It is only after this race that the team will discover what the punishment may be, if there is one, for the allegedly illegally modified C-posts. It is unlikely that the team will completely escape all penalties. The fact that the parts in question never made it to the track has little bearing on the penalties for having an illegal part.

If there is already a controversy to kickoff the new season, given how many problems there were at the end of the 2011 season, fans may be in for a wild ride. The race has already seen at least one big controversy, which involved points and Danica Patrick. However, the 2011 season saw a number of controversies and though controversial moments can be good for the series, it got a little old by the time all was said and done. If the allegedly illegal part is any indication of how things will go this season, it will be a crazy season indeed.

Kristin Watt has been a NASCAR Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, fan for as long as she can remember starting way back when she was a little girl and her mother would sit on the couch with her every Sunday during the season to watch the races. Back then, they were fans of Bill Elliott and newcomer Davey Allison.

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Updated Saturday, Feb 18, 2012