Hendrick Motorsports senior executive, Chad Knaus, broke the media cycle on Friday night with his comments regarding the heavy penalties received by HMS on Wednesday.
In his various interviews, he denies any wrongdoing and states that he is “disappointed” over the situation from an industry perspective. He also points a finger at the single-source providers as well as NASCAR, stating that they went through a voluntary inspection when they first arrived at the track.
Knaus stated that he could tell there was a lot of attention around the hood louvers but nothing was said during that single inspection. Clearly feeling cheated by the NASCAR officials and their inspection processes, the HMS crew from top executives to drivers such as William Byron are excited for the appeals process, believing that they have a strong case.
You Should Know:
- On Wednesday, March 15, NASCAR announced a slew of penalties, the biggest of them being the ones slapped down on NASCAR powerhouse, Hendrick Motorsports. NASCAR officials cited the hood louvers, which are the vents that assist in cooling down the engine of the NextGen car, as the problem area. The louvers were confiscated and the Hendrick teams were allowed to participate in the race where they dominated with drivers of the No. 24 Chevy, William Byron, and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com car, Kyle Larson.
- While the Hendrick Motorsports crew might have just gotten the steepest penalty in the history of the motorsport, they weren’t the only team with questionable hood louvers. The No. 31 car for Kaulig Racing also had one of their hood louvers confiscated due to “modifications” and were subsequently hit with a similar penalty. It is worth noting that Kaulig Racing and HMS have no technical alliance, which may aid HMS in their case.
- Fans are split over this issue. While Hendrick Motorsports is one of the more popular teams in NASCAR (with Chase Elliott being NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver) but, for those who can remember, Chad Knaus and the entire No. 48 team were loathed for a long time amid their dominance in the mid-to-late 2000s. Chad Knaus is no stranger to controversy, having being suspended himself several times throughout his career and NASCAR fans are not shy about pointing that fact out.
Ever since it was announced that Hendrick Motorsports would be a key part of NASCAR’s Garage 56 entry at Le Mans, many NASCAR teams and fans alike were concerned their involvement would give the juggernaut an unfair advantage when it comes to the NextGen car.
When asked about this, Knaus laughed it off, stating that the setups were far too different as he dismissed the concern.
The Main Character
Bob Pockrass caught up with Knaus during Friday’s rain delay where he answered some questions about the penalties.
When asked about the supposed Garage 56 advantage, Knaus had this to say.
In The Stands
John Verbeck applauds Knaus for being transparent and willing to answer questions for the media.
Shartin Truex Junior, PhD implies that Knaus is a liar, possibly citing all the times he was suspended throughout his career for “cheating”.
Mamba101 doesn’t hold back as they accuse HMS of “cheating like they’ve done for years”. They also call HMS smiling liars.
Scott also points out Knaus’s questionable history with the NASCAR rule book.
Matt was hoping Knaus would return atop the pit box for one final stint.
JBonneville makes the point that everyone “cheats”, or, as Dale Jr. puts it, “innovates”.
From The Pressbox
Nick Degroot was just one of the NASCAR journalists to report on Chad Knaus’s comments.
Austin Konenski states that Knaus fully admitted to modifying the parts without, in fact, fully admitting it.
Racer reports that Knaus stated the teams were given faulty parts.
Toby Christie reports that William Byron is excited for the appeal process following Chad’s comments.
Knaus pointed a finger at the single-source supplier, fearing that many teams are getting “non-conforming parts”, as reported by Joseph Srigley.
The Daily Downforce will continue to update this story as more breaking news becomes available.