NASCAR Says ‘No Big Deal’ About Jimmie Johnson’s Illegal Part

NASCAR turned it’s back on an illegal action by Jimmie Johnson’s #48 team Sunday at Martinsville.

Before the race(evidently during pre-race inspection), NASCAR confiscated the drive-shaft cover on the #48 car and asked the team politely to replace it. The team replaced the illegal part, and the day went on as usual.

This was the statement given on NASCAR This Week:

“NASCAR officials confiscated a drive-shaft cover from Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Lowe’s Chevy before the race. According to a NASCAR source, officials just asked the team to replace a part and it wasn’t a serious matter.”

The part in question had no bearing on Sunday’s race, nor on the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But without any question, Johnson and his team should be penalized. At least, if NASCAR wants to maintain any sort of consistency.

Here’s a look at penalties handed out to teams for pre-race part violations in the Sprint Cup Series in 2010:

~At Texas, Max Papis and Marcos Ambrose were each penalized 50 points for illegal lower radiator pans discovered in post-qualifying inspection. The parts in question never saw the track during the race.

~ At Darlington, Michael McDowell was penalized 25 points for an illegal rear gear discovered in post-qualifying inspection. The part in question never saw the track during the race.

~ At Pocono, Travis Kvapil was penalized 150 points for illegal bleeder valves on the tires discovered before Kvapil rolled onto the track to take the green flag. The parts in question never saw the track during the race.

In all three instances, the parts in question never saw any sort of on-track action during the race. Even still, the teams were docked points for possessing parts that NASCAR did not feel were fit to race; as was the case with Johnson on Sunday at Martinsville.

It looks like NASCAR has put the matter to bed, but it probably shouldn’t. It’s only fair that Johnson, regardless of his status in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, should face the same sort of penalties as the teams I mentioned above.

For NASCAR not to take any sort of action would be a result of sheer hypocrisy on its part.

Tags: Jimmie Johnson

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  • Jeremy

    what most people don’t get which includes most of the people that are against jimmie johnson is the reason why they didn’t dock points from jimmie. the drive shaft casing has nothing to do with the race performance and wouldn’t have inhanced anything with the car at all actually. everyone is pretty much jelous that jimmie johnson could possible be a 5 time champ. the reason why he wasn’t docked points compared to the other 3 mentioned before in the acticle is that the parts that were found on the other 3 actually do increase performance with the racecar which jimmie’s didn’t inhance the performance of his car, that’s the difference. they asked him to cahnge it and that’s it, and that’s the right call by nascar officals. simple as that.

    • Ben Montedonico

      My thinking is though, Jeremy, that if the cracked part had been on, say the 38 or the 19 or the 78, it would’ve been called an “illegal crack” and they would’ve been docked 150 points. Another point is that none of the cars I mentioned ever got any track time during the race, yet they were docked points. Johnson wasn’t. Sooooo, what’s up?

      • Darwin

        Well I wasn’t there so I don’t know, but from what I have been reading, NASCAR has not termed the part as being illegal. If it was defective, as in being cracked, then there is no attempt to enhance the performance of the car. The action is a safety issue. Those inspections are in place to not only discover illegal alterations but also to prevent defective equipment from making it onto the track.

        The other examples in the article were illegally altered parts put on the cars in order to enhance their performance and as such the teams deserved to be penalized, regardless of whether the parts actually were raced or not. Attempting to commit a robbery will land you jail just as well as actually robbing someone. Imagine the uproar if the 48 team were to be penalized for a broken part and then they lost the championship, ala Mark Martin?

        I think NASCAR is partly to blame for the controversy. Their statement as printed was somewhat vague and devoid of details, which will give support to conspiracy theorists. NASCAR really needs to open up more with their public relations concerning these issues.

    • Daniel Martin

      I love how the JJ fan boys make excuses after excuses for Johnson when he gets busted cheating, and think his 2010 Championship is some how valid. Truth is, NASCAR has 2 rulebooks. 1 rulebook for JJ, Gordon and Earnhardt, another for everyone else. Too bad the JJ fan boys can’t watch any kind of racing, but one JJ is gifted championships, maybe they can pool together and buy up all those empty seats in the grandstands.

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