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No. 24, No. 48 teams penalized

No. 24, No. 48 teams penalized

No. 24, No. 48 teams penalized
Associated Press

Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were docked 100 points each Tuesday, and their crew chiefs were both fined $100,000 and suspended for six races for violations at Infineon Raceway.

The two Hendrick Motorsports cars failed inspection Friday in Sonoma, Calif., and NASCAR refused to let either driver on the track the rest of the day. The cars were altered, passed inspection Saturday and allowed to race Sunday. Gordon, the four-time series champion, finished seventh while defending Nextel Cup champion Johnson was 17th.

Gordon remains the Nextel Cup points leader after the deduction, but his margin was cut to 171 points over Denny Hamlin. Johnson dropped from third to fifth.

But both will have to race through the summer without their crew chiefs. Chad Knaus and Steve Letarte are not eligible to return to the track until Aug. 15.

The crew chiefs also were placed on probation through the end of the year.

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Re: No. 24, No. 48 teams penalized

Hendrick team won't appeal NASCAR penalties
June 28, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Hendrick Motorsports won't appeal this week's NASCAR penalties against the cars driven by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

Gordon and Johnson were docked 100 points each, and crew chiefs Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus were both fined $100,000 and suspended for six races because their cars failed an initial inspection at Infineon Raceway.

``The penalties are excessive,'' team owner Rick Hendrick said Thursday. ``But we're not going to put time and resources into issuing an appeal. Instead, we will direct that energy into our internal processes to make sure we have full confidence that our cars will meet standards when presented for inspection each week.''

Jeff Meendering, car chief for Gordon's No. 24 team, will serve as interim crew chief during Letarte's suspension beginning at New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend. Car chief Ron Malec of Johnson's No. 48 team will stand in for Knaus.

``In Jeff and Ron, we have two guys who know their teams inside and out,'' Hendrick said. ``They both have been here a long time. They both know the pressures involved and they both have the full support of our entire organization. We don't expect to miss a beat.''

Letarte and Knaus will resume track duties for their respective teams for the Aug. 19 race at Michigan International Speedway.

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