ESPN, This is the scene of the National Stock Car Racing Commission. There are 45 members, but they rotate through for hearings. Two members and the chairman, who doesn't vote, hear each case. They will be listening to the Hendrick Motorsports appeal of the hefty penalty given to Jimmie Johnson's team for violations discovered last month during initial inspection for the Daytona 500.
Team owner Rick Hendrick doesn't believe
the six-race suspensions that NASCAR handed to crew chief Chad Knaus
and car chief Ron Malec -- as well as the 25-point penalty given to
Johnson -- are fair. He'll argue that the governing body confiscated the
C-posts deemed illegal before they went through tech.
He'll argue that
the same car with the same C-posts -- pillars that come down from the
roof to the rear quarter panel -- passed NASCAR's inspection 16 times
Odds are, he'll lose.
Not necessarily because he doesn't have a good case, but because the
commission seldom overturns decisions. When Richard Childress Racing
appealed Clint Bowyer's 150-point penalty in the fall of 2010, the
commission had upheld 88 of 132 decisions between the Sprint Cup,
Nationwide and Truck Series, reduced 42 and increased two.
Most of the
reductions were in the lower series. The last time a Cup penalty was
reduced was in 2008 with Robby Gordon's team.
The last time a Sprint Cup
penalty was completely overturned came in 2005, when insufficient
evidence was found that Michael Waltrip made an inappropriate gesture
during a television broadcast.