Monday, March 19, 2012

Jimmie Johnson: Losing appeal would be a 'huge blow'

Per USA Today, In the wake of Tuesday's loss before the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel, Jimmie Johnson said there's no backup plan for losing crew chief Chad Knaus to suspension.

"We've had a lot of faith with what took place," Johnson said Friday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We were shocked at the penalties to start. We felt like last Tuesday things would be overturned. We feel if things don't change at the next appeal, we're not overly concerned, but we still know how important this sport is along the lines of chemistry.

"Chad and I have great chemistry. (Car chief) Ron Malec, the way he runs the team. If things stand, it'll be a huge blow to the team."

Johnson lost 25 driver points, and car owner Jeff Gordon was docked 25 points after the No. 48 Chevrolet failed a prerace inspection for the Daytona 500 last month. Knaus also was fined $100,000 and suspended six races and placed on probation until May 9 (as was Malec).