Friday, March 23, 2012

Middlebrook's Ruling: Everyone Wins!

Tuesday’s ruling by National Stock Car Racing Commission Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook has both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports claiming victory.

Johnson: WE WON!
Middlebrook overturned six-week suspensions assessed by NASCAR to crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malek for c-pillars the sanctioning body confiscated from Jimmie Johnson’s car during pre-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500. He also restored 25 driver and owner points to Jimmie Johnson and car owner of record Jeff Gordon. Johnson said today that while he is confused that the $100,000 fine was allowed to stand, he and his team believe Middlebrook’s decision exonerated Knaus and Malek of any wrongdoing. "The reason we won that appeal is because we proved those C-Posts were legal,” he said. “If we hadn't done that, we wouldn't have won." He said he does not feel totally vindicated, however, “because I think everything should have been overturned.”

NASCAR President Mike Helton insisted today that Johnson's car was illegal under NASCAR rules, adding that if the same c-pillars show up at again Talladega and Daytona, he expects NASCAR officials to confiscate them. "The decision made this week upholds what's right and wrong,” said Helton, adding that in his opinion, Middlebrook’s decision to leave Knaus’ fine intact proves there were, “parts of the car that did not conform to the rules. 

Helton: No, WE WON!
"We think the decision that was made this week supports the inspection process, because the elements of the penalty that were upheld indicate the inspectors did their jobs correctly,” he said. “The debate was more about the decision after that point and how we reacted to it." 

Middlebrook’s ruling has also inspired commentary from other corners of the NASCAR garage. Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski weighed-in on the controversy Friday, saying, “At Penske Racing, we try to do it right the first time, rather than questioning the process once you get caught." 



  1. james hester3:37 PM

    i personally think that all the fine should have been up held but it was not so we have to move on the the next time and just for my on information what ever happen to the words for nascar do no MESS with the body or you want like it, oh well

  2. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Yeahyeah whatever this gives nascar a huge blackeye and it does effect the fan base, myself and a lot of people are sick of these type actions.This is what fuels the sterotype template that they (nascar) have become.
    Roadkill Indiana

  3. This does kind of strike me as an "everyone gets a trophy" decision.

    In lieu of any actual explanation (even a press release from Mr. Middlebrook would be nice) we are left to try to interpet the meaning for ourselves.

    Fact: He did let stand some penalty. Therefore something was worth penalizing and only things that are illegal are worth penalizing So I conclude that the C-posts were not legal.

    However, he did reduce the penalty and I think the why is important. Did he reduce it because he feel that this should be treated much like Joe Gibb's oil pans? I know that was my first reaction when I heard of the infraction. Not in the template, never got on the track.

    But just because I think that is a good reason doesn't mean it is _his_ reason.

    Maybe he doesn't think that body changes in general are as serious as NASCAR does.

    I really suck at mind reading and I wish he would just give teams, NASCAR and us the fans a simple 1 page explanation.

  4. What is the correct spelling of Ron Malec's name?

    1. Dave spelled it twice in his post. If you need confirmation, just google "Malek" to get other opinions. I think they all pretty much agree with Dave.

  5. i agree with kevin harvick.Its a shame that if you have enough money you can get away with anything

  6. greg bowler11:40 AM

    the ruling is fair as i see it the only fine to stand is against Chad and the part that was recinded was against nascar therefore it says that proceedure was not followed correctly eventhough the part was not right so nascar lost on the suspensions and points and Chad lost on the fines pretty easy to understand

    1. Rick Reid11:20 PM

      This is the most reasoned reply I've seen.
      I think you hit it right on the head.