Chad Knaus, crew chief on no. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet Monte Carlo, responds to fines and penalties levied on the team this week: CHAD KNAUS:"We got caught with something that we thought was gong to be a little bit of an advantage for us. That was...
Chad Knaus, crew chief on no. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet Monte Carlo, responds to fines and penalties levied on the team this week:
CHAD KNAUS:"We got caught with something that we thought was gong to be a little bit of an advantage for us. That was the first time we'd actually tried it, was at Daytona this time. We hadn't tried it on previously in the year. We went out there, we were looking for a bit of an advantage. We needed something. We knew we weren't going to be quite as good as what we were at Talladega. Thought we had found something; NASCAR didn't like it, so they dinged us a little bit. That's just part of it. They're doing their job. They're really starting to crack down on people getting off into the gray areas and looking for new ways to do things. They're just trying to show everybody that look they're going to set a new precedent about the penalties and the fines."
ARE THEY MAKING AN EXAMPLE OF YOU? "I think they're trying to send a message to the rest of the competitors out there that they're tired of it. That they don't want a table full of fines; they don't want a table full of parts every time they leave a superspeedway. They're tired of dealing with that. They got more important things to worry about. For them to start levying fines and penalties like that I think it's going to slow some things down on people cheating."
"I didn't really get into it too much with them. When John Darby calls you and tells you what you're going to do when you know that you were probably in the wrong by a little bit you just take it and go with it. There's nothing I can do about it. We went to Daytona, we tried to make our car as fast as we possibly can. They didn't like something on our car and the good thing about it is we know we're back here in Chicago this week."
ARE YOU SURPRISED IT WAS SOMETHING FOUND BEFORE QUALIFYING? "Yeah, I was a little surprised about that. I knew that there was going to be some type of action taken, thinking that it would points, no, never crossed my mind. If you talk to some of the crew chiefs in the garage right now there's a lot of guys that are going to be watching their P's and Q's even pre-qualifying."
HOW DIFFERENT WAS THE SETUP? "We just tried to do a little bit of creative engineering is all. It wasn't a safety issue; it wasn't even that much of a performance issue, but it was going to help us a little bit. You know, speedways, they're pretty tight."
"We basically just offset our trailing arm mounts a little bit to try to change the location of the rear springs a little bit. It really wasn't that big, but it was still an advantage for us if we were able to run it. We weren't, so we didn't have the advantage."
WOULD IT HAVE MADE THE CAR LOWER? "Possibly. We don't even know that for sure. Like I said, that's the first time that we tried it. We had hoped it would be a gain, but we didn't know for sure."
WHEN DID THEY FIND IT? "They found it Thursday morning at pre-qualifying inspection. Well, they found it before we even practiced. They found it while we were sitting in the garage, just like where we are now."
WHEN DID DARBY TELL YOU? "He called me Wednesday morning."
DOES IT TAKE SOME OF THE FUN OUT OF BEING A CREW CHIEF? "It makes you a little nervous to sign that inspection sheet every day. That's part of it, that's part of Winston Cup racing. If you're going to step up and you're going to be crew chief on one of these cars you've got to be able to handle the media, and the press and NASCAR coming down on you when you need to be come down on. That's all just part of it."
"Being creative is my job, so if I'm going to get fined or penalized for being creative then that's just part of it."
"At superspeedways they look for stuff that people might not do normally."
WERE YOU RATTED OUT? "Who knows?"
PENALTY FAIR, POINTS TOO MUCH? "It could have been a lot worse, how's that?"
WAS THE CAR AS FAIR AS OTHERS OUT THERE? "I can guarantee that a lot of cars out there weren't the fairest cars out there or the most strictly on the rules either. A lot of people go out to the speedways to try to find an edge and they find it in many, many different ways."
OTHER PEOPLE HAVE BEEN PENALIZED FAR LESS AND FAR WORSE: "Once again, NASCAR is raising the bar on the fines and the penalties right now. They're trying to cut back on a lot of people stepping out into the gray areas, people trying to be a little bit creative. They want to put an end to a lot of that stuff. The way to do that is to make an example and start to show people the new precedent. That's what it is."
ANY WARNING? "They had talked about doing some stuff that if the car was, say, too low after the race. If you'd have won the race. At the driver's meeting at Dover Mike Helton went up there and said they would take the points away from you if you were too low after the race. As far as for something like this, we didn't really know that, no."
"Let me tell you something, that race car right there, that No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet is one of the most legal cars in this garage. The reason that car is going so fast is because we've got an awesome race car driver, we've got an awesome team, and that's all there is to it.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON W.C. CARS? "I've been on Winston Cup cars now for 10 years."
HOW MUCH HAS THE GRAY AREA SHRUNK THAT YOU CAN WORK IN? "You could probably fit what was black and white on one page (before), now it takes a whole book to put everything in black and white."
"Like I said, we try to be creative, we try to make our cars as fast as possible. We're gong to look at things in a different light right now and if it's something that we feel like could fall under what they're talking about; we're definitely not going to do it. But, there's still areas that that you've got to work just to maintain the speed on the race track."