Engines roar to life in Daytona but not all news is good

Welcome to Daytona!
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
Welcome to the 2012 NASCAR season. The engines have fired and rubber has been laid on the high banks of Daytona. No competitive laps have been run and yet there's torn-up sheet metal in the garage and Chad Knaus is already in trouble.

Chad Knaus in hot water?

Day one of the 2012 NASCAR season and No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus started it off with a visit to the NASCAR hauler. During technical inspection of the team’s Daytona 500 car Friday, NASCAR found an unapproved modification to the C-posts. (The C-posts are the body panels of the car that runs from the rear of the roof to the deck lid.) After NASCAR removed said C-post, the team was allowed to replace the part.

John Darby, director of the Sprint Cup Series, said that the infraction would be treated identical to past modifications, which has led to the docking of championships points, fines or suspensions.

“It falls in line with other body modifications we’ve seen in the past. … We’re pretty serious about the body configurations of the cars for all the right reasons, and this was a modification that had been made to the car that put it outside that box,” Darby said.

NASCAR officials said no penalties may be levied until after the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.

Tony Stewart causes “the big one” during practice

In another situation of drafting gone wrong, Tony Stewart took the blame after wrecking Kurt Busch and costing several other drivers their primary cars for Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout.

“I was pushing the ‘51’ car and he had to move a little bit, but I’m still the one pushing him so I’m responsible for it,” said Stewart after the accident.

Along with Stewart and Busch, Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, and Brad Keselowski were involved. Backup cars are required for the Penske duo of Keselowski and Allmendinger and the Busch brothers.

The numbers

Pacing session one was the Roush Fenway Ford of Matt Kenseth with a lap of 44.607 seconds and a speed of 201.762 mph. Jeff Burton, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman rounded out the top 5 on the speed charts.

Participation in the second session was sparse after the crash marred many cars. With just 12 cars hitting the track, Jamie McMurray topped the charts followed by his EGR teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Marcos Ambrose rounding out the top 5 in the rain-shortened session.

Next up, the race! Checkers or wreckers for a big payout - no points involved whatsoever. Tune into FOX at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. This is guaranteed to be a fight to the finish.

Engines roar to life in Daytona but not all news is good Engines roar to life in Daytona but not all news is good Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, February 18, 2012 Rating: 5