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However the silver lining is that Hendrick is taking it a step further by bringing the appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Chief appellate officer John Middlebrook. Middlebrook has a history of being fair and hears both sides of the story. This could be good news for Knaus. Hendrick believes that Middlebrook is a fair guy and does his job fairly.
When asked why Hendrick wasn’t settling for the appeal Hendrick said simply, "Because I don't accept it. Period."
As for Chad Knaus the outcome is still looking very grim. If Hendrick doesn’t win this final appeal who will take the place of Knaus?
Some reports have said Lance McGrew. McGrew, who is in the HMS development program right now, would be a good candidate since he's been a crew chief for Jimmie Johnson before, back in 2007 for six races when Knaus was suspended.
Another candidate could be engineer Greg Ives who sits on the pit box every race with Knaus. He could very well crew chief for Johnson if Knaus is gone for six weeks. Ives is responsible for calculating fuel mileage, which could come very handy for Johnson if Ives takes over during those six weeks.
Even with the appeal and the 25 points docked from the No. 48 team, Johnson and Knaus haven’t let that distract them. With two great finishes from Phoenix and Vegas, 4th and 2nd respectively, the driver-crew chief duo weren't letting the points hole get deeper. They'll keep fighting and striving to do one thing and one thing only - win! Even with having to start in the back for Vegas, Johnson quickly moved that car to the front and brought home a great finish to help their situation.
And if Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson aren’t letting the penalties bother them why should anyone else? Out of all the news of Knaus and the penalties the one thing that really catches my eye is how much Rick Hendrick stands behind his team and supports them.
For me it makes it hard to see how Knaus could have cheated, seeing how much Hendrick believes and stands behind his teams. That support is something you don’t see often enough. Whether Hendrick wins or loses the appeal, I don’t see it affecting the No. 48 team at all. Six weeks without Knaus will fly by quickly and before you know it, the hunt for the championship will be in full force and the dynamic duo of Knaus and Johnson will be stronger than ever!