Earlier this week, the #5 Mark Martin car and the #48 Jimmie Johnson car, both owned by Hendrick Racing, were found to be 'close' to the tolerances allowed. Johnson's car was found to be over the limit mandated by NASCAR. The cars had been taken as a routine check to the NASCAR R&D facility in Concord, NC.
Courtesy of Fox Sports:
The buzz within the NASCAR community suggests that the offset on the tail, which helps the rear of the car stick to the ground instead of spinning out, of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy just made the tolerance. NASCAR allows a tolerance of 0.070 of an inch for the body off of the center line of the car. Suffice it to say, JJ's #48 car didn't make it. But by how much? NASCAR claims it was .006 over the tolerance. That's about the thickness of two sheets of copier paper. Others in the garage hint at a charitable disposition on the part of the sanctioning body. So how did NASCAR view the situation with the Hendrick cars? "The 48 and 5 were brought back to the (Research and Development Center)," according to a NASCAR statement. "We've been doing this since the inception of the new car as a part of routine post-race inspection. We bring the winner and a random pick back to the R&D Center after each event. While both cars passed postrace inspection, we informed the 48 and 5 they were extremely close on some of the tolerances.
Leave it to NASCAR to only admonish the two teams leading the points in the 'Chase for the Cup.'
Um, 'too close to the tolerances,' eh? In the olden days this was called C-H-E-A-T-I-N-G.
How about some penalties? Oh, that's right -- these cars belong to Rick Hendrick. Never mind....