The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel upheld the penalties issued to the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Sprint Cup Series team  after a hearing in which the team made its case that the penalty should be overturned.
Johnson was penalized 25 points and car owner Jeff Gordon was docked 25 owner’s points after the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy failed a pre-race inspection before the season-opening Daytona 500 .
Crew chief Chad Knaus was fined $100,000, suspended six races, and put on NASCAR probation until May 9th. Car chief Ron Malec was also suspended six races.
Knaus will be atop the pitbox at Bristol Motor Speedway while team owner Rick Hendrick appeals the case to National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. That will be the team’s final appeal.
Hendrick said of the decision:
We’re disappointed with the outcome, but we’re going to go ahead to the next level and present our case one more time. I stand firmly behind our guys. I do applaud NASCAR for a process in which we present our side of things and try to come to a conclusion. For that I’m appreciative of the process in place.
At issue was the team’s C-pillars, which were determined to have been illegally modified.