(CHARLOTTE, N.C) — It’s not the way the number 48 wanted to begin the season. NASCAR has docked five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson 25 driver points and suspended crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec six races for failing inspection before the Daytona 500. Knaus will also be fined $100,000.
NASCAR says Johnson’s car had modified sheet metal between the roof and the side windows illegally.
With the penalty, Johnson drops to 43rd place in the standings, 70 points behind points leader Matt Kenseth.
Hendrick Motorsports says they will appeal the ruling.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire