(AVONDALE, Ariz.) — After NASCAR laid down the law on the No. 48 team and Crew Chief Chad Knaus on Wednesday, the team spoke up about the way they felt about the penalties on Friday.
Knaus was fined $100,000 and suspended six weeks after the Hendrick Motorsports team was docked 25 points when NASCAR officials saw illegal C-posts in Jimmy Johnson’s No. 48 car.
“Deeply saddened of course, we didn’t expect this,” said Knaus. “Not the way we definitely want to start off a season. Hopefully we’ll get it resolved and beaten and get back to business.”
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.
“I love my job, every aspect of it. This is an unfortunate part of the job,” said Knaus. “As a leader of a team like this you have to be ready for. As successful as we’ve been over the course of the years our car obviously goes through a little more scrutiny because it’s inspected more.”
The team said they would appeal the ruling.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN