2012 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
The high speeds and close quarters makes for a lot of pushing and shoving on the track, and sometimes in the pits. Adrenaline (and tempers) run high as often the only way to pass is to shove the guy in front of you out of the way.
The Big Picture:
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:
The original penalties included: Crew chief Chad Knaus and his car chief Ron Malec were suspended from the next six Sprint Cup races, suspended from NASCAR until April 18th and put on probation until May 9th. Knaus was also fined $100,000.
In addition, Jimmie Johnson was docked 25 driver points and his car owner, Jeff Gordon, was docked 25 car owner points.
The team appealed the penalties and the results of that appeal were announced this week.
"Upon hearing the testimony, carefully reviewing the facts and historically comparative penalties, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR."
The team can appeal one more time to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. They have raised their appeal to this second level but at this point I do not expect a different outcome.
Because of the appeal Chad Knaus is expected to be at the race track again this week in Bristol but it is entirely likely that this will be the last time we see him until he has served his suspension.
Radio: PRN and SIRUIS Satellite
Actual Race: 1:00PM Eastern
2011 Polesitter: Carl Edwards
2011 Winner: Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson has the spotlight on him once again this weekend but that's nothing new for "Five-Time." Johnson has had a lot of fast cars at Bristol in recent years including a win in this race in 2010. Since then he posted a pair of top fives and one bad finish. Even in that bad finish he still managed to lead 175 laps before having trouble.
Jimmie Johnson will be looking to make a statement this weekend and he has a history of speed here that would make him a strong contender even without the added incentive. Johnson makes a solid backup option this week in Bristol.