An eighth of an inch?

1/8th of an inch


The car’s of Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Busch both failed post-race inspection after the MBNA Racepoints 400 in Dover. Johnson won the race. Kyle came in second.

Both cars were 1/8th of an inch too high. 30 minutes later, the shocks bled out some air and the cars settled down to the legally acceptable height.

You can read the full story here or here.

My Take:

An 1/8th of an inch! I’m no engineer … mathematician … or mechanic, so you might argue I don’t know what I’m talking about. We know NASCAR is a sticklar about the size, shape and dimension of everything. Does 1/8th of an inch create an unfair advantage?

And what understanding should I squeeze out of Nextel Cup Director John Darby’s explanation, “the build of the shocks that the teams chose to use, is a direction that we’re not real fond of.”

Those smarter than I translate that to mean rather than using the shock as a ‘shock absorber’ they were using it more like a ‘spring’. A little trick (yet wholely legal) to keep the car up higher.

Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, plays his usual poker face hand. Chad was the smart-alec kid down the street that drove parents nuts. The guy will look you in the eye and lie to your face. Tell you sweet, pleasant things, but all the while playing the game.

“I’m still kind of confused because I don’t know what all the uproar is about because there was nothing wrong with the car,” he said. “It met the height requirements, the shocks were perfectly legal, there wasn’t anything wrong.

“If there was something wrong, there would have been fines, penalties, suspensions, whatever it is that they would deem necessary because they do such a good job of inspecting these cars.” – Chad (who-me-do-something-wrong?) Knaus

I think if the cars didn’t pass the first time through. They fail. Waiting 30 minutes for them to settle is wrong. It’s like me telling the cop to clock me again 10 miles down the road. I promise I won’t be speeding then.”