The warm Floridian sun illuminated the Daytona International Speedway as cars were on track to complete the only single-car qualifying round of the season. Then there was Jimmie Johnson, once again struggling to get his car through inspection.
Naturally, Twitter exploded with comments about Knaus’ cheating habits and his troubles with pushing the envelope too far. Just how far did Knaus push the envelope this time? Johnson’s car was too wide by 0.0001 inches.
I realize that NASCAR has to draw the line somewhere, but a ten-thousandth of an inch is ludicrous. To put that into perspective, the width of a human hair can be as thin as 0.0007 inches. Take a very thin hair, cut it in sevenths length-wise, and take one of those microscopically thin pieces. That’s the difference between a legal car and an illegal car. This tells me that NASCAR has become way too stringent with its rules, and the line in the sand should be moved back. In other words, instead of having 0.0001 inches being illegal, they should have anything above 0.01 inches be illegal.
Although I wasn’t watching NASCAR in 1997, I know the story about Jeff Gordon’s T-Rex car, and it’s unfortunate that we will never see another T-Rex car again. There simply aren’t enough gray areas in the rule book to allow for some serious experimentation. The elimination of the ride height rule gives teams some area to experiment, and I can picture many teams trying out a plethora of different ride heights, especially at rough tracks such as Auto Club Speedway.
And as much as non-Johnson fans are bored of seeing him win all the time, you have to give Chad Knaus credit for at least trying to find some gray areas in the rule book. However, with the way things are in NASCAR these days, I don’t see them making their rules any less strict, and that’s a shame, because I know all of us want to see T-Rex Car 2.0.