Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 car had modifications that could lead to suspensions. Johnson's Daytona 500 car went through an inspection where it was determined that modifications were made to the C-posts of the car. According to ESPN, those are the pillars that come down from the roof to the quarter panel and that NASCAR confiscated them when the No. 48 car went through its initial inspection in preparation for the Daytona 500. It may sound like a small infraction, but this is a big deal in the world of auto racing.
This is a major violation of NASCAR rules that could lead to possible suspensions. Modifying the C-posts in a car will help the car go faster, thus there are strict rules that every crew has to abide by when preparing for any NASCAR race. That it happened before the biggest NASCAR race of the season isn't the point, but rather that every race team knows the rules. Sprint Cup Series director John Darby could lay down some stiff penalties, but they probably won't involve suspending anyone from the 2012 Daytona 500.
If NASCAR does decide to use the Jimmie Johnson car as an example, punishments would likely come out following the Daytona race on February 26. The team will still get to fix the current car and participate in the opening race to the NASCAR season, but this is definitely going to become a black eye on the No. 48 team when it comes to true fans of the sport. Maybe this was just a big mistake in the preparations, but it doesn't look good for anyone involved.
Do you think that NASCAR should come down hard on the team that put together the No. 48 car? What is an adequate punishment for modifying a car with such apparent abandon of the basic rules?