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Dale Earnhardt Jr Pinpoints Where “The Confusion Lies” as Chad Knaus Reveals Who is Accountable for the $400,000 Fiasco

Published 03/18/2023, 11:40 AM EDT

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Hendrick Motorsports were stunned earlier this week despite having a great start to the season. NASCAR has imposed a combined penalty of $400,000 on them, the largest ever in the sport’s history. The NASCAR Cup Series giants were found guilty of modifying louvers before the Phoenix Race. While a lot has been said about it, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Chad Knaus have shared their respective inputs. And they couldn’t have been more insightful.

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Obviously, the HMS faithful are devastated by the incident. The team’s Competition Vice President Knaus has recently come out with some strong statements. Interestingly, both he and Dale Jr speak along similar lines.

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It is no secret how Junior is still aware of a lot of the things that happen behind the scenes. Speaking on the latest episode of his podcast “The Dale Jr Download”, the 48-year-old discussed the HMS problem at hand. He said, “If you read the Hendrick response to the penalty, there is some information there that leads me to believe that the parts they get don’t fit the agreed-upon designs.

Dale Jr explained where it is going wrong in the processes involved. He revealed, “The parts they are getting are coming to them at a tolerance and so one part laying on the table does not look or fit exactly like the part laying next to it and so that is frustrating. There has been apparently some communication back and forth on what are they allowed to do to get this part to fit and that’s where I believe the confusion lies.”


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This does make sense, as there seems to be some ambiguity here. More so after what Chad Knaus said, speaking on behalf of HMS. Talking to FOX, he said, “We in the garage, everyone one of these teams are being held accountable to put their car out there to go through inspection and perform at the level they need to, like these teams are held accountable for doing that

What Knaus says next is quite shocking given the sensitivity of the matter. He expressed, “Nobody is holding the single source providers accountable at the level that they need to be to give us the parts that we need. That goes through NASCAR’s distribution center and NASCAR’s approval process to get those parts and we are not getting the right parts.

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There surely seems to be some disconnect between NASCAR and teams with the processes involved. Dale Jr further explains how the said protocols have been very annoying prior to the season.

Dale Jr explains the struggle Cup Series teams go through with the Next Gen Car

While discussing more on the HMS matter, Junior discloses how hectic and frustrating it was before the 2023 season began. Speaking on the same episode of his podcast, Dale Jr said, “And in this off-season, there was a lot of resubmitted designs for improvements from the firewall forward on all the cars. So, there was a new submitted front-end design for every manufacturer that had to be processed this off-season.


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He continued, “It has to go to NASCAR to get approved. The manufacturer gets the approval. Then they have to submit the drawings and CAD to the design team that’s going to manufacture these parts and all this has to happen really quickly.

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“Hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars get spent by everyone involved to be able to get all this stuff out and ready for Daytona so they can go to the racetrack and again doing all this with the limited supply chain, limited parts coming back to the teams”.

This does speak in HMS’ favor. Now, it would be interesting to see how deep NASCAR goes to verify the parts supplied.

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani


One take at a time

Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR writer at Essentially Sports. Since completing his graduation, he has been pursuing a career in the Media & Entertainment industry. With a zeal to write creative and insightful content, he started his journey as a freelancer in 2018.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh