HOMESTEAD, Fla. – As his driver Jimmie Johnson completed his 267th safe, smart lap here to claim his second consecutive Nextel Cup championship, Chad Knaus stood on pit road.

It was business as usual here for Knaus, who accepted the congratulatory backslaps and hugs you’d expect of a crew chief on top of his game. As much as any “coach” figure in sports, Knaus is dominating his competition; running roughshod in a way that would make even Bill Belichick jealous.

Of course, his six-race suspension earlier this year for breaking NASCAR rules, on top of the four-race suspension last season, on top of six other disciplines, including two other suspensions, in the past six years, might make Belichick blush, too.

In the unique culture of NASCAR, a habitual cheat of a crew chief just won the title again and no one apparently cared.

As the rest of the American sports world – from baseball and football to track and cycling – seems to wrestle with asterisks and vacated titles, Knaus – banned from the track for an astounding one-sixth of the season – was free to celebrate the night away with an apparent clear conscience.

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Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 8:51 am  Comments (1)  



Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (born October 10, 1974), is a professional American race car driver. He is the son of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. He is also the grandson of Ralph Earnhardt. During his career, Earnhardt, Jr. has competed successfully in a number of racing classes and events, is a two-time Busch Series champion (one of 6 people to win back-to-back championships), and was the WINNER of the 2004 Daytona 500.

Published in: on November 4, 2007 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment