Last week NASCAR was at Daytona International Speedway sixteen cars in the Sprint Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series cars were found to have illegal roof flap spacers. Read about it here. So far there have not been any penalties for this violation. The big question is why? The bigger question is why not?
It is interesting to note that the roof flaps are only used if a driver is already in trouble. They deploy when the car is going sideways or mostly backwards. There is no engineering advantage to messing with these. The only advantage that can be surmised is that the illegal spacers were lighter than those given to the teams by NASCAR. That would in theory lower the center of gravity on the car making it handle better and thereby go faster.
Wow, how much weight can be in a few spacers and how much advantage can there be? The only answer is there must be some unless these teams are like lemmings running over a cliff.
Here is where it gets interesting. The offending cup teams include all of the major Ford teams and all of the major Toyota teams. There was one lone Chevy team of Jamie McMurray. This advantage, if there was one, must have been the worst kept secret in NASCAR.
But wait, look who is missing; the teams that are closely aligned with Hendrick MotorSports. This includes the king of bending or more closely stretching the rules Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson. Who would have thought that they would take a pass on such an advantage?
Penalties and/or fines and suspensions have not been issued by NASCAR yet. No one knows what if any they might be since to penalize that many teams points would really upset the standings and not in a good way.
Chad Knaus must have known there was no advantage to take a pass on this or perhaps something more sinister was at work? Circle the black helicopters but could all of the other teams been played by the Chevy crowd? We will probably never know but it sure makes one wonder what really was going on?