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Updated: Jimmie Johnson’s car fails pre-qualifying inspection for being 1/10,000th of an inch too wide

Feb 16, 2014, 1:49 PM EDT

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UPDATE No. 2: Chad Knaus and the rest of the No. 48 crew have fixed the width and side skirt issues, as well as the light weight issue, but Jimmie Johnson could do no better than 14th on the speed charts for Daytona 500 qualifying.

UPDATE No. 1: Chad Knaus and the crew have fixed the width and the side skirt issues, but in the process of removing spacers, wound up 1.5 pounds light, according to Fox Sports. They’re now working on that issue.

When it comes to enforcing its tighter rules, NASCAR made it very clear in Sunday’s qualifying for the front row of the Daytona 500 that it won’t give anyone a break — not even defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

According to Fox Sports, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying tech inspection when it was found to be 1/10,000th of an inch too wide and the side skirts were less than 1/64th of an inch too long.

The car was sent back to the garage area for crew chief Chad Knaus and the rest of the team to reign in the out of tolerance numbers. The width issue should be taken care of fairly easily by simply taking one or two spacers off the wheel hub — essentially a washer or two.

Check back here on NBC Sports’ MotorSportsTalk with more updates on Johnson’s situation as qualifying continues.

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  1. givemethehighgear - Feb 16, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Do they cheat in NASCAR?

    • palerider2x - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      With tolerances like that, 1/64th, and 1/10000th of an inch, HOW COULD THEY NOT cheat? The question is, do they inforce the regulations evenly across the board, without favoritism, or misuse of their position. It’s been proven: Power corrupts, Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely! I just hope they keep themselves in check!

      • rrw1313 - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:47 AM

        You realize that a cheap micrometer can measure to 1/10000 of an inch?
        You also realize that 1/10000 of an inch can be the difference in an engine lasting the whole race and going boom?

  2. raynman49 - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    This is what has ruined NASCAR. Too many rules.

    • raynman49 - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      STUPID rules.

      • schaefer692002 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        EVERY YEAR JJ and Chad are caught cheating!!! Why has he won so many championships? Problem is he is NEVER penalized! Last year Chad was supposed to be suspended and JJ docked points! UNTIL the Hendrick appeal!

      • palerider2x - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        Yeah, thank heaven they caught this cheater before the race, God knows what could have happened if that 1/10000th of an Inch made it by the gates!

  3. mrsfoxxe - Feb 16, 2014 at 4:07 PM


    • mustang6984 - Feb 16, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      No…not funny…SAD is more like it!

  4. mustang6984 - Feb 16, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Are you kidding me? REALLY? What the hell are they using to measure with that can detect a measurement SMALLER than a hair’s width? What a moronic reason to fail someone! Like ANYONE is going to have an advantage with that! SHEESH!

    • moezilla - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      A laser….

    • thedude111 - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      Its called a CMM (computerized measuring machine) They can accurately measure tolerances closer than .00005 (50 millionths). Aston Martin uses one on every car that leaves their production line. They are very prominent in manufacturing, especially aerospace.

      • than357 - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        I use a CMM every work day. If you want an expert witness to thoroughly debunk a .0001″ oversize measurement — I’ll be happy to.

        CMM’s and/or lasers won’t overcome that type of measurement uncertainty; especially on the level of the size of a car exterior.

        The .0001″ was likely just included to the list of out of tolerance issues and not meant as the main reason, or the difference was meant to be 1/10 of an inch. Scraping the paint off the body is more than enough to drop .0001″. A washer more in line for a .01″.

  5. testover6370 - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    Funny how just yesterday I was watching Rush and in that story they were complaining about a penalty for being 1/8th of an inch off.

  6. rodmaggert - Feb 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Didn’t watch the race or qualifying. I gave up on NASCAR with the new championship rules, but then I read this and I know I was right in forgetting NASCAR. I mean try to find a tape measure with 64ths of an inch markings. Then try to imagine 10,000 lines in a 1″ area. I know I’m old but I remember using a pole to measure heighth, a tape to measure length and width. Screw this.

  7. midtec2005 - Feb 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    1/10000? That’s 2.54 microns.

    I’m almost positive that would be well within error of the measuring device… even a laser based measuring device. Talk about nit picking.

    • joeblow57 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      No doubt, anyone that’s held a piece of D-2 for 30 seconds
      after miking it up knows that’s a hard pill to swallow. Maybe the NASCAR official breathed heavily on it before they laser scanned it. That’s crazy, somebody’s full of… well you know.

    • fave88 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      If you’re off, you’re off. Funny how they found it on Jimmie’s car!!!!! What a coincidence…..

  8. ijusth - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    the expansion opf metal from heat starts to matter if they get this crazy

  9. worknman24hours - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM



  10. palerider2x - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Jeeze! It seems the Engineers that can’t cut it in NASCAR can always go on to careers in Rocket Science.

  11. timincal - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Remember, Ryan Pemberton used to work for Ford Racing.

  12. grammadee94 - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    1/10,000th of an inch????? picky, picky, picky.

  13. glear1 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    I realize rules are needed. We all want to see great racing from the drivers. But truly hearing something like this make you again realize just how ridiculous the rules have become. I would hate to be the guys who have to try and put one of those cars together from scratch. Insane.

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