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02-29-2012, 02:34 PM
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The crew chief for Jimmie Johnson has been suspended for six weeks and the team docked 25 points, leaving the five-time Sprint Cup champion in his deepest hole to start the season.

NASCAR handed down the penalty for Chad Knaus and the No. 48 team on Wednesday, two days after Johnson wrecked at the start of the second lap and finished 42nd in the Daytona 500.

Johnson is now last in the Sprint Cup standings, 70 points behind 500 winner Matt Kenseth.

Knaus also was fined $100,000 and car chief Ron Malec was suspended for six weeks. Both were placed on probation until May 9.

Hendrick Motorsports will appeal the penalties, allowing Johnson and Malec to remain with the team until that appeal is heard. Both will be at Phoenix this weekend.

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