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The problem with pointing your finger at someone is that there are at least three other digits on your hand pointing back at you.

When car owner Robert Yates sounded off on Chad Knaus being penalized and suspended for rules infractions after Daytona 500 qualifying in February, little did he know he'd be in the midst of a similar situation three months later.

Knaus was fined and suspended for four races after Jimmie Johnson's car was found to have violations after Daytona's qualifying session.

Yates sounded off in the aftermath, blasting Knaus and Hendrick Motorsports for its actions.

"If there is language in the rule book about not doing that particular thing, then he ought to have to go race the Talladega short track the rest of his life," Yates said.

"If the language covers that area, he should be gone forever. That's just stealing."

But now the shoe is on the proverbial other foot.

NASCAR levied fines and suspensions against Yates' No. 88 team this week after an illegal swaybar was found on the UPS Ford before last Saturday night's race in Richmond.

Driver Dale Jarrett was docked 25 points and Yates 25 owner points. Crew chief "Slugger" Labbe was slapped with a $25,000 fine and suspended for the next four races, a similar penalty as what was handed to Knaus in February.

But Yates says the rules infraction was not intentional and the team will appeal the penalty.

"The wording of various rules in the NASCAR rulebook leaves them open for interpretation, as many teams have contested for years,"' Yates said in a statement. "Obviously, in this case, we interpreted the rules differently from NASCAR but because of the lack of a clear cut understanding, on our part, we believe we have grounds for appeal and have started that process."

What else could Yates say?

If Yates is a true man of his word, he'd have to fire Labbe if indeed the swaybar infraction was intentional, based on more of his comments after the Knaus incident in February.

"If it was an infraction with a clear rule written against it, and he didn't tell me about, because I wouldn't approve that, I'd have fired him, yes," Yates said in Daytona.

So the Yates team will await its appeal, with not much chance of it being overturned based on past rulings.

That will leave Yates with two options when the final ruling is handed down; 1) continue to claim the infraction wasn't intentional, or 2) admit the attempt at bending the rules, fire someone within the team and have a nice big helping of crow.

You can bank on option number one.



Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2006

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