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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR’s chief appellate officer overturned the six-race suspension of five-time championship winning crew chief Chad Knaus on Tuesday.

Chief appellate officer John Middlebrook ruled that Knaus and car chief Ron Malec, who also was suspended six races, instead will be on probation through May 9.

The $100,000 fine levied by NASCAR stands.

“It’s been a tough 30 days,” Knaus said. “It’s not about vindication. It’s time to move on.”

Last week a three-member appeals committee had upheld the suspensions imposed after the car Knaus presented on opening day of the Daytona 500 failed inspection. NASCAR said the sheet metal between the roof and the side windows had been illegally modified on Jimmie Johnson’s car.

Team owner Rick Hendrick said he was confident the team was “clearly within the rulebook.”

“There was no ill intent on our part,” Hendrick said. “We felt by the rulebook we were approved. By the rulebook the car was legal.”

Johnson also was docked 25 points, which will be restored.

Middlebrook retired in 2008 after 49 years with General Motors, and is paid $1 a year by NASCAR to be the chief appellate officer.

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Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

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