Jimmie Johnson is hopeful NASCAR won't react too harshly to the unapproved body modifications discovered on his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports ride on Friday.
The infraction was found during inspection for Daytona 500 qualifying and involved the C-post panels on both sides of Johnson's car. NASCAR said it would consider issuing penalties, but not until after the Daytona 500.
That crew chief Chad Knaus is still at the track -- he was immediately ejected for an infraction in 2006 -- is a sign to Johnson that perhaps the penalties may not be too serious.
"We'll see what the Tuesday after the 500 holds," he said. "... I don't know if I'm reading it incorrectly, but if they were really mad, then Chad wouldn't be here and the car would be impounded. They're letting us work on it. I'm hoping that's a good sign."
Johnson said "a lot of people" were working on aerodynamic advantages throughout the garage area and said NASCAR's technical inspection was in place to keep teams in line.
But he acknowledged, "it certainly isn't the way you want to start the week."
"The fact that we haven't been on track yet is an important thing to remember," he said. "We had to work on our car, and we will. It is not how we wanted to start the week, especially with so much attention being drawn to it. But it's something that won't slow us down and we'll still have a great shot to win the 500."