Downgrade Jimmie johnson?

Fantasy owners now know that Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team have been hit by a heavy penalty by NASCAR for the team’s unapproved C-post. The car failed the Daytona 500 initial inspection, and then crashed out of the race just after the first lap was completed.

After the race, NASCAR announced sanctions against Johnson, the team and Crew Chief Chad Knaus. Essentially, Knaus was banned six weeks, fined $100,000, and docked the team 25 points.

What does this mean to Johnson’s fantasy value through the suspension? Not much. Hendrick Motorsports is appealing the decision, so Knaus stays with the team until the appeal is heard, and the team has been in this situation before. This is the third time that Johnson may have to compete without Knaus in the past six years. During the first suspension in 2006, Johnson won two of the first three races, including the Daytona 500.

The immediate impact is minimal since Knaus remains with the team, but the only place he won’t be present if the suspension is upheld, is the actual track. Knaus’ genius is in his organization and leadership, and NASCAR is banning neither of those.