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NASCAR Cup: Chad Knaus remains with Hendrick Motorsports through at least 2020

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 10: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Chad Knaus during practice for the NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chad Knaus recently signed a contract extension to remain a crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports. The extension that keeps Knaus at HMS at least through the 2020 season puts Knaus’ new contract length in line with that of Jimmie Johnson, who signed a three-year extension at the end of 2017 to remain as an HMS driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for at least three more seasons. Knaus and Johnson have worked together as crew chief and driver on Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 48 Chevrolet team since Johnson became a full-time Cup Series driver in 2002.

Knaus confirmed his extension July 14 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, ahead of the Quaker State 400.

“It probably has a lot to do with Jimmie’s patience,” Knaus explained as the reason he and Johnson have lasted so long as a crew chief-driver pairing during his media availability at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday. “He is a very tolerant individual. I think that has a lot to do with it, but I think Jimmie and I, we have gotten to the point where we really understand one another. There is not a big question on the effort or the amount of effort that is going in from one side nor the other. We deeply care for one another, obviously, families, daughters, and I have a son coming, so we have grown a lot together through life, and I think that has a lot to do with it.”

The search continues, though, for primary sponsorship for the No. 48 beyond 2018, since Lowe’s already officially has announced the end of its relationship with the team at the end of the season.

With Knaus as his full-time crew chief, Johnson has reached stats that include a record-tying seven Cup Series championships, matching NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, and 83 wins, tying him for sixth with Cale Yarborough on the all-time wins list. His seven titles include a record five-straight between 2006 and 2010.

Johnson, Knaus and the No. 48 team, along with Hendrick Motorsports as a whole, have struggled through the first 19 races of 2018. Last winning at Dover (Del.) International Speedway last June, Johnson is in the midst of his longest winless streak. He is 12th in the points standings with two top-fives and six top-10 finishes, so far, this season.

“Obviously, Jimmie and I have a, although going through a bit of a slump right now, we have a great time racing together,” Knaus said. “We have a long relationship and enjoyed everything 48.”

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Posted by on July 18, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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