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NASCAR Cup: Jimmie Johnson in No. 48 at least three more years

Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday that it has signed contract extensions with reigning and seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and his longtime sponsor, Lowe’s. The extension with Johnson will keep him behind the wheel of the No. 48 Chevrolet through the 2020 season, and the extension with Lowe’s will keep the sponsor on the hood of the car for the full 2018 season.
“My relationship with Lowe’s, Hendrick Motorsports and all of my teammates means so much to me,” Johnson said. “I remember hoping to just win one race. Winning seven championships and 83 races was inconceivable, and now, we have the opportunity to do even more together. It says a lot to have one sponsor, one crew chief and one team for so long. I couldn’t be more proud to represent everyone at Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports, and I continue to be as grateful for the opportunity as I was when we started.”
Hendrick Motorsports has been Johnson’s racing home, Lowe’s his sponsor, Chevrolet his manufacturer and Chad Knaus his crew chief for the duration of Johnson’s career, so far, since he began his Cup Series career with a partial schedule in 2001, and went full-time in 2002.
“I’m very content with where I’m at in the race car and just truly enjoy competing and love being on the track, so to have a three-year extension makes me smile and makes me excited about the future and just can’t wait to get in the car today and get out there and get to work,” Johnson said.
He said during a press conference at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Friday that he’s hoping Knaus also will sign an extension by the time his current contract expires at the end of next season.
“I think I’ve got another year to try to confidence him,” Johnson said. “He has another year on his contract, and I’m sure discussions will take place about an extension for him. He, at least, has another year, and I’ve started this with him, and I’ve said it before; I want to finish it with him. So,, I’ll keep leaning on him. Those crew chief years, I like to call them dog years. I don’t have a clear picture on where that will take him, but I will do my best to keep him around as long as I can.”
With seven championships as a crew chief, Knaus is second, all-time, in championships, trailing NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Inman, who has eight.
Johnson is a part of a three-way tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most NASCAR premier series championships with seven, including five-straight between 2006 and 2010, a record he holds on his own. With his string of five-consecutive titles, he surpassed previous record holder Cale Yarborough, another NASCAR Hall of Fame member. Johnson also is tied with Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list with 83 and his one victory shy of a tie with two more Hall of Famers, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth on the list.
“It’s been amazing to ride alongside Jimmie, Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 48 team as we continue to make history in the sport,” Lowe’s Director of Marketing Julie Cunnyngham said. “We look forward to more great moments and unique opportunities to reach fans, on and off the track, together.”
Through the first 14 races of the season, Johnson is the wins leader with three trips to victory lane.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on June 17, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,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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