Knaus extends deal with Hendrick

Image by Rusty Jarrett/ NKP/LAT

Knaus extends deal with Hendrick

NASCAR

Knaus extends deal with Hendrick

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Chad Knaus has signed a two-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports to remain the crew chief of Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team.

The timeline aligns Knaus and Johnson’s contract schedules as Johnson signed a new three-year deal with HMS last season. Paired together in 2002, Knaus and Johnson have been a formidable duo in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, winning seven championships and 81 races together.

Knaus said Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway there were no thoughts of him not re-signing.

“Obviously, Jimmie and I have a — although going through a bit of a slump right now — we have a great time racing together,” said Knaus. “We have a long relationship and enjoyed everything 48. So, no not really it was pretty easy.”

With his love for competition, Knaus has not been enjoying the current winless streak he and Johnson are on, saying going just three weeks without a victory is frustrating. But, it’s something they have to fight through as Johnson has not been to victory lane since June 2017 at Dover International Speedway. Getting back to winning races and fighting for a record-breaking eighth championship is what’s on the agenda for Knaus.

“I would say that in years past it was maybe more just focusing on the next week,” Knaus said of his motivation. “But I think I would be foolish and lying to not admit the fact that to get eight championships and to put Jimmie on a pedestal by himself at the top of the standings with championships is not a huge desire of mine and something I definitely want to try to achieve.”

Johnson starts 27th tonight in the Quaker State 400 at a track he has never won on.

With both Knaus and Johnson now locked in for a few more seasons, Hendrick Motorsports continues to look for a new primary sponsor of the No. 48 to replace the departing Lowe’s.

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