Chad Knaus will begin the next chapter of his racing career with a new role at Hendrick Motorsports in 2021.
Knaus, the current crew chief for William Byron and the No. 24 team, will become the team’s vice president of competition, with reponsibility for personnel (crew chiefs, pit crews, engineering, fabrication, assembly, and other) for all four of Hendrick’s Cup Series teams. Knaus will also oversee the organization’s preparations for the Next Gen race car in 2022.
“When I started at Hendrick Motorsports (in 1993) working for Ray Evernham, my goal was to be a crew chief,” Knaus said. “Starting at a young age, I wanted to win every race we entered and battle for every championship. Mr. Hendrick has given me the chance to do exactly that, and I could not be more thankful to him. After all these years, my competitive desire has not changed at all, but now I have a family that deserves my attention.
“This new executive role will allow me to compete in a different way with all four of our teams while spending more time with my wife and two young children. I appreciate the company supporting my decision, and I’m truly excited about the challenge ahead of me to help us grow and win. I’m also looking forward to working closely with Jeff, who I admire and have great respect for. I owe so much to Mr. Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports, and I’m ready for the next chapter.”
Knaus has 82 wins to date,as a Cup Series crew chief. Last month, Knaus guided Byron to his first win in the Daytona oval race, which also qualified them for the playoffs. Knaus and Byron have worked together for two seasons after Knaus and Jimmie Johnson split following seven championships and 17 seasons together.
Knaus will report to Jeff Andrews, who has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager. That move goes into effect immediately. Andrews, who most recently served as vice president of competition, will oversee competition-related departments and continue to support Hendrick’s technical relationship with Chevrolet. He is also the primary liaison with NASCAR’s competition group.
“In my almost 29-year NASCAR career, I’ve been fortunate to work for just one organization,” Andrews said. “Mr. Hendrick is a racer and a fierce competitor. His drive to win is contagious, and I’m grateful to have a team of like-minded people who share that passion. Racing is all I have ever done professionally. When I left my home and my family 33 years ago to pursue this dream, I never could have imagined the opportunities that have been provided by so many people, most importantly, Mr. Hendrick.
“It’s been a privilege to grow within this amazing organization, and I look forward to working alongside Chad in his new role. He and I share a love for this business and a commitment to providing the very best resources for Hendrick Motorsports to win into the foreseeable future.”
Said Hendrick of the changes, “As we look to the years ahead, Jeff and Chad are going to play significant roles in our success. They’re tremendous leaders who are respected within our organization and across the entire auto racing world. In addition, they each bring unique strengths and skill sets that will complement each other extremely well and benefit all of Hendrick Motorsports. We’re in the business of winning, and this combination is going to help us do just that.
“In life, it’s rare to witness true excellence first-hand, but that’s precisely what we’ve been treated to with Chad. Today’s announcement is bittersweet because, in my opinion, he is the finest crew chief our sport has ever seen. Although we’re going to miss him atop the pit box, I’m heartened that Chad has made this decision for himself and his growing family and that he is energized about the opportunity to move us forward in a new capacity. There is no one with higher standards or a stronger passion for winning. He will continue to elevate Hendrick Motorsports and instill his championship mentality throughout the company.”