Chad Knaus will step off the pit box after the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season and complete a career that has included seven championships and 83 victories at the highest level of the discipline, mostly with Hendrick Motorsports.
This isn’t a retirement, but rather a promotion from Rick Hendrick, for the 49-year-old who will soon transition into Vice President of Competition for the storied Chevrolet operation.
He will oversee technical development across all four Hendrick Motorsports team, including the implementation of the Next-Gen car in 2022. He will also become responsible for roster assignments across the organization — including crew chiefs, pit crews, engineering, fabrication, assembly and other team-related staff.
Knaus has recently begun to speak about his post crew chief aspirations and a desire to spend more time at home with his family. He and wife Brooke welcomed Vivienne Mae Knaus on July 30 after son Kipling was born in 2018.
“When I started at Hendrick Motorsports (in 1993) working for Ray Evernham, my goal was to be a crew chief,” Knaus said in a statement from the team. “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 (Andrews), 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.”
Jeff Andrews has been elevated to the title of Executive Vice President and General Manager effective immediately. Knaus will report to Andrews, 55, who joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1992 and has served as Vice President of Competition since 2017.
Andrews reports to Hendrick Motorsports president Marshall Carlson.
“As we look to the years ahead, Jeff and Chad are going to play significant roles in our success,” said Rick Hendrick in a press release. “They’re tremendous leaders who are respected within our organization and across the entire auto racing world.”
Hendrick will announce a new chief for Byron and the No. 24 team at a later date. Knaus has overseen Byron’s efforts with the No. 24 since 2019 — following a 17-season run with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team.
Congrats Chad https://t.co/TbkMuWWZTZ pic.twitter.com/UC0CBGLQKX
I have learned a lot from Chad these last 2 years. Thanks for helping this team grow, win a race and make the playoffs 2 years in a row. pic.twitter.com/2tgkTsuJpF
Knaus engineered all seven of Johnson’s championships and his drivers have made the playoffs in every season since it was established in 2004. He most recently led Byron to his first Cup Series victory at Daytona International Speedway on August 29.
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