Chad Knaus extends contract with Hendrick

SPARTA, Kentucky—The quest for eight continues.

Crew chief Chad Knaus extended his contract with Hendrick Motorsports through 2020. The length of the agreement matches that of Jimmie Johnson, 42.

Knaus, 46, partnered with Johnson at the start of the 2002 NASCAR season. Over the last 13 seasons, the pair has amassed seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships, 81 wins and 37 pole positions.

What has been the key to the No. 48 team’s success?

“It probably has a lot to do with Jimmie’s patience,” Knaus said prior to Saturday’s Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN,  PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). “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 pair’s tight-knit relationship has helped them weather the tough times – including the team’s current 41-race winless streak that dates back to Dover last June. It’s the longest drought for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team since its inception 17 years ago.

“Obviously, I’m a very competitive person and if we go three weeks without winning I’m frustrated,” Knaus said. “It’s just a matter of going out there and competing. I love to compete.  The winless streak right now, yeah although it’s not where we want to be by any stretch of the imagination it is where we are. It’s our reality right now and we’ve got to fight through it.”