It has been one hell of a run for Chad Knaus. As a crew chief he has racked up seven NASCAR Cup Series championships and his has had a pivotal role in shaping the landscape for Hendrick Motorsports over the past 20-or-so years.
On Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that following the 2020 season, Knaus, 49, will step down from his role of crew chief and accept a promotion as vice president of competition.
According to a release from the team, Knaus will oversee the technical development for the entire stable of teams as the sport transitions to the Next Gen car for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Knaus says the new position will allow him the chance to spend more time with his growing family as he will not be subject to the yearly grind on the road.
“When I started at Hendrick Motorsports (in 1993) working for Ray Evernham, my goal was to be a crew chief,” Knaus said in the release. “Starting at a young age, I wanted to win every race we entered and battle for every championship. Mr. (Rick) 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.”
HMS will also elevate Jeff Andrews, the former vice president of competition to executive vice president and general manager. Knaus will report directly to Andrews going forward.
Rick Hendrick feels that his two long-time work horses will play a monster role in the organization’s future for years to come.
“As we look to the years ahead, Jeff and Chad are going to play significant roles in our success,” said Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “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 skillsets 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.”
William Byron, who drives the No. 24 car for HMS, will have a new crew chief next season, which will be named at a later date.
Byron captured his first-career NASCAR Cup Series win at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year and made the NCS Playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.