Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Chad Knaus makes 700th start as Cup Series crew chief

Chad Knaus made his 700th appearance as a crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday night.

Knaus’ milestone became official once William Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet rolled off in the fifth starting position for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 (coverage on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Richmond Raceway. The event also marks a modest milestone for Byron — his 100th Cup Series start.

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Knaus is making his second straight playoff appearance with Byron and his 17th consecutive overall — a 100 percent attendance rate since the creation of NASCAR’s 10-race playoff system in 2004.

The 49-year-old Knaus has built a Hall of Fame-worthy resume through his longtime pairing with driver Jimmie Johnson, a partnership that ran from 2002-18 and produced seven Cup Series championships — second only to the eight titles won by legendary wrench Dale Inman. Knaus was atop the pit box for all but two of Johnson’s 83 career wins.

Knaus worked with Casey Atwood and Stacy Compton before joining the No. 48 team for Johnson’s rookie season. He joined Byron last season and guided him to his first premier-series victory last month, a playoff-clinching win in the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway.

Knaus is calling his 40th Richmond race as a Cup Series crew chief. His three victories at the .75-mile Virginia venue are the most among active Cup Series crew chiefs.