Chad Knaus Hall of Fame nominee bio

Championships are won through hard work, commitment, attention to detail and the relentless pursuit of perfection … All traits that led Chad Knaus to become one of the greatest crew chiefs in NASCAR history.

Leading his father to multiple track championships as a teenager, Knaus was destined to be a successful crew chief at stock car racing’s highest level. His NASCAR start came at Hendrick Motorsports as an assistant in the body shop, learning under Hall of Famer Ray Evernham as part of the ‘Rainbow Warriors.’ His breakthrough came in 2002 when he was paired with rookie driver Jimmie Johnson on a fourth Hendrick team – the start of one of the most productive partnerships in sports history.

The pair combined for seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, including a NASCAR-record five in a row. They won 81 races over 19 seasons, including the 2013 Daytona 500, two Southern 500s, four Coca-Cola 600s and four Brickyard 400s. Knaus won his 82nd – and final – race with William Byron in 2020. He trails only Dale Inman and Leonard Wood for all-time wins by a crew chief.

Knaus currently serves as Vice President of Competition for Hendrick Motorsports.


Born: Aug. 5, 1971
Hometown: Rockford, Illinois

Championships (7)
Cup – 2006-10, ’13, ’16 (crew chief)

Cup Series Crew Chief Stats
Competed: 2000-20
Starts: 708
Wins: 82
Poles: 42
Years on ballot: 1