Hendrick Motorsports promotes Knaus, who will leave crew-chief role after 2020

Hendrick Motorsports promoted Chad Knaus to an executive management position Tuesday, announcing organizational moves that also included the elevation of Jeff Andrews to executive vice president and general manager.

Knaus, 49, will finish out the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season as William Byron’s crew chief for the No. 24 Chevrolet team before moving into his new role as vice president of competition. For Andrews, who will be Knaus’ boss, his transition will be made effective immediately.

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The changes will signal the end of Knaus’ 21 years as a crew chief at NASCAR’s top level. During that span, Knaus has won seven championships with Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and has amassed 82 Cup Series victories. Only Hall of Fame crew chiefs Dale Inman and Leonard Wood have more race wins at NASCAR’s top level than Knaus.

“When I started at Hendrick Motorsports (in 1993) working for Ray Evernham, my goal was to be a crew chief,” Knaus said in a team 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.”

As vice president of competition, Knaus will oversee the technical development of Hendrick Motorsports’ stable of cars, including implementation of NASCAR’s 2022 Next Gen vehicle. Knaus will be responsible for personnel that includes crew chiefs, pit crews, engineers, fabricators, assemblers and other team-related staff.

Knaus will report to Andrews, 55, who joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1992 and had served as vice president of competition since 2017. He 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, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “They’re tremendous leaders who are respected within our organization and across the entire auto racing world.”

Hendrick Motorsports 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 successful 17-season run with Johnson and Hendrick’s No. 48 operation.

Knaus’ drivers qualified for the Cup Series Playoffs in every year since the 10-race postseason format was established in 2004. He was atop the pit box for Byron’s first Cup Series win earlier this season, a clutch victory in the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway on Aug. 29.

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