Chad Knauss and Jimmie Johnson splitting up after 2018 Season

Chad Knauss and Jimmie Johnson splitting up after 2018 Season

Hendrick Motorsports announced on Wednesday that the seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will have a new crew chief of his No. 48 Chevrolet team beginning next season, ending his nearly 17-year relationship with Chad Knaus.

Knaus will move to the No. 24 team in 2019 and assume crew chief duties with current rookie William Byron. Knaus will replace Darian Grubb, who will be promoted to technical director, an executive leadership role supporting HMS’ engineering and vehicle development resources.

Replacing Knaus on the No. 48 will be Kevin Meendering, who currently serves as Elliott Sadler’s crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at JR Motorsports.

“It’s no secret that Chad and Jimmie have experienced their ups and downs over the years. They’re fierce competitors, great friends and have immense respect for one another,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “They also fight like brothers. All three of us agree it’s finally time for new challenges and that a change will benefit them and the organization.

“Chad and Jimmie will go down as one of the greatest combinations in sports history. They defied the odds by performing at a championship level for longer than anyone could’ve possibly imagined.

“What they’ve accomplished together has been absolutely remarkable and will be celebrated for generations. This has been an incredible, storybook run.”

Jimmie took to Twitter and posted... "Chad and I have had unimaginable success together and I’m grateful for his friendship. I can’t thank him enough for his dedication to success and the drive to win. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the entire organization."