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Chad Knaus


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Knaus wonders if Hendrick's in his future



CONCORD, N.C. -- Chad Knaus was left out of the recent round of contract extensions at Hendrick Motorsports, and the crew chief said Friday he's not received indication that he'll get one.


"I love my job. I love my team. I love it at Hendrick Motorsports," Knaus said during preparations for the Nextel All-Star Challenge. "But no one has talked to me about staying beyond 2007."



There is speculation that Hendrick is keeping a close eye on Knaus, trying to see if he can walk a straight line and stay out of trouble with NASCAR, before the team will offer him a longer deal.


But there's been a noticeable change in his demeanor since Knaus returned from his suspension, and Johnson praised him for the softer approach.


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  • 2 months later...

Knaus signs extension through 2010



Associated Press


INDIANPOLIS -- After a rocky 18 months in which he was suspended for cheating, Chad Knaus is staying put.



The crew chief for series leader Jimmie Johnson signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports through 2010. The move was announced Saturday and mirrors the team's recent agreements with Johnson and sponsor Lowe's.



Knaus has been Johnson's crew chief since the driver came to NASCAR's top stock car series as a rookie in 2001. In their first four seasons together, the No. 48 Chevrolet has finished no worse than fifth in the points and has twice been the series runner-up.



"I'm proud to have been with Jimmie and the Lowe's team since the beginning," Knaus said. "I think we've proven ourselves, but there's still more to accomplish and I'm looking forward to the challenge."



Knaus, who was in the final year of his contract, is considered one of NASCAR's more aggressive and creative crew chiefs and has been fined numerous times for infractions. He was suspended two races last season when Johnson's car failed inspection following a victory in Las Vegas. But Knaus appealed and the suspension was reduced to probation.



At this year's opener, Knaus was ejected from the track after inspectors found he had made improper modifications to Johnson's car during Daytona 500 preparations. He missed that race, which Johnson won, and was later suspended for three more races, fined $25,000 and placed on probation for the rest of 2006.



"Sometimes you just push too hard," Knaus said after returning to work at Bristol. "There are procedures that you follow in our industry, as a competitor you try to evolve with that and try to find an advantage on your competition. That is what I did and they didn't like it. So I watched on TV for a while and read the papers."



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