Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday afternoon that they would implement some changes for the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season starting with Kevin Meendering and extending all the way to Chad Knaus.
Meendering will leave the #1 Xfinity car at the end of the season and take over as Crew Chief for Jimmie Johnson in 2019. Chad Knaus will leave the #48 where he has been since 2002 and crew chief for Lord William Byron in 2019. Darian Grubb will move into the Technical Director role at Hendrick.
OH SHIT. JIMMIE AND CHAD BROKE UP.
Ok so we buried the headline but everyone has the same headline about Chad. When the checkered flag falls at Homestead next month it will be the end of an era. Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus have wreaked havoc on the Cup Series since 2002. Chad is responsible for 81 of Jimmie’s 83 career wins. The two won SEVEN Championships together, every time NASCAR tried to change the points system on them they laughed in their face. And kept winning.
Five championships in a row at one point made Jimmie Johnson the most hated man in NASCAR. Looking back on it now, what a thing to witness. Very rarely are you able to watch something happen and realize you’re watching greatness. Michael Jordan, LeBron, Tiger, Serena, Schumacher, add Johnson to that list.
Now Johnson will give it a go with Meendering as his career winds down. Meendering has three Xfinity wins to his name and a pair of runner-up finishes in the Xfinity Series Championship the last two seasons. He’s a seasoned team member that hopefully can give Johnson the spark he needs.
Lord Byron The Next Jimmie J?
Knaus moves over to the #24 car in 2019 which is where he started his career in NASCAR with Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham. Knaus will look to get Byron on the right path. An abysmal year for Byron has people questioning if he was better off spending another season in the Xfinity Series.
With Knaus though Byron will have a wealth of information. Not only that but Knaus can help coach the kid, he took an unknown off-road driver from California to victory lane in 10 races, can he repeat history with Byron? We’ll find out.
All of this is tremendously yuuuugee news as our fair leader would say. Never did any of us expect to see Knaus and Johnson break up. This is Belichick and Brady like you can’t have one without the other. We’re about to find out how it works though.
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