talent and tools at Hendrick Motorsports.
“The resource that we have at Hendrick
Motorsports allows Jimmie to be as good
as he is,” Knaus says of Johnson. “There’s
no doubt about it, Mr. Hendrick has given
us everything that we could possibly need
with engines and chassis. We’re able to turn
around and make things happen quickly.
That’s not the way it is everywhere.”
Part of it is the potent driver-crew chief
chemistry between Johnson and Knaus,
position where we’re able to win seven
championships and get the opportunity to
win eight, I think he’s worthy of it,” says
Knaus of his driver. “I think he deserves it.”
I want to keep it up and keep going.”
It won’t be easy to keep going at this
level, but then nothing worthwhile ever is.
“You cannot let up a minute,” says
Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president
Performance Vehicles & Motorsports. “The
competition is too intense. You have to
stay right on top of all the engineering and
technology to make sure we’re on the
forefront of what we have to be working
on to help our teams and drivers win.
What do we do for an encore is, we stay
right at it. You work hard, and it’s all about
preparation. You have to stay 10 steps
ahead of where you are right now, so you
can prepare for the upcoming season.”
“stats have not motivated
me. i spent 30-some years
getting to this point and
i want to keep it up”
the longest-running pairing in NASCAR.
“They have tremendous respect for
each other,” says car owner Rick Hendrick.
“The chemistry is the best it’s ever been.
You see it in the way they go about testing,
the way they debrief. I think they can see
where they are right now, and what
they’re still capable of doing. I don’t think
they’ll let anything come between that.”
Part of it is Johnson’s spectacular talent.
“I don’t see any flaws in Jimmie,” says
Hendrick. “I think the most impressive
thing about him is that he lets his actions
do the talking for him. He doesn’t brag
about it. He doesn’t try to promote it.”
So what’s left?
Simple. To go do it again. And again.
And again. Johnson now trails only
Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, both of
whom won seven championships.
“If we are able to get ourselves in a
(TOP) Slick pit work
by the No. 48 crew
was an essential part
of Johnson’s 2013
title charge. (LEFT)
JJ chats with Matt
Kenseth, the driver
who pushed him
hardest in his quest
for a sixth title.
80 2014 CHEVROLET RACING SPECIAL
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
2013 MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
CHEVY WIN STREAK HITS 11
The first season for NASCAR’s new
Gen- 6 car didn’t put Chevrolet off its
stride as it earned an 11th-straight title.
Making its Sprint Cup debut in 2013,
the Chevy SS won first time out at the
Daytona 500, then added 15 more.
Seven drivers from four teams won
races in 2013 in the new SS, headed
by six for champion Jimmie Johnson.