Championship tandem Jimmie Johnson and organisation arch Chad Knaus to split

5:52 PM ET

If Jimmie Johnson wins a record eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship, it won’t be with Chad Knaus as his organisation chief.

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  • Kevin Meendering, organisation arch for Elliott Sadler in a Xfinity Series, will take over a No. 48 group starting in 2019, while Knaus will turn organisation arch for Hendrick Motorsports motorist William Byron, according to a group news release.

    Knaus and Johnson began operative together in Johnson’s rookie deteriorate in 2002, and they won 5 uninterrupted Cup championships together from 2006 to 2010 as good as championships in 2013 and 2016. They have struggled a past dual years, however, with Johnson finishing 10th in a standings final year and unwell to allege out of a initial turn of a playoffs this year.

    “It’s no tip that Chad and Jimmie have gifted their ups and downs over a years,” group owners Rick Hendrick pronounced in a news release. “They’re extreme competitors, good friends and have measureless honour for one another.

    “They also quarrel like brothers. All 3 of us determine it’s finally time for new hurdles and that a change will advantage them and a organization.”

    Johnson, who ranks tied for sixth all time with 83 career Cup victories, is on a 53-race winless streak.

    Johnson common his thoughts on a change around Twitter.

    Meendering has spent a past 3 years during HMS associate JR Motorsports and has guided Sadler to 3 wins and 38 top-5 finishes.

    “Over a final integrate of years, he’s been one of a many sought-after talents in a garage,” Hendrick said. “Kevin is an considerable chairman who came adult in a classification and will strike a belligerent using on Day 1. We already know how good he works with a people and that he’s a respected, forward-thinking organisation chief.

    “Having worked with a maestro motorist like Elliott Sadler for 3 years is intensely profitable experience. He’s a right fit for Jimmie during a right time.”

    Knaus sealed a two-year agreement prolongation during a summer and now will be interconnected with Byron, who sits 22nd in a Cup standings as a rookie and turns 21 in November. The pierce “reunites” Knaus with a group that gave him his initial full-time Cup pursuit in 1993: a HMS No. 24 crew.

    “You can’t quantify how most Chad’s care and championship knowledge will advantage William, who is a special talent,” Hendrick pronounced in a release. “The dual of them are a good match, and I’m vehement to see what they can do together.

    “Chad has a Rainbow Warriors extraction and truly appreciates a story of a No. 24. I’ve asked him to build another leader and given him a immature light to put his stamp on a group and do it his way.”

    Only a organisation chiefs will change roles. The residue of a group organisation will hang with their stream drivers.

    “Chad and Jimmie will go down as one of a biggest combinations in sports history,” Hendrick said. “They defied a contingency by behaving during a championship turn for longer than anyone could’ve presumably imagined.

    “What they’ve achieved together has been positively conspicuous and will be distinguished for generations. This has been an incredible, storybook run.”

    Current Byron organisation arch Darian Grubb will pierce into a technical executive purpose in a HMS engineering and car growth department.

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