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Chad Knaus Extends with Hendrick Motorsports

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 5, 2006) – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chief Chad Knaus has signed a contract extension that will keep him with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2010 racing season, mirroring the organization’s recent agreements with driver Jimmie Johnson and team sponsor Lowe’s.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Chad is one of the great young minds in NASCAR and a key member of our organization,” said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.  “He’s done an unbelievable job building the Lowe’s team into a championship contender and we’re excited about continuing our relationship with him.”

In December 2001, Knaus was named crew chief of Hendrick’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolets driven by Johnson, then a Cup-level rookie.  The team earned the pole position for its first race, the 2002 Daytona 500, and has since posted 60 top-five finishes, 102 top-10s and a series-leading 21 victories in only 167 starts.

Johnson has raced each of his four full seasons with Knaus as crew chief, never finishing outside the top five in championship points.  The team is currently first in the 2006 standings with three wins, seven top-five performances and 16 top-10s, best among all NEXTEL Cup competitors.

“I’m proud to have been with Jimmie and the Lowe’s team since the beginning,” said Knaus, who is celebrating his 35th birthday today.  “I think we’ve proven ourselves, but there’s still much more to accomplish and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I’ve spent the better part of a decade at Hendrick Motorsports and consider it my extended family.  It’s an incredible group of people who are all passionate about what we do and the company we work for.  Everyone knows about Rick Hendrick the car owner, but he’s also a true friend and I’m honored to continue the relationship we’ve built, both personally and professionally.”

Knaus’ contract was set to expire following the 2007 NASCAR season.

ABOUT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned nine championships in NASCAR’s top three divisions and 146 victories in the sanctioning body’s premier series, the NEXTEL Cup. The organization currently fields Chevrolet race cars on the Cup and Busch Series circuits with drivers Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Headquartered in Concord, N.C., the company employs 500 people and proudly services the sponsorships of more than 30 of the world’s most respected brands. Please visit HendrickMotorsports.com for more information.

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