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CONCORD, N.C. -- Jimmie Johnson and William Byron have nothing but praises for crew chief Chad Knaus after Hendrick Motorsports announced he would become the new vice president of competition Tuesday afternoon.

Knaus, 49, was with Johnson from for 17 seasons, and the duo won seven titles together, including an unprecedented five championships in a row. Johnson said he's thrilled for Knaus and his family and that his long-time friend will excel in his new role.

William Byron, who paired up with Knaus for the start of his Cup Series career in 2018, echoed Johnson's sentiments. Byron said Knaus pushed him and the No. 24 team to "another level" and that Knaus has helped him grow on and off the track.

"In his new role, I feel like it's going to suit him really well and it's going to help us as a group to continue down the path we're on of running up front and winning races," Byron said.

Knaus and Byron got their first win together on Aug. 29 at Daytona International Speedway. It was Byron's first Cup Series win and Knaus' 82nd overall. The duo will remain together for the rest of the 2020 season.

Knaus will report to Jeff Andrews, 55, who has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager, effective immediately. The new crew chief for the No. 24 team will be announced at a later date.