CONCORD, N.C. -- Chad Knaus already has left his imprint on the NASCAR Cup Series as a crew chief. Seven championships and 82 Cup wins later, the Illinois native became Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of competition at the beginning of 2021 and has been instrumental in aiding the organization in securing 10 wins through 22 races this year.
Knaus integrated himself with iRacing in recent years when he was crew chiefing to re-familiarize himself with certain tracks on the Cup Series schedule. Now he will put his skills to the test on Saturday, July 31, for the "4 Hours of Charlotte" at the virtual Charlotte Motor Speedway in conjunction with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise funding for multiple sclerosis research.
“A good friend of mine, Meredith Jaggard, was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago," Knaus said. "Her sister, who is a very good friend of mine, Jennifer Jones, works for the MS Society. She and I were chatting about fundraising and she knew I was into iRacing, so she had the idea of doing something with iRacing. I connected her with the folks at iRacing and they loved it.”
Since the four-hour event is an endurance race, Knaus will be teamed up with executive vice president and executive producer at iRacing Steve Meyers and Nick Ottinger, who races for William Byron’s team in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. The response and donations have been so positive that the original $20,000 fundraising goal has been bumped up to $25,000.
“This is also an opportunity to give the community something they have been asking for in a solo or team option for one of our endurance events,” Meyers said. “I’m looking to hand the car off in one piece and let Nick handle the passing!”
Knaus, Meyers and Ottinger will be on their own respective rigs throughout the four-hour endurance race and will be communicating online the entire time.
Knaus joked: “We are going to do our best to stay out of trouble, Steve and I, and let Nick bring us home to victory, hopefully.”
Anyone who makes a donation to either the event or the fundraiser will be entered to win one of the following exclusive prizes: a RaceX Pro Chassis from Sim-Lab, a Fanatec ClubSport Wheel Base V2.5, a Podium Steering Wheel R300, or a Logitech G923 TRUEFORCEs Racing Wheel and Pedals.
“We just want to raise awareness and continue to drive for a cure,” Knaus said. “It’s a horrible disease, a horrible illness, and for the people who live with MS, it’s difficult. It’s difficult for everybody involved, so if we can help push a little bit of funding to try and find a cure, that’s what it’s all about.”