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CONCORD, N.C. -- Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson have a very special relationship.

Through the ups and downs, through all the changes in their lives, through the seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, there has always been, as Knaus put it, "a lot of love in the air."

The No. 48 team crew chief appeared on the latest edition of the NASCAR on NBC podcast with Nate Ryan, and he chatted about their longstanding relationship and what Johnson means to him.

"If I'm fortunate enough to have a son one day, if he grows up to be just like Jimmie Johnson, I would be very happy," Knaus told Ryan. "And I don't mean that from a success in racing standpoint, I'm talking as an individual. I'm talking as a person. That would be the ideal young man to be in my family. He is compassionate, he has empathy for people, he is strong-willed, he's strong-hearted, he cares -- he's a pretty amazing person."

Knaus explained that the duo ultimately learned that no matter what was happening on the track, all either one of them wants to do is win.

That's a mindset the crew chief said he looks for in every member of the No. 48 team

"There are people that race for a living and there are people that live to race," Knaus explained. "That's what we do. We live to race."

Knaus and Ryan broached an abundance of topics, from the crew chief's offseason trip to South America to what a seventh championship meant to him, the opportunity to win an eighth championship and what the future holds.

One thing is certain:

"I'm super excited about the 2017 season," Knaus said.

To listen to the full podcast, follow the link below.