Newsletter Signup

CONCORD, N.C. -- This offseason, No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus reflected on what it means to head to Daytona International Speedway as the defending champion.

"Obviously when you show up in Daytona as the defending champion, you’ve got a bit of a bullseye on your back," Knaus said. "We like that. We’ve operated in that situation before with the No. 48 team, so I’m looking forward to that."

With the NASCAR Cup Series already in Daytona, the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS is parked in the first garage stall, a privilege granted to the defending champion.

And Johnson echoed Knaus' sentiment that the No. 48 team doesn't mind being the mark to beat.

“I think the way we finished up the season, especially winning at Homestead, we definitely have a target on our backs,” Johnson said. “It’s a position we love to be in, and it’s our job now to keep that target on our backs by performing well.”

To hear more from the seven-time champ, check out the video above.