CONCORD, N.C. -- More than 600 team members work at Hendrick Motorsports, and each of them has a unique role that helps contribute to success on the racetrack.
In this series, HendrickMotorsports.com will take an in-depth look at how team members execute those jobs on a daily basis, detailing their workspaces, routines and more.
This time, the No. 24 team crew chief, Chad Knaus shares "How I Work."
Computer: Panasonic Toughbook
Current mobile device: iPhone
One word that best describes how you work: “A lot.”
Take us through a recent workday: “Basically I show up here between 6:30 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. We have a meeting at 7 a.m. with everybody on the team, all the managers. Then I spend a lot of time with engineers on the No. 24 team, maybe some of the mechanics to understand the status of the race car and what we need to do to it to prepare it for the racetrack the next week. That’s about what we do every-single week here at Hendrick Motorsports.”
Apps/gadgets/tools can’t you live without: “I mean who could live without Instagram? Kidding, but, from a tool standpoint, we don’t use a whole lot. We use Microsoft Teams quite a lot, we do use some Skype but that’s probably it from the top of my head right now.”
Workspace setup: “I have dual monitor setup for my laptop. Behind me I have a big white board where I put all my brain-dump ideas. I have another monitor where I play previous races from the same racetrack or some upcoming races that I want to try to get a head start on; just to try to get back in the swing of whatever that event is, kind of like watching football film. Other than that, that’s really about all I got. I have my little bonsai tree that I keep in my office, and I prune that every week.”
How you keep track of what you have to do: “I do it a little bit the old-fashioned way. I carry a notebook with me, and I write down every day what my highlighted items are, and I try to get those done. Other than that, I use my PC and set myself little memos and little notes on the calendar, just so that I look at those every day.”
How you got your start at Hendrick Motorsports: “I’m from the Midwest. My father raced late models in the Midwest quite a lot through the early 70s, 80s and into the 90s. I got into motorsports by following him around. I traveled all throughout the Midwest and some in the south and decided at a very young age I wanted to move down here and get into what was then Winston Cup racing. I got a couple jobs in motorsports then in 1993 I got the opportunity to come work here at Hendrick Motorsports.”
Best advice you have ever received: “I’ve gotten so much great advice from so many great people. I would say the majority of the people that are wise and have been successful in life that I have listened to always tell you to think before you speak. It is always a wise idea to take the information and process it before you act.”
Mentor or influential person in your life: “Again, I have been very fortunate to have known a lot of influential people. I would have to say first and foremost would be Mr. Hendrick. I know he is a go-to for a lot of people because he touches a lot of lives in a very positive manner. Mr. Hendrick and I have been very tight since I started here back in 1993, so he has been pretty influential for me.”
Favorite thing about working at Hendrick Motorsports: “My favorite thing about working here at Hendrick Motorsports is the accessibility. We’ve got wonderful people, we’ve got wonderful equipment, great race car drivers, awesome teammates, we’ve just got so much you can do here and take advantage of so many different situations. It’s just a joy to come in every day.”
Who you rely on to keep things running smoothly: “That’s the easiest question of them all, Lynn Hess, my office administrator. She is the one who gets me to and from where I’m supposed to go on time, when I’m supposed to be there and everything that’s supposed to happen.”
Something people may not know about working for a race team:
“Obviously there’s been a lot of people who will see what the old-school racing was and what we used to do as an industry. I think technology has changed what it is that we do entirely, and I really don’t think people understand how advanced we are, working here at Hendrick Motorsports, and really all of NASCAR. It’s a pretty clean, neat, tidy place where people could potentially wear lab coats if they wanted to. It’s a pretty awesome place.”
Music you listen to while you work: “I’ll listen to music occasionally, not a lot. Typically, I’m listening to a race in the background. But, if do listen to music I’ll listen to maybe some (Frank) Sinatra, I like that. There could be some bluegrass going on, old folk rock going on, usually some pretty chill stuff.” “I really dig Luda (Ludacris).”
-Knaus proceed to pull out his Pandora playlist and show that hip-hop was the third most listened to station.
Who else you would like to see answer these questions: “I would have to say Tiffany Powers; she would do a really good job. She works in our marketing and public relations department. She would be a good fit for this.”