One of the unique aspects of NASCAR relative to other forms of motorsport is the relevance given to one of the key people in every team, the crew chief. Watch a Sprint Cup race on TV and you'll notice crew chiefs get as much airtime as a coach from a football team would get during a match. They are part of the story every race weekend, but their role goes well beyond what you see on the track.
Chad Knaus is by far the most recognised crew chief in NASCAR these days, following five consecutive Sprint Cup titles with Jimmie Johnson. He joined Hendrick Motorsports nearly 20 years ago, rising through the hierarchy of the organisation to become one of its leading figures. As you will read, he is constantly pushing the envelope while trying to make the most of a very restrictive set of rules, designed to prevent anyone from having the kind of domination he held with Johnson for the past half-decade.
AUTOSPORT caught with him to learn more about what takes place inside Hendrick Motorsports, his role within the squad and many of the technical intricacies of NASCAR's elite series.
Q: How would you describe your role?