Jimmie Johnson: ‘That day is out there’ when he’ll split with crew chief Chad Knaus

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All good things must come to an end, as the old saying goes.

That includes the pairing of six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus.

Johnson told reporters Friday at Martinsville that while nothing is imminent, he knows the day is coming when he and Knaus will essentially divorce and go their separate ways.

“Yeah, that day is out there,” Johnson said. “I think a crew chief’s lifespan is much shorter than a driver’s.They live in dog years and drivers can carry on much longer.

“I’ve been accused of being loyal to a fault in the past, that’s me. I have no plans or desires to make a change.

“When Chad decides he’s had enough of being the guy on the box, it will be his decision to step down. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve made it 13 years in this thing. I want to see it go as long as it can.”

Working with a new crew chief would be a difficult transition for Johnson, as he and Knaus have become more like brothers than a team, so to speak.

“We’re honest with each other and know each other well enough to work through the bad times,” Johnson said. “It might not be pretty, and I’m sure you guys have heard things on the (team) radio that got your attention.

“We’re like family, and we fight like family. We can call each other out on that stuff, and you only hear a piece of it on the radio. There is plenty more that goes on behind closed doors and in meetings.

“It’s more of a timeframe of when Chad says, ‘I’ve put in my time here as crew chief and I need to slow down a little bit.’”

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