Rockford native Knaus and Johnson splitting up

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BROOKLYN, MI – AUGUST 10: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, and crew chief, Chad Knaus, stand on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Consmers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 10, 2018 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

One of the most successful duo’s in NASCAR history is breaking up and one-half of that duio is Rockford native Chad Knaus.

Hendrick Motorsports has announced that starting next year Knaus will no longer be the crew chief for driver Jimmie Johnson and the 48 car. Instead Knaus will slide over to the 24 car and be paired with driver William Byro. Byron is currently a 20 year old Cup rookie.

Johnson’s new crew chief will be Kevin Meedering. He’ll come over from the Xfinity Series where he has worked with Elliiott Sadler.

Johnson and Knaus have been together since 2002. They’ve won seven Cup Championships, but their luck has changed the last two years. They’ve gone 53 races without a win.

There’s no dissension between the two men. Both of them and team owner Rick Hendrick say it’s simply time for a change.

“It’s no secret that Chad and Jimmie have experienced their ups and downs over the years,” Hendrick said in a press release. “They’re fierce competitors, great friends and have immense respect for one another. They also fight like brothers. All three of us agree it’s finally time for new challenges and that a change will benefit them and the organization.”

“Chad and Jimmie will go down as one of the greatest combinations in sports history,” continued Hendrick. “They defied the odds by performing at a championship level for longer than anyone could’ve possibly imagined. What they’ve accomplished together has been absolutely remarkable and will be celebrated for generations. This has been an incredible, storybook run.”

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