Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jimmie and Chad - So Happy Together

They're as good together as peanut butter jelly. They're in tune like The Captain and Tennille. They're as comfy as a pair of Levi's and a worn t-shirt.

And apparently, this match made in that big garage in the sky is staying together for several years to come.

This weekend, Chad Knaus signed a contract extension that will keep him paired with champ Jimmie Johnson until the year 2015.

And although it would be pretty darn fascinating to see how Knaus would fare with say, Dale Earnhardt Jr as his driver, a team owner would be a fool to mess with the chemistry shared by Jimmie and Chad. After all, these stats from Hendrick Motorsports speak for themselves:

  • After earning the 2009 Sprint Cup championship, Jimmie Johnson is now the first driver ever to capture the honor in four consecutive seasons. With his 2006-2008 titles, Johnson tied the legendary Cale Yarborough, who recorded three in a row from 1976-1978.

  • Chad Knaus is the only crew chief ever to win more than two consecutive Sprint Cup titles (he now has four in a row), and his championship total (also four) ties him for second with Kirk Shelmerdine among crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Only Dale Inman (eight titles) has more.

  • In major American professional sports, only three teams have won more than four championships consecutively: the Boston Celtics' eight NBA titles starting with the 1958-59 season and ending in 1965-66; the New York Yankees' five World Series rings from 1949-53; and the Montreal Canadiens' five Stanley Cups from 1956-60.

Just listen to the #48 radio any given Sunday and you'll see why the Knaus-Johnson combo works. It's as if they read each other's minds. And they certainly balance each other out. Johnson has said that when he talks to Chad about what's going on with his Lowe's Chevy, it's like Chad can visualize exactly what the car is doing and what needs to be fixed.

What's more, theirs is not just an on-track bromance. Heck, these two even vacation together.

This weekend on Twitter, Jenna Fryer who covers NASCAR for the Associated Press, was soliciting nickname ideas for Jimmie Johnson.

But a nickname for Johnson alone just doesn't cut it. I maintain that a celebrity couple name is far more appropriate. How about Chimmie, Chadson, or even Jad?

After all, if the past four years are indicative of the future, we're going to be seeing these two in Victory Lane (and in print) together for a long time to come.



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