Thursday, March 6, 2014

Who does Dale Junior think is NASCAR's next Chad Knaus?

   Chad Knaus, the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson's six Sprint Cup Series championships, is not going anywhere soon, but Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., has an idea of who the next brightest crew chief mind in the sport may belong to.

   That's Rodney Childers, new crew chief for driver Kevin Harvick, who won last weekend's race at Phoenix.

   “I think that people perceive him as maybe the next Chad Knaus. He has got a lot of respect from his peers because people really realize his potential and his talent. He has got a great opportunity to showcase that," Earnhardt said of Childers. "I think that obviously Jimmie (Johnson) is going to be one of the guys as a favorite early in the championship. But I think that (Kevin) Harvick has been consistently in the top five in points year after year. 

   "I believe that he is really in a program where he can shine with the opportunity with Rodney to excel even more. They will be extremely challenging. I think that the Phoenix race was just a sign of more to come. When we went to test at Charlotte his car was by far superior to everyone else there. I was like ‘man everybody better watch out, everybody better wake up because this is going to be a strong team.’ They are going to be tough and deservedly so. I think Rodney has already had some good success, but this is a great opportunity for him to really showcase his talent. I think he’s got a ton of it.”