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Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsport - Q&A

Jimmie Johnson crossed the line in ninth place on Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but that was more than enough to secure him his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title.
Jimmie Johnson clinched his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on Sunday with ninth place in the 2013 season finale, the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

After celebrating his achievement, Johnson joined car owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Chad Knaus to meet the media and to speak about what a sixth Cup title really meant to him and the Hendrick Motorsports team - and what's next for the #48 team.

Q:
We're joined by crew chief Chad Knaus and owner Rick Hendrick. This is Hendrick Motorsports 11th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner's Championship, most of all time. 14th National Series Owner's Championship. Certainly the sixth with the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet.

This is Chad's sixth championship, all with Jimmie Johnson. Chad has 64 career wins, all with the Jimmie Johnson team.

Let's hear from Chad first. Certainly a terrific run this season and in the Chase. You handled the pressure. You won another championship. How does that feel?

Chad Knaus:
Boy, I tell you, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, how long has it been, 30 minutes or an hour. It was a fantastic season. I actually spoke to my guys in the meeting before the event. You don't know what's going to happen when you come into these events. We've unfortunately had a couple races this year that we didn't finish as well as what we needed to to get that 23rd position to have clinched.

So when we went into the meeting today, I told the guys, You need to really focus on what it was we've achieved throughout the course of the season. We've led a bunch of laps, won a bunch of races. We've taken a group of new individuals, new engineers, mechanics, pit crew members, they've all evolved into a pretty spectacular team.

I don't think we're even close to the potential of the team yet. That's exciting for me. But they have really, really bonded well together. They care for one another. They put the team first. That's something that's hard to do, especially with a first-year team.

Ron Malec, Jimmie and myself are the only ones still here from 2002. Bunch of new players. It's a lot of fun.

Q:
Rick Hendrick, you were in here the other day. You were talking about how difficult it is to win these championships, how much they mean. Maybe talk about this one that the #48 team performed so well.

Rick Hendrick:
You know, so many things happened along the way. The car has been great. Jimmie has been great. Chad has been right on the money. Jimmie just drives the wheels right off of it.




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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates winning the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 17, 2013 during the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson secured his title with a 9th place finish. This is the sixth career championship for Johnson. At left is Lowe`s crew chief Chad Knaus.(Photo Credit: HHP/Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates winning the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 17, 2013 during the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson secured his title with a 9th place finish. This is the sixth career championship for Johnson. At left is Lowe`s crew chief Chad Knaus.(Photo Credit: HHP/Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS is with his crew chief Chad Knaus, left, and Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, center. Johnson won the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 17, 2013 during the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson secured his title with a 9th place finish. This is the sixth career championship for Johnson. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Johnson, who is in the Chase, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks to his crew chief, Chad Knaus, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy in the #31 Turner Scott Motorsport NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, looks on from the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Crew members for Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, work on the car after a crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 5, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 3, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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