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SPARTA, Ky. — Chad Knaus has signed a two-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports through 2020 to remain as crew chief for the No. 48 Chevrolet of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.

Knaus, who has worked with Johnson since 2002, said during a news conference Saturday at Kentucky Speedway that he signed the deal in the past couple of weeks. His current contract was set to expire after this season. He described his decision to stay as “pretty easy,” even as the team seeks sponsors to replace home improvement chain Lowe’s.

“I think Jimmie and I have gotten to the point where we really understand one another,” Knaus said.

Johnson entered Saturday night’s 400-mile race at Kentucky 12th in points and aiming to end a 41-race drought. His most recent win was in last year’s June race at Dover.

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