Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson confirm they will be back together next season

Jimmie Johnson (left) confers with crew chief Chad Knaus.

Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images

Following Jimmie Johnson’s victory in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, his longtime crew chief Chad Knaus confirmed he will be back as the leader of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team next season.

Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Knaus might step down or head elsewhere after a disappointing 2014 season for the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. But Knaus said Sunday night he’ll be back on the pit box next year.

During his post-race press conference at Texas Motor Speedway, Knaus was asked about the rumors he might be leaving.

"I haven’t heard any of that stuff," Knaus said. "You write all the bad stuff, don’t tell me the good stuff. No, man, I’m set. I don’t foresee a change with the 48 car from a driver or crew chief standpoint in the near future. I don’t foresee that happening. If it does, I’ll have to be a reporter because I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do after that."

For his part, Johnson has made no bones about the fact the two had some disagreement and strained conversations this year, but said that’s a normal part of racing.

"Yeah, he will be my crew chief as long as he wants to climb up on that box," said Johnson, who won his fourth race of the season and the 70th of his career. "Crew chief’s live in dog years so I would imagine he is going to have enough before I have enough, but just such a great run of events. Sure we were frustrated, sure we wanted to be fast, but you are going to have high emotions in any team sport when you are not doing well, especially, when you are a championship caliber team. It is just how it is."