Former Hendrick Motorsports Crew Chief Chad Knaus Rates Jimmie Johnson as the Best Driver Ahead of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty

Published 05/21/2022, 11:44 AM EDT
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – JANUARY 29: Jimmie Johnson driver of the #48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi, looks on before the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 29, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Without a doubt, Jimmie Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of his generation. Ahead of his outing at the iconic Indianapolis 500, a number of NASCAR drivers and personalities spoke about Johnson. Among them was former NASCAR crew chief and Hendrick Motorsports Vice President of Competition, Chad Knaus.

In fact, he believes that Johnson could be one of the greatest of all time, even more than someone like Dale Earnhardt.

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He said, “One thing I’ve always said about Jimmie that is absolutely true, he’s the best race car driver I’ve ever seen. He does such an exceptional job of being able to find a way to get past somebody, whoever that is. He’s not always the best when he’s leading, qualifying or practice, none of that.”

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“But if you put Jimmie 25th on the grid, he very consistently finds his way up into the Top 10. He can run there and pass cars consistently when other folks just can’t do it. That’s a pretty amazing talent that he’s been able to continue to have all throughout his career.”

What to expect from Jimmie Johnson at the Indy 500?

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In all honesty, the 7-time Cup Series champion has struggled in his IndyCar stint. However, a closer look at his performances has shown that he has performed exceptionally well on oval tracks. In fact, he snatched an impressive 6th place at the Texas Motor Speedway, his only Top 10 finish so far this season. Otherwise, he used to languish outside the Top 20.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – MARCH 19: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, looks on during practice for the NTT IndyCar Series XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 19, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)ji

Now, we’re not suggesting that he has a serious chance of winning the Indy 500. However, given that he is used to oval races, Johnson could potentially snatch a decent result in the iconic race.

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WATCH THIS STORY: War Breaks Out on Social Media After NASCAR Fan Makes Ugly Jimmie Johnson Suggestion

The race will kick off next weekend, and the NASCAR living legend will be keen to compete in the race for the first time. All that fans need to do is wait just one more week until the action starts.

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Dhruv George

13084 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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