Knaus, Johnson make it three in a row at Las Vegas

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117389983425976.jpg’, ”, ‘Chad Knaus‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117389985125976.jpg’, ”, ‘Jimmie Johnson‘);

In a town where full houses, flushes and straights usually come up winners, this past weekend it only took three of a kind to reign supreme.

Las Vegas may be the new home away from home for defending Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus, formerly of Rockford. The duo combined to make it three wins in a row at the newly-renovated 1.5-mile track.

Johnson finished the race ahead of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon. Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin rounded out the top five.

Martin continues to lead the season standings. After the first three races of the young season, Martin has a slim 6-point lead over Gordon. Martin has never won a NASCAR championship, and has said he only plans to run a limited schedule this year. That could change if he continues to have success. The first race he is scheduled to sit out is in Bristol, Tenn., March 25. According to Martin, “The plans haven’t changed yet.”

The series moves to Atlanta this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500. The race is slated to start at 12:30 p.m. local time, and will be broadcast on FOX 39.

Just a side note about Kobalt Tools: Johnson and Knaus co-star in a TV commercial for the Kobalt company. It aired during last weekend’s race telecast. In case you missed it, I’m sure it will be shown multiple times this weekend since Kobalt is the major sponsor for the race. The two are shown refinishing an old car that turns out to be a beautiful Camaro courtesy of the tools. Not bad for a guy formerly from Rockford, a NASCAR championship crew chief and now the co-star of a television commercial. Way to go, Chad!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the March 14-20, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!