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Johnson and Knaus lead 2024 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, who as a driver and crew chief duo won a NASCAR record-tying seven Cup Series titles, lead the newest class of inductees into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame.

Two drivers – one from the Pioneer Ballot and one from the Modern Era Ballot – and one crew chief were elected Wednesday to become the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s class of inductees in 2024.

Joining the Hall of Fame from the Modern Era Ballot:

Jimmie Johnson: Johnson, 47, won seven Cup championships, equal with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most all-time. Five of those titles came in succession between 2006 and 2010, a NASCAR record. That stretch of success surpassed the previous mark held by Cale Yarborough, who won three straight titles from 1976-78.

Johnson also won 83 races in a career dating back to 2001 and spanning 689 races. He is a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 (2006 and 2013). He also won four times each in the Coca-Cola 600 and Brickyard 400, adding two Southern 500 crowns along the way.

Johnson’s racing career began with motorcycles and off-road trucks. He eventually moved to asphalt – first in the American Speed Association circuit and then a brief stint in what is now the Xfinity Series. Once there, he caught the attention of current Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon, who advocated for his addition to Hendrick Motorsports.

 

Chad Knaus: Leading his father to multiple track championships as a teenager, Knaus was destined to be a successful crew chief at stock car racing’s highest level. His NASCAR start came at Hendrick Motorsports as an assistant in the body shop, learning under Hall of Famer Ray Evernham as part of the “Rainbow Warriors.” His breakthrough came in 2002 when he was paired with Johnson on a fourth Hendrick team – the start of one of the most productive partnerships in sports history.

The pair combined for seven Cup championships, including a NASCAR-record five in a row. They won 81 races over 19 seasons. Knaus won his 82nd – and final – race with Hendrick driver William Byron in 2020. He trails only Dale Inman and Leonard Wood for all-time wins by a crew chief. Knaus, 51, currently serves as Vice President of Competition for Hendrick Motorsports.

2016 Champion and race winner Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with crew chief Chad Knaus

2016 Champion and race winner Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with crew chief Chad Knaus

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Joining the Hall of Fame from the Pioneer Ballot:

Donnie Allison: After winning the 1967 Cup Series Rookie of the Year, Allison partnered with famed mechanic Banjo Matthews where he experienced his most success. In 1970, Allison won three races for Matthews, including the Coca-Cola 600. The following weekend he finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500, setting a record for best-combined finish in the two-race crossover that still stands today.

Allison, 83, who ended his career with 10 wins and 17 poles in 242 starts, might be best-known for his role in NASCAR’s most famous moment – his 1979 Daytona 500 fight with Cale Yarborough.

Donnie Allison

Donnie Allison

Photo by: Greg Gage

Landmark Award

Janet Guthrie: The first woman to compete in the Daytona 500, will be honored with the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

The 2024 Hall of Fame class will be formally inducted in January 2024.

This was the third class determined under the redesigned format for Hall inductions.

There were 10 nominees on the Modern Era ballot and five on the Pioneer ballot – designed to honor those whose careers began more than 60 years ago. Two Modern Era candidates and one Pioneer candidate now compose each Hall class.

Note: Motorsport.com NASCAR Editor Jim Utter is a member of the Hall of Fame Voting Panel. He voted for Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus on the Modern Era ballot; Sam Ard on the Pioneer ballot; and Janet Guthrie for the Landmark Award.

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