INTERVIEW: Why Chad Knaus now not hates TV cameras – EAST AUTO NEWS

INTERVIEW: Why Chad Knaus now not hates TV cameras

Chad Knaus as soon as hated the tv digicam.

That’s not an exaggeration. Knaus says it twice with amusing when requested how he as soon as considered tv as a competitor versus how he views it now. As probably the most recognizable and profitable NASCAR Cup Sequence crew chiefs, the cameras all the time discovered him. If he made a nasty name for the No. 48 workforce of Jimmie Johnson or the No. 24 workforce of William Byron, the digicam was there to see his response. If one thing occurred to his driver on the racetrack, the digicam was there to doc the aftermath.

“And also you’re similar to, ‘Jesus, man, this digicam has been on me for 3 and a half hours. Give me a break,’” Knaus tells RACER. “I can keep in mind Darlington one 12 months, we’re below warning, so I used to be going to make use of the chance to go pee. The digicam adopted me all the way in which to the Porta Johns like, ‘Oh, the place’s Chad going?’ And so they’re following me like, ‘Oh, whoops.’

“It is a aggressive atmosphere, and when issues aren’t going effectively, the very last thing you need is a digicam on you as a result of thousands and thousands of persons are watching. However my alternative to go do TV was all the time a approach for me to an outlet, as a result of we do have a rat race that we run as crew chiefs within the sport, and once I go to do TV, I’ve to fully unplug from that. You’ve got to have the ability to discuss to the digicam or the folks that you just’re working with, and you must do it appropriately. It’s a technique to get eliminated. It’s a technique to get my thoughts off of what’s happening within the every day grind.”

Today, Knaus is extra lighthearted about his earlier dislike of the lens as a result of he understands what is going on on the opposite facet of it. Now not a crew chief, Knaus remains to be closely concerned within the sport because the vp of competitors for Hendrick Motorsports, however don’t overlook how a lot time he’s placing into his facet job.

Over the previous couple of years, Knaus has made common journeys to the Fox Sports activities studios in Charlotte as a contributor to Race Hub. It’s not the primary time Knaus has performed tv, however he’s actually doing it with extra regularity – and pleasure – than previously.

Knaus first began doing tv in 2004, bringing a perspective contemporary from contained in the storage to viewers. There have been reveals from studios, and from the racetrack on Friday nights after qualifying. When it grew to become an excessive amount of, Knaus selected to take a step again. Then got here Race Hub just a few years in the past.

“It’s enjoyable, I take pleasure in it,” Knaus says. “I don’t have sufficient time, even in the present day nonetheless, to place all the trouble into it that it deserves, so I really feel unhealthy typically once I stand subsequent to guys which are actually good at it and do an amazing quantity of preparation like Larry McReynolds. He lives it similar to he was a crew chief. That is his legit job. And for me, it’s simply form of enjoyable.”

Earlier this 12 months, Knaus took an additional step into the TV world when he made his first look within the broadcast sales space as a part of the three-man workforce to name the Cup Sequence races at Martinsville and Richmond alongside Mike Pleasure and Clint Bowyer. Prior to now, he has additionally served as an analyst for various Xfinity Sequence races.

Whereas Knaus has warmed to being in entrance of the TV lens over time, his day job with Hendrick Motorsports stays his precedence. Motorsport Photographs

Q: Is there any benefit that you just’re additionally nonetheless concerned on the race workforce facet? Does one assist the opposite?

CHAD KNAUS: It actually helps the printed facet, for certain. The attention of the trade; with the ability to have your ear to the bottom of what’s trending within the storage space and within the trade… I feel that helps once I go on tv. Reverse of that, it additionally generally is a little bit tougher once in a while, relying on what’s happening. If we’ve had a technical difficulty with NASCAR, as an example. I’ve needed to do Race Hub or one of many reveals proper after I simply obtained suspended. There have been totally different occasions when it may be fairly awkward. However I don’t know that the printed facet actually does a complete lot towards racing.

Q: So, your perspective on TV has modified, and drivers say the identical factor once they do broadcasts. They begin to perceive why TV does sure issues, appropriate?

CK: I get it now. I’ve performed a few Xfinity races whereas I used to be a crew chief, and now I’ve performed a few Cup Sequence races whereas I’m on this new function, and I feel they’ve helped each other. My understanding being within the place that I’m now at Hendrick Motorsports versus a crew chief, I’ve a bit bit extra world consciousness than I did once I was a crew chief.

Then as I do some broadcast stuff, I feel you see extra of what’s happening as effectively. Why do you want a few of that data? Why do you want a few of that intel from the crew chiefs or the groups? Why do these guys and gals ask the questions that they do? It’s not simply because they’re making an attempt to be troublesome, or they’re making an attempt to impress you. It’s as a result of they actually don’t know as a result of they aren’t in it. They’re there. They’re watching it, they’re masking it, however they don’t perceive all the time the decision-making processes of what goes on. So, they’re simply being inquisitive, versus simply being a ache within the butt.

Q: And it helps to get you out of the bubble and seeing the game from a wider lens?

CK: Oh, for certain. After I was a crew chief, I used to be so ignorant to what occurred on this planet. However you don’t care, you actually don’t. I hate to say it that approach; you’re simply nervous about your automobile being profitable, and as quickly because the race is over, you get a right away report card, and you already know whether or not or not you’ve performed a superb job or not and you then transfer on to the subsequent occasion. It’s simply growth, growth, growth.

As I took on this new function, it was like trying behind the scenes of Oz. It’s like, ‘Holy smokes. This isn’t what I anticipated.’ There’s much more consciousness now and TV undoubtedly helps me perceive that, as a result of I perceive what Fox is seeking to get out of this. I perceive what our different broadcast companions want to get out of it, and what the worth is for our sponsors and our companions, and why they do what they do, and it begins to make extra sense. Plus, I’m maturing.

After residing for years contained in the crew chief bubble, Knaus has realized to understand the broader view of the game that he’s gained from TV work. Picture through Fox Sports activities

Q: You mentioned earlier you don’t get to place in as a lot time as you need to, however you’re Chad Knaus, so that you’re by no means unprepared. What do you do when you already know that it’s your week on Race Hub otherwise you’re going to do a race broadcast, as a result of there is no such thing as a approach you’re doing it off the cuff?

CK: You’ll be shocked, I actually do for Race Hub. I didn’t even make the ten o’clock name in the present day, and I normally strive. I most likely have a 50% success charge on that, which I’m embarrassed to say, however we’ve obtained a lot happening. So I don’t put together effectively. I did put plenty of work into the races. They’ve obtained the crib sheets that exit, I research them, I strive to take a look at him, I attempt to perceive who’s driving what automobile, if there’s one thing totally different with the pit crew, if the driving force has performed effectively at totally different tracks. I actually tried to dig into what was going to occur all through the course of the race.

This may occasionally sound humorous, (however) I don’t need to be the crew chief on TV. I need to be an analyst. My years of being a crew chief are over; I’m not a crew chief anymore. I don’t need to be a crew chief on TV. For those who have a look at someone that’s a crew chief on TV, you have a look at Larry McReynolds, and he does an incredible job. He embodies that. That’s not a task that I’m ready to even start to attempt to fill. He’s many years into doing this, and for me to know how he does and what he does… I wouldn’t do it. That’s not the function that I would like. I need to be a man who talks about it, not only a speaking head. Belief me, I need to be educated, however I attempt to take it from a bit bit totally different method. I’ve crew chief expertise, that’s all I’ve. However I don’t need to be the ‘crew chief.’

Q: Do you see your self persevering with to do it so long as they offer you alternatives, though you proceed to be simply as busy with Hendrick Motorsports?

CK: I like a problem, there’s little question. To a fault, most likely. However it’s a problem to go on the market for Race Hub. You stand on this huge inexperienced room with two or three people and simply discuss to one another, and it’s a bizarre atmosphere to be in. You learn a monitor now and again. It’s attention-grabbing to be within the broadcast sales space throughout a race and watch this factor unfold from a very totally different perspective. From what I noticed on prime of the pit field, it’s fully totally different since you’re not a automobile, or a automobile that you just’re racing with or automobiles that you just’re racing with, you’re trying on the complete program. What B.J. McLeod is doing that day could possibly be simply as vital as what Chase Elliott is doing on a given occasion from that perspective. And I feel that’s form of cool.

Q: What’s vital for viewers to find out about a broadcast you’re on?

CK: I do take it severely as a result of I actually love our sport. I need to showcase our sport to as many individuals as I probably can and draw folks in. I actually need to proceed to get higher at explaining it and training folks, and serving to folks perceive what it’s that we do. Fairly truthfully, our previous TV reveals the place we have been a bit bit extra on the technical facet, I feel that basically had a big effect on plenty of our viewership as a result of folks would watch it and they might perceive the automobile extra. There’s a bit little bit of a separation there. And I’m not pitching a brand new present, so don’t fear about that.

However I do need to proceed to be a useful resource for those who, ‘man, I realized this due to what Chad mentioned in the present day.’ I’ve had lots of people come as much as me for many years about, ‘Man, I used to look at you on this present, and I realized a lot about this. I by no means even knew what an oil hyperlink system was. I didn’t find out about how disc brakes work. I didn’t find out about how technique labored and the way you calculated gas mileage.’ It’s actually form of cool to assume that I had some small impression on that. That’s actually neat. If I can proceed to try this, that’s actually what I need to do.

INTERVIEW: Why Chad Knaus now not hates TV cameras – EAST AUTO NEWS


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