Sixth-place finish gives Jimmie Johnson feeling of satisfaction

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LOUDON, N.H. — Autograph-seeking fans cluttered the pavement. Pit crews lifted gas tanks and mechanics disassembled parts. Every so often, a car wheeled through.

It was hot and frenzied outside the garage, 20 minutes after Sunday’s race. Not for Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief.

The No. 48 Chevrolet was one of the first cars examined, unhitched and secured in a hauler.

So with a black leather briefcase hanging on his right shoulder, Knaus weaved through the traffic. The 41-year-old smiled, exiting through a small opening of the thin-wired fence.

Consider business in New Hampshire a success.

“We wanted to make today a non-issue,” Knaus said. “And that’s exactly what we did.”

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