After Johnson’s second consecutive Nextel Cup championship and the 33 races won in their six years with crew chief Chad Knaus, Johnson received from Hendrick Motorsports a life time contract.
"I just offered it to him," Hendrick said. "It’s a commitment. Jimmie and I talked about it, and Chad and I talked about it. You know, I want to do whatever I can do to keep it together. When you’ve got someone that you really enjoy being with and you see that they’ve got unlimited potential and he and Chad have got great chemistry - I try to look down the road as far as they feel comfortable. So we know we’re going to be together for a few more years. I’m going to do everything I can to give them everything they need and whatever they look forward to in the future."
Jimmie Johnson (celebrating the win of 2006 Nextel Cup title)
Johnson said about the offer: "I think we all know and understand that we have a good thing. With Jeff Gordon having a lifetime contract, it’s just unheard of in motorsports anywhere. And there are special things that went on there, and times are different than they are now. This is home to me. Hendrick Motorsports is home to me. I don’t need a lifetime contract to say that. I know where my home is. I know where I want to drive and who I want to work for. I have a contract through 2010. And after that we’ll figure out what is in store for us for the future. But this is home for me. It’s family, it’s great!"
This is not a surprise for Hendrick, several years ago the team signed four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon to a lifetime contract. Hendrick Motorsports will try anything to keep Johnson and Knaus together, but that won’t be so easy, so they decided to offer them a life time contract.