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DATE News (chronologically)
11/20/07
nascar
Johnson offered lifetime contract
Jimmie Johnson has been offered a lifetime contract to stay at Hendrick Motorsports. "And it's a lifetime contract with unlimited budget, right?" Johnson jokingly asked team owner Rick Hendrick after the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend.

Johnson is coming off his second consecutive Nextel Cup championship, and he and crew chief Chad Knaus have won 33 races in their six years together on the No. 48 Chevrolet team. Johnson has also finished in the top five in the final points standings all six seasons he's raced in Cup.

"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."

Hendrick said it wouldn't be easy to keep Johnson and Knaus together for years to come, but the car owner said the whole organization is better with the two of them on the team.

Hendrick signed four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon to a lifetime contract several years ago, so the move with Johnson would not be unprecedented.

"I think we all know and understand that we have a good thing," Johnson said. "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."
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