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And while Johnson and Knaus have won five championships, Johnson said they can learn from Earnhardt and Letarte.

“I’m happy to see Steve as confident as he is and Junior both because we can really lean on them and pull from them, and it’s a two way street,” Johnson said. “That’s something that’s new this year, and I’m proud of both of them for where they’re at and where our whole team is.”

Still, Hendrick cautioned everybody against overconfidence.

“You can’t put any more effort in than we do here,” Hendrick said. “But I’ll tell you, when you start believing that you’ve got it figured out is when you’ll get your butt handed to you.”