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This Daytona 500 win comes at a time of change for Knaus, who is trying as hard as he can to have a life away from racing. He got engaged in December to longtime girlfriend Lisa Rockelmann, who understands when he doesn’t come home for 38 consecutive hours.

Team owner Rick Hendrick believes Knaus is in a far better place now than he was in 2006, and the balance Knaus has added to his life might not be enough for everyone, but it’s working for the crew chief.

“You can’t be 100 percent and live in the shop and work on the car and if you don’t win, you can’t live with yourself,” Hendrick said. “He’s learned to have other pieces in his life.”