LONG POND, PA – JUNE 09: Chad Knaus, crew chief of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, stands on pit road during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Axalta presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2017 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet had a rough start to the race week as crew chief Chad Knaus had his laptop stolen in a rental car in San Francisco. The laptop contained setup information for the car for this week’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Knaus and his wife got to San Francisco on Wednesday to have dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf before driving the 32 miles to Sonoma and when they got back, the back window was smashed open and the briefcases in the back were stolen. It was discovered that only the briefcases which contained the laptop was stolen and not any luggage.

More than likely, the robbers had no clue who they were stealing from so it’s not like this info will be given to some other team or anything. But just to be on the safe side, the information on that laptop is encrypted and someone else on the team has similar information with them. So if this had happened, at least it was thought out to give the info to someone else so the team isn’t completely unprepared.

The usually serious and prepared Knaus was able to find the silver lining to everything and joked that it might not be that bad of a situation.

“It’s probably a good thing,” Knaus said. “We haven’t run very well here over the last couple of years, so if I don’t have any notes to fall back on, we might come up with something new.”

Knaus’ wife had her laptop as well as art supplies stolen out of her briefcase. Both briefcases also had cash that was stolen. Knaus remarked that if it was an inside job by another team, something that is highly unlikely to happen, he said, “If anybody in the garage just randomly takes up water colors, we’ll know who it was.”

It’s always a horrible feeling to be the victim of a robbery. Especially for something like laptops, there’s personal information all over them. But even if they had broken the window and not stolen anything, it’s still terrible to have that invasion of privacy feeling. Looking on the bright side and cracking a joke when you can might be the best way to deal with a bad situation.


About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp