2010 Holiday Wishes from Chad Knaus

What an amazing Christmas gift… awareness about SMA from Chad Knaus!!


Holiday Wishes

Author:Chad Knaus

When you’ve had a year like mine, it’s hard to come up with a holiday wish list. Winning a fifth consecutive championship is about the best present you could get. And winning it the way we did and having to compete down to the last lap made it even better.

So for this holiday season, my wish list will focus on what I’d like to give everyone else.

First, I’d like to wish all the people on the No. 48 Lowe’s team a happy holiday and fantastic New Year. We’ve had a great year together, and next season will be even more incredible.

I’d also like to wish happy holidays to all of the teams at Hendrick Motorsports. We’re one big family, and it will be exciting to watch our family grow and succeed together next season.

For all of the NASCAR and Jimmie Johnson fans out there, I hope next year brings another season of great racing like this year’s. And I hope to see more of you coming out to the racetrack to see the excitement in person.

And I want to wish all of the NASCAR teams, officials and other members of the racing family a great off-season to spend with their friends and families.

Finally, I’d like to wish a very Merry Christmas to two very special little girls: Brielle and Brooke Kennedy. These two amazing little girls deserve an extra special visit from Santa. They are both affected with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which is the leading genetic killer of children. Their aunt works at Hendrick Motorsports, which is how I met them. I’d wish for a cure for SMA to help them, and wish that I can continue to help raise awareness and funds for their cause.

Happy holidays everyone! See you in Daytona!

"Betting on Brielle and Brooke" -Team Lowe's Track Record Magazine

August is SMA Awareness month! Brielle and Brooke are featured in an article with Chad Knaus inside the Lowes quarterly racing news magazine called, “Track Record.” This magazine goes out to 750,000 homes! That’s right, SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND homes!!! What great awareness! Thank you Lowes & Chad for helping us raise awareness about Spinal Muscular Atrophy!!

Betting on Brielle and Brooke


Chad Knaus



Usually, the only gambling I do is on two tires versus four during a pit stop, or maybe on fuel mileage.  But I had an opportunity recently to bet on something far more important – at a casino night to benefit Brielle and Brooke Kennedy.

Brielle and her sister Brooke are both affected with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which is the leading genetic killer of children.  Their aunt works at Hendrick Motorsports, and that’s how I met them.

The girls are adorable.  They’re very cute and very sweet. They’re extremely resilient and tough little ladies.  They definitely touched a soft spot in my heart and I wanted to help them any way I could and get some awareness out there.

We just held a poker tournament for them and a number of drivers and crew chiefs came out. We were able to raise a lot of money for these little girls and for SMA.

It’s really nice to be able to help this family.  It’s such a rare disease, and to have two little girls in that family affected by it, is just terrible.  I like the fact that I can help to a degree, and wish I could help more.

One exciting thing is that we’re looking for ways to help them with a wheelchair accessible conversion for their van so they can travel easier.  The poker night went a long way in raising money for their van, so we plan to have it for them soon.

They usually come to the Michigan race, so hopefully I’ll see them in the fall.  They all came to the race last year, and it was great to see how much they enjoyed it.  I had a chance to give Brielle a tour of the transporter, introduce her to some drivers and even put her in the racecar.  I knew our day was complete when she wished me luck on the race.

If other people would like to make a donation for these great little girls, they can contribute to:

Friends of Brooke & Brielle 

P.O. Box 740

Mattawan, MI  49071 

It’s an honor for me to be able to help this family and to see the progress of Brielle and Brooke.  It’s a bet that’s paying off in the most important ways.

Online version of the article:


Brielle and Chad Knaus.