Chad Knaus serves as Carolina Panthers ‘Keep Pounding’ drummer

At every Carolina Panthers home game, someone is invited to pound the drum to rile the crowd up as part of the pre-game ceremony. From Charlotte-native and NBA MVP Steph Curry to former Panthers’ quarterback Jake Delhomme, many celebrities and athletes have had the opportunity to remind fans to Keep Pounding.

Before the Panthers faced the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Chad Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and seven-time NASCAR champion, got to partake in the honor.

The honor of banging the drum was created as a way to remember the words of Panthers’ linebacker coach Sam Mills, who gave a historic speech before the Panthers went on their 2003 Super Bowl run.

Mills, who was a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker, after being overlooked coming from Montclair State. Before the 2003 season, Mills was diagnosed with intestinal cancer and told he only had a couple months to live.

In his speech, he addressed the team about how they became his inspiration to keep pounding.

"When I found out I had cancer, there were two things I could do: quit or keep pounding," Mills said in 2003. "I’m a fighter. I kept pounding. You’re fighters, too. Keep pounding!"

Mills passed away in 2005 but his speech has lived on and Sunday Chad Knaus got to become a part of it by banging the Keep Pounding drum.


No Panthers fans, that isn’t an old Stephen Davis jersey that Knaus has on, that’s a custom-made jersey for the crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet.


Check out the video of Knaus banging the drum below.