Hendricks Motorsports Looks to Three Peat in New NASCAR Season

Hendricks Motorsports Looks to Three Peat in New NASCAR Season

As the eyes of the racing world return to Daytona, Hendrick Motorsports looks to go full throttle into another championship or bust season. 

Following back-to-back Cup Series Championships by Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, the winningest team in NASCAR history is back on top as the foreseeable team to beat. 

Featuring the All-Star class of drivers, Elliott, Larson, William Byron, and Alex Bowman are one of, if not the greatest collection of young talent any team has had in recent memory.

They have single handily carried Chevrolet the previous two seasons. In 2020, they won seven of the total nine races the manufacturer won. They followed that up in 2021 by winning 17 of the 19 total Chevrolet wins.  

The first challenge before them this Sunday in the Daytona 500, one Hendricks has been struggling to win lately. The last Hendricks’ winner of the Great American Race was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2014.

Most recently, the closest they’ve come is Elliott’s second-place finish last year in a last-lap crash, which saw surprise winner Michael McDowell win. This was his first race win after 358 career starts. 

The team also will have to overcome the losing streak for drivers who begin in the pole position( starting in the first place). Larson will start in the front row alongside teammate Bowman. It has been 22 years since the driver on the pole won the race when Dale Jarrett did it in 2000. 

Fellow teammates Elliott and Bowman will start 11th and 23rd, respectively. 

They will take on the most unpredictable luck-based race of the year in which anything can happen. This will be the outlier in what Hendricks will expect to be another consistent dominant season. 

However, Elliott is a very good superspeedway racer, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he finds some of the magic he had back in his win at Talledega in 2019. 

The remaining 35 races of the season will provide their own twists and turns for all of the NASCAR teams. 

Despite being delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the next generation of racecars has finally arrived in the properly named Next-Gen car. 

The seventh new look for the cars NASCAR uses on the track looks better to improve both the looks and performance of the cars. From the new 670 horsepower engine all the way to the revolutionary single center-lock wheel nut, this season will be a whole new look for the sport. 

Despite the urges to debate the controversial issue of lug nuts on racecars, the benefits of the new changes to the cars look to outweigh many of the critiques. They passed their first real test when they performed well in the Busch Light Clash in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum the Sunday before the Super Bowl. 

The most important concern of safety appears to have passed all tests, especially after some hard hits in the Clash. This will help give the drivers confidence in the high banks of Daytona and throughout the season. 

Hendricks, like the rest of the sport, will look to lean on the youth of its drivers to adapt and learn all of the nuisances of the changes. They are at the forefront of the youth movement in the sport, which is in stark contrast to the veterans like Earnhardt and Johnson accustomed to Hendricks. 

Larson, 29, Bowman, 28, Elliott, 26, and Bryon, 24, all are now experienced and legitimate contenders.  

Around the in-field garage are driver Ryan Blaney, 28, Erik Jones, 25, Austin Cindric, 23, and many more who are hoping to bring the sport back to its heights of the 1970s and late 1990s. This was when the young stars from Dale Earnhardt Sr. to Jeff Gordon brought NASCAR to the national spotlight. 

Now in this young field, can Hendricks three-peat and be the first to do so since they did it under the dominance of Jimmie Johson’s five straight championships with Hendricks? 

The answer is a resounding yes. They are the best team in the history of the sport, and this year will just be another chapter in their history book. 

NASCAR Championship Final Four:

Chase Elliott (Hendricks Motorsports)

Kyle Larson (Hendricks Motorsports)

Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing)

Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing)

NASCAR Cup Series Champion: Chase Elliott.