NASCAR America: Hendrick Motorsports could win their 13th championship this year
Kasey Kahne scored Hendrick Motorsports’ 249th victory at Indianapolis last year. It would take more than a year for them to reach the 250-win milestone when Chase Elliott pulled into victory lane at Watkins Glen earlier this month.
The last three wins for Rick Hendrick came with three different drivers – and that is fitting since the organization’s 250 victories have come with 17 different drivers behind the wheel, according to NBC’s Nate Ryan.
Geoff Bodine gave Hendrick his first win in 1984; 11 years later, Jeff Gordon gave them the organization its first championship.
Jimmie Johnson gave Hendrick Motorsports its 12th Cup championship in 2016 – and now that the organization’s winless streak has ended, the question turns to whether they will be able to get another championship.
“If you’d asked me this a month ago, I would have said ’no, there’s not a chance,’ “ Jeff Burton said on Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America. “But watching Chase Elliott and the improvement they’ve made – you look at the stage wins they’ve all the sudden started getting, the laps they’ve started leading – they’ve become very consistent.
“Chase Elliott gives them a shot. I don’t see anyone else that has a chance.”
Landon Cassill would toss Johnson’s name in the mix.
“It’s Hendrick Motorsports and it’s a yes all the time,” Cassill said. “And that’s because they’re still one of the most well-funded organizations in the sport, they’ve got some of the most talented people, you can always hang your hat on that 48 team – even though they’re without a win. They can show up and peak at the right time. ... The beauty of our sport right now is with the playoff system, it only takes one win to be the champion.”
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