By Jason Schultz
Team Owner Rick Hendrick is looking for his 200th sprint cup win this season. Hendrick Motorsports is one of the most competitive teams in Nascar with a phenomenal driver lineup including Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
These drivers are four of the most popular and successful drivers in the industry. Jeff Gordon is four-time champion and one of Hendrick Motorsports original drivers. Gordon has won the Daytona 500 three times and is still competing for wins and a possible fourth championship at the age of 40.Jimmie Johnson is considered Hendrick Motorsports best driver. Between the years of 2006-2010 Johnson won five consecutive championships. An incredible statistic history making statistic and the feat likely won’t be accomplished again. Johnson won the 2006 Daytona 500 and has accounted for at least one-fourth of Hendrick Motorsports victories.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is Nascar’s most popular driver and has an incredible racing background. Nascar hall of famer Dale Earnhardt was Dale Earnhardt Jr’s father. Earnhardt Jr. didn’t arrive at Hendrick Motorsports until 2008 and has only won one race at Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt Jr. brought a ton of popularity to Hendrick Motorsports along with limited success. As of late, Earnhardt Jr. has had some strong runs and is looking to get back in victory lane after three seasons without winning a sprint cup race. The newest Hendrick Motorsports driver is Kasey Kahne. Kahne signed with Hendrick in 2010 but wasn’t able to join the team until this season. Mark Martin who was the pilot of the No.5 car signed a two-year agreement which kept Kahne out of the car for 2011. Kahne has yet to contribute a win to Hendrick Motorsports but if he were to win Hendrick Motorsports next race it’ll be a big one.
Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t won a sprint cup race since Kansas in October of last season. That’s thirteen opportunities at winning there 200th sprint cup series victory thrown out the window. Limited success out of Hendricks drivers have contributed to the thirteen race winless streak. Hendrick had a great opportunity to get win No.200 at Martinsville but a late race caution and then his two drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson who were starting on the front row on the restart were involved in the incident in turn one they both blew their opportunities to get Mr. H win No.200.
Then the two weeks later at Texas Motor Speedway Jimmie Johnson was leading the race and then under fifty laps to go and Greg Biffle past him and Johnson was unable to catch Biffle. Then this past weekend at Kansas Johnson had a strong run and late in the race he faded and was unable to recover. Hendrick Motorsports will likely get there 200th sprint cup win this season and they have the talent to do so. One of Hendrick Motorsports strongest track on the circuit is coming up at Talladega in two weeks. Johnson won the spring Talladega race last season, Jeff Gordon has won there in the past. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won there numerous times and feels that’s one of his best tracks. Kasey Kahne has yet to show his strength at Talladega but with that Hendrick horsepower he’ll be a threat. If Jeff Gordon was to win No.200 for Hendrick it would be very special because Gordon is one of Hendricks original drivers. If Johnson were to win No.200 for Hendrick it would be another chapter in his historical career at Hendrick Motorsports.
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. was to win No.200 for Hendrick it would prove he belongs with such a dominant team. If Kahne were to win No.200 for Hendrick it would be the start of his winnings for Hendrick Motorsports. Such a dominant team like Hendrick should easily accomplish this task but it has been a long time coming and Mr. Hendrick will feel real proud once Hendrick Motorsports accomplishes this incredible feat.