Hendrick Motorsports will enter the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season with all four drivers under contract. However, Chase Elliott’s deal only runs through the 2022 season, making an extension a priority for the championship-winning organization.
Elliott is currently finishing out a four-year contract extension that he signed in June 2017. He finished the season fifth in points in the No. 24 Chevrolet and then switched to the No. 9 for 2018 and beyond. The three-time Most Popular Driver has been one of the most consistent drivers in the Cup Series and has continued to contend for a spot in the championship four.
The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro has spent his entire full-time Cup Series career with Hendrick Motorsports, dating back to the 2016 season when he won the pole for the Daytona 500. He has achieved a considerable amount in this span of time by delivering 117 top-10 finishes, 74 top-fives, and 13 wins. Elliott also finished the 2020 season as the champion.
One interesting factor in Elliott’s contract situation is the status of his partner deals. According to Jayski’s team chart, existing deals with Kelly Blue Book and NAPA Auto Parts run through the 2022 season. Eastman Performance Films LLC, on the other hand, has a deal with HMS that runs through the 2023 season and features two races as a primary partner of the No. 9 each year.
Another HMS Driver Needs an Extension
Elliott is not the only member of the HMS stable that will become a free agent after the 2022 season barring a deal. William Byron, the man who replaced Elliott in the No. 24, sits in a similar situation and will need an extension to remain with the team.
Byron joined HMS on a full-time deal during the 2018 season. He took over the No. 24 and posted four top-10 finishes as a rookie. He has since become another consistent driver while accounting for 47 more top-10 finishes, 21 top-fives, and two wins.
Like Elliott, Byron previously signed a contract extension to remain with HMS. He inked the deal after winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on August 29, 2020, his first career Cup Series victory. The extension ensured that Byron would remain in the No. 24 through the end of the 2022 season.
While there is no official deal in place, it’s likely that Byron will remain with HMS. The primary reason is that his top partner has inked an extension to remain with the organization. Liberty University will sponsor the No. 24 for 12 races annually through the 2026 season.
Rick Hendrick Wants to Keep Elliott & Byron Around
While Elliott and Byron both have deals that expire after the 2022 season, it’s likely that they will remain with the team. Owner Rick Hendrick even expressed his intention to keep both drivers around after previously announcing another deal.
Hendrick spoke to media members after Kyle Larson signed an extension that runs through the 2023 season. He explained that he plans on keeping the four-driver stable — also including Alex Bowman — together and that he wants to get them all under contract beyond the end of the 2022 season.
“Absolutely, my plan is for Chase and William to retire with us, so that’s an ongoing situation with me,” Hendrick said, according to NASCAR Media. “I love the lineup right now, and I want to keep the band together.”
Bowman was the first member of the team to extend his deal with HMS. He and the organization announced on June 18 that he had signed a two-year extension that runs through the end of the 2023 season. Bowman will remain in the No. 48 Chevrolet and strive to surpass a four-win season in 2021.