A championship-winning NASCAR organization is about to take on another series. Hendrick Motorsports will return to the Xfinity Series for a limited schedule, starting in July.
HMS announced the news on June 2. The team revealed that it will use the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro during three races. Kyle Larson will take over the entry first for the July 2 race at Road America. Alex Bowman will take on the July 30 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and William Byron will finish out the limited schedule with the August 20 race at Watkins Glen International.
“Our drivers are always looking for more opportunities to compete,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “We believe the additional road-course experience on Saturdays (in the Xfinity Series) will translate well to Sundays (in the Cup Series). It will be exciting to see the No. 17 return to the racetrack for Hendrick Motorsports, and we’ll do everything we can to take it back to victory lane.”
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Hendrick Motorsports chose a special number for its return to the Xfinity Series. Rick Hendrick’s late son, Ricky Hendrick, used the No. 17 during two seasons in the Camping World Truck Series. This is the number that Ricky took to Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway in 2001.
“It will be special to see the No. 17 back in action for Hendrick Motorsports,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “It’s a great chance for Kyle, Alex, and William to gain more time on the road courses and to do even more with our HendrickCars.com sponsorship. I’m looking forward to running the Xfinity Series again.”
Hendrick Motorsports Spent Several Years in the Xfinity Series
The championship-winning organization has not competed in the Xfinity Series since the 2009 season. However, a wide variety of drivers combined to make 339 starts over the course of 16 years while racing under the Hendrick Motorsports banner. Brian Vickers added 34 more starts, three wins, and a championship while driving for Ricky Hendrick.
Geoffrey Bodine was the first person to win an Xfinity Series race for HMS. He took the organization to Victory Lane at Rockingham Speedway during the 1984 season. He then won four other races for HMS during the 1980s.
Kyle Busch accounted for the most Xfinity Series wins while driving an HMS Chevrolet. He captured 11 races between 2004 and 2007, including four during the 2007 season to close out his tenure with the organization.
Tony Stewart is the last person to make an Xfinity Series start for HMS. He headed to Daytona International Speedway to kick off the 2009 season, and he took the No. 80 to Victory Lane after leading 23 total laps.
This Schedule Follows Another Xfinity Series Return
Part of the announcement is that HendrickCars.com will serve as the primary partner for the three-race Xfinity Series schedule. The company is already Larson’s primary partner in the Cup Series and the primary for another part-time Xfinity Series entry featuring HMS drivers.
JR Motorsports announced on April 26 that it would field the No. 88 for five select races. The entry would have HendrickCars.com as the primary sponsor and Chase Elliott for the Throwback Weekend race at Darlington. Though he was unable to suit up after rain washed out qualifying.
The schedule also featured William Byron at Texas Motor Speedway, where he finished second overall behind Tyler Reddick and the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet. Byron will return to the entry at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 16) while Larson will round out the roster at Watkins Glen International (August 20) and Darlington Raceway (September 3).
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