The four drivers from Hendrick Motorsports took the top four spots at Dover on Sunday, capping off a historic day for the organization. Alex Bowman’s win gave the NASCAR team 267 all-time wins, bringing them within reach of history. Petty Enterprises has 268 Cup wins, but now HMS can break the record.
Speaking with media members after Sunday’s Cup Series race, team owner Rick Hendrick reflected on inching closer to history. He explained that he didn’t think he would ever see the day where his drivers could pass The King on the all-time list. He also acknowledged that topping 268 wins is something that he often thinks about.
“Well, Richard is a good friend. He’s the King of this sport,” Hendrick told media members. “But any time there’s a record out there, you have an opportunity to break it or tie it. I think a few years back, I thought it would be impossible. If you told me in 19, what, 84 that you’re going to be here for this long or that you had an opportunity to win all these races and championships. I kind of pinch myself because it’s just really hard to do. The sport is so competitive right now.”
HMS has four young superstars capable of breaking the record
There are multiple powerhouse teams in NASCAR, such as Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, or Team Penske. However, HMS has an advantage in that all four drivers are young. Kyle Larson is 28, Bowman is 28, Chase Elliott is 25, and William Byron is 23. They still have time to grow as drivers even while helping HMS make history.
“I think having these young guys that are all so young, having Kyle in the mix, he just drives the wheels off of it,” Hendrick added. “I think they all make each other better. To see William blossom like he has. Alex — a guy that didn’t have a chance now have two wins this year — finish sixth in the points last year, I think the future is really bright for us.
“There’s nothing that beats teamwork. You’re stronger together. That’s been my philosophy on the automobile side and the racing side. I was told early on that I’d never win a championship having multiple cars. It’s worked.”
The HMS drivers have worked together throughout the 2021 season while still fighting for the wins. They have made each other better and accounted for four wins in 13 races. Elliott is the only one yet to win a race, but he has five top-five finishes.
Each driver wants to be the one that makes history
With all four drivers finding success during the 2021 season, the fans don’t know which one will ultimately secure the record-breaking win. The drivers each have the goal of being the one to reach Victory Lane and make history, especially considering how much the moment would mean to the team owner.
“We know that it’s really important to Mr. H,” Larson said after Sunday’s race. “He mentions it almost every time I feel like I talk to him. I hope we can get there quickly. I hope I’m the driver to do it and break that record whenever we get to it.
“But, yeah, it’s definitely a cool, cool milestone that I think is obviously important to him. To have a day like we all had today with all four of us in the top four, that’s never been done at HMS. This year has been great so far for our organization and we look forward to adding to it.”
The HMS drivers will now have the opportunity to post win No. 268 during the trip to Circuit of the Americas. Elliott will likely enter the weekend as one of the favorites due to his previous wins at road courses, but all four HMS drivers will near the top of the list after several strong showings in 2021.