Hendrick Motorsports is an American professional automotive racing organization. The team was founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984 and was formerly known as All-Star Racing. The team competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, and it has won a NASCAR record of 289 Cup Series races and 14 Cup Series owners and drivers championships, as well as one Xfinity Series drivers crown. In 2022, the drivers for Hendrick Motorsports included Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Alex Bowman.
In 2021, Hendrick Motorsports won the NASCAR Cup Series championship with Kyle Larson. In 2022, the team and their driver lineup were expected to have a strong, if not championship-winning season. But the team struggled with reliability issues with their cars, poor pit stop strategy, and some bad luck, such as a wheel being improperly secured and a quarter panel catching on fire.
During the 2022 season, Hendrick Motorsports was able to reach the milestone of 100,000 miles led in the NASCAR Cup Series. The feat was accomplished by Chase Elliot in the final laps of the second stage of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 after Kyle Larson led the first twenty-six laps of the race. Pit row problems derailed both Elliott and Larson from contention for the win.
In March 2022, Hendrick Motorsports announced their intent, along with partners NASCAR, IMSA, Chevrolet, and Goodyear, to field a car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2023. The car the team announced is a modified Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR Cup Series car, and it will mark the first NASCAR stock car to compete at Le Mans since 1976. The car will race in the single-car class, which is reserved for concept cars. In 1976, a NASCAR-spec Dodge Charger and a Ford Torino were entered in the Grand International class.
Hendrick Motorsports was founded following Rick Hendrick's success in his car sales business, in which he had established the Hendrick Automotive Group, which operates 140 retail franchises across fourteen states. The team established a 430,000-square-foot workspace on 140 acres in Concord, North Carolina. This workshop houses more than 600 employees and includes four full-time Chevrolet teams in the NASCAR Cup Series. Notable drivers for Hendrick Motorsports have included Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon.
The team helped win seven drivers' titles for Jimmie Johnson, four for Jeff Gordon, and one for Terry Labonte. They also won three Truck Series owners' and drivers' titles. In 2021, Hendrick Motorsports fielded four full-time NASCAR Cup Series teams with the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Alex Bowman.
Hendrick Motorsports also maintains an in-house engine shop. The team leases some of its engines to other teams or partners, such as their technical alliance partner JTG Daugherty Racing. In 2020, Hendrick Motorsports lost one of these engine customers as Stewart-Haas Racing moved to Ford. Previously, Stewart-Haas racing had been Hendrick Motorsports' biggest engine customer.
Hendrick Motorsports started racing in NASCAR with a single car. In 1986, the team expanded to two full-time cars, and in 1987, they expanded to three and rounded the driver lineup to four cars in 2002. Hendrick Motorsports was one of the first teams to achieve success while operating multiple cars in a NASCAR series. This was partially due to innovations the team has been credited with in pit crew training. The team has also been credited for innovations in engine construction, based in part on their efforts to develop reliable and durable engines. A lot of Hendrick Motorsports' success in engine development was credited to Randy Dorton, who died in a plane crash in October 2004 while on the way to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
This plane crash claimed the lives of ten people associated with Hendrick Motorsports. Of these ten, six were Hendrick family members or Hendrick Motorsports employees, including John Hendrick, Jeff Turner, Ricky Hendrick, Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, and Randy Dorton. Others dead included the plane's pilots, Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison; director of the DuPont Motorsports program, Joe Jackson; and Scott Lathram.
NASCAR: The big issue facing Hendrick Motorsports
June 20, 2022
Why Chase Elliott outruns the rest of HMS - NASCAR Talk | NBC Sports
August 7, 2022