Hendrick Motorsports Wraps Up Season of Milestones
- Nov 22, 2005
- Team Hendrick
CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 22, 2005) – After another year of pole positions, checkered flags and down-to-the-wire championship hopes, Hendrick Motorsports wrapped up a successful 2005 NASCAR season Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
It was a banner campaign for the organization, with team owner Rick Hendrick winning career race No. 140 and posting his second consecutive season with double-digit NEXTEL Cup victories.
With Kyle Busch’s Nov. 13 triumph at Phoenix, Hendrick passed the win total of legendary car owner Junior Johnson and now sits in second on NASCAR’s all-time list, behind only Petty Enterprises.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what Hendrick’s teams have accomplished in 2005:
Jimmie Johnson, Team Lowe’s Racing
Leading the way for Hendrick Motorsports in 2005 were the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolets of driver Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, who placed fifth in the final NEXTEL Cup standings after challenging for the series championship right up until the season finale.
Johnson, who has never finished outside the top-five in points in four years of full-time competition, scored four wins, a pole position, 12 top-five finishes and 22 top-10 results over the grueling 36-race season.
Jeff Gordon, DuPont Motorsports
Four-time champion Jeff Gordon concluded 2005 in his customary fashion, winning at Martinsville, Va., on Oct. 23 and notching top-10 finishes in five of the final seven NEXTEL Cup events.
Although he narrowly missed the Chase, Gordon nabbed two poles and put No. 24 DuPont Chevys in Victory Lane on four occasions, including the prestigious Daytona 500. He also earned the coveted 11th position in the standings and the $1 million bonus that goes with it.
Brian Vickers, GMAC Racing
There was no sophomore slump for Brian Vickers, who helped the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports team to its best season since 2001 thanks to a pole position, five top-fives and 10 top-10s in his No. 25 GMAC/ditech.com Chevrolets.
The second-year Cup driver also picked up a pole position at New Hampshire International Speedway and raced his way into the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge by winning the NEXTEL Open. Under the guidance of crew chief Lance McGrew, the team finished 17th in the final points rundown.
Kyle Busch, Kellogg’s Racing
There’s an easy way to sum up Kyle Busch’s first season of NEXTEL Cup racing: Rookie of the Year.
With a pole, two wins, nine top-fives and 13 top-10s, Busch drove the wheels off his No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolets in 2005, becoming the first Raybestos Rookie to win multiple races since Johnson did it in 2002.
On his way to a 20th-place finish in points, Busch, who turned 20 in May, also became the youngest race winner and pole-sitter in the history of NASCAR’s top series.
NASCAR Busch Series
It was a solid year for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series, posting a victory and multiple top-10 finishes running Nos. 5, 48 and 57 Chevrolets.
Kyle Busch nailed down a win in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and other drivers picked up multiple poles, top-fives and top-10s throughout the year.