Going for five: the 2014 Hendrick Motorsports streak
By Jessica Ruffin
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win at Pocono (Pennsylvania) Raceway on Sunday was significant for more than one reason. Not only did it give the driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS his first career win at “The Tricky Triangle,” but it also provided Hendrick Motorsports its fourth consecutive points-paying Sprint Cup win of 2014.
The 2014 streak began with Jeff Gordon’s win at Kansas Speedway on May 10, when he dominated the 1.5-mile track on the way to his first victory of the 2014 season. Gordon’s first-place finish was followed up with back-to-back wins from Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte (North Carolina) Motor Speedway and Dover (Delaware) International Speedway.
Earnhardt’s victory at Pocono marked the sixth separate time that Hendrick Motorsports has won at least four consecutive points races, the last time being during the 2007 Cup season when the organization posted three separate win streaks of four, five and six races apiece. During November of that year, Johnson led 55 laps at Phoenix International Raceway en route to his 10th win of the 2007 season. His victory at the Arizona track gave him the points lead he needed to win the 2007 Sprint Cup Championship for Hendrick Motorsports.
Prior to 2007, Hendrick Motorsports combined to win four consecutive races in both 1996 and 1998. These were also championship years for the 11-time Cup championship organization with Terry Labonte winning the Series in 1996 and Gordon taking home the title in 1998.
This weekend at Michigan International Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports is looking for its fifth consecutive win of the 2014 season. The team has not won five races in a row since Johnson took the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway on November 4, 2007.