CONCORD, N.C. -- Three Hendrick Motorsports drivers are in contention to win a Cup Series title, and it all begins at Darlington Raceway.
Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman all are in the playoffs, while Jimmie Johnson looks to add to his stellar career and secure another victory in the highest level of NASCAR competition.
The four drivers also will try to add to Hendrick Motorsports' legacy at Darlington, where the organization holds numerous records. Take a look at some of the more notable stats of Hendrick Motorsports as the drivers prepare for the Southern 500.
- At Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports holds the all-time records for NASCAR Cup Series wins (14), top-five finishes (47), top-10s (78) and laps led (3,268). The team’s 14 victories have come with six different drivers: Jeff Gordon (seven), Jimmie Johnson (three), Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Tim Richmond and Ricky Rudd. Johnson led 124 laps and went to victory lane the only time a playoff race has been held at Darlington (November 2004).
- Hendrick Motorsports has built strong momentum going into the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Darlington Raceway. In the four events leading into the playoffs, the team won twice and notched eight top-five finishes, including one runner-up result. It has scored 11 top-10s and recorded an average finish of 10.25 – statistics that lead all Cup Series organizations in the last four races.
- Since the inception of the system, Hendrick Motorsports has won 44 races in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, which represents 28% of all playoff events and is 16 more victories than second-place Joe Gibbs Racing (28). Hendrick Motorsports has won at least one playoff race in a record 15 different seasons. The 2020 campaign is the 15th consecutive year the team has placed at least two drivers in the playoffs and the 13th different season with at least three.
- Elliott is set to make his eighth NASCAR Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway this weekend. In his previous races at the 1.366-mile track, he has two top-five finishes and three top-10s. Elliott also has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the South Carolina venue, where he won in his 2014 track debut. He is one of only four drivers to win at Darlington in their first race there.
- With four previous Cup Series starts at Darlington, Byron is looking to capitalize on his strong showings at the track this Sunday and is hoping to find a little luck along the way. Despite running well early in races, Byron only has a track-best finish of 12th, which came earlier this year in the second race of the Darlington doubleheader.
- Of Johnson’s 83 wins, 41% have come in the months of September, October and November. He has accumulated 34 victories during those months over the course of his 19 seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series. The next time he crosses the finish line first he will have scored his 84th points-paying Cup Series win to tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers.
- Bowman has six previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway. His best finish of second came in May in the first race back after a two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bowman led for 41 laps after rolling off second, earning the second-most points in the event.
- With 22-year-old Byron added to the list, Hendrick Motorsports has now won points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races with 19 different drivers, including 11 who notched their first career victory with the team. Byron’s Daytona accomplishment made Hendrick Motorsports the first organization in NASCAR history to win with three different drivers under the age of 27 in a single season. Alex Bowman, then 26, won Auto Club Speedway in March, and Chase Elliott, 24, won at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and the DAYTONA Road Course in August. Including 2020, Hendrick Motorsports has gone to victory lane with three or more drivers in 12 different seasons, the most ever.