CONCORD, N.C. -- Rick Hendrick is a few victory lane visits away from becoming the owner of the winningest team in the NASCAR Cup Series and is hoping his young lineup has the formula to bring that milestone back to Papa Joe Hendrick Boulevard this season.
The back-to-back wins from William Byron and Kyle Larson pushed the total wins to 265. Now Hendrick Motorsports is just three victories shy from tying Petty Enterprises at 268 victories and four from taking over the record.
“I tried to not think about it because it was such a big number, and it was a ways away,” team owner Rick Hendrick said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The list of wins comes from the hard work and success of 20 different drivers to visit victory lane under Hendrick Motorsports. Reaching as far back to the first win with Geoff Bodine driving the No. 5 at Martinsville to some of the greats like Terry Labonte, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., it took a team of great drivers to put Hendrick Motorsports on the path to breaking the wins record.
“I think about Geoff Bodine and Tim Richmond and Terry Labonte and Kasey (Kahne, everybody that’s driven and won a race here,” Hendrick said. “It’s part of our legacy if we can accomplish it. It’s for everybody, not only the people here today, but the people that have been here over all these years.”
The current four drivers under Hendrick Motorsports, who are chasing the record, have an average age of 26, making them the youngest multi-car lineup in the NASCAR Cup Series. While they may be young, they all hold at least one win during their tenure with the organization.
“You’ve got a champion in Chase (Elliott) and the experience in Larson. William has won two races and Alex (Bowman) has won,” Hendrick said. “I feel like we can show up and any one of them can win, and that’s a great feeling.”
With a new Cup Series event lurking just two weeks away, the highest level of stock car racing is preparing to take on the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 28. Serving as an opportunity to win an inaugural event and add to the wins list, the drivers are prepping for every possible scenario.
The experiece of Hendrick Motorsports' drivers on dirt serves them well. Larson won 46 races on dirt in 2020 and was victorious in the Chili Bowl in January for the second year in a row.
“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Hendrick said. “The fans are excited; the drivers are excited. That will be a real show.”