AVONDALE, Ariz. – With his win at Phoenix International Raceway, Jimmie Johnson did more than give Hendrick Motorsports its first points-paying win of the season and improve to fourth in the driver standings. He also helped the organization continue a streak that started when he was still in elementary school.
Johnson, now 32, guaranteed Hendrick Motorsports its 23rd straight season with a Cup-level victory when he took the checkered flag last Saturday. Hendrick Motorsports, created in 1984, has posted at least one victory in NASCAR’s highest level since Feb. 16, 1986 when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick’s first Daytona 500.
That isn’t the only streak the team has maintained this season.
The team has earned four pole positions in eight races this season, and that means the organization can check off its 25th straight Cup season in which it won a pole. The team’s all-time season record was set in 1986 when Bodine and Tim Richmond combined for 16 pole positions.
Finishing in the top-10 has been a strong point, too. Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Casey Mears have combined to record 14 top-10 finishes this season. With at least one top-10 finish per race, that improves Hendrick’s streak to 73 straight races. Last weekend, Johnson took first and Earnhardt came in seventh to keep the streak alive. In fact, Earnhardt leads all other drivers with six top-10 finishes.
The last time a Hendrick driver wasn't in the top 10 was April 9, 2006 at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson, the team’s top performer, finished 11th that day.