CONCORD, N.C. -- Hendrick Motorsports is picking up where it left off from the 2020 season after William Byron’s dominating win at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 23-year-old’s win marked the organization’s third win in the last five NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to last season.
According to Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Chad Knaus, all four teams have been working diligently throughout the offseason to perfect their performances and keep the speed of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LEs on point.
“A race team is kind of like the Golden Gate Bridge,” Knaus said. “You start painting it on one side of the bay and it takes about eight months to get to the other side. When you get over there, it’s time to start over and do it all over again. You keep rotating, and that’s what we do with a race car. You work on an area, you try to improve on it, and as you get a little better you move on to the next area and try to improve upon that.
“You keep going. I think we’re going to keep eyes on everything out there and try to keep working on our systems, keep working on our pit crews, keep working on the downforce of the car and our power and keep having success.”
Hendrick Motorsports capped off 2020 with wins at Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway by Chase Elliott, giving him his first Cup Series title and Hendrick Motorsports its record-extending 13th championship. Knaus added that familiarity with the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LEs helped greatly with the organization’s late-season wins in 2020 and an early win in 2021.
“As you go through and you have success, it’s pretty easy to keep that train rolling,” he said. “When you don’t have a lot of success, it’s difficult to get that started. We ended the season with a championship and a couple of wins, going through the offseason, which was not as difficult as it has been in other years when you have the same car. It’s been pretty easy to keep these guys motivated. Obviously, performance on the racetrack just keeps fueling the fire.”
Having an extra season with those specific Camaros has aided everyone involved with the performance of the car, drivers included. Knaus gave the example of how the Chevrolets ran during qualifying for the DAYTONA 500. Alex Bowman secured the pole with the fastest lap and Byron joined him on the front row with his Chevy.
“I think the guys are working really hard,” Knaus said. “It’s the second year for this car. Last year, we went through a lot of growing pains to try and get the new Camaro to where it needed to be. We got it pretty close at the end of the season. I think everyone worked diligently over the offseason and we’ve been putting really good race cars on the racetrack.”
Tune in Sunday, March 7 at 3:30 p.m. on FOX to see all four speedy Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets hit the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.