CONCORD, N.C. – How would a record 15th NASCAR Cup Series championship for Hendrick Motorsports be for a 40th anniversary gift? That is the goal and the pursuit as the organization gears up for the 2024 season. 

"The discussion around 2024 needs to start with our 40th anniversary. That celebration and that accomplishment," team president and general manager Jeff Andrews told "First and foremost, very thankful for the commitment that Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick made 40 years ago to start Hendrick Motorsports and to stay with it through the tough times. That first win at Martinsville (Speedway in 1984) springboarded us to where we are today. 

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"The ultimate gift to them – we want race victories – is to deliver a championship in their 40th year. That is something I know everyone in this company would love nothing more to do."

The work for the 2024 season is well underway. The No. 5 team of Kyle Larson and Cliff Daniels took part in the December test at Phoenix Raceway. The driver-crew chief lineups from the past season return intact with the Larson-Daniels pairing and the William Byron-Rudy Fugle No. 24 duo each entering their fourth year together. Alex Bowman and Blake Harris will embark on their second season together with the No. 48 Ally Racing team. The No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team pairing of Chase Elliott and Alan Gustafson is the longest-tenured driver-crew chief combo in the garage and this upcoming season will be their ninth together. 

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"When you look at the chemistry between the teams, we have as good of stability as we’ve had there in quite some time. All four of our driver-crew chief pairings as they were in 2023 to start the 2024 season is important. There are some personnel changes within the teams. Very happy and very proud for Adam Wall (formerly the lead engineer for the No. 5 team) to go to JR Motorsports and start his (crew chief) career there and his relationship with Sammy Smith."

Chad Knaus, the team’s vice president of competition, is confident that the 2024 season will see the two Championship 4 finalists, Byron and Larson, build off their successful seasons, while Elliott and Bowman aim to bounce back from campaigns that were stop-and-start due to injury.

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"The thing that I am probably the most excited about is we’ve got William (Byron) and Rudy (Fugle) coming off their first real championship run, so they’ve got a lot of momentum and a lot of strength," Knaus told "The 5 team ran extremely well all season long, probably the fastest car week in and week out for the course of the season. They are ready to get going again. We’ve got some changes with the 9, which is exciting and hopefully will spark a little bit of what Chase (Elliott) has got coming in after his shoulder surgery. He’ll be ready to go again. If you look at Blake (Harris). It’s his second year here with Alex (Bowman). That team is going through some changes as well.

"It’s going to be fun, but it is not going to be an easy year. It is going to be met with a lot of challenges just like every year that we go through. The thing I always fall back on is the resources, the people and the effort that we put in here at Hendrick Motorsports will not be surpassed."

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Hendrick Motorsports has tallied a Next Gen era-best mark of 21 wins in the past two seasons. Over the last three years, the company has won 38 points-paying races and had a driver or team reach the Championship on six occasions. 

"The season's success is going to be measured in wins and ultimately, bringing a championship back to Hendrick Motorsports," Andrews said. "We’ve come close the last two years. Our full focus will be on that and what we have to do to make the small improvements that make a difference. It just takes the little things these days with the competition being so close. All these cars and all these race teams that we compete against weekly are very good teams. We’ve already started to work on that in preparation for 2024 but at the end of the year next year we want to be in position in Phoenix with multiple cars to win a championship for Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick in their 40th season."