CONCORD, N.C. – The history of Hendrick Motorsports has featured a ton of noteworthy achievements, celebrated feats and milestone moments. Last year alone saw the 100th win for the No. 24 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series (at Darlington Raceway in May by William Byron), the organization’s 300th Cup Series win (at Texas Motor Speedway in September by Byron) and the engine department’s 500th national series victory (at Darlington in September by Kyle Larson).
RELATED: Key numbers to know for Hendrick Motorsports
This year marks the 40th anniversary for the Rick Hendrick-owned organization, which began racing in NASCAR’s premier series in 1984. That season also produced the team’s first win with driver Geoff Bodine behind the wheel of the No. 5 car at Martinsville Speedway on April 29, 1984. That victory is one that Larson, who now drives the No. 5, enjoys hearing stories about.
"There are so many amazing moments that this company has celebrated," Larson said. "There's the story of how they were one race away from closing shop and getting that win at Martinsville (Speedway in 1984). Seeing where they are at today, 40 years later, is amazing."
RELATED: Bodine, Hendrick look back at the win that started it all
Byron, who produced the milestone 300th win, has strong memories of the group’s 200th victory.
"What stands out to me watching as a fan was that 2012 race at Darlington (Raceway) for the 200th (Cup Series) win (by Jimmie Johnson)," Byron said. "At the time, it was really difficult for them to get over the hump and win the 200th race (win No. 199 came seven months earlier in October 2011). Not many companies have won 100 races in the Cup Series, much less 200 at the time. That win in my eyes was a really big deal."
The preeminence of Johnson, who was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame alongside his seven-time championship-winning crew chief Chad Knaus, stood out to the organization’s current roster of drivers.
PHOTOS: Scenes from the 2024 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction weekend
"As a fan, watching Jimmie (Johnson) win five in a row (from 2006 to 2010) was cool," Elliott said. "Seven is great, but five in a row is even cooler than seven total. To do that the way they did it and the dominance that they were putting on display year after year after year was extremely impressive. I was still a kid but I had been around racing enough to recognize how hard that is and the things that went into that."
The final championship for Johnson and Knaus in 2016 was a moment that stood out to multiple drivers for different reasons.
"The biggest moment that I’ve been around for was at Homestead (-Miami Speedway) in 2016 when Jimmie (Johnson) won his seventh championship,” Bowman said. “Seeing what he and Chad (Knaus) did in such a short time was special."
RELATED: Knaus looks back on his biggest wins as a crew chief
Larson had a front-row seat to the finish of that race and it is one that he hasn’t forgotten.
"I got to race with Jimmie (Johnson) for his final championship,” Larson recalled. “Lined up on the front row with him on the final restart (at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2016) and watching him accomplish his seventh championship was neat."
RELATED: Drivers reflect on lessons, impact of Knaus, Johnson
That title was the 12th for Hendrick Motorsports. Elliott and Larson won back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021 to bring the company’s total to a series-best 14 Cup Series championships.
Team vice chairman, NASCAR Hall of Famer and four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon has seen nearly everything during his time in the sport. One of his favorite moments was a historic first for the organization and comes from his time as a team executive.
Since 2002, Hendrick Motorsports has fielded four full-time entries in the sport’s top series, but before the May 16, 2021, race at Dover Motor Speedway the organization had never swept the top-four positions in an event. Bowman won the race that afternoon, with Larson finishing second, Elliott running third and Byron coming home in fourth.
"The one-two-three-four at Dover (Motor Speedway in ’21) is something that stands out," Gordon said. "I actually got the photo of the pylon showing the running order and the finish of that race. When you are a four-car operation, it is very rare that all four have a great day.
"That was one of the days I remember in our history. Just a wow moment. We’ve always said wouldn’t it be great to have all four cars coming across the line together. This is as close and as good as it’s going to get. That was an amazing day."