CONCORD, N.C. – By nearly all statistical measures – wins, poles, championships, etc. – Hendrick Motorsports leads the way in the NASCAR Cup Series. Driving for NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner Rick Hendrick is an honor. 

RELATED: Numbers to know for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series

In 2024, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The organization has been the home for NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Darrell Waltrip. The current crop of drivers – Alex Bowman, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson – have comprised the driver lineup since 2021. Elliott has the longest tenure with the team as he enters his ninth full-time season, while Byron and Bowman are both starting their seventh full-time campaign with the Concord, North Carolina, based organization. 

RELATED: Drivers reflect on lessons, impact of Knaus, Johnson

Ahead of the upcoming season, Hendrick sat down with the current driver lineup and Gordon, who is the team’s vice chairman with one question: What does it mean to drive for Hendrick Motorsports?

PHOTOS: See the primary firesuits and helmets for the 2024 season

Bowman: "I grew up a big Jeff Gordon fan. A lot of my heroes have driven for this team. That means a lot to be able to add some wins to the list for Mr. H. Just getting to work with Mr. Hendrick has been awesome. He is the most respected person I have ever been around. Everybody who works directly with him cares about his opinions and cares about that relationship. Everybody here is motivated by him."

Byron: "It means a lot. It goes a lot deeper than racing on the racetrack. It is having people that you build a bond with that carries outside of the racetrack. I’ve always felt that way here and it feels like family. I feel comfortable going to race the car because it is not always about that. It’s been an amazing journey of a little less than a decade of being involved in Hendrick Motorsports and it’s been a dream come true for sure."

Elliott: "To make it 40 years in motor sports is a big deal. It says a lot about the way he (Rick Hendrick) structured this place from a business aspect to make it last and to make it go. … I don’t know what I would be doing or wouldn’t be doing without him. Truthfully, he allowed me to realize a childhood dream to drive in NASCAR and to do it with an elite team. Not only that, though, he has become a close friend and someone that I can call any time of the day and just get a real, raw, honest conversation or opinion from. I’ve always appreciated that about him."

Gordon: "I knew the first time I met Rick (Hendrick). He was unique, special and passionate. The fact that he was interested in me as a young race car driver trying to find my way to the Cup Series -- hoping and dreaming that I could compete for wins and championships wasn’t even on the radar. Here’s somebody who has a great organization, is interested in having me as a driver and maybe starting a whole new team to do that. 

"Of course, now he’s like family to me. For him to take that leap of faith was one example of just how appreciative I am. To build Hendrick Motorsports into what it is today and for me to be there for 30 years and bring the first championship here and all the wins. To be able to see that grow with all the other teams and drivers, I couldn’t be more proud to have witnessed that and been a part of that. Now I get to continue to be a part of the future of Hendrick Motorsports and see what’s next over the next 40 years.”

Larson: "I’m honored to be a part of the legacy that has been built here throughout 40 years. Rick (Hendrick) has been the bar in the Cup Series and NASCAR for so long. To be part of the team and bring them a championship is something I am proud of. I hope to be here to see the 50th anniversary. This campus is unreal, beautiful and everything that Rick does is top notch. It is just great to be part of this organization."