How Hendrick Motorsports Reached Historic 200 Wins

Rick Hendrick (R) and his three star drivers

Every big stage, every big moment, every crown jewel – Hendrick Motorsports owns them all. The Daytona 500? The team boasts six trophies from The Great American Race. The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway? Seven wins. The Coca-Cola 600? Nine.

Add another storybook accolade to the list: 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

It comes in grand fashion, in yet another of NASCAR’s crown jewel races. With its 14th victory at Darlington Raceway, by Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports reached historic NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win No. 200, further solidifying its status as one of the greatest teams in NASCAR history.

Hendrick Motorsports has evolved from its modest beginnings as a single-car outfit in 1984. Its current form: A four-car powerhouse that topples records on a yearly basis. Two seasons ago, Jimmie Johnson won his unprecedented fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. In doing so, Hendrick Motorsports – behind owner Rick Hendrick – nabbed its 10th NASCAR Sprint Cup owners championship, breaking the all-time record previously shared with Petty Enterprises. Petty leads all teams in career race wins, with 268.

Now, Hendrick reaches a milestone befitting its brilliant consistency. Since joining the series in 1984 as All-Star Racing (the team changed its name to Hendrick Motorsports in 1985), Hendrick has won at least one race in all but one season (1985).

Below is a timeline of Hendrick’s notable and milestone victories on its way to 200:

1 – On April 29, 1984 at Martinsville Speedway, Geoff Bodine earned Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory. He led 55 laps in the event.

4 – HMS won its first Daytona 500. Geoff Bodine started on the front row (second), leading 101 laps on Feb. 16, 1986.

10 – HMS won its first Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Tim Richmond helped Hendrick reach double-digits in victories with his “crown jewel" win from the pole on Aug. 31, 1986.

16 – HMS won its first Coca-Cola 600. With 41-year-old Darrell Waltrip driving, Hendrick nabbed its first win in NASCAR’s longest race on May 29, 1988.

36 – HMS won its first Brickyard 400. In the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon, then 23, won his second career race on Aug. 6, 1994.

50 – Jeff Gordon, whose 85 victories are more than any other Hendrick driver and third-most on the all-time list, won at Darlington Raceway on March 24, 1996.

61 – At the time, Gordon became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history at 25 years, six months, 12 days on Feb. 16, 1997. His record was later broken in 2011 by Trevor Bayne (20 years, one day).

100 –Gordon won another milestone race, this time at Michigan International Speedway on June 10, 2001. Gordon would go on to win his fourth series championship that season.

150 – Jimmie Johnson captured victory on March 11, 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Later that season, Johnson would win his second-consecutive championship.

196 – On April 17, 2011, Jimmie Johnson edged Clint Bowyer to the finish line by a miniscule .002 seconds, matching the closest margin of victory in series history.

198 – In a race delayed two days because of inclement weather, Gordon captured historic win No. 85 on Sept. 6, 2011 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to move into third on the all-time series wins list.

Below lists the number of wins per driver, crew chief and track for Hendrick Motorsports.

HMS Wins By Driver

Driver Wins
Jeff Gordon 85
Jimmie Johnson 56
Terry Labonte 12
Darrell Waltrip 9
Tim Richmond 9
Geoff Bodine 7
Mark Martin 5
Ken Schrader 4
Kyle Busch 4
Ricky Rudd 4
Brian Vickers 1
Casey Mears 1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1
Jerry Nadeau 1
Joe Nemechek 1

HMS Wins By Crew Chief

Driver Wins
Chad Knaus 54
Ray Evernham 47
Robbie Loomis 23
Alan Gustafson 12
Harry Hyde 11
Gary DeHart 10
Steve Letarte 10
Jeff Hammond 9
Waddell Wilson 4
Darian Grubb 3
Richard Broome 3
Andy Graves 2
Brian Whitesell 2
Dennis Connor 2
Gary Nelson 2
Jim Long 1
Lance McGrew 1
Peter Sospenzo 1
Randy Dorton 1
Tony Eury Jr. 1
Tony Furr 1

HMS Wins By Track

Driver Wins
Martinsville 18
Charlotte 16
Darlington 14
Dover 13
Pocono 12
Atlanta 11
Talladega 11
Daytona 10
Richmond 10
Auto Club 9
Bristol 9
Phoenix 9
New Hampshire 8
Indianapolis 7
Watkins Glen 6
Infineon 6
Las Vegas 5
Michigan 5
Kansas 4
North Wilkesboro 4
Rockingham 4
Riverside 3
Texas 3
Chicago 2
Nashville Fairgrounds 1

Hendrick Motorsports By The Numbers

6 – Different Hendrick car numbers with wins. The list: No. 24, 85 wins; No. 48, 56 wins; No. 5, 32 wins; No. 25, 17 wins; No. 17, nine wins; No. 88, one win.

8 – Number of seasons Hendrick won double-digit races, with the most coming in 2007 (18).

8 – Number of drivers who scored their first win with Hendrick Motorsports: Geoff Bodine, Ken Schrader, Jeff Gordon, Jerry Nadeau, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Casey Mears.

15 – Number of different drivers who have won with Hendrick.

18 – Wins at Martinsville Speedway, Hendrick’s most prolific track.

20 – Age in years of the youngest Hendrick Motorsports winner: Kyle Busch, who won on Sept. 4, 2005 at Auto Club Speedway.

21 – Number of different crew chiefs who have won with Hendrick Motorsports.

25 – Number of different tracks at which Hendrick has won.

34 – Number of wins from the pole by Hendrick Motorsports.

37 – Starting position of Jimmie Johnson in the 2003 Coca-Cola 600, the deepest in the field a Hendrick winner has started.

50 – Age in years of the oldest Hendrick Motorsports winner: Mark Martin, who won on Sept. 20, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

150 – A Hendrick driver has scored perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 twice, both by Jimmie Johnson. The first came at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 31, 2008; the second at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2009.

Leave a Reply