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Srigley Stats: Four Decades Later, Hendrick Motorsports Legacy Continues to Flourish

In honor of William Byron's win at Martinsville, four decades after the first win for Hendrick Motorsports, #SrigleyStats is taking a deep dive into the winningest organization in the history of the NASCAR Cup Series.


hero image for Srigley Stats: Four Decades Later, Hendrick Motorsports Legacy Continues to Flourish

It's been four decades since Geoffrey Bodine, Harry Hyde, and All-Star Racing arrived in Martinsville, Virginia for the 1984 Sovran Bank 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the race that would presumably be the last for the startup NASCAR Winston Cup Series team.

However, it was a rather surprising triumph on that Sunday Afternoon at the half-mile paperclip that served as a kickstart for the No. 5 team, and the beginning of an empire known to modern-day fans as Hendrick Motorsports -- which over the last 40 years, has become NASCAR's most successful team.

Now one of NASCAR's longest-tenured organizations, Hendrick Motorsports currently leads the NASCAR Cup Series with an incredible 305 victories and 14 championships, plus a heap of other records and accolades in which there are too many to keep track of.

Over the years, Hendrick Motorsports has served as a home for many of NASCAR's most talented drivers, three of whom currently sit inside the top-10 on the NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list. But, Rick Hendrick's biggest contribution to the sport comes via a pair of drivers, both of whom, even after retiring from full-time competition, are giving back to the sport in their respective ways.

Jeff Gordon, a 93-time winner and four-time champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, has moved into an executive role with Hendrick Motorsports since retiring from full-time competition at the end of 2015, being named Vice Chairman of the organization in June 2021.

Jimmie Johnson, an 83-time winner and seven-time champion of the NASCAR Cup Series, is a co-owner of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB alongside Maury Gallagher, a second-year organization that currently fields a pair of entries at NASCAR's top-level for Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek.

Drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kyle Busch, each of whom spent multi-season tenures with Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series, have also gone on to make similar contributions to the sport, both from the business and popularity side.

Earnhardt, Jr. is arguably the most popular driver in NASCAR history, and while competing full-time for Hendrick Motorsports from 2008 to 2017, was responsible for a 10-year run of winning the Most Popular Driver Award, a streak which HMS has kept alive with current driver Chase Elliott.

As the years pass, the team's legacy continues to be larger-than-life, with each additional victory clicked off by a Hendrick Motorsports driver, and trust me, those still come in heaps, courtesy of Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Alex Bowman -- as the organization leads the series in victories in the era of the seventh-generation vehicle (2022 to present).

That legacy even stretches beyond the NASCAR Cup Series, with the HendrickCars.com branding being shown on vehicles in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, TransAm TA2 Division, and NHRA Funny Car Division, just to name a few.

But, amidst the changing tides, the NASCAR Cup Series can rely on one simple thing: Hendrick Motorsports, an organization that has scored at least one victory in each of the last 39 seasons, dating back to 1986.

Photo Credit: Tim Parks, HHP for Chevy Racing


February 19, 1984: Geoffrey Bodine competes in the 1984 Daytona 500, the first NASCAR Cup Series event for the team now known as Hendrick Motorsports. Harry Hyde is the crew chief. The No. 5 All-Star Racing Chevrolet finishes eighth.

April 29, 1984: On the brink of closing its doors, All-Star Racing fields the No. 5 Northwestern Security Life Chevrolet for Geoffrey Bodine in the 1984 Sovran Bank 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Leading 55 laps, Bodine scores the first NASCAR Cup Series win for Hendrick Motorsports.

August 25, 1984: Geoffrey Bodine bests future Hendrick Motorsports driver Tim Richmond for the team's first NASCAR Cup Series pole position in the 1984 Busch 500 at Bristol International Speedway. Bodine would lead 86 laps, before retiring prematurely, finishing 22nd.

May 26, 1985: In the 1985 Coca-Cola World 600, Hendrick Motorsports fields a second entry for the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series, putting the No. 1 Exxon Chevrolet on track for Dick Brooks, alongside its usual No. 5 entry for Geoffrey Bodine. Brooks finishes 10th, ahead of Bodine, who finishes 16th.

July 20th, 1986: Two weeks after his victory in the 1986 Firecracker 400 at Daytona, Tim Richmond returns his No. 25 Folger's Chevrolet to Victory Lane, winning the 1986 Summer 500 at Pocono. It's the first time Hendrick Motorsports has won back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series events.

July 31st, 1988: Ken Schrader (No. 25) and Geoffrey Bodine (No. 5) cross the start-finish line in the top-two positions in the 1988 Talladega DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, the first 1-2 finish for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series.

October 15th, 1989: After wins at Martinsville and Charlotte by Darrell Waltrip (No. 17) and Ken Schrader (No. 25), Geoffrey Bodine (No. 5) wins the Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro, completing the first three-race win streak for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series.

November 12th, 1995: At 24 years old, Jeff Gordon (No. 24) records his first championship in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the first of 14 titles for Hendrick Motorsports at NASCAR's top level. In doing so, Gordon becomes the second-youngest Cup Series champion, behind only Bill Rexford (1950).

March 24th, 1996: Jeff Gordon (No. 24) wins the 1996 TransSouth Financial 400 at Darlington Raceway, the 50th NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

October 6th, 1996: After three consecutive wins by Jeff Gordon (No. 24) at Dover, Martinsville, and North Wilkesboro, Terry Labonte (No. 5) wins the 1996 UAW-GM Quality 500, the final race in a four-race win streak for Hendrick Motorsports.

November 10th, 1996: Terry Labonte (No. 5) earns Hendrick Motorsports its second straight NASCAR Winston Cup Series title. The organization becomes the first to win back-to-back titles with two different full-time drivers. To this date, only RFK Racing and Team Penske have joined this exclusive club.

February 16th, 1997: Jeff Gordon (No. 24), Terry Labonte (No. 5), and Ricky Craven (No. 25) cross the start-finish line sweeping the first, second, and third positions in the 1997 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, the first 1-2-3 result for Hendrick Motorsports, and the first in the history of 'The Great American Race'.

June 10th, 2001: Jeff Gordon (No. 24) wins the 2001 KMart 400 at Michigan International Speedway, the 100th NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

November 11th, 2007: Jeff Gordon (No. 24) and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) combine to win NASCAR Nextel Cup Series events at Talladega, Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, and Phoenix, marking a six-race streak of Hendrick Motorsports in Victory Lane, the team's longest to date.

November 21st, 2010: Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) wins his record-extending fifth straight championship in the NASCAR Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The triumph also leaves Hendrick Motorsports as the organization with the most consecutive championships, at five, breaking its own previous best of four straight, which occurred between 1995 and 1998 with Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte.

May 12th, 2012: Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) wins the 2012 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, the 200th NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

November 20th, 2016: Jimmie Johnson earns his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as a record-breaking 12th NASCAR Cup Series title for Hendrick Motorsports, breaking a tie with Petty Enterprises.

August 5th, 2018: Chase Elliott (No. 9) wins the 2018 Go Bowling At The Glen at Watkins Glen International, the 250th NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

November 8th, 2020: Chase Elliott (No. 9) captures the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship at Phoenix Raceway, making him the third-youngest champion at NASCAR's top level -- behind current Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon, and Bill Rexford.

May 16th, 2021: Alex Bowman (No. 48) wins the 2021 Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway, with Kyle Larson (No. 5), Chase Elliott (No. 9), and William Byron (No. 24) placing second, third, and fourth-place. Hendrick Motorsports becomes the third organization to finish 1-2-3-4 in a NASCAR Cup Series event, after RFK Racing and Pete DePaolo Engineering.

September 24th, 2023: William Byron (No. 24) wins the 2023 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway, the 300th NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

February 19th, 2024: William Byron kickstarts the 40th anniversary celebrations for Hendrick Motorsports, winning the 2024 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. After rain postpones the event to Monday, the victory comes four decades (to the day) after the team's first NASCAR Cup Series start.

April 7th, 2024: At the height of the team's 40th-anniversary celebration, William Byron (No. 24) wins the 2024 Cook Out 400 at Martinsville Speedway, four decades after the first NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

Photo: Andrew Coppley, HHP for Chevy Racing


In the organization's 40-year history, 20 drivers have won a points-paying NASCAR Cup Series event for Hendrick Motorsports -- more than any other team. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, a pair of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees, lead the win list for Hendrick Motorsports at 93 and 83, respectively.

Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are third and fourth on that list with 18 NASCAR Cup Series wins apiece, while 26-year-old William Byron already ranks fifth all-time for HMS, with 13 wins.

The rest of the list includes Terry Labonte (12), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (9), Darrell Waltrip (9), Tim Richmond (9), Geoffrey Bodine (7), Alex Bowman (7), Kasey Kahne (6), Mark Martin (5), Ken Schrader (4), Kyle Busch (4), Ricky Rudd (4), Jerry Nadeau (1), Brian Vickers (1), Casey Mears (1), Joe Nemechek (1).

Hendrick Motorsports currently has one of the youngest rosters in the NASCAR Cup Series, with Kyle Larson being the oldest (31). But, in this case, age is just a number, and the accolades that the four-driver lineup has collected make for a star-studded lineup, one that has already combined for 62 victories at NASCAR's top-level.

Kyle Larson is the newest of the four drivers to Hendrick Motorsports, joining the organization in 2021. That hasn't stopped the Elk Grove, California-native from finding immediate success, though, putting together a 10-win season in 2021, the first in the NASCAR Cup Series since Jimmie Johnson in 2007.

Larson's unheard-of versatility has left him labeled as one of the best racecar drivers in the world, and exploring new ventures, like his first attempt at completing 'The Double' - running the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

At 31 years old, Larson has won 24 NASCAR Cup Series events (18 for HMS), plus 15 NASCAR Xfinity and 3 NASCAR Truck Series events. Most recently, the HendrickCars.com-sponsored driver was responsible for bringing the organization its first Xfinity Series win since 2009, triumphing at COTA.

On the flip side, Chase Elliott is the longest-tenured active driver at Hendrick Motorsports, joining the organization for his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2015, before competing full-time since 2016.

Elliott is a six-time winner of the Most Popular Driver Award, in what was essentially a passing of the torch between Hendrick Motorsports drivers when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. retired.

The Dawsonville, Georgia-native has the statline to back up that hype, too, as the only Hendrick Motorsports driver, past or present, to have won a championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series before coming to the NASCAR Cup Series and winning a championship there, with HMS.

Elliott became the Xfinity Series' youngest-ever champion in 2014, hoisting the championship trophy just weeks before his 19th birthday. Just six years later, the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott won the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title, becoming the third-youngest driver to do so -- behind Jeff Gordon and Bill Rexford.

William Byron's mainstream success marks the beginning of a revolution.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-native is known for learning to race on iRacing, before his meteoric rise to the NASCAR Cup Series, soaring through the lower ranks to get his seat with Hendrick Motorsports.

Sure, it took some time for things to click at NASCAR's top level, but once they did, the 26-year-old driver has become a force of nature, much like the No. 24 team was in the 1990s and 2000s when Jeff Gordon was behind the wheel.

The 2017 Xfinity Series champion has a knack for the big moments, winning the 300th NASCAR Cup Series race for Hendrick Motorsports last Fall at Texas, the 2024 Daytona 500, and the race corresponding with the 40th anniversary of the team's first win.

In less than 225 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Byron has reached double-digit figures in the statistical columns for race wins and pole positions -- becoming the third youngest to accomplish this behind only Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano.

Independently, he became the sixth-youngest driver to win 10 NASCAR Cup Series races, and the third-youngest driver to win 10 NASCAR Cup Series poles, both feats he accomplished at different points during the 2023 season.

Things appear to be on the up-and-up for Byron, who has captured nine of his NASCAR Cup Series victories in his last 42 starts, and last season, the driver of the No. 24 made his debut appearance in the 'Championship 4'.

Of the four drivers at Hendrick Motorsports, Alex Bowman is arguably the most stealthy... that is until he gains momentum. Granted, the 30-year-old driver has faced more than his fair share of trials and tribulations, forcing him to be sidelined at multiple points in recent years.

The Tucson, Arizona-native is a seven-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series, and although he hasn't won since early in 2022, the driver of the infamous No. 48 Chevrolet has shown his prowess behind the wheel in heaps.

However, the journey to get to one of NASCAR's most successful organizations wasn't as straightforward as his three teammates, and it began with a full NASCAR Xfinity Series campaign in 2013 for RAB Racing.

Bowman spent the next two seasons competing in the NASCAR Cup Series on a full-time basis, first for BK Racing in 2014, and then Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2015. But it was his Xfinity Series starts with JR Motorsports that put him on the radar of Hendrick Motorsports, and eventually, got him a ride as the fill-in for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. after he was suffering from concussion-like symptoms in 2016.

That 10-race campaign, including a particularly strong run at Phoenix Raceway, is what ultimately landed him his full-time opportunity with Hendrick Motorsports, taking over the No. 88 Chevrolet from the retiring Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Since he was granted this full-time opportunity in 2018, Bowman has been a model of consistency, making the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in every season that he has completed in each regular-season event, and building stronger each season.

Starting fresh with new crew chief Blake Harris in 2023, Bowman was off to a fantastic start with the No. 48 Chevrolet team, leading the NASCAR Cup Series point standings through six events, before a penalty post-Richmond derailed his points position.

Those woes were further compounded by an injury sustained in a sprint car accident in the Spring, which forced him to miss three NASCAR Cup Series events, which tossed him further down the standings.

In the opening eight races of 2024, things appear to be off to another strong start, with three top-five and four top-10 results, placing the No. 48 inside the top-10 in NASCAR Cup Series points.

Plus, there have been glimmers of having the race-winning pace his teammates have exuded this season, including back-to-back top-fives at Bristol and COTA, something Bowman hadn't accomplished since the Fall of 2020.

If the No. 48 team continues to fire on all cylinders, don't be surprised to see Bowman return to Victory Lane shortly, and maybe even go on a career-defining tear in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Throughout NASCAR's history, it's been rare for a four-car operation to have all of its teams competing for wins every single week, something that Hendrick Motorsports has done perfectly in 2024.

It's a testament to Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, and the leadership staff within the championship-winning organization, and it's certainly a far cry from this time four decades ago when each race was met with questions of whether there would be another.

Photo Credit: Andrew Coppley, HHP for Chevy Racing

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