Hendrick Motorsports becomes winningest NASCAR team

A so far sensational season for Hendrick Motorsports shows no signs of slowing down as victory for Kyle Larson at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Coke 600 meant the team overtook Petty Enterprises as the most successful NASCAR team in history.

In leading home fellow Hendrick teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron, Larson’s win meant a sixth win for the team so far this season, but much more importantly, 269 race wins for the team eclipsing a record that seemed almost unsurpassable.

“It feels so good. It wasn’t easy – I felt like I had to fight off William and Chase a lot,” Larson is quoted on motorsport.com. “It kind of worked out the last run as (Erik Jones) had to pit and pulled out in front of me and I just towed with him for a while and stretched my lead out.

“It’s awesome. It feels great to help Mr. H (team owner Rick Hendrick) break that record finally. This is so awesome. We haven’t seen this many fans in forever. Thank all you guys for coming out.”

Following Larson’s victory in Las Vegas, the Hendrick Motorsports team has been on something of a roll, following up with a double podium in Atlanta, victory for Alex Bowman in Richmond, a historic 1-2-3-4 sweep in Dover and a record equalling victory for Elliott at COTA just a week ago.

And the dominance continued as Larson led 327 of 400 laps at the North Carolina venue. Rolling off the line from pole position, Larson barely put a foot wrong, finishing the opening stage exactly where he started.

Pitting for fresh tires and a fuel top-up at the stage break, he rejoined in first but was passed by teammate Elliot for the lead on lap 133. It would be one of the few times that the imperious Larson would find himself out of P1.

And, after a perfectly executed strategic stop on lap 150, a caution 23 laps later played perfectly into his hands, meaning he could rejoin the pack in fourth.

Making optimum use of his fresh rubber, Larson made rapid inroads, surging back into the lead by lap 188 and staying there by the end of stage two. Taking the opportunity to pit again at the third stage break, he held his opponents at bay to win under caution.

Following another stop during the final stage break, the No.5 Metrotech driver rejoined in the lead, making his final pit stop under green on lap 346 before completing a dominant and record-breaking victory.

It was perhaps fitting for Hendrick Motorsports that Larson led home Elliott and Byron, almost like a victory parade, as Alex Bowman so nearly made it a second team clean sweep of the season, finishing in fifth place.

“Thanks to everybody who allows me to drive this No. 5 car. And thanks to my No. 5 team, too. They were great tonight. We had awesome pit stops that really allowed us to get the win tonight,” added Larson.

With a sixth victory of the season also comes the bigger picture, which now means that Larson jumps to second in the drivers’ standings, tied with Byron on 557 points and hot on the heels of Denny Hamlin.

Motorsport Technology