Hendrick Motorsports Chasing History

Johnson, Earnhardt Jr, Gordon with Mr. Hendrick on 2012 media day
Photo – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

by Michelle Lesener

Due to NASCAR’s rule of four cars per team, the most that one organization can hope for is that all four of them teams make the Chase. 

However due to affiliations that NASCAR allows, history could be made this year at Richmond as we could see five, possibly six, drivers with ties to one organization’s engine program, making the Chase.

That one organization is Hendrick Motorsports.

With HMS drivers Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr, along with Stewart-Haas co-owner/driver Tony Stewart inside the top-ten; and HMS driver Kasey Kahne holding the #1 wild card spot, four HMS affiliated drivers are currently locked into the chase. 

There are two other drivers with ties to HMS who are fighting over the second wild card spot – driver Jeff Gordon and SHR driver Ryan Newman. 

Kasey Kahne is also knocking on the door of the top-ten Chase contenders, having gained 17 points over the past two weeks and finding himself just 33 points out of 10th-place. 

Kahne has been running well over the past five races, especially with his strong showing at Michigan where he rebounded after getting caught up in Mark Martin’s wreck to finish third. Kahne is currently second in gaining the most points over the last five races, just behind Brad Keselowski. The possibility exists for Kasey to find himself inside the top-ten by the time the checkers fly at Richmond. 

With one of Kasey’s good tracks, Atlanta, coming up before the Chase, the top-ten is definitely in Kasey’s sights. Three years ago, going into Atlanta, Kasey was clinging to the edge of the top-ten and scored a win at the 1.5 mile track to secure himself a spot in the Chase for the second time in his career.

On the flipside, over the past few races Tony Stewart has slowly been facing the possibility of falling outside of the top-ten after engine issues at Michigan relegated him to a 32nd-place finish. He finds himself with just a one-point lead over Denny Hamlin and a 34-point cushion over Kasey Kahne. Should he fall out of the top-ten and Kasey jump into the top-ten, Tony would still make the chase with the #1 wild card spot with three wins this year. 

With three races to go before finding out who our chase field will be this year, do you think that Hendrick can make history?

Do you think that all six drivers will make the chase? 

If not, who do you think will be the odd man/men out?


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