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Despite Coming Off a Historic Season, Rick Hendrick Stays Wary of Ford and Toyota’s New Machines

Published 02/28/2024, 9:16 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

It is needless to say Hendrick Motorsports has the most decorated team in NASCAR right now. Comprising eminent drivers like Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Alex Bowman, they wreaked havoc with all guns blazing last season. Breaking their incredible performance into statistics, we got a total of 10 race wins from their end, contributing to the top 5 finishes.

However, even after being the winningest team with such exceptional performance, Mr. H and his opinions do not align with the reigning next-gen cars. Recently, Rick Hendrick opened up and expressed his opinions about this subject and the Camaro ZL1 cars.

The next-gen cars did reset the table, feels Rick Hendrick

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On NASCAR Live, Rick Hendrick was found discussing various aspects of racing and his team. While generally discussing the culture at the Hendrick camp, he expressed his thoughts on the next-generation cars. While Rick Hendrick seemed humble about their triumph last year, he describes how not every time things might not turn out in their favor, he’s aware of it.

He said, “I think what I’ve seen with our organization had their working together, and sharing information, and the competition’s fierce out there. I think Ford’s got a new car, Toyota’s got a new car, we have to see downforce and drag on the intermediate tracks and how that’s gonna play up. So we just gotta keep our heads out and do our job and just keep working hard. But I do see the tables have kind of reset when they went to the next-gen cars.”

Rick Hendrick further went on to explain the competition that is on a constant rise, with able competitors like Ford and Toyota building great technology for next-gen cars as well. It is for sure that NASCAR was revolutionized to a great extent when these models of the future were brought into the picture.

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The engines of the next-gen cars come with an additional classic pushrod design. They also possess a bizarre 5-speed sequential manual transaxle transmission in comparison to the 4-speed manual transmission of sixth-generation cars. They also have a single design for all race tracks, rather than having separate bodies for different races. Interestingly, next-gen models are cheaper than their predecessors.

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William Byron is special, and the team is lucky to have him

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Rick Hendrick went on to reveal a secret quality that makes William Byron so special. Byron, who engages himself in the videotapes of racing and points out his mistakes, has indeed the quality of a true champion. And according to Mr. H, it is one of his qualities for which HMS is lucky to have him. He said, “I think the difference with William is, he wants to learn more, he can never get enough. Vid tapes, he will be breaking down a race and watch…. It’s like he’s a sponge. And so, I’m glad that I got you,” said Rick Hendrick.

Daytona 500 Winner William Byron One of the Safest Drivers to Bet on Heading to Atlanta

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William Byron won a total of 6 races last year, out of which 5 were on newly built tracks. He also led in a record-breaking 1000 laps, a feat that he shares only with his teammate Kyle Larson. And now, he has started this season by clinching a victory at the prestigious Daytona 500 race.

With so many potential and able drivers on the team, HMS plans to rule the season this year too. Stay tuned for more updates on NASCAR’s winningest team and your favorite drivers.

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Written by:

Mamata Mukherjee

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Mamata Mukherjee is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Combining her love for writing and motorsports she has created some interesting and in-depth stories on drivers like Kyle Busch, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Coming to ES with 3 years of experience in the field of writing, Mamata feels right at home in her role as a NASCAR Journalist.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta