Rick Hendrick Prepares for a Series of Special Appearances to Cement His Next Milestone

Published 09/05/2023, 4:37 PM EDT

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For almost four decades, Hendrick Motorsports has been an integral racing team in NASCAR and they have cemented themselves as one of the greatest motorsport teams to have ever existed. Since its inception in 1984, the team has won a whopping 14 NASCAR Cup Series titles. The team is currently on the brink of writing yet another piece of history and it will be nothing short of a legendary achievement.

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Over the years, HMS has had some of the greatest race car drivers of all time. With the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and a host of other superstars, the team has made legends out of drivers. Their latest Cup Series champion is Kyle Larson, who won in 2021. He is also the driver who kick-started their playoff campaign in Darlington last Sunday.

Kyle Larson could hand Rick Hendrick & HMS a historic record

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The 2023 season has not been a memorable one so far for Rick Hendrick’s team. They are used to having almost all of their drivers every year in the Cup Series playoffs, but things did not exactly go to plan this year. Out of their four drivers, only two made it through to the playoffs. One of the eliminated drivers is former champion Chase Elliott.

Chase has had a season he would want to forget. At the start of the campaign, he suffered a serious injury to his left leg which kept him out of action for six races. Then he got suspended for one more race, taking the tally to seven. Ever since his return from injury, Elliott has just not found his mojo.

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The other driver who failed to qualify for the last 16 is Alex Bowman. Bowman simply didn’t hit the form he required this year. It’s been a long slump for the 30-year-old who hopes to bounce back in 2024.

So 2023 has not been a season to remember for HMS, yet. If they can win one more race this year, they will script history. Kyle Larson’s win at Darlington was HMS’ 299th Cup Series race win. One more and they will reach the 300 mark which is an outstanding achievement.

After winning at Darlington, Larson said that he believes team owner Rick Hendrick will be at every single race until that landmark is achieved. “No. 300 as a whole means more than me winning it or any individual person.”

“I hope one of us four can do it next week, and I guess that means Rick will be at the track every week now until we win. We’ll look forward to having him there,” the 2021 Cup Series champion said.

While Larson was jubilant in his victory and looking forward to hopefully bagging the historic 300th HMS win, one of his teammates had an absolutely horrendous time at Darlington. It seems like Alex Bowman has carried his run of bad luck into the playoffs.

WATCH THIS STORY: Rick Hendrick’s Team Slip-Up Exposed by NASCAR World After Chase Elliott’s Bitter Misery.

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Amid milestone hype, Alex Bowman cuts a desolate figure

At one point during the race, the 30-year-old was defending his track position from a racey Daniel Suarez. However, his defensive technique was questionable. Bowman tried to perform a low block but things went horribly wrong as both drivers came together, ruining their respective races. At the end of the race, Bowman was dejected as he explained what went wrong on track.

“He blocks me whenever I’m around him. I knew we needed to hold on to all the track position we could. We were so good on long runs, but too tight on the short runs. It didn’t work out and I didn’t know he was outside of me. I did mean to block him low because he does block me every time I’m around him,” the driver of the #48 said.

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“This Is a Continued Problem”- Denny Hamlin Brutally Slams Michael Jordan’s Star for Jeopardizing Darlington Run

However, even Bowman would revel in the celebrations when HMS achieve their 300th win. It might be he who does it, or any one of Chase Elliott, William Byron, or Kyle Larson. Who do you think will achieve the landmark victory for Rick Hendrick?

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with Moto GP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR a few years back. The high-octane nature of stock car racing paired with the racecraft on display drew him into the sport.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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