Here’s What Forced Hendrick Motorsports to Run a NASCAR Xfinity Program Despite JRM Partnership

Published 06/21/2022, 11:55 AM EDT
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 19: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AXALTA Chevrolet, hugs Rick Hendrick during pre-race ceremonies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

There’s something that’s beginning to stand out about Hendrick Motorsports this season. And it doesn’t have to do with their performance on the track or the number of races they are or aren’t winning, no.

It’s about them being dynamic as a team, courageous, and more willing to take part in races outside the Cup Series.

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This season has seen HMS announce a bunch of races in which they will field their own car to take part in the Xfinity Series. But this raises a question: Since HMS already has an association with JR Motorsports, why didn’t they field their driver in a JRM car?

The answer is quite simple.

This is simply because JRM has already sold their fifth car, so HMS using that avenue was no longer a possibility. So they fielded their own car. However, Rick Hendrick’s team wants to be prepared next time around.

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Because if they want to run again in the second tier of NASCAR, this time, they’d make sure they’ll secure a seat with Dale Earnhardt Jr’s team.

“JRM already had those races sold for somebody else in their fifth car. So we decided to just take that initiative and do it ourselves,” Jeff Andrews, the President and General Manager of HMS said.

“I don’t know that we’ll do that again. I think if we had it to do over, we’d probably have gotten more in front of it with JRM and secured seats in that fifth car.”

Hendrick Motorsports is completely supportive of their driver’s interests beyond NASCAR

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Jeff Andrews described how “important” it is for them, as an organization, to support the dirt racing and midget racing aspirations of their drivers like Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman.

Andrews gave credit to Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon for their part in allowing these ‘extracurricular’ racing activities.

Feb 16, 2022; Daytona, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (right) qualifies first and NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (left) qualifies second for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

“I commend [Rick] Hendrick and Jeff [Gordon] for supporting Kyle (Larson) and his initiatives. Obviously, he’s one of the most talented sprint car drivers around right now. Alex has obviously always had an interest in his midget programs and different things,” he said.

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“It’s a good experience for them. It builds confidence for them, and we’re happy to support that whenever they want to do it.”

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Shaharyar Khan Chauhan

1177 articles

Shaharyar is an F1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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