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NASCAR is known to be a hot-headed sport, especially at short tracks. Drivers race each other with marginal gaps on the narrow lanes, bumping and trading paint several times. This leads to post-race scuffles and fistfights. In recent times, Rick Hendrick’s No. 24 driver has incurred the wrath of his own brother-in-law, Ryan Blaney. However, teams do help each other in dire times.

The Hendrick team set an example recently ahead of the short-track race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. But the NASCAR community shot arrows at the recipient of Hendrick’s charity while ignoring a crucial fact. This left an insider rebuking the fans for their ill-founded accusations.

SHR insider justifies receiving Rick Hendrick’s help

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Stewart-Haas Racing’s fortunes have seemed bleak since the beginning of 2024. With crucial sponsors and a racing stalwart like Kevin Harvick off their radar, the team had to rebuild its way to the top again. Drivers like Noah Gragson and Josh Berry are doing a very good job at that. Berry fetched his first P3 finish in Darlington and his podium at Talladega. But the team’s charter-selling rumors still testify to its crumbling status.

And recently, an incident occurred that drew criticism from fans. SHR left their cars out in the open as rain battered the All-Star qualifying race. And one fan was irked, “It still doesn’t make sense to have $400,000 cars sitting around with no one from your company keeping an eye on them.”

Rick Hendrick’s team came out to help cover SHR’s cars, as the latter team’s members were nowhere to be found. But there was a reason for that, as Bob Pockrass explained, “The cars are impounded in the garage area. Teams in the Open wouldn’t be in the garage today. There are officials and security there.”

Even Rodney Childers, the crew chief for Josh Berry and the No. 4 team, lashed out at fans to justify accepting help from Rick Hendrick. “It’s unreal to see the comments from this. The open cars weren’t allowed to do anything today. Open cars weren’t allowed to load their cars last night. SHR haulers are the only parked in the low spot of the entire infield. I was headed up to watch the heats, and started raining.”

Evidently, a misinformed tweet triggered a whirlwind of negative comments for Stewart-Haas Racing’s team. But now that the air is cleared, Rick Hendrick’s team efforts are truly commendable, a great example of true sportsmanship. However, despite the negative sentiment around SHR, even Childers’ driver is confident enough to make a determined dash for the All-Star Race.

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Berry is building on Darlington’s momentum

Josh Berry had some tough shoes to fill in his Cup rookie year. Replacing 60-time Cup winner Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Ford, Berry felt jittery initially. The five-time Xfinity winner started out badly at the beginning of the season. But the rookie driver slowly carved his path to the front row and finally reached a remarkable podium finish in Darlington last weekend.

Hence, Rodney Childers’ driver might just cut the All-Star race. He had raced his way into the All-Star Race last year when he covered for Alex Bowman in the No. 48 HMS car.

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Josh Berry said recently, “Rodney and the guys at the shop have built really fast Ford Mustang Dark Horses for every short track we have gone to, which gives me a ton of confidence heading to North Wilkesboro. If we just stick to our process, prepare the best we can during the week, and go have a clean day, there’s no reason we can’t advance to the All-Star Race and do really well.”

Hence, Stewart-Haas Racing has plenty of opportunity to redeem itself in the All-Star Race and the following races, as the drivers rediscover their footing.