The NASCAR Driver Who Surprised Rick Hendrick the Most at Hendrick Motorsports

Published 06/21/2022, 9:45 AM EDT
RICHMOND, VA – APRIL 21: Team owner Rick Hendrick stands on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 21, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

A few years ago, Jeff Gordon sat down with Hendrick Motorsports boss, Rick Hendrick. The two talked about a number of subjects, including their drivers. In fact, Gordon even asked his former boss which HMS driver had surprised him the most. Honestly speaking, Rick Hendrick has been around for a long time, so he has worked with many NASCAR drivers over the years. However, only one of them has stood out in his mind, none other than Jimmie Johnson.

Hendrick said, “If I had to guess, Jimmie [Johnson]. Winning all those championships, five back-to-back was kind of unreal. I remember we were scared to death, we didn’t have a sponsor.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Which Driver Has Led the Most Laps for Hendrick Motorsports as They Surpassed the 100,000 Mile Barrier in Sonoma?

10 days ago

“We put him together then he comes out and wins races then the championships. That was probably the biggest surprise.”

Hendrick Motorsports is looking ahead to the rest of the 2022 season

Without a doubt, the organization is hoping to take home another Cup Series title. The best part is that all four of their drivers have made it into the Playoffs. Now, they just have to try and stay in the running and prevent more new race winners.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Kevin Harvick Breaks Hendrick Motorsports Legend Jeff Gordon’s Record in Sonoma

Otherwise, it will only lower their chances. Both Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon have been running a tight and successful ship until now, and are gunning for another title.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – MARCH 19: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, looks on during practice for the NTT IndyCar Series XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 19, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Now, the next race is at the Nashville Superspeedway next weekend. Kyle Larson won the race last year for Hendrick Motorsports. So they should be the favorites to win once again. On the other end of the scale, the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has been highly unpredictable.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite there, some people like Denny Hamlin believe that NASCAR’s spate of first-time winners will end very soon. According to him, there won’t be more than 14 winners this season. Of course, a prediction is one thing, but for it to come true, is a different thing altogether.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Dhruv George

13078 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT