Hendrick Motorsports relishing recent form, but keeping eyes on playoffs

Hendrick Motorsports relishing recent form, but keeping eyes on playoffs

Jeff Andrews doesn’t deny that Hendrick Motorsports is enjoying the ride, but he also knows the most critical months of the season are still some time away.

“We need this kind of momentum and speed coming up in October and November,” said Andrews, the executive vice president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re working hard to maintain where we’re at. We’ll celebrate today, get out of here, and start back to work next week on Texas and Nashville.”

Andrews and Hendrick were celebrating once more Sunday as the company finished 1-2 with Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. Their fourth straight 1-2 finish and Cup Series victory. The organization has won seven times in 16 races, and along the way, elevated Rick Hendrick to first place on the all-time wins list in the series.

Everything has been going Hendrick’s way lately. Larson and Alex Bowman have won multiple races. Additionally, all four teams are qualified for the postseason through wins, and all four are showing consistent strength, no matter the racetrack or downforce package. Aside from a superspeedway, Hendrick drivers have won on every type of racetrack.

Larson, Elliott, and William Byron are second, third, and fourth in points. Larson is crushing the competition with stage wins (11) and laps led (1,162), and his three overall wins are tied with Martin Truex Jr. for the most in the series.

“I think for the company, internally in the company, I know to Mr. Hendrick, one of the things that means the most is just that consistency across the company and the way all four race teams are working together right now,” Andrews said. “That’s the key for us at this moment.”

The playoffs don’t start for another three months. Last year, Hendrick came on strong late with Elliott to capture the title. Midway through the regular season, it is Hendrick the competition is shooting for, and the goal becomes not to get complacent.

“That’s our main focus right now, for sure,” Andrew said. “To make sure that we keep our heads down. Certainly, you have great weeks like we had last weekend where you need as a company to take a little bit of time with your folks, after Dover (when they finished 1-4), and get together and take a picture. Celebrate a little bit. It’s been so hard in this environment that we’ve all been living in in the last year. There really probably hasn’t been enough celebration, enough rewards going on for the folks. So, we need to take a little bit of time and soak all this in and make sure the folks are celebrating a little bit, enjoying it.

“But we’ve got to keep working because other teams, I promise you, are working very, very hard right now. Our folks are as well. I’m not saying that we’re not, but we’ve got to keep that focus going forward here. And we obviously need to be and want to be running like this when we get later on in the season and start advancing through the playoffs.”