Hendrick Motorsports rises to the top

The 2021 NASCAR season got off to a wild start with new winners every week. Everything from first time winners to unexpected winners and we did not see a duplicate winner until Martin Truex Jr. won at Martinsville. After the first 10 races there has been a decline in the wild finishes and we are starting to see the regulars come back to victory lane and secure their spot in the playoffs. One team that we have seen rise above all the others is Hendrick Motorsports. After a bit of a slump last year compared to their expectations set throughout years of being a top team, people were starting to wonder if they would give up their spot at the kings of NASCAR. Hendrick came out this season and proved any doubters wrong as they are the first 4 car team to see all 4 of their drivers head to victory lane so far this season. Hendrick Motorsports also pulled off a historic 1-2-3-4 finish at Dover, something rarely seen in NASCAR. Let’s take a look into how each driver on the best team in NASCAR is doing so far this season. 

  1. Alex Bowman

Bowman has been the best driver at Hendrick in terms of wins when last weekend he became 1 of 2 multi win drivers this season (the other being Martin Turex Jr.) when he snagged a win at Dover off the back of his pit crew getting him crucial track position. Bowman was seen as one of the drivers early in the season that was considered a weak link and in the last couple weeks he has been a force and can always be seen running at the front of the pack and is now a contender for the championship 4. 

  1. William Byron

Byron has been the most consistent driver at Hendrick all season so far and has just finally ended a top 10 streak that has been going on for weeks. Sitting 98 points behind regular season points leader so far, Denny Hamlin and at this rate, with his consistency and his win at Homestead, he is all but a lock for the playoffs. Earlier this year I predicted Byron would be a consistently top 10 driver and can easily be a serious contender as the season goes along. 

  1. Chase Elliott

A driver that we all expected to win way earlier in the season than he did (he got screwed twice at both the Daytona 500 and the Daytona Road Course) has finally gotten back into victory lane this weekend at COTA. Even though this is a road course win Chase showed yet again why he draws comparisons to Jeff Gordon, one of the best road course racers NASCAR has ever seen. Chase managed to step out to a 2 second lead before the rain got to be too much and NASCAR declared they lost the track and Chase Elliott the winner of the first ever race at COTA. Chase can use this win to get over the championship hangover and launch his season to get back into the top 10 where he belongs, running with his team mates and maybe get a chance to defend his title. 

  1. Kyle Larson 

After losing his ride last year, Larson’s whole career was in question and before the 2021 season started Hendrick Motorsports was the answer. Giving him the virtually unsponsored #the 5 car was a big gamble that paid off early when Kyle Larson went on to win at Las Vegas and show that he has not lost any of his talent. Larson has had one big flaw though that could hurt him come playoff time, a time where no matter what winning is necessary, it seems like he does not have the ability to close. Larson has led a lot of laps and dominated multiple races this year and only has 1 win to show for it. No matter what the excuse is he should have more than 1 win this year and with the system demanding wins to keep advancing through the rounds, this could be an issue. Larson has been above average and can continue his good run but if he does not start winning it could be ugly for him. 

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