COTA win draws Hendrick level with Petty for most Cup wins all-time

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COTA win draws Hendrick level with Petty for most Cup wins all-time

NASCAR

COTA win draws Hendrick level with Petty for most Cup wins all-time

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With their fifth win Sunday at Circuit of the Americas, Hendrick Motorsports tied Petty Enterprises for the most wins in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The two organizations sit at the top of the list with 268 victories.

“I really don’t know what to say other than Richard Petty, and that organization has been the backbone of the sport,” Rick Hendrick said. “Richard has done so much. It’s quite an honor to even be in the same series with him. I never thought we’d get here, but real proud of the guys. They worked really hard. That’s been something we’ve had in our sights.

“Really happy for Chevrolet with 800 wins. It’s just been a great day. It’s been a great ride. The season has been good to us. Everybody’s won a race now. We got all four locked into the playoffs. Man, I don’t know. It would sure be nice to win another one in Charlotte. That would be the place to really break the record.”

Not only was Chase Elliott victorious in the EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix, but the company also finished second with Kyle Larson. The result follows a 1-2-3-4 finish, the first in Hendrick’s history, last weekend at Dover International Speedway. Elliott was the last of the Hendrick drivers who needed to win this season after William Byron won at Homestead, Larson at Las Vegas, and Alex Bowman at Richmond and Dover.

Of the current Hendrick drivers, Elliott has contributed 12 wins to the Hendrick Motorsports history book. Jeff Gordon won 93 races during his career, and Jimmie Johnson won 83. Other drivers who have won for Hendrick include Terry Labonte, Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kyle Busch.

Hendrick began fielding a car in the Cup Series in 1984 with Geoff Bodine, competing as All-Star Racing. Bodine’s win at Martinsville Speedway that season helped keep the team going. Jeff Gordon scored the organization’s 50th win at Darlington in 1996 and the 100th at Michigan in 2001.

Win number 200 came from Jimmie Johnson in 2012 at Darlington. The 250th win came with Chase Elliott at Watkins Glen in 2018, which was also Elliott’s first win in the series.

“When I look back at the pictures of wins, it brings back so many memories,” said Hendrick. “I think all the time about had we not won Martinsville, we wouldn’t be here. So many things happened along the way. So many really good drivers that everybody from Geoff Bodine winning the first race, Tim Richmond. Now with these four young guys and adding Kyle Larson, it’s been a big boost to our company.

“The future looks bright. I never thought I’d be here. I never thought we’d win this many races. I’m just proud of the people. I think Chase said it: there are 600 plus folks over there that work hard every day. They’re working together; they’re sharing information. Kyle Petty said this the other day: we’re like a big family, just like Petty Enterprises (was).”

Petty Enterprises (10-time Cup Series champions) won 268 races between 1949 and 1999 and folded in 2009. The team’s last win came with John Andretti at Martinsville Speedway.

Since 1984, Rick Hendrick’s teams have not only won 268 races but 13 championships.

“I’ve been through some good times, some bad times, at the top of the mountain, then couldn’t hit our butt,” Hendrick continued. “Worked hard, kept going. I think the test of a real company is when you get in those lows, you don’t point fingers, and you don’t jump ship. You just work. You can’t stop people that are working together with good communication, just willing to share.

“I think it’s the best it’s ever been for us to have a balance of four cars that are running well. We usually had one or two. Jeff’s dominating, Jimmie’s dominating. Now the sport is so competitive, but to have four that can show up and win any weekend, that’s a testament to the effort that all those people back in the shop are putting into this program.”

Hendrick Motorsports win list:

Jeff Gordon – 93

Jimmie Johnson – 83

Terry Labonte – 12

Chase Elliott – 12

Tim Richmond – 9

Darrell Waltrip – 9

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 9

Geoff Bodine – 7

Kasey Kahne – 6

Mark Martin – 5

Ken Schrader – 4

Ricky Rudd – 4

Kyle Busch – 4

Alex Bowman – 4

William Byron – 2

Brian Vickers – 1

Joe Nemechek – 1

Casey Mears – 1

Jerry Nadeau – 1

Kyle Larson – 1

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