Posts tagged: Hendrick Motorsports

Feb 14 2008

How About Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Talk about a strong start for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and an even stronger start for Hendrick Motorsports, Dale wins the shootout and then wins the first Gatorade Duel race today, and Jimmie Johnson has the pole for the Daytona 500. I wonder if all those people who said they would not root for Dale Jr. because he went to Hendrick Motorsports are regretting that decision now? Probably not, I bet they are already back on the bandwagon.

Denny Hamlin wins the first race for Toyota; you just knew it would be a Gibbs car, I mean, what has Waltrip and his bunch done with a year under their belts? I especially liked his little comment about Jeff Gordon hanging back on the restart, but it was fine for him to go to the back and block and weave in front of his teammates competitors to help them get in the 500. I bet Michael gets on your nerves when he’s drunk.

With a push from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin won the second Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race for Sunday’s Daytona 500 in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the event four laps beyond its posted distance. The victory for Toyota was the second for a foreign manufacturer in NASCAR’s top series. Jaguar driver Al Keller won a road-course race in Linden, N.J., in 1954.

In the first Duel 150, Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed Ryan Newman for the lead on Lap 51 of 60 and held on for the win — his second in two races for Hendrick Motorsports.

But the story of Thursday was the success of three veteran drivers — Dale Jarrett, Kenny Wallace and John Andretti — who persevered to make the field. Source: Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin win qualifying races at Daytona

A total of ten cars changed engines before the duel races, including all four Hendrick cars, so I was not too excited about Gordon’s chances, but only Dave Blaney had engine trouble during the races. This will be the first time the Daytona 500 has been run without a car from the Wood Bros.

I did not know you could do this though:

“It’s too early to diagnose the problem,” said Busch, who gave up the owner points on his No. 2 Dodge to guarantee rookie teammate Sam Hornish Jr. starting spots in the first five races of 2008.

I wonder why you don’t hear about it happening more often on teams with the really good drivers who make every race on speed, but it is only for the first five races.

Gatorade Duel 1 Unofficial Results
Gatorade Duel 2 Unofficial Results

Here’s how they will start for the Daytona 500:

1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 187.075 48.109 Leader
2 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 186.734 48.197 -0.088
3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard – - -
4 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express – - -
5 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target – - -
6 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot – - -
7 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL – - -
8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont – - -
9 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST – - -
10 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser – - -
11 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot – - -
12 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army – - -
13 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker – - -
14 6 David Ragan Ford AAA – - -
15 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Texaco / Havoline – - -
16 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil – - -
17 187 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Furniture Row
/ DenverMattress.com – - -
18 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M – - -
19 77 Sam Hornish Jr.* Dodge Mobil 1 – - -
20 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS – - -
21 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet PEAK / Menards – - -
22 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Makoto – - -
23 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull – - -
24 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s – - -
25 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker – - -
26 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Jim Beam – - -
27 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters – - -
28 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT – - -
29 01 Regan Smith* Chevrolet Principal Financial Group – - -
30 28 Travis Kvapil Ford K&N Filters – - -
31 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s – - -
32 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditReport.com – - -
33 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon – - -
34 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar – - -
35 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy – - -
36 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility – - -
37 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV – - -
38 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal Cask No. 16 – - -
39 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo – - -
40 40 Dario Franchitti* Dodge Dodge Journey – - -
41 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing – - -
42 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine – - -
43 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite Champion’s Provisional

Did Not Qualify
44 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull – - -
45 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie – - -
46 49 Ken Schrader Dodge HealthLife.com – - -
47 160 Boris Said Ford 7-Eleven Slurpee / No Fear – - -
48 10 Patrick Carpentier* Dodge Valvoline – - -
49 137 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty – - -
50 109 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming – - -
51 27 Jacques Villeneuve* Toyota Bill Davis Racing – - -
52 150 Stanton Barrett Chevrolet NOS Energy Drink / SKI / SBM – - -
53 08 Carl Long Dodge MILLSTAR Tools / Rhino’s Energy Drink

Oct 21 2007

Jimmie Johnson Wins in Martinsville

Another great day for Hendrick Motorsports as Jimmie Johnson wins the Subway 500 in Martinsville, Jeff Gordon finishing third, Kyle Busch finishing fourth and Casey Mears finishing 20th. The first 108 races consisted of Jeff Gordon leading the way, Gordon lead the most laps today as well, Jimmie Johnson lead the most important laps at the end, with several cautions making them sweat and eventually ending the race. It looked like Jeff had a shot at him near the end, but Ryan Newman eventually got around Gordon, and Kyle Busch almost did at the end, with a pretty close finish at the line. This was big win for Johnson, who gained 15 points on Gordon, and his third in row at this track.

Jeff Gordon wasn’t too happy with the pass Ryan Newman put on him, but both agreed to that they weren’t happy with how the other raced each other at the end, and appeared to be okay with each other on pit road. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a good day until he had a motor problem, they noted during the race that his throttle wasn’t going wide open like it should, but I didn’t hear what the problem with it was, he did finish 23rd, so, at least it didn’t blow up.

Jeff Gordon has passed the torch to Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville Speedway, the track where Gordon has had more success than most anyone.

“He’s Mr. Martinsville,” Gordon said Sunday after his teammate won his third consecutive race on the 0.526-mile oval, the shortest and trickiest in Nextel Cup racing.

“That guy is unbelievable here.”

“I saw something where Richard Petty won how many?” he said of NASCAR’s career victories leader at the track with 15. “That’s Mr. Martinsville. That’s The King.”

“I was nervous with [Gordon] behind us and I was able to hold him off,” Johnson said in Victory Lane. “And then [Ryan Newman] got in there and I knew he was going to be real tough on a short run, too. … I know he’s hungry. He’s been working real hard to get back to Victory Lane, so I knew he wasn’t going to cut me any slack.” Source: Johnson wins again at M’ville to tighten Chase

Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have won eight of the last ten races in Martinsville, the last person to win three Martinsville races in a row was the King Richard Petty and Johnson has won all four races in Virginia this year, with the last person to do that also being Richard Petty.

A side note: I was watching our local affiliate, WCHS after the race and they must have gotten their points standings and race finish from something other than the official Nascar numbers, well they are unofficial usually until the next day, in case Nascar needs to make adjustments, as they had Gordon only 48 points ahead and Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon finishing third and fourth. So I assume the news anchor was using something that tracked how they crossed the line at the very end, like trackpass or something, I noticed Kyle Busch was in front of Jeff Gordon as they crossed the line for the last lap, but they were frozen in position because of the caution the other way around. He should’ve actually watched the race. ;)

Here is how the 12 Chase drivers stand:

1. — Jeff Gordon 6055 Leader
2. — Jimmie Johnson 6002 -53
3. — Clint Bowyer 5940 -115
4. — Tony Stewart 5806 -249
5. — Carl Edwards 5767 -288
6. — Kyle Busch 5765 -290
7. +1 Kevin Harvick 5686 -369
8. +1 Denny Hamlin 5681 -374
9. +1 Jeff Burton 5649 -406
10. -3 Kurt Busch 5635 -415
11. — Martin Truex Jr. 5608 -442
12. — Matt Kenseth 5593 -457

Here is how they qualified:

1 4 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 190/5 506 Running
2 12 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 170/0 506 Running
3 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 175/10 506 Running
4 6 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 165/5 506 Running
5 24 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers 155/0 506 Running
6 30 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Freight 150/0 506 Running
7 37 16 Greg Biffle Ford Dish Network 146/0 506 Running
8 26 42 Juan Montoya * Dodge Texaco / Havoline 147/5 506 Running
9 21 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 138/0 506 Running
10 3 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 134/0 506 Running
11 20 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 130/0 506 Running
12 18 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 132/5 506 Running
13 34 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 124/0 506 Running
14 10 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 121/0 506 Running
15 5 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 118/0 506 Running
16 32 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools 115/0 506 Running
17 19 00 David Reutimann * Toyota Dominos.com 112/0 506 Running
18 29 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 109/0 506 Running
19 2 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 106/0 506 Running
20 22 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 103/0 506 Running
21 42 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 100/0 506 Running
22 16 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Goody’s Headache Powders 97/0 506 Running
23 7 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 99/5 506 Running
24 35 15 Paul Menard * Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 91/0 505 Running
25 40 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s 88/0 505 Running
26 41 6 David Ragan * Ford AAA 85/0 505 Running
27 23 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Combos 82/0 504 Running
28 31 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Haas Automation 84/5 503 Running
29 13 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation 76/0 503 Running
30 33 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 73/0 503 Running
31 11 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 70/0 501 Running
32 9 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 67/0 500 Running
33 15 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 64/0 492 Running
34 43 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie 61/0 483 Running
35 25 84 A.J. Allmendinger * Toyota Red Bull 58/0 474 Running
36 17 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 55/0 439 Running
37 38 40 David Stremme Dodge Target House 52/0 410 Out of Race
38 36 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet Lucas / ITT Night Vision / State Water Heaters 49/0 406 Running
39 39 7 Robby Gordon Ford MAC Tools 46/0 390 Running
40 14 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 43/0 371 Running
41 28 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target / Breast Cancer Awareness 40/0 259 Out of Race
42 8 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 37/0 258 Out of Race
43 27 01 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 34/0 111 Out of Race

Jun 13 2007

Dale Earnhardt Jr to Drive 5 Car Next Year

Dale Earnhardt Jr heads to Hendrick Motorsports
It’s official, Dale Earnhardt Jr announced today that he is going to drive the 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports starting in 2008, putting an end to the wondering, although, there are lots of people who are not surprised, many of Dale Jr’s fans will not be happy. I saw many posts from fans saying they will not root for a Hendricks car ever. So, looks like they are going to be limited to Martin Truex Jr or maybe Kyle Busch, if a driver swap is really what is happening, as was thought yesterday, or many could go back to the guy who took Dale Earnhardt’s place, Kevin Harvick.

Here is the video from Nascar of him making the announcement, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Hendrick Motorsports. More videos below.

When he first decided to move on from DEI, he wanted to go to somewhere he could win championships, and in his announcement he said he found that man and he introduced Rick Hendrick. This puts to rest a lot of the speculation on where he was going, and am sure it removes a lot of pressure from Jr, but it probably added a bunch to him as well. What will his fans think? What if he still doesn’t win a championship? There are many things he will be thinking about over the course of the rest of this year. I am sure some of the fans will be mad, but if you are a true Dale Jr fan, you should be happy he is going somewhere that will give him the equipment and tools that he needs, if not, then maybe they are really Dale Sr fans and maybe it is time for some to move on, especially if they are going to hate racing or Dale from now on.

Still no official word on where Kyle Busch will go, and no official word on what is going to happen to the Budweiser sponsorship, Budweiser said they wanted to stay with Jr, but I believe their contract with DEI is not up until 2008. It is believed the Dale will keep the Kellogs sponsorship, at least for next year. Then I can see Budweiser signing on, if Dale wins a championship, then I am sure his fanbase will only get larger and not smaller because of this move. Good luck Dale, your going to need it.

Here are some more videos from Dale Earnhardt Jr’s press conference today, hosted at Nascar.com.

Hendrick: It’s a ‘wow’ day Rick Hendrick says signing Dale Earnhardt Jr. is something he and his son Ricky had envisioned years ago.

Junior relieved, excited to join HMS With the goal of winning championships, Junior says he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders by joining HMS.

A surreal experience Junior comments on what it was like being recruited by the icons of the sport.

Hendrick vows to help Junior reach his goals Rick Hendrick says he wants to support Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his goal of winning a NASCAR championship.

Junior on Hendrick and other teams Junior on Hendrick and other teams he viewed as competition at DEI.

Jun 12 2007

Dale Jr. Headed to Hendrick?

If the rumors flying around are true, it looks like Dale Earnhardt Jr. could be heading to Hendrick Motorsports in some form of trade involving the number 5 car and Kyle Busch. The SI article mentioned an actual driver swap, with Kyle Busch going to DEI in trade for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

We know Budweiser wants to stay with Jr, but, they may not follow him, and Dale may end up driving the number 5 car with the Kellogs sponsor still in place.

Multiple sources have told SI.com that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to announce in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET that he’s signed to join powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports for the 2008 season and beyond.

According to sources, Junior will be hired to drive the No. 5 Chevrolet, replacing current driver Kyle Busch. The only official word from the Junior camp comes in the form of a press release announcing the press conference, to be held at Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports shop in Mooresville, N.C. Source: The rich get richer: Earnhardt Jr. set to announce move to Hendrick in ’08

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make an official announcement at 11am on Wednesday at the JR Motorsports shop in Mooresville, NC. Sounds like these sources know what they are talking about, but, that doesn’t mean they are right, I guess we will find our for sure tomorrow.

May 25 2007

Jack Roush Says It’s Not Fair

Jack Roush says that the Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing teams are not playing fair because they are testing more than the other teams. Those teams are going to tracks that the Nascar circuit does not run on and testing the COT cars with different Goodyear tires, because they can’t use the ones they race with, and they are getting a good idea on how it runs. Is this against Nascar’s rules? Nope. But Jack Roush says it’s not fair.

And that is not fair, according to Jack Roush, owner of the Roush Fenway Racing team. He says that Hendrick and others have ignored the intent of a Nascar policy to limit testing.

“They were going to start everybody on the Car of Tomorrow on an even basis, saying there’s four or five tests, whatever it was, that’s what you get, that’s what you got,” Roush said Thursday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as teams began preparing for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, which is not a Car of Tomorrow event. “The teams that have been successful, and I’ll name names — the Hendrick organization, the Gibbs organization and the Childress organization — have been testing these cars multiple times a week on racetracks that were outside of Nascar’s control with tires that were not Goodyear’s.”

“I got behind on that,” Roush said. “But two weeks ago, I hired six people. I dedicated a tractor-trailer and I’ve gone public and said, ‘O.K., I’m going to get in the testing game, too.’ ” Source: Nascar’s Rules Tested by Tests on New Car

Now, I remember seeing teams testing at different tracks all of the time, like the one in Kentucky, and seems like there were a couple others in Virginia, or the Carolina’s, that they tested on. So, how would this be any different? As long as they are not going against Nascar’s rules, then there is nothing going on, so is Jack Roush mad because he didn’t think of it, didn’t think it would help, or just because they aren’t running very well and is looking for an excuse? Or all of the above? I have no idea, but he doesn’t seem to think it’s cheating or he wouldn’t have started doing it himself, would he? Robert Pemberton says,

“We can do a lot of different things; we choose to do things carefully and to not put ourselves in a box,” said Robin Pemberton, Nascar’s vice president for competition. He said that the Nascar policy limited the laboratory testing done with the tires used in competition, which was the goal.

“Even though they’re off-site and they’re testing vehicles, they’re not testing any particular track that we race at to get what would be probably a larger advantage,” he said.

So, what’s the problem Jack? Sounds like a whiny driver complaining he got rubbed a little and it’s not fair. If Nascar thought it was unfair, they would say no extra testing period. End of story.

May 09 2007

Is Earnhardt Jr Thinking About Hendrick Motorsports

I have said before I think Hendrick should go after Earnhardt Jr., but I never really thought I would see it, might still not, as this is just hearsay right now, but the Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that “men familiar with the negotiations”, we all know these guys right, they are always in the know, say Dale Jr. is only thinking about driving for two teams, and one of them is Hendrick Motorsports. Yes, that’s right, Hendrick Motorsports.

The efforts to sign Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a NASCAR driving contract for 2008 and beyond has reached a critical point, and the top two teams on Earnhardt’s list are the Chevrolet teams owned by Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick, according to men familiar with the negotiations.

Earnhardt today is leaning toward a deal with Hendrick, largely because of Hendrick’s very strong engine program, sources here said yesterday.

Earnhardt and veteran crew chief Tony Eury Jr., his cousin and close confidante as well as the man who has led him to many of his 17 Cup victories, have talked with both the Hendrick and Childress camps in recent weeks about the positives and negatives each team owner would have to offer, sources said yesterday. And Eury will have a major voice in the decision, because Earnhardt’s primary goal now, at age 32, is to win a championship.

Yesterday, when asked directly, “Will you be driving for Richard Childress next season?” Earnhardt just smiled and walked away. His future? “Just have to wait and see,” he said. Source: Earnhardt leans toward Hendrick

Over on the AOL Sports Blog, a commenter said he listened to a radio show on Sirius radio and General Manager Marshall Carlson had this to say,

UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Marshall Carlson told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway Tuesday that his team is fully stocked with drivers for 2008 and beyond, and that he has not spoken with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., about the possibility of joining the Hendrick stable. “We have four outstanding drivers in Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Casey Mears, ***and all of them are signed to long-term contracts***,” he said. “Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is obviously a very talented driver, but all of our seats are filled.” Asked by host Dave Moody if that meant Hendrick would not be interested in Earnhardt under any circumstances, Carlson said, “I never say `never’ in this business. Again, Dale is a very talented driver that any team would be interested in having in one of their cars. But we are extremely satisfied with our four driver/team combinations, and we have contracts in place for all our key players.”(Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway)(5-9-2007) Source: Junior and Jeffy Batting for Same Team in 2008 and Beyond?

I think it’s obvious that writer doesn’t like Gordon, but I’ve been wrong before. I think it would be a good choice for Earnhardt, I also think that even if Hendrick kept all four drivers, they could find a spot for him, even if they had to break off Johnson and combine him and Earnhardt under Gordon as car owner. Then Hendrick could have two teams, although unofficially, and could accommodate all the drivers, and maybe even bring Truex with him, two teams of three sounds good, what do you all think?

They have updated the AOL sports blog to say that Dave Moody has said something about Dale taking Martin Truex Jr. to JR Motorsports and is making a two car team. He says an announcement will be made from JR Motorsports at 11am in the morning. I guess we shall see then.

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