Hendrick Motorsports has seemingly returned to NASCAR dominance after all of their cars finished in the top four this past Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Alex Bowman was able to take the checkered flag thanks to an excellent pit stop from his pit crew. He was able to hang on to the lead from runner-up Kyle Larson, who dominated much of the race up until the last pit stop.
Chase Elliott and William Byron finished third and fourth, respectively, marking the first time Hendrick Motorsports has had all of their cars finish within the top four.
This year has been a return to form for the Hendrick team. When greats like Jeff Gordan, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson retired, the team’s performance suffered as a whole.
Elliott, however, was able to come through late last season in the playoffs and win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. It marked the team’s first victory since Jimmie Johnson’s in 2016.
Besides Elliott, the other three drivers came into this season with a chip on their shoulders.
All three have stepped up and won races this season, with Bowman leading the way for the team with two victories. Byron has proven to be consistent with eleven consecutive top-ten finishes and is currently second in the points standings.
Larson seems to be a real contender for the championship with three second-place finishes, six stage wins, and a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He currently sits fifth in the points standings.
Elliott is the only Hendrick Motorsports driver without a win to this point, but is still seventh in the standings. However, he is known as the best road course racer in the Cup Series and with plenty of road courses left on the schedule, he seems destined for at least one win this season.
Teams like Stewart-Haas, Penske, and Joe Gibbs Racing have been the cream of the crop when it comes to being among the best teams in NASCAR since Hendrick’s decline. This year, the best team from top to bottom is Hendricks, but Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske are not that far behind.
Bowman is going to prove to be the real wild card this year come playoff time. He leads the team with two wins, but is last on the team in the points standings, currently 13th. If he can keep winning consistently, especially come playoff time, he can become a title threat.
Hendrick Motorsports resurgence is great for NASCAR and should make the Playoffs this year that much more competitive. With Larson and Byron emerging as championship contenders for the first time in their careers and Elliott defending his title, Hendrick Motorsports has a real chance of winning back-to-back Championships.