NASCAR: Hendrick Motorsports eyeing all-time record in 2021

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Hendrick Motorsports have a chance to break the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins record held by Petty Enterprises in the 2021 season.

Hendrick Motorsports are coming off their best NASCAR Cup Series season in several years, winning the 2020 championship with Chase Elliott behind the wheel of the #9 Chevrolet and winning a total of seven of the 36 races on the schedule.

They hadn’t won a title since Jimmie Johnson won his seventh and final championship in 2016, and they hadn’t won seven races in a single season since they won eight in the 2015 season, which saw Jeff Gordon qualify for the Championship 4 but fail to win the title.

In 2020, Elliott won five races, including the final two to get to the Championship 4 and then to secure the title, while Alex Bowman and William Byron each won one.

If they can repeat that performance, or even come close, in 2021, Rick Hendrick’s team will break an all-time record.

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Hendrick Motorsports currently trail Petty Enterprises by just five victories on the all-time Cup Series wins list.

Over 60 seasons, Petty Enterprises fielded 2,817 entries and collected 268 wins, 888 top five finishes and 1,258 top 10 finishes. Over 37 seasons going back to 1984, Hendrick Motorsports have fielded 4,273 entries and collected 263 wins, 1,101 top five finishes and 1,900 top 10 finishes. Petty Enterprises last competed in 2008, with their final victory coming in 1999 with the late John Andretti at Martinsville Speedway.

Of course, much of the Petty-owned team’s success was had by Richard Petty, the seven-time champion who won by far an all-time record 200 races throughout his legendary career. Of his 200 wins, 196 came with Petty Enterprises. He won two races for Robertson Racing in 1970 and another two for Curb Racing in 1984.

Much of the success had by Hendrick’s team over the years can be attributed to Johnson and Gordon, who only ever competed for this organization. They combined for 176 wins, with 83 going to Johnson, good for a sixth place tie on the all-time list, and 93 going to Gordon, good for third on the all-time list.

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How many races will Hendrick Motorsports win throughout the 36-race 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season? Will they surpass Petty Enterprises to become the sport’s all-time winningest team by the time the checkered flag flies at Phoenix Raceway in November?