2018 Team Preview – Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports, owned by Rick Hendrick, is one of the biggest names in all of motorsports. 2017 was an underwhelming year for the four-car team, however, with just four wins. However, with revamped teams, new drivers, and the brand new Chevy Camaro ZL1, the future of Hendrick Motorsports looks bright.

 

Hendrick Motorsports – Organization Profile

Drivers: 4

Organization Wins: 249

Championships: 12

Wins in 2017: 4

Poles in 2017: 3

 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevy Camaro ZL1

1 - Napa
Chase Elliott will pilot the no. 9 Napa Auto Parts Chevy Camaro ZL1 in 2018. Photo courtesy of Lionel Racing. You can purchase Chase Elliott die-cast by Lionel by clicking here.

Career Wins: 0

Wins in 2017: 0

Poles in 2017: 1

Sponsors: Napa Auto Parts, Hooters, SunEnergy1, Kelley Blue Book

2018 Outlook: Entering his third season as a full-time driver in NASCAR’s top division, Chase Elliott will continue to search for his first victory, which has eluded him up to this point. At the end of the 2017 season, Elliott and his no. 24 team, whose look has now been revamped as the no. 9, were a championship threat, nearly winning multiple races during the playoffs. If Elliot and his team can continue in that direction, the no. 9 will surely find its way to victory lane in 2018.

 

William Byron, No. 24 Chevy Camaro ZL1

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William Byron will pilot the no. 24 Axalta Coatings Chevy Camaro ZL1 in 2018. Photo courtesy of Lionel Racing. You can purchase William Byron die-cast by Lionel by clicking here.

Career Wins: N/A

Wins in 2017:  N/A

Poles in 2017: N/A

Sponsors: Axalta, Liberty University

2018 Outlook: William Byron has shaken the very foundation and roots of NASCAR. Byron, unlike most race car drivers, did not start on local dirt tracks, or in late models, or in a go-kart. He got his start racing on an online racing simulator called iRacing. With his talents recognized by professional drivers like Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Byron drove into NASCAR history by winning seven races in his Camping World Truck Series rookie campaign, following that up with the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. If Byron can bring the same skill set to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series that he has displayed in the lower divisions, he is sure to find a way into victory lane in the famed no. 24.

 

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevy Camaro ZL1

 

1 - LowesPros
Jimmie Johnson will pilot the no. 48 Lowe’s Chevy Camaro ZL1 in 2018. Photo courtesy of Lionel Racing. You can purchase Jimmie Johnson die-cast by Lionel by clicking here.

 

Career Wins: 83

Wins in 2017: 3

Poles in 2017: 0

Sponsors: Lowe’s

2018 Outlook: 2017 was one of the worst years on record for Jimmie Johnson. It was the first time Johnson did not win a playoff race, just his second season without a pole, and he set a career-low average start (16.9) and average finish (16.8). Three wins early in the season locked him into the playoffs, but he failed to close the deal after the Dover race in June. If Johnson is going to win his record-shattering eighth NASCAR Cup Series title, he’ll need to find the speed that he lost in the summer months of last season. He’ll also need to improve his race and stage finishes, something that the entire Hendrick organization struggled with last year.

 

Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevy Camaro ZL1

 

1 - Nationwide
Alex Bowman will pilot the no. 88 Nationwide Insurance Chevy Camaro ZL1 in 2018. Photo courtesy of Lionel Racing. You can purchase Alex Bowman die-cast by Lionel by clicking here.

 

Career Wins: 0

Wins in 2017: N/A

Poles in 2017: N/A

Sponsors: Nationwide Insurance, Axalta

2018 Outlook: When Alex Bowman takes the green flag at Daytona in February, don’t mistake him for a rookie. Bowman actually drove full-time in NASCAR’s top division in 2014 and 2015, and filled in for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the no. 88 in 2016 when Earnhardt sidelined himself for a concussion. In fact, in the 10 races Bowman drove filling in for Earnhardt, Bowman earned a pole and nearly won the fall race at Phoenix, losing only because he was wrecked on a late-race restart. Bowman also ran The Clash in February, finishing third. Bowman has shown a lot of promise, and could very well bring the no. 88 back to victory lane in 2018.

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