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« Roush Fenway Racing has little to look forward to in Martinsville | Main | From a team standpoint, this was the best time for a rainout »

A Hendrick win almost a certainty at Martinsville

By admin | March 26, 2010

By Richard Allen

Quick, name the track in which Hendrick Motorsports has won the most races? If you said Martinsville, you’re correct. In their history, HMS has tallied eighteen victories on the flat, tight half-mile.

Martinsville was the site of Rick Hendrick’s first triumph as a car owner with Geoffrey Bodine behind the wheel of the #5 Chevrolet. Since that day in 1984, Mr. Hendrick has entered victory lane with a total of four drivers. Jeff Gordon has won seven times on the southern Virginia track for HMS while Jimmie Johnson has added six victories for the organization.

Even though Martinsville has provided some of Mr. Hendrick’s finest moments as a team owner, it was this track that no doubt provided the worst moment of his life as well. In October of 2004, a plane crash claimed the lives of Hendrick’s son Ricky as well as other family members as they traveled to the track for a race. In a cruel twist of irony, Johnson won that race, but there was no victory lane celebration on that day.

Hendrick Chevrolets have scored three wins in the last four races on this part asphalt, part concrete racing surface with Gordon and Johnson sharing the load.

This week a new element will be thrown into the mix. NASCAR has replaced the rear wing on the Car of Tomorrow with a more traditional spoiler.

Mostly with Johnson, HMS dominated the wing era in the sport. However, there is little reason to believe the change will slow this organization down. They won numerous races before the wing ever came to NASCAR. And more, whenever there is a major change, the teams with the most resources tend to do best. No team has more resources at their disposal than HMS.

While there are a number of drivers who could win this Sunday in the Goody’s Pain Relief 500, a Hendrick win is about as close to a sure thing as there might ever be in NASCAR.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “A Hendrick win almost a certainty at Martinsville”

  1. midasmicah Says:
    March 27th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I hope you’e wrong. Other teams need to rise to the occasion and challenge them. Otherwise fan dis-interest will continue to get worse. It’s like watching the Yankees in baseball. Unless you’re a Yankee fan you turn away in disgust. It’s even more so in nas$car. Fans are usually fan(atical)about their drivers. Good or bad, this is the way it is.

  2. midasmicah Says:
    March 27th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    If you’re a Hendrick Racing fan these stats won’t bother you. Driver’s salaries**1-Earnhardt Jr.30 Million 2-Gordon-27 million 3-Johnson 23 million 4-Stewart 19 million 9 (tie) Martin 11 million. These are either Hendricks drivers or Hendrick affiliated drivers. Like I stated earlier this is like the Yankees domination in baseball. If it was one or two drivers, it wouldn’t draw as much attention. And it’s not just the Hendricks drivers. When athleteas makes this kind of money, there’s a dis-connect with the fans. I know other factors add to the equation, but with the economy and hotel and campground fee gouging are added to the mix, the end result is loss of fan interest. I’m glad to see nas$car is listening to their fans and changing some things for the better, but a lot of the damage is done and it’s going to be hard to win some fans back. I love racing, but I can’t afford to drive to the races and then pay the race and lodging fees. Thanks for listening.

  3. mkrcr Says:
    March 29th, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Remind me not to go to Vegas with you.

  4. Richard Allen Says:
    March 29th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    HA! That’s why I never go to Vegas.

    For the record, Gordon was within about 100 yards of making me right.

    But I know, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

  5. mkrcr Says:
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Yea, and if he didn’t “take the gloves off” and get into a wissin’ contest with Kenseth, he may have won. His mission became to not allow Matt to win when, even after he was bumped, he still had a clear line and enough momentum to get it done.