Sunday was full of milestones for Hendrick Motorsports.
When Chase Elliott took the checkered flag at Circuit of The Americas the organization delivered Chevrolet‘s 800th NASCAR Cup Series victory and in the process tied Petty Enterprises‘ long-standing all-time wins record of 268.
The feat was accomplished in Hendrick Motorsports‘ 38th season in the Cup Series, all with team owner Rick Hendrick at the helm. Elliott‘s first win of the year was the team‘s sixth victory of 2021 and was accomplished 14 races into the season. From Geoff Bodine in 1984 to Kyle Larson in 2021, 20 different drivers have reached victory lane for Hendrick Motorsports.
It was a day to remember for Hendrick.
“Getting into NASCAR, when I think how close we came to not making it and having to close the doors, and then think about the championships and the wins, it‘s just unbelievable,” Hendrick said. “It‘s just hard to believe that we‘ve been able to put that many wins together.
“It‘s a tribute to the talent that I‘ve been able to assemble and the people that have grown up in the company and holding them together and learning from each other.”
Chevrolet‘s 800th victory in the Cup Series is the most. Owner Hendrick has had a long-standing relationship with the company with all 268 wins coming in Chevys and Hendrick Motorsports delivering the manufacturer‘s milestone 400th, 500th, 600th, 700th, and now 800th victories.
“I couldn‘t be more proud of Chevy, (Chevrolet vice president) Jim Campbell here, thanks for being here and 268 for (Hendrick Motorsports),” Elliott said. “Thanks to all the fans for hanging in there today. … Just proud of our team.”
The legendary Petty Enterprises has held the record for over 60 years starting with Lee Petty taking the checkered flag at Orange Speedway on May 29, 1960, for the team‘s 53rd victory. Its 268th and final win was delivered by driver John Andretti on April 18, 1999, in the organization‘s 1,703rd race.
Since Hendrick Motorsports‘ inception, the team started to slowly work its way to the historic record dating back to its first victory with driver Bodine in 1984. The organization won a race in all but one season since it was founded, going to victory lane in 37 in 38 years and five different decades. On top of its 268th win, the team has 1,121 top-five finishes, 1,932 top-10s, XXXX laps led and 13 championships — all Cup Series records.
Hendrick never thought he would catch up to the record held by one of his childhood idols. Even though they are competitors on the track, Hendrick admires Petty for putting NASCAR on the map and expanding the sport‘s popularity across the world.
“He‘s dedicated his life to this sport and he‘s been the sport‘s ambassador,” Hendrick said of Petty. “There‘s nobody that has made an impact to NASCAR like Richard has.”
— Hendrick Motorsports —